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Business, fitness and life in general have been thrown for a loop this year and it’s meant that a lot of people have had to completely pivot their business and career to make things work. We caught up with Emma Vincent, Personal Trainer & Fitness Manager and asked her to give us a run down of what her day to day looked like before lockdown and how she has taken the challenges thrown at her to grow her client base and thrive.
Read on to hear Emma’s experience as a personal trainer in lockdown:
Who thought it would turn out like this? One day we are making more of an effort to clean the equipment after use, then the doors to the gym closed! The industry started to panic. We didn’t know when we were going to return to fitness, what would happen to our clients and most importantly, how are were going to earn!
I work as a full time fitness manager within a gym with the added role of a personal trainer and group exercise instructor.
My days had gone from:
|4:30am||Cycle to work|
|4:45am||Open the gym and set up for the day ahead|
|5:30am||First PT client/Class|
|8:00am||Finish morning PT/class session|
|8:30am||Admin, Reports, Operational Shift|
|1:00pm||Leave the gym and go home|
|4:00pm||Back to the gym for Personal Training/classes|
|8:30am||Take dog over the country park|
This was not the lifestyle I signed up for.
I had to get back to work in one form or another. Not only was I missing the interaction of the gym, my mental health was starting to suffer.
I would go on social media and was surprised at what I could see. Suddenly the fitness industry was purely online! Social Media platforms were full of online classes and PT sessions. Making a means to an end. I gave it a go……
How was I going to do this? What did people want? What was I allowed to do?
I decided that filming my workouts and sending them to clients or uploading to my video page was the best way to go. People were enjoying on demand sessions that they could do anytime rather than live. This was my new normal.
|7:30 am||Get up for the day|
|8:00 am||Walk the do in the country park|
|9:00am||Have a nutritional breakfast|
|10:00am||Camera on, film classes and PT sessions|
|4:00 pm||Edit videos and upload to social media channels or send to clients until the evening|
All of this from the comfort of my own home. I have to admit, it wasn’t for me. I enjoy training clients face to face. So whilst a lot of trainers were using this time to build their online platforms, I was planning my future.
So back to the drawing board.
I’ve always been a fan of outdoor training. There is something more exciting about using functional equipment in fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, the rain isn’t always a good thing, but we make the best of a bad situation. So I decided to take my business outside. I messaged a few clients to see if anyone was ready to come back and was surprised by the response. Everyone was ready to return!
My local park is a 10 minute walk from my house, its very open and a perfect location for outside training. Having spoken with my local authority and my insurance company I was ready to go. But where do I start?
Risk Assessments, PPE, licences – its not unknown to me, but it was now completely different to reflect government guidelines.
I would set up over the park, do a daily risk assessment, set up any equipment I would be using, get the antibacterial wipes out and off I go! I was fortunate enough to strike up a friendship with the owners of the pitch and putt who kindly offered me the disused tennis courts as a base. I snapped it up! This then gave me the chance to get more equipment, advertise more, become more established. The clients loved it, and I was enjoying being back. I started out a few sessions a week. But then the idea came to me – BOOTCAMP.
By now class capacities had jumped from 5:1 to 29:1. I put the message out there – 6 weeks of fitness!! It took off more than I expected it would. I got a delivery of old tyres, filled up some petrol cans with water and got some cargo nets. Seeing this set up draws a lot of attention. Suddenly I was known as the ‘fitness lady’ over the park, instead of the lady with the big dog.
I created 3 packages to include:
I sold out straight away.
This gave me the confidence to know my worth. I added more spaces to the bootcamp, they again sold out. My business was growing! All of a sudden I wasn’t the Fitness Manager of the gym, I was the Personal Trainer I always wanted to be!
I’m now 2 weeks into the bootcamp and still getting enquiries. My gym isn’t opening until September so whilst i’m enjoying all my outdoor sessions and building my PT brand, I need to think about where I want to go from here.
In the meantime, I’m pleased with my growing business and client base and with a new personal training routine that will, let’s face it, probably change again in the near future!
My new daily routine is now:
|6:30am||Start morning training sessions|
|9:30am||Coffee in the pitch and putt, catch up on social media posts and messages|
|10:00am||Organise my admin, ensure I’ve got everyones questionnaires, check bookings, answer online enquiries, restock PPE/antibacterial wipes and sanitisers…|
|12:00pm||Lunch and relax|
|4:00pm||Start evening training sessions|
|8:00pm||Sanitise all equipment|
For me lockdown has been a real eye opener and made me realise my potential and my worth! People can admit defeat or go out and do what they need to do to survive in this business. If you have a loyal client base, the drive to make anything work and some confidence you will succeed!