It was back in late 2019 when news of Covid-19 started to emerge in Wuhan, China. Quickly the virus started to spread throughout the world including the UK and in late March the Government initiated a countrywide lockdown to slow down the spread of the virus. With strict lockdown measures in place many businesses including gyms and health clubs have been forced to shut. The lockdown continued up until early June when Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced lockdown measures could slowly be eased with low risk businesses opening first.
In this article, we set out some practical steps of how one-to-one exercise sessions can be delivered safely by a personal trainer whilst mitigating the Covid-19 risk.
Since the Covid-19 virus is highly contagious, neither personal trainer or client should enter a gym or health club if they exhibit Covid-19 symptoms. The NHS recommends that anyone who experiences Covid-19 symptoms should self-isolate and get tested. For more information on self-isolation and testing, please visit the NHS website when to self isolate and what to do
Unfortunately many people that get Covid-19 have no symptoms, but they can still spread the virus. The World Health Organisation (WHO) explains the virus is spread from one person to the next through small droplets from the nose or mouth. Therefore, all personal trainers need to carefully balance the safety of their sessions and the risk of Covid-19 being spread.
In order to achieve this, one of the greatest challenges of the personal trainer will be to adhere to social distancing guidance, but yet still be close by and ready to assist their clients if they were to need it. Currently the Government advises a one meter plus rule between people, so spotting and assisting will be two areas personal trainers need to think about before working with clients.
Jumping in and spotting a client is an obvious issue. Any personal trainer will jump in a spot their client to ensure safe exercise, but this can’t be done with social distancing, so what can we do about this? The obvious solution here is to minimise any occurrence where spotting might be necessary. Could we plan our sessions so we can remove any exercises where spotting might be required? For example, a bench press could easily be swapped for a chest press. A quick check of exercises that could require spotting can easily be substituted for those that don’t.
Another area personal trainer will want to make workouts more effective is assisting their clients when exercising. Whether it be partner assisted stretching, correcting technique with a touch or helping their client push out a few extra reps, personal trainers should always be getting involved and giving a helping hand where they can. Unfortunately, this may not be possible in the post lockdown Covid-19 world. Careful consideration to exercise selection will be required to avoid exercises that require hands on assistance. The personal trainer may also have to change their coaching style so more verbal cues can be given to correct exercise technique.
An important practical measure we can all take to minimise the spread of Covid-19 is to clean and disinfect anything we touch, or drip sweat on. Although it is already common practice to wipe down equipment after use, extra effort must be taken to disinfect all touch points. This includes the obvious: handles, upholstery and consoles, but could also now include all other areas that might be touched with the hands such as handrails, machine adjusters and resistance machine weight adjusters. Even when a client and personal trainer touch small equipment, such as kettlebells, medicine balls and exercise mats, a quick disinfecting will be required.
Read our previous post on how to train your pt clients after lockdown
If you are looking to begin a career in personal training, then you’ll need a course that teaches you the fundamental skills of a personal trainer. You’ll first need to learn about the theoretical knowledge that underpins training clients. This includes anatomy and physiology, health and safety in a fitness environment and exercise, health and welfare. Following this you’ll learn and apply the practical skills required for one-to-one and group training in a variety of suitable exercise environments.
A great way to gain the theoretical and practical skills of personal training is to choose a course that incorporates blended learning. This is a mixture of online delivery for learning the theoretical elements and face-to-face classroom and gym work with an experienced tutor to learn the practical element of personal training. This practical element is crucial because you need to know you are competent at instructing exercises before working in a professional setting.
In the current climate, it is important you choose a training provider that will teach you how to keep yourself and your clients secure from Covid-19, whilst at the same time delivering safe and effective personal training sessions. At Future Fit Training we will show you how to do this with our courses specially designed to accommodate the current Covid-19 situation we see ourselves in. For more information on personal training courses, please visit https://www.futurefit.co.uk/how-to-become/become-a-personal-trainer/
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