Personal trainers at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) have experienced significant changes to their work.
“When we had to transfer to remote work, we had to create virtual personal training protocols instantly so they could continue working with their clients,” said Iván Serrano, the Fitness coordinator at Cal Poly Pomona.
From those protocols and pivoting, two off-shoot offerings were born:
The Back-to-Basics Workshop
In an attempt to reach a broader audience, this workshop focuses on the foundational information necessary to begin an exercise program with the effects of the pandemic in mind.
Those effects include:
- Going from a fully equipped facility to quarantine posed challenges students weren’t ready for.
- Facing the detraining effect due to reduced physical activity.
“Our team thought presenting this body of knowledge could be adapted to each student’s unique situation and was an approach worth trying out,” said Serrano.
Fitness Office Hours
Participants get 20 minutes of one-on-one time with a personal trainer via Zoom. The time is used to discuss any fitness questions students may have.
“Fitness Office Hours are our attempt to replicate the hallway conversations we would normally have in the facility during non-pandemic times,” said Serrano. “Our fitness community has been an open source of knowledge for our students due in large part to our staff always being willing to answer questions as they come up.”
If students end up wanting to start an exercise program based off of the conversation, Serrano explained their personal trainers have access to a collection of previously written exercise templates they can offer up as a place for students to start.
How to Create a Personal Trainers’ Workshop
Let your personal trainers’ interests and expertise dictate the workshop content. Serrano has seen a wide variety of topics, some of which were:
- Exercise programming
- Effects of detraining after reduced levels of physical activity
“All of the information they were giving was accurate and incredibly valuable, and I believe that giving them the liberty to use this programming platform in ways they saw best fit is what gave us such diverse and engaging programs,” said Serrano.
Both the workshop and the office hours have helped Cal Poly Pomona’s personal trainers find success in the midst of a pandemic. However, Serrano said to do so you must remain flexible and keep an open mind.
EXTRA CREDIT: Check out these creative virtual program offering ideas.
Even now, Serrano said they’ve begun to revitalize their virtual personal training services in order to have a sustainable hybrid model of in-person and virtual personal training in the future. And they will be leaning heavily on the students who make it all possible.
“Brainstorming sessions are what helped lead us to our various virtual workshops and other fitness-related programs we have been running over the last couple of semesters,” said Serrano. “The pandemic has flipped the fitness and recreation industries on their heads and the jobs we signed up for initially will continue to look different moving into the future.”
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