Due to the unstable situation brought by the pandemic, more and more fitness studios are offering virtual classes. Don’t worry if you have never tried it before. You can easily leverage on existing solutions to conduct your kickass virtual classes. 

Zoom is an easy-to-use and one of the most commonly-used live streaming softwares. The basic plan is free, yet it has a time limit of 40 minute for every group meeting. To avoid being cut off in the middle of the class, it is recommended to subscribe to a premium plan. There are 3 premium plans options in total, namely Pro, Business, and Enterprise. All of the plans allow a 30-hour long meeting and live streaming to YouTube and Facebook. The Pro, Business and Enterprise can cater up to 100, 300, and 500 participants respectively. The price of the Pro plan is USD14.99 per month, while that of the Business and Enterprise plan is USD 19.99 per month. The Pro plan is usually enough for boutique fitness studios that offer both personal training and group classes. You may look into the details of each plan here

To ease the customer experience, integrate with a booking solution that allows you to automatically send the virtual class link to your students so that the experience is hassle free. 

Here is a list of best practices when hosting a virtual fitness class:


1. The technical setup

A good internet network is everything. Be sure to limit the network traffic, and avoid having others using the same network to watch videos or have video calls. 

A USB webcam will be useful to film your movements. Although your device might already have a webcam built into the monitor, you can place your USB webcam in a different position, so that your students can see your movements more clearly from a different angle. Some USB webcams also have an integrated microphone and speaker. 

Zoom has the function that allows you to switch between cameras. After you have connected the USB webcam to your computer and have logged into the zoom meeting, you can press the “Screen Share” button, click “Advanced”, then choose “Connect from 2nd Camera”, and click “Share”. The shared camera will be shown in full-screen mode. Exit the full-screen mode by pressing ESC on your keyboard. Then click “Switch Camera” in the top left to switch to your original camera. You can then pin the video from your secondary camera so that it remains prominent for your students. 

For the audio, wireless earbuds with mic are also great for the class. If you would like to share the background music with the class, click on the “Screen Share” button, select “Share Sound” in the bottom-left corner of the “Screen Share” window. But be sure to check whether sharing that piece of music will lead to a violation of the licensing laws.  

To see your students’ movements more clearly, plug your device into a television, or pin some of the students on your screen. 


2. Rehearse before the class


After setting up the venue, do some tests with another instructor to make sure the equipment works well. 


Lighting also affects the quality of your video. You should check whether the light is bright enough to see your movements. It will be even better if you have your camera in front of a strong light source. 

Besides, you will move around in the room while teaching a fitness class, and sometimes you may not notice that your whole body is not in view if you are too focused on teaching. Therefore, during the rehearsal, you can try different movements and make marks on the floor so that you know where you need to be.


3. Engage your students


Engaging your students is important. You may enter the meeting room 15 minutes before the class and greet your students. Invite your students to turn their cameras on. The major difference between a workout video on YouTube and a live fitness class is that the students get immediate feedback from the instructor. Provide personalized feedback. Try to offer form correction and cheer your students on. 


The Daily Movement, one of the fitness studios on vibefam that offers virtual classes, tracks their students’ progress on a whiteboard to spur them on to exceed their personal goals. This type of encouragement and personalized record differentiates the virtual classes offered by The Daily Movement.


Vibefam helps you to engage your students before your class even commences. With our group chat function, your instructor can get to know your students to better personalize classes to their level of experience. Find out more about what we offer here or schedule a personalized demo with us here


This article was written by Melissa Wong.

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