Right now is a time of uncertainty. COVID-19 is spreading and some nations are entering or returning from a state of quarantine. For fitness coaches, it can be unnerving as most countries are urging citizens to stay indoors and asking for community spaces like gyms to be shut.
However, amidst all the unrest this is a time where you can hone your coaching skills and keep your clients progressing towards their goals by learning how to create workouts for homebound clients with limited to no equipment.
An Opportunity to Learn
OPEX Coaches all around the world are experiencing situations similar to the one you are in. Gyms are being asked to close, governments are restricting our mobility, and the time frame of this change is unknown. But now more than ever it is a time to embrace our founder James FitzGerald’s philosophy, Teach, Learn, Move, Create. That is exactly what OPEX Coach Erwin Regidor who lives in Shanghai did when the government quarantined the city.
When COVID-19 broke out in Shanghai, China residents were told to stay inside and public gyms were shut. For Erwin, this meant he had to transition from coaching in person in a well-outfitted facility to coaching online with minimal equipment.
“At first you are worried that you won’t be able to make an interesting program,” says Erwin as he refers to his thought process when he transitioned to coaching online.
“But I kept in mind what I learned from OPEX about the patterns of movement, what I know about my clients, and where they are in their development.”
For some clients, this meant continuing to do their goblet squats but instead of a kettlebell they used a loaded backpack and for others, it was holding their kid on their back.
“I also used this as a time to focus on other issues we were having in training. For example, I focused on some mobility issues that were interfering with a client’s progression”.
When asked what he would tell other coaches in his position Erwin says “There are a ton of exercises on the internet that clients can do from home, it’s just about figuring out the goal, the resources, and how you can make some progress.”
While Shanghai is not fully back to normal yet Erwin is making sure that his clients are sticking to their routine and doing their best to stay healthy in a time of uncertainty.
How to Program for Clients Who are Staying Home
When clients are forced to stay at home or practice social distancing it is a great time to focus on the basics of movement. Here are three simple ways to keep your clients moving when their mobility is limited.
Make the Goal to Move Every Day
Make a simple goal to “move every day”. Accept that this won’t be the time for intense training, but that there are serious immune system benefits to blood flow and resistance training. Creating simple workouts that get your clients moving is a great way to keep your clients consistent and in their daily rhythm.
Program Full Body Resistance Circuits
Another method for working with clients at home is to program Full Body Resistance Circuits for blood flow and muscle endurance. Depending on the client you can tailor the workout to their specific goals.
How to Create at Home Full Body Resistance Workouts
To create a Full Body Resistance Workout pick one of each from the six essential movement patterns and program them as a circuit. Below is a list of bodyweight exercises that cover all six movement patterns. If a client has access to dumbbells, kettlebells, a pull-up bar, or resistance bands, great! Otherwise, you can get creative with lifting objects around the house. Learn how to program workouts at home in this free guide.
4 sets, 30 seconds rest between exercises
A1. Wall Sit; 60 seconds
A2. Hip Thrusts; 12-15 reps
A3. Split Squats; 12-15 reps
A4. Push-Ups; 12-15 reps
A5. Reverse Fly w/ cans; 15-20 reps
A6. Plank; 60 seconds
Reiterate the OPEX Basic Lifestyle Guidelines
Now more than ever is a great time to reiterate or talk to your clients about the OPEX Basic Lifestyle Guidelines (BLGs). These guidelines are the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and are a great way to shift your clients’ focus to what they can do right now to improve their health. (Get a refresher on the BLGs here.) A guideline that is very topical is rhythm. There is a good chance that your clients’ routines have shifted. You can bring some normalcy back to your clients’ lives by reminding them about the importance of their daily rhythm. A great way to get the conversation started is to ask them “What can you do to keep a similar daily routine?”.
Learn How to Program Workouts at Home
Many of the OPEX global community of coaches are faced with the challenge of keeping their clients active and healthy in the face of gym closures, lockdowns, and social distancing.
If you, like so many, are faced with this challenge, it is important to know that you can continue to offer a valuable and important service. Download our guide, How to Program At-Home Workouts, and learn how to adapt your programming and continue to support the health of your clients from a distance.