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  • Writer's pictureLisa Magnuson

Improve Your Virtual Training Experience

When we started out using Zoom a year and a half ago we had never trained anyone online...... ever. It was a quick and steep learning curve but we feel it has served as an excellent way to continue to serve our clients and keep everyone safe AND healthy.

As we became more adept at using the virtual platform, we made improvements on our side of the camera that have dramatically increased our ability to see our clients and have our clients see us. These aren't secret hacks that are expensive or time consuming, they were actually really cheap and easy to set up.

This week we wanted to share some tips and tools to help you get the most out of each virtual training session.

The obvious ones......

  • Use a room that has enough space for you to move freely in. Yes, in a pinch (like working out in a hotel room or on your boat) you may need to sacrifice some space and just grin and bear it. But most of us have a space in our homes we can either allocate as a workout space for good, or easily transform it in a matter of minutes before a training session. This room should be big enough for you to lie down on the floor and extend your arms and legs without touching anything. The ceiling height can also be an issue if we ask you to do any jumping so take that into account as well.

  • Equipment does matter. We recommend having several different levels of resistance bands, a few weights (kettlebells and dumbbells are great if you can have both), a bench, chair, or other item about 18-20" tall you can use for a prop, and a foam roll or yoga block. Having a good quality exercise mat is VERY important so you don't slip and to keep your knees and wrists from getting sore on a hard floor. Here is a mat Myles has been recommending to his clients as a great option. 4X6 Exercise Mat

The less obvious ones....

  • We actually want to be able to see you...... yes, all of you. When you drop down to the floor to do your push ups or hollow body holds, if we can't see you we can't correct your form or, more importantly, make sure you're not compromising your position and possibly hurting yourself. If you can place your phone, tablet, or laptop at about eyeball height and far enough across the room so we can see your whole body whether standing or laying down, this is the best view for your trainer. It can be helpful to have a stand or mount for your device so you can have it up higher. Ipad cradle Ipad stand

  • Picture quality. We use an app we downloaded on our iphones called Epoccam. It essentially allows you to use your super phone camera as the camera for your zoom call. I believe it works with both Android and Apple. The picture clarity is great and it is easy to find a mount/stand for your phone so you can have it up high enough to get a great full body shot. You can keep your laptop on a table nearby where you can see the screen but place your phone up high. Here is the app we use. It costs $10 I believe. Epoc Camera App

  • Another option is to stream the zoom call onto your TV or large computer monitor. It makes it easier to see us and if you are using your phone as a camera it works really well. At home we use our phone mounted high above our big TV screen. We can see ourselves and our clients really well when teaching or coaching. It is important for you to be able to see yourself and your own form too. That is why we have so many mirrors in the gym, it isn't just so Myles and Tom can practice their 'Blue Steel" model pose all day. To accomplish this you can use an HDMI cable or if you prefer cableless options, Apple Airplay or Chromecast functions work well.

  • And finally, the audio piece. In groups, some prefer to be on mute, and that is just fine. If you have tried to train in a hotel gym or other public space you quickly realize you need earbuds or everyone in the room will be hearing Myles count to 3 over and over again. We love our earbuds. They work much better than the speakers and microphones on laptops, tablets and phones. We recommend them to everyone even if you are on mute, it puts us right in your ears which albeit has its pluses and minuses but you can hear us clearly and we can hear you really well when you are unmuted or joining the discussion during the session.

We hope you can use these tips to design a good space which will in turn increase the quality of your virtual training sessions. If you want more advice or assistance trying to figure out some of these more technical pieces, Myles is happy to help troubleshoot. We want everyone to feel as much like they are in the room with us as they can and we want to be able to coach you as if we were in the same place. If you only implemented one of these suggestions, setting up your space to allow us to see you clearly and fully would be the number one improvement we would recommend.

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