Tips for 1:1 Virtual Fitness Sessions
By Lauren McAlister
While live stream classes and pre-recorded workouts get your fitness community moving, there’s nothing better than a private, virtual session to strengthen a client-trainer relationship and provide a much-needed dose of accountability.
Especially right now—when people are seeking connection more than ever—private workout sessions give the client and trainer an opportunity to come together, customize programming, and work towards individual fitness goals.
That said, some clients will benefit more from private virtual sessions than others. It’s a good idea to encourage one-on-one virtual sessions when:
- Your client's looking for personal attention that simply can’t be given in a virtual group setting.
- Your client's hoping to master a movement or set of movements that makes it important for you to see their form.
- Your client has an injury, is pregnant, or has some other condition that requires modified exercises or special attention and care.
- Your client wants a customized workout plan.
- Your client needs help with goal setting and is looking for extra accountability from their instructor/trainer.
- Your client's hoping to take their workouts to a more advanced level.
Now that you know what your virtual private client might look like, it's time to get the word out about your new fitness offerings and, most importantly, provide an exceptional experience that keeps each client coming back—virtually, of course.
Promote your virtual personal sessions
Add a section to your website, post on social media, and email your new, or revamped, workout offerings to your entire community. Existing one-on-one clients will be happy to hear they can continue working with you in a new way and those looking for a more customized approach to exercise will appreciate the option. For more on the best ways to promote your virtual sessions, check out our blog post.
Create an introductory offer
Make your private sessions as accessible as possible by bundling the first few sessions at a discounted rate. If you’ve never offered private sessions before, this is a great way to entice clients to try them.
Have the client fill out an intake form
Once you've received interest from a client, send them a detailed intake form to complete before their initial consultation. If you're a Mindbody customer, use Client Forms to make it as easy as possible to complete online. Include questions like:
- Do you have any current or previous injuries?
- Are you taking any medications?
- Do you have any pre-existing conditions?
- What is your current fitness routine?
- What is your job? What does your day-to-day look like?
- What kind of fitness equipment do you have at home?
Make sure your liability waiver form is signed
Along with a detailed intake form, your liability waiver is essential. Consult your legal counsel to confirm that your liability waiver covers training outside of your facility, including a client’s home.
Offer an initial consultation
With any initial fitness session, in-person or not, it’s important to take ample time to first discuss the client’s needs and goals for one-on-one training. You’ll want to see their current fitness level, too. Have the client perform a movement assessment so you can get a feel for their strength, balance, and flexibility. Only then will you be able to create a customized program that makes sense for them.
Help them set up their space before getting started
Before they start moving, walk your client through proper set-up. Ask them to clear a space, with good (or ideally, natural) lighting and have them set their phone/computer/tablet far back enough so you can see their entire body during each exercise.
Rent or sell equipment they don’t have access to
Depending on the client’s goals, and your training style, fitness equipment may or may not be necessary. Look at the client’s intake form (see above) to determine what kind of exercise equipment they have at home. If need be, supplement with equipment from your fitness studio or gym and rent or sell what they need. Here’s more on renting out your fitness equipment.
Ask the right questions
Because you're unable to provide hands-on adjustments during your workout sessions, find the right questions to ask when the client’s performing each exercise. For example, during a pushup: “Are you feeling stress or pain in your shoulders?” That way, your client will learn to understand what’s right and wrong in a movement, and in their body, by feeling it for themselves throughout the workout. Asking the right questions can help improve your client’s body awareness.
Supplement sessions with live streamed or on-demand classes
You may have clients who want to work out with you, individually, daily. If not, provide them with access to your live streamed and/or pre-recorded workout classes. That way, they can exercise on days you’re not working together. Plus, they’ll get the added benefits of working out in a group. Just be sure to provide them with any necessary modifications ahead of time to keep them as safe as possible.
Have fun with it
You, of all people, know the benefits of fitness—especially in a time like this. So, get creative, have fun, and be a source of light and guidance for your client. With private sessions, you have the privilege of getting to know your clients intimately and developing a unique kind of bond. It’s so much more than a workout—but you already knew that.
This information contained herein does not constitute financial, legal, or other professional advice and is meant to be used solely for informational purposes. It does not take into account your specific circumstances and should be not acted on without full understanding of your current situation, future goals and/or objectives by a qualified professional. MINDBODY assumes no liability for actions taken in reliance upon the information contained herein.