Since the end of lockdown, most fitness studios and gyms have gone back to in-person training, some have kept their classes online, and others have opted for online/in-person hybrid classes.
These hybrid classes give members the option to either train from home or come into the gym for their workout. Although it provides much greater flexibility, it can be detrimental to instructors and members alike. Making sure you pull it off well is therefore very important. Here are some tips for how to best go about it.
Have the Right Setup
First things first, you need to ensure you have the right video and audio equipment.
Just like for normal online classes, the way you appear on your members’ devices is paramount. You want to film your classes with a quality camera that allows your members to see you clearly throughout the entirety of the class.
You will also need to consider lighting. You want to make sure that your studio appears bright for your online members, however not so bright that it will affect the experience of your in-person members. Testing your camera and experimenting with different angles before your class and asking for feedback afterwards is a great way to go about this.
When it comes to hybrid fitness classes specifically, you also need to factor privacy into your livestream. Make sure your in-person members don’t appear in your video and select the automatic mic-off camera-off function for your online students.
For hybrid fitness classes, you need to make sure your online students can hear you just as clearly as your in-person students can. To do this, test your microphone and ask your online members for feedback after your class. You also need to ensure that there is no playback, so muting all your online attendants’ mics is a must!
Remember to Engage with ALL Members
When running hybrid classes, it’s easy to forget about your online members and focus solely on your in-person attendants. Greet all your students and address them all throughout your class. Rotate eye-contact between your in-person members and your camera too.
After your class, consider giving your online students the opportunity to unmute their mics and engage in conversation with one-another. This will build that valuable sense of community and make your online students feel far more comfortable and included in your class.
Account for Space and Equipment Limitations
Don’t forget that your online students will have space and equipment limitations. Make sure that your class can be done in a small room and limit your required equipment to yoga mats, resistance bands, foam rollers, and light weights. If your online students have to fork out too much money on equipment for your class, chances are they won’t do it.
As usual, ask all your members about any injuries they may have so you can let them know what exercises they shouldn’t do. It’s easy to forget about this if you can’t see them!
Running a hybrid fitness class will take a bit of getting used to. Remember that feedback does go a long way, however, so check in with both your online and in-person students after each class.
Also remember to get in touch with Fitness Audio for any questions regarding online and in-person audio equipment. Our team will be able to advise you on your options and provide you with recommendations that suit your needs and budget.