Everyone’s world was turned upside down over the last couple months while the COVID-19 shutdown forced us to stay home and put much of our life on pause. Whether you’re a trainer or a gym owner, you probably haven’t seen your clients in a long time—and their lives have changed a lot as well. You’ve likely had to adjust the programming for all your clients, whether they’re in-person clients who are now remote or new online clients you’ve onboarded during quarantine. After all, very few people have access to a full home gym with a squat rack, dumbbells, and kettlebells.
But now that quarantine is over, things are starting to change yet again. The clients that you were writing bodyweight programs before will have the chance to get back in the gym again soon, which requires you to tweak their programming yet again. Even though we’re all thrilled to be getting back into a routine, it’s important not to lose sight of what your clients need. And because their needs have been changing a lot over the last couple months, here are some things to keep in mind as things are starting to open back up again.
Their Workouts Will Look Different
During quarantine, everyone was trying to get through all of their workouts at home, in their garage, in their backyard, or in a park. You probably had to program a lot of bodyweight workouts, resistance band work, and suspension training exercises. But now that we’re getting back on track, they’ll have access once again to all the equipment at the gym. Naturally, that means that you’ll have to adjust their programming to include some weightlifting, kettlebell work, etc.
There’s more to consider than just equipment, though. Since we’ve all been cooped up at home without weights, most people have probably lost some strength and ability they had previously. Now’s the time to be cautious with your clients. Don’t expect them to go too hard right out the gate. In fact, you probably shouldn’t even have them start back up with the same weight that they left off with since it’s been such a long time. Take them back a small step and have them start with lighter weights and lower intensity than they were training with before quarantine. This will ensure that they don’t face any injuries from pushing themselves too hard when their bodies aren’t prepared for the work.
They May Not Have as Much Time on Their Hands
Life will surely get busier for us all when things get fully back to normal. Kids will go back to school, business trips will resume once again, and social events will fill up our calendars. In other words, we won’t be at home all day with free time on our hands. That means you’ll have to be more precise and efficient with the workouts you provide for your clients. They want to get back to work and in the groove of things while also sticking to their workout routine.
Consider the fact that they’re short on time and want to maximize the segment of time they have to devote to working out. In order to know what your clients truly need, communicate with them. Ask them how their schedule will be changing over the next couple of weeks and ask how much time they want to spend training each day.
They Might Need Different Nutritional Guidance
It’s not far-fetched to guess that many people have gained a little quarantine weight over the past couple of months. In fact, this is likely going to a common thread you hear from many clients. Check in with each of your clients and ask if they need assistance with their nutrition goals. Do they want a diet plan? Are they having trouble sticking to a clean diet? Do they have enough healthy recipes to follow?
Think of it this way: after the winter holidays when everyone splurged on comfort food and dessert, they’re all ready for a shift in their diet and a reset so to speak. The same will be true for most people coming out of quarantine. They’ve spent the last couple months sitting on the couch, bingeing on Netflix and potato chips, so they’re probably ready for a diet reset. Offer them nutritional guidance if they express interest.
Their Stress Levels Will Change
Not to say that quarantine was a completely stress-free time for everyone, but we can’t deny the fact that things will get more stressful as we all get back to work and return to our normal schedule. Parents will feel the stress of juggling a million things at once and people who travel for work will be on the road a lot once again.
Now is the perfect time to check in with your clients—get on the phone and actually call them, don’t just text—and ask them how you can best assist them as they transition back into work. Ask them if they’re feeling more stressed and what kind of health goals you can work towards together in order to reduce unnecessary stress and anxiety. After all, at the end of the day, it’s your job to help them live healthier and happier lives, and that includes so much more than just giving them workouts and diet advice.