Fitness trainers turn to remote lessons

When the break was announced, the areas that were in perpetual motion were stopped in their tracks. And the training rooms emptied of their amateurs.

It was a great rush to buy sports equipment. Online scams selling dumbbells at bargain prices have lined up the pockets of scammers.

Founder and Director of Report Fitness Clubs, Alessia B. Kofftun, saw one of them robbed, located in LaSalle.

She says they left with everything that is heavier with them. Cast iron Russian bars, plates, and counterweights, jump boxes, and even. “Most fun? They left the computers. They were really die-hard exercise fanatics!”

Alicia laughs, but her situation doesn’t push her to do the same. “Even with the 75% reduction in government-provided rent, I have to pay the remaining 25% for the three gyms, insurance and bank fees… If we don’t get the green light to reopen soon, we can’t last very long.” »

Like many, the Montreal businessman “adapted”. Some members of his team, which usually includes 15 coaches, offer online lessons. At first it was exclusive to Instagram and Facebook. And it’s free. But as the lockdown continues, the director has extended the show on Zoom, where courses sell for $7 each. “If you’re lucky, there are about ten participants. And $50 goes to the coach.”

To get it, Alicia B. Kovtun doesn’t do much.

She never dreams of continuing to maintain a virtual show after the pandemic. this, no. “With all due respect, real-time training is our business model. Online resources, there are thirty-six thousand of them — and great resources. But we are a retail company.”

Online formulas

Specifically, these online resources. They have seen a massive increase since the lockdown began. Like glamorous YouTuber MadFi Limborne, from MadFit Channel. Trained in ballet by fan FitnessThe Torontonian, known for choreographing pop tunes, has managed, since the start of confinement, to attract 1.5 million new subscribers. It is giant.

Do these channels compete or complement the cinema show? “It’s not a competition at all,” Sheila Rose answered without hesitation. It’s great to see other formulas take hold. In short: the more people, the better.

Except that here again, it’s not all funny. Like many of her teammates, coach Sheila Rose lost all of her private coaching contracts in March. And all the group classes you also offer in Report Fitness.

Positive point: The pandemic has made her an entrepreneur. And fast. Events prompted her to go ahead with the launch of the platform she had been simmering for a while. Titled Optimum Level, this program is…for coaches wanting to perfect their practice online. In time, you say?

“Chaos created opportunity,” she said sweetly.

It must be said that Sheila is not a beginner of Fitness in digital mode. For the past two years, she has been leading a “six-week makeover” program focused on diet and exercise. During the pandemic, she says, school attendance has skyrocketed.

Also, the question is: Will people still want to pay for a gym membership after all this is over? “Oh, sure, I assure Sheila Rose. Free is attractive at first. But that’s not all.”

No, that’s not all, Uriel Arreguin confirms. “We need to move, walk, run. We need to dance.”

Uriel Arreguin, professor at Club MAA and Club Atwater, didn’t wait long after the mandatory break to start his real-time program on Zoom. Since then, it offers twenty lessons a week: stretching sessions, retro dance, corporate lessons… It offers weekly subscriptions for $35 or one-to-one lessons for $10. His loyal students followed him. Others joined him. Usually about thirty are found in front of its screen. As a Mexican, I always say: Mi Casa Are you Casa. But for the people who open their homes to train with me, I am doubly grateful. »

Mr. Arreguin, a seasoned dancer, constantly has new ideas. Fifteen years ago, he released a dance cardio lesson on DVD. “A bestseller! He laughs. When times change, he follows suit. His movement.”

Other colleagues are not so lucky. “The situation has caused stress for many teachers, artists, and coaches. Not everyone has access to technology. Quite simply, not everyone has access to a space.”

He says he is lucky to have some space. Just enough for dancing and teaching. “In one of my classes, what do we use? A chair. But with it we make a ballet mould. Stretch. From push ups. He also leads thematic classes. Life is beautifulFrench evening. good lifeItalian evening. “We mix contemporary dance, Latin, hip-hop and pop. People wear fashion, they take in He drinks. They need to live! It’s really boring between four walls otherwise. You have to find inspiration. »

The very inspiring Uriel believes the virtual is here to stay. But his presence will not destroy everything. Although he has found that some students on Zoom are less shy than in the gym, he himself would never give up on human connection. For the possibility of witnessing, in real life, what he calls the “spawning” of one of his students. Consider this moment when someone suddenly dances freely. “To bear witness to this is very precious.”

YouTube tutorials, or those “encapsulated classes” as he calls them, okay. But only for a while. “The lesson is not just ‘I’ll tell you what to do.’ There’s pedagogy, training, and the job behind it. And then, watching the same video over again is like watching the same movie. It’s flat. And we know the end.”

Let’s see in the video

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