Whether we like it or not, summer is in the rearview mirror so the days of outdoor exercise could be coming to an end and with Covid-19 cases on the rise across much of the United States that could mean gyms and fitness centers could be shuttered again – if they even opened at all. For those who don’t want to bulk up in the all the wrong ways it could be a return to virtual fitness including workout routines on YouTube and other social platforms.
“With Covid-19 still lingering and other seasonal illnesses like the flu becoming more prominent in the cooler months, virtual training will become even more beneficial to those trying to stay healthy,” explained Melody Kasulis, project manager for Fitrated.
“Virtual training allows people to exercise in the comfort of their home, away from any strangers who might pass along a virus,” added Kasulis.
A More Personal Take
There are plenty of excellent options to work out with instructional videos, but even the best of these lacks that “personal” touch. The problem with these is that aren’t generally tailored to a specific need, don’t allow you to work out at your own pace and can’t answer questions that you may need.
As with other facets of life, personal trainers are now taking to social media to connect with individuals.
“One way that trainers are adapting to virtual training is by creating group fitness classes via Zoom or other virtual meeting platforms,” added Kasulis. “Some commercial gyms are even hosting virtual workouts through their website.”
Pros Of Social Media To Find A Trainer
On the surface finding a trainer via social media seems straightforward, and it can actually make the research rather easy. Social could be a good way to save a few bucks in the process – as trainers found via social platforms charged an average of $25 per hour, more than $11 less per hour than those found through a gym referral.
According to the recent study 76.3% of those who used social media to find a trainer were also able to find that individual’s certifications – compared to just 47.8% for personal referrals or 37.8% from an actual gym referral. In fact, only 5.9% of those who used social media along with an Internet search were unable to find those certifications. That’s important because when selecting a trainer it is crucial that you go with someone with the right certifications and qualifications – not someone who simply teaches classes “on the side.”
Additionally, because we live in a culture where everything seems to be on social media it is easier to find the ever important “before and after photos” of that potential trainer on the various social platforms. Some 80.8% of those taking part in the study said they could find those before and after photos, compared to 48.8% when referred to by a friend or acquaintance and just 33.7% from a gym referral.
A solid 81.9% of trainers found via social media had good reviews compared to 40.1% from a gym referral.
The Cons Of Finding A Trainer On A Social Platform
The gray cloud to every silver lining is that many personal trainers didn’t live up to the expectations despite the above finds. In fact, 39.7% of users who found their trainer on social media or via an Internet search were unhappy with the trainer’s services, compared to 30.4% from a gym referral and 22.1% from a personal acquaintance or friend referral.
“We discovered that people who found their trainer on social media or through the internet were the most likely to be unhappy with the service they received, so it’s best to find a trainer through a personal acquaintance or friend referral,” added FitRated’s Kasulis.
While the reason isn’t entirely clear on this disconnect, it could have a lot to do with the fact that true friends are made in person or through regular communication, not simply on social media. Connecting with people via such platforms allow for a quick but not necessarily long lasting relationships.
Another consideration could be related to the current pandemic, which has forced individuals to socially distance and even as a one-on-one experience fitness over video chat such as Zoom isn’t the same as true in person training.