Your Essential Guide to Providing Outdoor Fitness Classes
A survey of over 4,500 active adults from 122 countries revealed that the face of fitness, as we have known it, has definitely changed. With 59.1% of active adults choosing outdoor activities like running, hiking, and walking to stay fit in 2021; the power of outdoor workouts is undeniable. Compared with a mere 14.6% at the start of 2020, the demand for outdoor training has skyrocketed.
5 benefits of outdoor training classes
With gyms and studios forced to close their doors during COVID, business owners have had to reinvent their brand and the ways in which they deliver a premium service to members. If we had to list all the pros of holding outdoor workouts, we’d be here for days so we’ve come up with a handful to get you inspired:
- The sky’s the limit - literally. You’re not limited by space or confined by studio capacity. The more the merrier! Instead of limiting classes to a specific number of trainees, the great outdoors enables you to increase class participant numbers and in turn, your revenue. If you’re planning on teaching classes with 20+ participants, consider bringing in another coach to assist you.
- Save on rent - If you’re a personal trainer, outdoor training means you don’t have any rental costs to incur. You’re not renting a fitness studio or gym space and air’s free! Whether you're providing one-on-one lessons or group training, clients may be more inclined to join your outdoor classes than pay a monthly gym membership fee.
- Your brand front and center - Hosting outdoor classes is a great marketing opportunity and a free way to boost your brand. Be sure to wear branded clothing and have clear signage so passers-by can quickly understand who you are and what services are available. You’ll be surprised by the diversity of interest your classes will generate. Gyms and studios attract those who go out of their way to pursue fitness whereas outdoor classes may catch the eye of those in the community who had previously never considered attending an exercise class.
- Versatile schedule - If you’re a studio or gym owner, creating opportunities for members to train outdoors adds versatility to your class schedule. If research reveals greater interest in running, why not offer running technique classes where members can learn the correct techniques from an experienced coach. Especially during the summer months, running is a great way to explore the area around you and get to know your local community better.
- Stay safe - In response to the current pandemic, many members are reluctant to go back to an indoor training environment. Your offering of outdoor classes serves a real need for members within your fitness community. It allows them to train comfortably and safely, improving their motivation and wellbeing.
5 things you need to remember about teaching outdoor classes:
- You must make sure that your insurance covers outdoor exercise. Uneven terrain, using public property and changing weather conditions leave members at risk of potential injury which means you may be open to compensation claims. Contact your insurer to check or upgrade your policy.
- Training outdoors may mean don't have access to lots of equipment, so a good program is essential. Plan your sessions carefully to include a variety of body weight, cardiovascular and mobility exercises. If you’re used to programming for indoor classes, this will be a test of your knowledge and skill. Rise to the challenge and seek help from colleagues and experts.
- When scouting for the perfect location, remember to check if the land is public or privately owned. If it’s the latter, you’ll need to seek approval for using that space. Once you’ve determined if you can actually use the space, try to find a spot with a nearby hill or gradient for sprints. Stairs work well too and don’t forget benches as a great leg-burning tool! If using a TRX, make sure there is something sturdy nearby to attach it to.
- Consider your demographic. Who’s taking your classes? This will impact your scheduling in terms of the type of class offered as well as class times. Your early birds may want a 6 am HIIT training class before heading to work, while your more mature clients may prefer a mid-morning yoga or pilates class. Before launching your outdoor lessons, do your market research and find out more about your local community.
- Always have a plan B prepared. If there’s a sudden downpour of rain and you’re now unable to teach in your regular spot, you still need to be able to deliver the class to your members. Knowing your surroundings means you’ve already scouted for a covered area nearby to use and continue as planned. To make sure you’ve covered all your bases, pre-recorded class videos, which can be sent to all members via your Arbox platform, means you never fail to deliver.
With warmer weather and longer days, there’s no better time to start running your outdoor classes than now. The pandemic means fewer people are traveling, so your attendance figures will be higher than usual during summer. Think outside the box - nature is calling!