Virtual workouts are becoming more popular and coaches are becoming more adept. Here’s how you can keep up.
Exercising from home has been a popular option—sometimes even the only option—for as long as people can remember. It is when we are forced to work out from home, however, that we really start to appreciate the joys and benefits of group exercises and working out under the watchful eye of a professional trainer. Enter the virtual workout age: Whether it’s through teleconferencing software like Zoom or live streams on social media platforms, working out under the watchful eye of a professional trainer who might be several time zones away has become part of our new normal long before the term “new normal” became common parlance.
Now, looking up online fitness classes or resources on how to set up your own has become increasingly easy as tech companies and fitness trainers alike have been quick to adapt to the new demand for distance coaching. That being said, there’s actually quite a few things that the average person looking to take advantage of virtual workouts can do to make the entire experience as painless and as useful as possible. So, whether you’re only just trying out or looking for a longtime commitment, here are some basic tips that might prove useful in your quest to make the most of your virtual gym sessions:
Screen size, that is. No matter how big your phone is, since you’ll be standing relatively far away from it while also constantly moving, you won’t be able to make out everything that’s happening on screen. A laptop would be a much better option and a desktop PC even better, although for the latter you will need to have a mic and webcam. Which brings us to our second point:
As important it is to ensure that you can clearly see your trainer, it’s also important for your trainer to have a clear view of you. The point of training— even virtually—with a trainer is to get feedback; otherwise, you might as well look up videos on YouTube (which is not exactly a bad idea, but that’s a whole different ballgame).
Ideally, your camera should be positioned slightly high so that your (virtual) coach can get a full body view of you when you’re standing upright or laying down on the floor. So, if you see virtual workout sessions as a long-term commitment, it might be wise to invest in a webcam. There are also apps that can turn your smartphone into a camera for your laptop or desktop PC, such as iCam for iPhones and DroidCam for Android devices.
“AS IMPORTANT IT IS TO ENSURE THAT YOU CAN CLEARLY SEE YOUR TRAINER, IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT FOR YOUR TRAINER TO HAVE A CLEAR VIEW OF YOU”
IT’S STILL QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Being on camera may make us feel self-conscious about how hard we train. Unfortunately, many newcomers to the virtual training world end up rushing through the movements. Now, there’s a time and place to try and get as many reps as possible in the shortest time possible, but getting as many slow quality reps in until your muscles give up is often the better strategy. Proper form is always better than high reps. Besides, everybody else will be—should be—focusing on the coach instead of each other.
Bluetooth earbuds can really help you get the best out of any training session. Even those without active noise cancelling can help block external sounds to a degree. Also, these are extra useful to ensure that you won’t be bothering your housemates or neighbors. Just be sure to pick Bluetooth earbuds or earphones that are water-resistant. Some sporty models would even indicate that they are swear- resistant. And one point about mic etiquette: In group sessions, turn your mic off during the actual workout to avoid the coach being drowned out by idle chatter and ambient noise; in private sessions or in small groups, keep it on.
Not everybody is lucky enough to have a home gym, so don’t worry about working out in unorthodox surroundings. Is your apartment too crowded? Can’t find any space at home where you can work out interrupted? Then why not try somewhere outdoors? Remember: A virtual training session isn’t necessarily an indoor one.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE