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October 15, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Virtual Studio 101:

Top tips you need right now

Everybody knows that a virtual studio is absolutely the way forward.

Right? Right.

We've said this until we're blue in the face, and frankly, if you don't think that a virtual studio is important, you're running the risk of not being here in six months' time.

Now, we're not saying that to give anyone The Fear, but if you're a bricks and mortar gym, a fitness business, or have a wellness studio, it's vital that you have a digital offering of some kind.

There are multiple different options, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. So where (and how!) do you get started?

A black and white image of a woman smiling with a barbell across her shoulders
Virtual studio woes weighing you down? We can help!

5 tips to help you make virtual work for you

A quick word of encouragement - people who do online classes are just as just as engaged with you as people who come into your physical space, and move there.

94% of people who've used the virtual studio counterpart to their fave in-person gym say they'll keep doing online classes, even as lockdown lifts.

That means that any time and effort you invest in now will not only help you weather the C-19 storm, it'll actually set you up for long-term success.

We have five really great tips to help you connect with your members. Read on to find out what they are.

The first? Your virtual studio content does not have to be perfect.

First up - of course you want to do the best you can! We know you're going to put the same detail and dedication into every piece of digital content that you create, as you would for an in-person class.

From yoga flows to full-body Zumba-thons or a personal training session, you do this work because it means something to you and you want to give it your all.

It makes sense that you want to do the same thing for your online content, but at some point, it's better to get started, than it is to get it perfect. Remember - best does not equal perfect!

Now that being said, we don't want you to bash out substandard content and call it good! What we do want is to help you find content that works for you, and keeps your members coming back more.

When you're asking 'Is this good enough?' try these questions on for size.

Will this help them stay motivated? Can they do this safely? Is this workout is engaging? Is it effective? Will people feel like they're part of something important to them?

As long as what you do is answering 'yes' to some of those questions, you're good to go.

A black and white image of dumbells lined up in an empty gym
Gyms are set to make just 63% of of 2019's revenue this year, due to C-19.

Secondly - make this work work for you.

Find a structure that works really well for you.

The good bit of 'good enough' content is that you don't have to have it all figured out perfectly!

We wrote an accessible fitness filming guide to help you create really professional-looking videos on a budget. You'll notice that we haven't said that you need to have ridiculously hardcore professional editing or buy stupidly expensive equipment.

Find a way of capturing content that suits you, your personality and your students, as well as your schedule, and you'll find that creating video classes that much easier.

Third - think like the movies!

No, we haven't lost our minds - hopping from home videos to silver screens in a single sentence.

Instead, in order to keep people engaged, we would recommend that you make quick teasers of your content! Think about when you're going to the movies, and you catch a trailer for some upcoming releases that get you all excited.

You should do the same thing with your classes! Catch some quick clips during a session, weave them together with a video editor, and boom - job done. Share on social for instant engagement.

Need a little inspiration? We've got you covered. Check out this post for a great example of teaser content.

Number four - know your niche.

We're never told to think inside the box, are we? But actually, when it comes to niching, that's the best thing you can do.

What we mean here is that you should use what you've got at hand. If you have a really engaged community on Facebook, go and promote your stuff there! If you have a really engaged community on Instagram, go and put your stuff there.

Choose one channel and focus your efforts there. You'll be more likely to see engagement increase, and it'll feel less like posting into the void. That means you're not going to feel the need to use every single tool under the sun, which helps you prioritise getting good stuff done in the time that you do have.

Have members that have dropped off the radar, but you've got their email addresses? It's OK to drop them a gentle email, just to check in and see if everything's okay.

People like feeling special, so personalise it, and keep it light.

A black and white image of a woman coaching spinning
Indoor cycling has seen a huge boom in virtual studios bringing spin to folks in their sitting rooms.

Lastly? Make it easy.

No, not the workout, don't worry!

What we mean is that you've got to make sure your stuff is easy to find.

Got a 10 minute ab class? Don't call it the 'Trunk Burner 5000'. Make your workouts easy to interpret at a glance.

If superlative workout titles are your jam, power to you (Ab Ripper X is famous for a reason...) - but make sure that your workouts are easy to find, easy to understand, and easy to get stuck into.

At Fettle, we've designed really user-friendly platforms, to help you get the most out of a digital offering. From umbrella categories to simple labelling tools, we help your clients find what they're looking for, fast.

Over to you. Have you got a virtual studio set up yet?

Are you thinking about getting one? Can we help? Book your free demo now, no obligations, no pressure.

Looking for more tips? Check out our post on Online Coaching Success, to help you really nail the digital game.

September 24, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Hybrid Fitness

How To Make Your Fitness Business Better With The Hybrid Model

Fit tech - tracking fitness metrics
Fit tech is here, and it's not going away any time soon.

The hybrid model. All the cool kids are doing it.

But, um… What is the hybrid model, and how do you offer it, if your business is a brick and mortar space?

The hybrid model sadly does not have its roots in the Terminator Trilogy (although how cool would that be?) – but is, in fact, a relatively new business model rapidly being embraced by the fitness world.

The hybrid model offers your clients a blend of in-person fitness services complemented by a digital provision. Think of it as a seamless blend of online and onsite offerings.

It sounds simple enough, but there are a few vital points to remember.

Let’s dive in and take a look at what they are.

Safety first!

To make the most out of your hybrid training session, you obviously need to make sure that you're offering safe in-person experiences.

As you will already know, that means looking at things like extra sanitation, making sure that you have enough social distancing going on, and ensuring that you take temperature checks and clean equipment thoroughly between uses.

You can also encourage the use of masks if that's something that you feel is appropriate for your classes.

Yeah, duh, but what about digital?

At the same time, there are going to be members out there that don’t feel confident coming back to the gym (and may not for a while).

That means that they need to be able to experience your epic offering digitally. You need to look at tailoring your offering so that clients feel like they have the same support as they would do in person.

If you have a brick and mortar studio space, it makes sense that you're going to want to get people back in there as soon as possible, but with shielding, potential new C-19 clusters and possible future lockdowns, there are no guarantees any more. Digital is one way to navigate that risk.

Man tracking data about his gym.
Data helps gyms meet their members' needs better than ever before.

Hybrid model rules: data is king, quality is queen.

Covid’s here to stay, guys. If you aren’t seriously thinking about offering a professional and polished online alternative, you’re in for a rocky ride.

Gym members, studio customers and personal clients have high standards – that’s why they chose to engage with your business in the first place.

If you want to offer a digital version of your physical space, you’d better make sure that the quality of that offering matches their expectations.

This is one area where it pays to invest time and thought into choosing a tech partner or platform that’s easy to use (for you and the client!), looks professional, and works like a dream.

Not sure an affordable, high-quality, easy-to-use platform exists?

We can promise you it does…because we built it.

Who is the hybrid model for? A tale of two tribes.

A recent survey from WellToDo actually reveals there are two kinds of broad categories that people fall into, post-lockdown.

Reborners

The first group of people are called ‘reborners’. They’ve had enough of life under lockdown, and they’re ready to get back out there and make the most of their newfound freedom. They want to catch up on and soak up all the activities they’ve missed out on whilst staying home. Ready to live life to the max, these folk are going to get out and seize the proverbial day, despite potential risks.

Cocooners

The other group of people are called ‘cocooners’. For a variety of reasons, they are going to be a little bit more nervous about engaging with the world outside their own four walls.

To support both these groups and to make sure that you maximize your offering for everyone, it’s obvious that gyms need to offer online classes as well as something in person.

A black and white image of an empty gym
Oh look! It's a gym full of cocooners...

That sounds like a lot of work though…what’s the reward?

The perks for you include more financial gain, potentially, and a much higher rate of client retention.

Number one, you get to engage with your clients in a new and exciting way. If you’re a PT, for example – there’s only one of you to go around. Everybody wants 100% of their personal trainer 100% of the time, but there's obviously only one of you!

Now you get to tailor an online service just to them, and they feel like they're getting the best experience from you all the time, even if you’re not with them in person.

Added bonus? Happy clients = better retention levels = more consistent income for your business.

Scheduling.

Other perks include having a better control of your schedule.

Remember the days when you had to engage with people between six and eight in the morning, between twelve and two in the afternoon, and from six until eight in the evening, because those were the only windows people had to train around work?

Ew.

Now that people can work from home and train at any time of the day, you no longer have to shoehorn your day into those six hours.

Added bonus? Say hello to flexible workouts! Clients can maximize or minimize the time they spend working out – whether they choose to do three ten-minute workouts or one half-hour session.

It just depends on what your client wants and needs. Going digital gives you the flexibility to meet those needs better than ever before.

Social distancing at the gym
Social distancing guidance at its finest!

Dollar dollar bills, y’all!

Moving your business online from a hybrid perspective also means that you have more reliable revenue.

Rather than risking people not coming back to your class if someone does a particularly nasty cough mid-sesh, you're able to capture people online – vital for the cocooners who don’t want to leave the nest.

As long as someone has an internet connection, they can work out with you. That's awesome.

Added bonus? No more excuses. Clients have greater accountability – making it more likely that you’ll help them smash their wellness goals.

It saves you time.

Seems innocuous, but this one’s a biggie.

You no longer have to wait for clients who have forgotten about your sweat sesh together. You no longer have to kick your heels hanging out in the gym, playing Candy Crush on your phone for twenty minutes between sets whilst curling in the squat rack.

If you offer video on demand, you can also unlock the greatest of all revenue perks – passive income! That means you can earn money, even when you’re not working.

Added bonus? Potentially, no more touting for clients! If you have a great online offering and you do your marketing well, people will come to you.

Image of a fitbit
Time. The ultimate finite resource.

Selling the goods.

So how do you sell the benefits of hybrid training to your customers? Well, focus on the perks from their perspective.

  • Easier access to you/the gym/a trainer than ever before
  • They’re safe in the gym, and they’re safe at home too, if the gym feels too risky right now
  • They’ll find it easier to be more accountable for their habits
  • They can work out whenever they want to

And ultimately?

They’re going to achieve those goals, or adapt to a new, better lifestyle sooner rather than later, making them feel fantastic in mind and body alike.

The takeaway? The hybrid model is here to stay.

Health and Fitness app usage has grown 330% in the last 3 years. You can’t ignore stats like that!

According to Global Newswire, the fitness app market will reach $14.64 Billion by 2027. If you want a slice of that pie, Fettle is here to help. Get in touch for your demo now.

If you just want to say hi, you can mosey over to our Facebook, and Instagram pages, or ping us an email here! Otherwise, check out our post on Online Coaching Success, to help you really nail the digital game.

August 7, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Positive mindset: here’s how to get one with Tom Joseph-Sparks

A person throwing a frisbee at the park

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Hi Tom, thanks for speaking with us about positive mindset!

You’re a fantastic coach and educator, and we’ve been doing some thinking around positive mindset inspired by your page. We’d love to know: why is mindset so important?

“Your positive (or negative) mindset can shape your life - it's the way that you look at the world. If you put on sunglasses when it's dark outside, then you're not going to be able to see that well!

You're not going to be able to respond to your environment or be able to make the best decisions about where you're going.  We need to try and set ourselves up to be in a position where we can succeed and thrive, so we can marry that into our own fitness or health ideals.”

Absolutely. So are there any downsides to people thinking about positive mindset?

“Saying someone's just ‘got a positive mindset’ is very reductionist. It whittles down something that's inherently complicated and personal - that can be quite unhelpful.

People won't just take you up on "Ah yeah, let's just be positive" because we need to be blending an optimistic world view with positive intentions, for success.

Some of the key values in having a positive mindset is first appreciating that it needs to come from within. You need to be confident and happy in yourself!

If you feel strong and resilient and confident, that can be expressed in your interactions. You can then physically or verbally express your mindset in a way that you want to, for example.”

A person standing in a room

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That makes sense. But what if we have negative feelings, for example?

“You also need to not write off your feelings, because it's about sitting with your emotional responses to things – they are completely valid.

But it's like, okay, I feel this way, but can my rational brain now step in? And how am I going to take steps forward?  Will I sit with these and be comfortable with where I am, or am I going to choose to try and make the best of a situation?

Could I look for that silver lining? Am I going to look for that lesson learnt? Can I now avoid or navigate these same scenarios better, more efficiently, more effectively, while still being true to myself, for instance?”

We’re sold. How do we get started?

“I would start talking up on yourself, be positive about yourself first. This is key to being successful and being positive in your outlook.

Self-talk is the way to start. It’s about being your biggest fan, backing yourself and being comfortable who you are.

Listen to your true, authentic voice and go with it. Trust it. You can then start to try and manifest things outwardly and outside through your physical or verbal interactions.”

A person throwing a frisbee

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And what about positive mindset for coaches, for their clients?

As a coach, sometimes you have to be your clients’ inner voice. Sometimes you have to be their biggest fan. First of all - you've got to pick them up and give them a nudge, because we all need a social support network. Secondly, as a coach, you have the privilege of being that direct support.

Supporting someone and talking them up is only the beginning. If you don't try and educate someone, challenge their perspective, maybe ask them to think about things differently, you're probably missing a point.

You have to exemplify everything that you believe, and conduct yourself in the way that you encourage other people to do.

Tom Joseph-Sparks (MOst. ND. FAFS. CAFS, MSc Intake 2020) has worked as an elite strength and conditioning coach and osteopath for over ten years and has a wealth of experience in private - sport and musculoskeletal medicine clinics, and the commercial health and fitness industry.

He’s worked with specific named sport and orthopaedic conditions, and individuals with persistent, non-specific aches and pains, using a blend of hand on and exercise-based approaches. 

Tom provides his patients with a more person-centered, lifestyle approach that considers the interplay of an individual’s biology within a unique environmental context. He’s excited by how nutritional medicine, can help grow, expand, and even redefine traditional models of disease prevention, health promotion, rehabilitation, pain management and more.

You can get in touch with Tom via Instagram.

Interested in more interviews with awesome coaches? Check out our chat with Blair Sangster on at-home workouts, motiviation, and the power of your minimum effective dose.

August 1, 2020No Comments

Fitness Videos made Easy! Our Expert Tips for Professional-Style Films.

Want to make pro fitness videos, but you've got NO idea where to start? It's all good! We hear you!

We spoke to the experts at Controlled Image to pull together all the tips you need to film awesome professional-looking fitness videos.

I need to improve, but I'm a total beginner! Help!

Filming a fitness class
Lights, camera, action!

One of the first things to think about is the presentation of the overall scene! Think of where you’re filming like a TV set - think about the colours in the space, what your background might look like, and whether you’ll use any props. 

A bit of forethought into what the space will look like will really improve the overall quality of your fitness videos, and will help you come across as the professional you are.

OK! I can do that. But how make sure I capture all the cool moves I'm doing in my fitness content?

This can be tricky! It depends on the exercises you’re doing. Wide shots that can capture your exercises in one take are ideal, but that depends on which exercises you want to film in your fitness videos.

Something like burpees or star jumps could take you out of frame, but push ups or sit ups would keep you largely in the same space. 

Try to think about a  square of space your head will be occupying in the screen so as long as you’ve got room for your head to move up and down, or from side to side, you’ll be OK. 

It might be helpful to lower the camera, think about your eye level, and how you’d like to record the video - either with a voiceover as you demonstrate the exercises, or introducing the exercises in the video as you do them - and make sure you do some test runs first.

Gotcha. So...what do I do about noise?

Spin class and microphone
A microphone might be essential if you're filming a class that's set to banging tunes...

There are a few things to think about when navigating noise. As with all things video, planning and organisation will help you hugely.  If you’re talking during a video, think about investing in a shotgun or clip on microphone (known in the industry as a ‘lavalier mic’ or ‘lav mic’ - you’re welcome!) - we recommend you incorporate this post production, when you’re editing. 

Put your detective hat on, and figure out which room is the quietest room in the house, or the space where you’re planning on recording. Then work out what the best time of day is to record. Make sure there are no roadworks, rockets, or big brass bands practising nearby, and try and eliminate background noise. Close the doors in your home, check windows are closed, and that it’s as silent as you can make it, so you’re not interrupted. 

Have a think about whether you want to play music whilst you’re working out, or if you want to add it in post-production. We recommend adding it in when you’re editing the video afterwards for more of a professional look and feel - sound quality can be sketchy if you’re recording music as background noise.

What about lighting for my fitness videos?

Lighting and camerawork
Let there be light!

First things first before filming your fitness videos! Check the forecast - what’s the weather doing? Lots of natural light is ideal, but not so much that you’re over-exposed (let’s avoid the flash-heavy 1990s party pics effect). You want to strike a balance between natural light, harsh light, and too many shadows. Sometimes closing drapes or blinds can be handy to reduce the amount of light.

A bright room is good for filming if you have space, but use what’s available and get creative, and make sure you test in advance - get someone to help you with focus. Too much light?

Try using white sheet over a window to get a diffused effect. Not enough light? Use the same sheet opposite the light source where you’re filming, to amplify and reflect the natural light you do have. 

Do you think it's worth investing in a tripod for my phone, or camera?

Camera in a gym
Tripods? Yep, we checked. They're pretty essential.

Quick answer.

Yes.

Longer answer. 

Yes, yes, yes!

Do yourself a favour, get a tripod! All joking aside, having a tripod is a brilliant way to help your videos look instantly more professional. No more wobbles (we do recommend you check for jiggle if you’re in burpee season when recording, though, and maybe move to a firmer surface, like a windowsill or solid table) - a tripod gives you much more flexibility. You can use it to explore new angles for filming, and flip your smartphone to selfie mode so you can see what you’re doing, too. 

Speaking of smartphones...what are the do’s and don’ts of filming on a smartphone?

Outside footage
Small but mighty, you can get some pretty great smartphone footage if you follow our tips.

First up - no filter! Though it’s tempting, you run the risk of looking too cartoonish rather than the professional vibe you want to exude. Other essentials include making sure you’re using full HD mode, and avoid slo-mo where you can, unless it’s vital for demonstrating a movement. 

Much like any video, make sure you’ve got the right white balance going on, and that the colour temperature on your recording isn’t either too warm (orange) or too cold (blue). You don’t want people thinking the floor is lava, or you’re recording in a glacier. 

And just a last note - selfie cameras, whilst they’re so helpful in showing you what you’re doing, they can often be lower quality than the camera in the ‘back’ of your phone. Check the resolution and go from there. 

What other things would you recommend an amateur film maker invest in?

Great lighting really is essential - and you want to control the light as much as you can for consistency when you’re filming. A microphone is also vital if you want to talk during the video - whether you wear one when filming, or you have one set up nearby, it’s worth getting one to help you record, if you don’t plan on doing a voiceover. 

Yes, we do know that you have a mic in your phone - but consider your distance from the microphone when you’re recording. It’s likely that all your workout wisdom could go to waste if you’re too far for it to pick up. 

What can I do to improve my editing? What software would you recommend for fitness videos? 

Preparing for a shoot
Editing is a vital part of the process. Take your time, and enjoy it!

Editing is essential in making your videos look professional - and there’s a wealth of info and educational resources out there for you to learn from. Start with YouTube - and look up basic editing skills. One of the best ways to learn is to experiment, so make sure you’re trying out what you’ve learned.

As for tools, we thoroughly recommend Adobe (of course!), DaVinci software, or SonyVegas. Both are great and you can see demonstrations of how to use them, again, on YouTube. DaVinci is particularly great as they offer a free version which is useful when you’re getting started.

Adding text to fitness videos is also a great shout so that it’s more accessible. It can also help with rep counts, tabata countdowns, or a reminder of which exercise is being done - especially if the person watching your video is blasting their own death metal soundtrack, and isn’t listening to your savvy instruction. 

What are some common mistakes I could try and avoid when filming fitness videos?

The worst mistake to make is thinking you can wing it and get a great result! Not planning your fitness videos from a set up, lighting and sound perspective is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you’re looking at the whole scene - try to think like a director - and test out what you’re doing. Most importantly, have fun. And if it really is beyond you - chat to a professional to see how they can help! 

Huge thanks to Controlled Image for their expert advice!

Controlled Image is a film production company specializing in commercials and promotional films. Their team of highly motivated and driven professionals focus on delivering film projects at any level of cost and complexity. 

They produce high quality videos and are not afraid of new challenges. Based in Stirling, Central Scotland, Controlled Image are ready to chat through any questions, queries, or projects you might have in mind. Get in touch here or via their Facebook page.

You can find more good stuff here on our blog, or get in touch if you want to find out how we can turbo-charge those awesome videos you're going to make.

July 22, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Clean Eating? Five Nutrition Myths Debunked for Good

Clean eating. Does it really mean vigorously washing your food?

When it comes to the subject of fitness, wellness and health, nutrition is easily the most overwhelming topic to dig into. 

Wonderful looking smoothie bowl
Smoothie bowls, plant-forward, 'clean' eating - what do you know to be true about food?

Questions like these come up all the time:

  • What should you eat?
  • When should you eat? 
  • How much? How little? 
  • Do you need to count calories? 
  • Does “clean eating” just mean vigorously washing your food? 

So many questions, seemingly no straightforward answers. 

Even amongst the most well educated on the topic, there are still areas that are the focus of never- ending debate. 

In today’s digital world, there’s a vast amount of information ready for us to consume. 

With so many people voicing their opinions on nutrition, it’s easy to succumb to what’s known as “analysis paralysis”.

Ever become so overwhelmed with conflicting information and options that you’re unable to make a clear decision? That’s analysis paralysis, friends. 

Hopefully, we can help clear up some of the confusion.

We may not be able to put the nutrition world to rights completely, but we're going to make a start with five myths that we think need a bit of debunking. 

1. “Small, frequent meals boosts metabolism”

Green salad
A delicious-looking #notasaddesklunch!

Let’s kick things off with the nutrition myth that seems to be older than time itself.

This myth came about due to the fact that in order for our bodies to process the food we eat into usable energy, we have to burn calories. This is known as the Thermic Effect of Feeding/Food or TEF for short. 

The assumption was made that if we eat more regularly, our body will be burning more calories more often, in order to digest our food. 

To be fair, this seems logical, but the scientific research shows us it’s not the case. 

Studies have shown that it is the total number of calories consumed in a day that affects our metabolism (alongside other factors, including gender, weight, age, activity levels, muscle mass) and not the number of meals. 

Basically, if you eat 3,000 calories in a day, you will get the same overall thermic effect if you split this up into 6 x 500 calories meals, or 2 x 1,500 calorie meals. 

2. “You need protein immediately after your workout”

Woman drinking protein shake
Protein is essential - but when you consume it is slightly less so!

Despite what you may have read in fitness magazines, or heard from the most muscle bound guy at the gym, gulping down a protein shake as soon as you complete that final rep isn’t vital to building muscle. 

Protein does play an important role in building and repairing muscle of course, but the urgency at which you need to consume it post-workout has been greatly exaggerated. 

In fact, The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition Studies found no clear evidence to suggest that consuming protein immediately after a workout provided any additional benefit to building muscle. 

Consuming 20-40g of protein within 3 hours of exercising has been shown to be just as effective. 

Whilst a pre-workout protein shake won’t do you any harm, there’s no reason to stress about the “anabolic window”. 

So, don’t worry if you miss it. Your muscles won't waste away, promise. 

3. “Clean eating helps you “detox” your body!”

Preparing fruit and veg
Is it a cake? Is it a smoothie? Is it a salad?! We may never know...

Sipping on nothing but a low calorie shake or green tea may seem like a simple and quick way to drop a few pounds and flush your body clear of any “toxins”. 

We hate to burst your bubble, but things like detox ‘flat tummy teas’ are actually a big fat scam. Ever noticed how these companies never actually tell you what toxins you are supposedly removing? 

Thankfully, your body already does all the necessary detoxing for you. 

Your body is pretty clever when it comes to keeping you running properly! Our liver, skin, kidneys and even lungs all play a massive part in removing any nasties from our system. 

Instead of buying a detox product, the best thing we can do is just aim to be healthy from the get go. Drink plenty of water, eat an abundance of fruit and vegetables and make sure you get enough fibre daily. 

Your body will take care of the rest - no clean eating detoz nonsense needed.

4. “You don’t need to count calories”

Protein and greens
Protein and greens!

So this one is a semi-myth.

It’s true, you don’t have to count calories. But, just because you don’t count calories, doesn’t mean your body doesn’t.  We need to at least be aware of what role calories play. 

Your body works on a ‘calories in vs calories out’ basis. 

Essentially this means that if you eat more calories than you expend, you will gain weight (calorie surplus). Eat less calories than you expend, and you’ll lose weight (calorie deficit).

With that said, calories aren’t everything. You could technically be in a deficit by eating nothing but Oreos (other delicious biscuits are available) but of course, this wouldn’t be great for your health. That's one clean eating concept we can actually get behind.

Though calories determine whether or not you’ll lose or gain weight, the nutritional value that comes with the calories is what determines your health.

Weight and health are not the same thing.

5. “Fat makes you fat!” Clean eating

Nuts and trail mix
Did you know that almonds are one of the most calorie-dense foods out there? Great for hikes, snacks, and flicking at your friends...

The idea that fat makes you fat comes down to a simple misunderstanding - that dietary fat and body fat are the same thing. 

The fat we eat however is just another macronutrient, like protein and carbohydrates. It’s also an essential part of our diets. 

Body fat (AKA adipose tissue) is your body's way of storing excess energy that it gets from all the above nutrients, not just fat.   

So why does fat get the blame for weight gain? 

Well, it’s because of its caloric density: 9 calories per gram, compared to 4 for protein and carbs. 

As mentioned above, weight gain (and weight loss) is dependent on the number of calories that you consume, in relation to the number you burn. 

Fat contains more than double the calories. That means that the more it contributes to your overall macronutrient intake, the easier it is to creep into a calorie surplus. 

Whilst the consumption of fat doesn’t make you automatically gain weight, it may make weight gain more likely if you don’t keep an eye on those extra calories!

What are some of the strangest food fads or myths you’ve ever seen?

Let us know and share your stories with us ! If you're looking for more fitness inspiration? Get in touch via Facebook, and Instagram, or ping us an email here!

July 8, 2020Comments are off for this post.

Online Coaching Success:

How to Win the Virtual Fitness Game

Filming exercise

There’s no two ways about it, the popularity of online coaching and training is rising rapidly, and it's showing zero signs of slowing down any time soon. 

It’s a no brainer - setting up your services online is a strong business move.

That being said,  there’s more to being a successful online coach than just uploading a Insta-workout ab shot, or posting your morning fruit smoothie with #cleaneating as a caption. 

Running a profitable business online takes a little know-how. We’ve pulled together a digital hit-list to help you smash the online coaching game. 

Online Coaching Tip 1: Know your Niche

Preparing a class plan

Having a specific target audience in mind might make you an unsuitable choice for a lot of people, but that’s okay. 

Don’t be scared of “losing” potential clients by targeting a specific niche. 

By focusing on a specific group of people you will stand out from the competition and your ideal clients will know you are the expert to help them achieve their goal. 

Don’t just market yourself to any male human looking to get fit. Instead, directly target busy Dads, aged 25-55, who want to get their first six pack (of the anatomical variety, that is). 

Instead of promoting your services to any female human looking get toned, become the go-to coach for women wanting to get in incredible shape for a specific day - like graduation from an epic PhD. 

When deciding on your target audience, it helps to create an “avatar”. 

No, no blue human jokes - an avatar is a representation of who your ideal client is, so go real deep on the specifics here. 

We’re talking age, location, hobbies, goals, exercise history, favourite snacks, likes and dislikes - no detail is too small*.

The better you know your ideal client, the easier it’ll be to market towards them online.  

Tip 2: Content is King

Filming on yoga mats

Now that you have that ideal client in mind, you need to create content that speaks directly to them. 

Creating the right tone of voice in your content plays a major part in this. 

For example, if you lead boot camp style sessions, your tone of voice and word choice will differ significantly from someone who teaches a tranquil yoga class. “Get down and give me 20 chaturanga dandasana, now!” is probably not what you’re going for.

Between a strident, no-nonsense tone of voice, or a peaceful and soothing approach, we’ll let you decide what’s most appropriate.

When it comes to online content, you need to be aware of your own strengths, to choose the best channel:

  • Are you great on camera? Then live streaming classes or video tutorials are great options.  
  • Maybe you’re a wizarding wordsmith? In that case, a blog or articles would be most appropriate. 
  • Can you talk for days on end? Then we look forward to hearing your podcast. 

Online Coaching Tip 3: Free is the magic number

Online class preparation

'Free' seems counterintuitive when your goal is to make money from your online coaching business. Giving away products and help for free is one of the best ways to build your authority and earn trust. 

Creating a lead magnet, such as a downloadable E-book, is the perfect way to do just that. We’ve got a great example at the bottom of this page!

A downloadable e-book is also a great way to grow an email database of future potential clients. 

Alongside this, actively interact with other related pages and people on social media. Give your input into discussions and offer advice on the topic in question. Before long, people will just come straight to you for answers. 

Patiently engaging with people online without expecting any immediate return is a great way to build relationships. As well as forging good connections, you'll gain long term paying clients.  

Tip 4: Social proof 

Shot of woman teaching yoga through the viewfinder

So, you’ve got your clients, now you just need to show off the amazing results they’ve achieved! (Thanks to your expertise, of course!)

You can do this a number of ways. Of course, there’s the (always effective) before and after photos. Why not go a step further, with clients writing or filming personal testimonials?

Collaborating with other brands is also a great form of social proof. You're showing that you are trusted and respected by others in your industry. 

Last, but not least, you ideally want others to be recommending and tagging you through their own content. 

Word of mouth may be “old school”, yes! But having other people talk about how good you are is the best marketing you could ever hope for.

Online Coaching Tip 5: Get a helping hand 

Looking at a lesson on the move

When running a business online, it’s vital you know how you are performing! Set up Google Analytics, check out your social reports, and look to scheduling systems to give you great insight. 

And if you’d like a helping hand right now, just download our free branding guide to give you a headstart on your online journey.

We can’t wait to see your online coaching business thrive! And if you’ve got any questions, just holler at us - get in touch via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Otherwise ping us an email here - or just read more of our blog! You know you want to.

*their favourite Kardashian might be pushing it, though. 

June 26, 2020No Comments

The Best Way To Keep Clients Safe In Today’s World

Kettlebells in the garden

How do we keep clients safe in a post-lockdown world?! Thiis week brings the good news that further lockdown restrictions are lifted across the nation, come 4th July!

We’ll be able to head back to our favourite pubs, restaurants, cinemas and hairdressers.

There’s just one little downside. 

Fitness facilities still aren't given the green light. 

Why? 

Well, your guess is as good as ours. 

Whilst we can’t get back to normal coaching or training routines quite yet, we have more time to swot up on training clients safely. 

We’ve done some research and reading, to share some of our tips to help keep everyone safe.

Let's make sure you hit the ground running when that long-awaited announcement is finally made. 

Keep it clean!

Hand sanitiser

So, we’re assuming that you don’t need to be told the importance of washing your hands, right? 

That’s pretty basic level stuff for trainers who want to keep clients safe.

With that said, coming out of a global pandemic does require us to be a little more scrupulous with our hygiene levels! This obviously means undertaking a few practices that may seem OTT in more normal circumstances. 

If you train clients at a gym, fitness facility or studio, then there should be hand sanitising stations located throughout. 

Before and after you touch any equipment, make sure you and your client pay a visit to one of them. 

Alongside that, supply clients or staff with cleaning equipment to wipe down any kit (again, this is to be done before and after each use). A couple of sprays of disinfectant and a quick (but thorough!) wipe should do the trick.  

Make sure you wear a face mask. Potentially mandated in some spaces, masks help minimise any air-borne nasties. 

If you train clients from a private studio, making sure all the above measures are in place will have your sessions meeting the government's health guidelines. 

Keep your distance.

Social distancing sign on floor

Whilst social distancing measures have been eased up in some parts, maintaining a safe distance is an essential way to keep clients safe.

Facilities are working hard to rearrange their equipment and space to allow for 2 metres space at all times. This way, it's easier to meet social distancing protocols when you return. 

Despite this, we still need to stay clear of group classes for the time being. Avoid pre- and post-workout catch-ups, too - so people don't clog up your gym!

It’s going to be a case of get in, work out, and get out. Which honestly, isn't a bad training ideology to try in any case!

Explore the great outdoors.

Outdoor stretching

Whilst training indoors is still off the table at the time of writing, training your clients out in the fresh air has been OK'd.

We may be being a bit optimistic with “explore” however, as you still need to keep to your local area. 

Although training outdoors is safer, keeping a safe distance from each other is essential. That means the likes of boxing pad drills is still a no-go. This is unfortunate, as it's a great way to help clients release some of the lockdown stress we’re all feeling!

The good news is that pretty much anything else goes. 

So grab a set of dumbbells, load up the barbell, programme in some burpees! Get your clients down to the local park for some one-on-one fun. 

Just remember to follow the hygiene guidelines from above, okay? Super!  

Move it online.

Indoor yoga

A global pandemic was always going to throw a spanner in the works, to say the least. 

The fitness industry however has shown incredible fortitude and resilience from day one of lockdown and continues to do so. 

There’s been great ingenuity in coming up with practical training solutions. One of the most successful is, of course, transitioning to coaching clients online. 

With an online streaming platform, you can continue to train your current clients virtually. It also helps reach new clients worldwide. 

You won't have to restrict yourself to just training one person at a time either! Choose a tool that's set up for live streaming, so that broadcasting classes to all your clients simultaneously is easy-peasy.

If you already have an online presence, no matter the size, it can prove an easy transition to a digital platform - and the hybrid model can make the difference between swimming and sinking.

If nothing else, moving your business online could save you cleaning a barbell all day!

That's got to be a good thing!

Join us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for more of the good stuff. Now go wash your hands .

June 18, 2020No Comments

Fitness apps, addictive content, happy clients.

What does Fettle really do?

Hey friends! We’ve seen lots of new people pop up on our Fettle insta-feed and Facebook page, and we wanted to introduce ourselves (and our fitness apps!) properly. 

Fettle dashboard
You create the content, Fettle creates the platform.

We’re Fettle, and we’re really good at a few things:

  • Making phenomenal technology for health, fitness and wellness businesses
  • Making live stream and video on demand (VOD) work like a charm for you
  • Eating lots of snacks*

But you fancy a little bit more info? Sure thing. Here’s the lowdown on exactly what we do.

What is Fettle?

Fettle is a white label studio content streaming fitness app for the health and wellness industry. That means we make the tech - and you add the content! 

You’re already crushing this for your clients on social media or via Zoom, but Fettle offers something truly unique - a streamlined toolkit that builds you a bespoke subscription service for your customers at a fraction of the cost you’d normally pay for your very own app. 

Fettle on mobile and desktop
What's that? Your very own branded fitness apps? Well...yeah!

Who is Fettle for?

We’re here for anyone who creates online content for the health and fitness industry. 

From Youtubers to IGTV Queen Bees, large fitness programmes or gyms looking to provide an online offering - or a solo instructor looking to make their mark, Fettle welcomes all. 

Whether it’s yoga, pilates, aerobics, body pump, CrossFit, dancercise, barre, circuits, HIIT, gymnastics, spin, Fusion, Tai Chi, rowing, boxing - or anything else at all, we provide you with a fully customisable platform, so you can take your brand online. 

Instructor uploading content
Upload home workout videos for your clients with ease.

Is Fettle just about video?

Yes...and no! 

Our service is focused on the management of video and audio content, and by putting it at the forefront of your customers' experience, Fettle creates modern, studio content fitness apps. That means high-quality video and audio are essential, and treated as such. However, we do all sorts of other awesome things - like offer blog capabilities, articles, forums, and success trackers - so your clients are getting the best experience possible.

What do my clients and customers get in an app like this?

They get to see you, and your awesome service. We are a true white-label - so when a customer downloads an app with your content, they download an app that’s all yours - without any adverts, distractions, or diversions. 

Downloading cotent
Clients can download your easy-to-use app and get moving in moments.

Who owns the content?

You do. 

When you sign up with Fettle, your content rights always remain in your own hands. We may ask as part of our partnership agreement, for you to provide a certain amount of exclusive content but even then, that content belongs to you.

Any burning questions or queries? Get in touch! You’ll make our day!

Be sure to check out our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram too, for workouts, great chat, and inspiration.

*(No, really. Our marketing department needs an intervention.)

June 12, 2020No Comments

A Better Workout Guide to AMRAP, EMOM, Tabata and More

Confusing workouts, where do you start?
Whether you use kettlebells, cans of beans, or just your body weight, you can still make these workouts work for you. Credit @weareambitious

Workout guides are an essential map when it comes to navigating the fitness industry.

It can be a confusing place, especially for people who are new to it.

On top of learning new exercises, deciding which workout guides their training, and getting to grips with nutrition, clients are bombarded with alien fitness terms.

These weird acronyms and workout names look more suited to extremely complicated rocket science than a home-based workout. 

When your clients come to you confused by all these terms, it’s a pretty legit problem to have. 

We’ve written a guide to four of the most popular, but misunderstood workouts, so you can give your clients a clear answer when they make the inevitable “EMOM? WTF?” face.

You can to reassure them that it’s not as complicated as it all sounds IRL (that means ‘in real life’, just FYI) - you could even send them this workout guide!

To show them just how easy it all is, we crafted some effective example workouts to help clients reach their goals.

Tabata

This style of training originated in Japan, created by Dr (you guessed it) Tabata. 

The idea is to push the body to its maximum threshold, with minimal rest, over the course of 4 minutes. The result should be overall improvement to both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. 

To complete a Tabata workout, simply perform an exercise at maximum effort for 20 seconds. Follow this with a short 10 second rest. Repeat for 4 minutes. That’s one round complete!

Aim for 3 - 4 rounds (resting 1 minute in between each). Use a range of exercises, to give your clients a full body blast. 

Try this on for size…

  • 1 -  air squats (4 minutes)
  • 2 -  press ups (4 minutes)
  • 3 -  kettlebell swings (4 minutes)
  • 4 -  burpees (4 minutes) 

Sweaty? Us too.

AMRAP 

Made popular with the rise of CrossFit, an AMRAP is an acronym for As Many Reps (or Rounds) As Possible.

One of the perks with AMRAPS is that they are suitable for any person, no matter their fitness level.

Endlessly variable, and adaptable to any fitness goal, they’re an excellent option to share with any of your clients. How do you do it? Complete as many reps or rounds as possible, of a single exercise or circuit, in a set amount of time. 

With an AMRAP, you perform all reps of one exercise before moving on to the next, going as fast as possible, with minimal rest throughout. 

Make them more challenging (and fun?) by incorporating a mixture of both weighted exercises and cardio elements, for example.

Give this a go…

In 20 minutes, complete As Many Rounds As Possible of:

  • 5 burpees
  • 10 press ups
  • 15 sit ups 

EMOM 

Another CrossFit favourite (that sport certainly has a lot to answer for) EMOM stands for Every Minute, On the Minute. 

This workout method is a staple because it can be adapted and modified to suit the needs of any training or fitness goal. 

It’s also time efficient, scalable, and well suited to body weight movements, making it a great home workout guide.  

EMOMs are pretty straight forward. 

Set a block of time (try 15 minutes). Then on every minute (including 0:00, you sneaky peeps) perform the prescribed number of reps for the chosen exercise/s. 

Once all the reps are completed, rest for the remainder of the minute.  

That means that if it takes you 20 seconds to perform 10 press ups, you get 40 seconds rest until the next minute rolls around. 

As a coach, EMOMs give you a great opportunity to get creative with your workouts, allowing you to deliver an effective session in a short amount of time. 

This 15 minute EMOM will have your legs and arms feeling like jelly:

  • 1st minute: 10 pike presses
  • 2nd minute: 15 lying leg raises  
  • 3rd minute: 20 air squats 

Repeat for 5 rounds. 

'Plyo'

Originally called ‘Jump Training’, Plyometrics is a type of training style that helps increase muscular power and explosiveness, which can be utilised to help your clients either build muscle or burn fat for instance.

Plyo training works by utilising the stretch and rebound of your muscle fibres. As a result you're enabling a greater ‘explosion’ of powerful movement in exercises such as squats, or press ups. workout guide

It’s ideal for sport-specific training, because being explosive in basketball or rugby can be crucial to your success. 

This is a method that’s best suited to more advanced clients. Because it can be so intense, even they should only incorporate it into their training two to three times a week at most. 

Make sure they give their muscles and joints sufficient recovery time (which they’ll need, after the high impact nature of these workouts).

Ready to try some explosive moves? Perform 3 sets of 8 reps for each movement: 

  • Clapping press ups
  • Squat Jumps
  • Reverse lunge with single leg hop
  • Burpees with tuck jump 

Do you prescribe any of these approaches for your clients? Have you got a workout guide you recommend? Which other acronym workouts do you love?

Fancy saying hi? You can mosey over to our Facebook, and Instagram pages, or ping us an email here! Otherwise, check out our post on Online Coaching Success, to help you really nail the digital game.

workout guide workout guide workout guide

June 5, 2020No Comments

Motivation! How to Get Focused with Coach, Blair Sangster

Motivation - right now, under lockdown, it's a word on everyone's lips.

Today on Fettle, we’re chatting motivation with Blair Sangster – personal trainer, movement coach, and member of the CaveFit team – about how you can get and stay motivated at home.

Blair Sangster - Cave Fit
Blair Sangster - coach, trainer, and people-person!

Blair loves interacting with and learning from people, helping others reach their fitness goals, and going above and beyond to support his community. We thought he was the perfect person to give us some hints and tips.

Hi Blair! First question - how can we muster up the motivation to move more at home? What do you do to keep moving?

Well, I do really love to move! It’s what I do, but there are days when I’m not motivated. That’s when having a routine can be crucial. Bear in mind, when motivating others, there's always different ways to inspire each individual.

Broadly though, having a plan can solve the problem. If you know what you’re going to do, it takes the guess work out. Then, there are some folk that aren’t motivated, even if they have a plan! For them, I recommend the ‘five minute rule’.

Don’t go in with massive expectations, but commit to doing just five minutes, and 90% of the time, you’ll find yourself doing a lot more than you meant to.

Another great way to start is trying an EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute) in your warm up or during training. Instead of trying to do three sets of 10 squats/10 push ups/10 burpees, do three of each, every minute, for ten minutes. 

What small things can I do to get started?

Little things can make a difference! Having a routine where you’re getting movement in at the same time every day is a good way to summon up motivation. If you can make going for a walk, stretching, or working out a habit, you’ll find it easier to get started.

If you’ve got a morning routine, adding a workout first thing means it’s done – you can tick it off, and carry on with your day.

Group exercise class
Demonstrating correct form in CaveFit's second location, at The Edinburgh Grand Hotel

What do you recommend if I don't have equipment to hand that normally I rely on?

Bodyweight workouts can be a great way to go! My first port of call would be to use tempos in reps. You can try doing Bulgarian split squats, with one leg on the sofa, or just an air squat. Slow down and count to three as you descend, then to three as you come back up. That really starts to burn!

You can also incorporate ‘half’ movements into your workouts. Try doing a push up, for example. When you reach the bottom of the movement, come halfway up, then drop down again, coming all the way back up to complete the exercise fully. 

Backpacks are also a great option. Fill up as many bottles as you can with water, load them into the backpack and try some squats or a jog. 

Can I really make good progress towards my goals from home?

That does largely depend on what your goals are. If you were trying to get as strong as possible, that might be tricky to do at home. But if your goals were weight loss and fat loss, then you have a great opportunity make progress. 

Small changes can lead to big results – and it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can set small goals – like trying to eat five vegetables, and only having one treat a day. If you take a sustainable approach you’re much more likely to see success in the long run. That’s where routine comes in. 

What's a manageable way to stay committed to my fitness?

Having a plan is always a good place to start. Make it into a wall chart, so you can see it. Being flexible is also a good way to get things done. I ask clients to think about their ‘minimum effective dose’. 

What’s that?

A minimum effective dose is basically how much you need to do to maintain your fitness. That might look like doing 3-4 sessions a week, and it might not matter too much when you do those.

Figuring out your minimum effective dose is something you can then commit to doing, and because it is the ‘smallest’ amount you need to do, you have more flexibility in getting it done. 

Tracking progress is also a big one! If you run the same 5km loop every day, try doing 3km, then have a rest, then do another 3km, and try to go faster. If you run different paths and distances, you’ll challenge yourself in new ways. That’s where you’ll see the progress made. 

How could I make a plan if I don’t know where to start? 

There are great resources out there to start with, but we get overly spoiled for choice sometimes! Reaching out to someone that you like and trust is a great way to go. It builds in a sense of accountability and reassurance.

One piece of advice I’d always give is to figure out your ultimate goal, and then break down how you could start achieving that in the next two weeks. Two weeks gives you a sense of immediacy and purpose. You can achieve a lot more than you think you can. Every day becomes something valuable in helping you reach your goal.

Blair exercising
Blair in action!

Thanks, Blair! If you enjoyed this – tell us! And if you want more great advice on motivation from Blair, you can find him @blair_cavefit on Instagram.

If you just want to say hi, you can mosey over to our Facebook, and Instagram pages, or ping us an email here! Otherwise, check out our post on Online Coaching Success, to help you really nail the digital game.

May 26, 2020No Comments

Seven Great Reasons to Offer Home Workouts

Learning yoga poses at home
Working out at home has some serious hidden advantages!

With lockdown in full effect, home workouts have become the ‘new normal’ these past few months.  

Along with it, there’s been an undeniable shift in people’s perceptions of just what is achievable when there’s no access to fitness facilities and having little (or no!) equipment to utilise.

Home workouts have often been seen as a last resort, more a way to keep things ticking over, rather than a viable way to make progress in your fitness.

Now though? That’s all beginning to change.

It’s no longer a choice of go hard or go home, but simply, go hard, at home.

With the help of fitness professional across the globe, sharing their living room and garden-based workouts online, people are starting to realise the advantages of getting fit in the “comfort” of their own homes. We’ve compiled our top 7 to share with you, so you can share it with your clients and communities!

1. Home workouts are time efficient

One of the most valuable resources we have is time, and with home workouts, we’ve been saving a whole lot of it recently.  

No longer do you have to waste valuable time packing a gym bag…sitting in traffic…searching for a parking space…waiting around for equipment or hoping there’s a shower free, so you can get out of your sweaty kit as soon as possible.

At home, you just fill up your water bottle and you’re ready to smash out your workout in record time. 

2. No judgement or social pressures 

Low self-esteem can affect anyone when exercising in a public space and it’s often a real hindrance.

For people who want to up their fitness goals or try new exercises, fear of looking “silly” can hold them back.

In your own home however, there’s no such social pressures. You can experiment with exercises and workouts at a pace that suits you, without feeling judged (except from your pet, maybe).

3. Your body is a great piece of “equipment”

It’s easy to believe we need access to the latest fitness equipment to get results.

We often forget that our own body, in and of itself, is also a terrific piece of “equipment”. It gives us access to endless variations of effective exercises.

In fact, a study by The American College of Sports Medicine's Health and Fitness Journal discovered that bodyweight workouts are an efficient way to lower body fat, improve VO2 max and increase muscular fitness.

4.The world is your playground

The great thing about home workouts is that they can be done anywhere.

They don’t have to be confined to the indoors! When you realise your health doesn’t rely on a dedicated health or fitness facility, the world becomes your playground.

Simply move your workout out into the garden, take it further afield to the local park, or try a run around town.

We think that beats staring at a blank wall whilst on the treadmill any day of the week.

5. Be part of a community

Fitness brings people together like nothing else. Training at home doesn’t mean you have to give up that sense of community and belonging!

You can connect with people online, with the same fitness interests, from all over the world.

Keep it closer to home and set virtual challenges with your friends, or meet up, for a partner run or workout (keeping to social distancing rules, of course).

Online, you can also have access to your favourite instructors, studios and coaches, to help guide your fitness journey year-round.  

6. More flexible

We’re not talking yoga here (although that is a great home workout choice). Instead, let's consider the flexibility that you get from being able to work out - whenever you want.

No more are the days when the only training you could do was when your on or off-peak membership permitted, or in one hour blocks.  

Now you can train whenever you want, with the freedom to split up your workouts throughout the day.

7. Back to basics

With all training facilities closed, we’ve been forced to go ‘back to basics’ with our training. Despite potentially being perceived as a setback, we think it’s actually a blessing in disguise.

You can use this time to remaster the basics of training that you might have previously overlooked.

Think handstand holds, pull ups, planks, press ups, unilateral work! You can take the time to stretch and improve your mobility.

Focus on these and you’ll come out the other side of lockdown with an even stronger physical foundation.   

Digital home workouts are here to stay. If you want to make money, you need an online offering!

Fettle is here to help. Get in touch for your demo now! Fancy saying hi instead? You can mosey over to our Facebook, and Instagram pages, read some more blog posts, or send us your fave meme. We won't judge.

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