How to use fitness videos to increase class numbers in gyms post Covid 19.

Is it possible to use fitness videos to increase class numbers in gyms once lockdown is relaxed after COVID-19?


In this post, I’m going to share with you how fitness videos can be used to increase class numbers post COVID-19.

When gyms and health facilities are finally allowed to open their doors again after the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s going to take some time before things return to normal. While digital fitness has boomed online over the last 30 days, it can’t replace the energy and social experience of live classes.


Participants can’t wait to socialize again in their communities and instructors are itching to teach and see their members again.


Social distancing rules will have to be relaxed and adapted to allow gyms to offer group fitness experiences initially. This will mean that class numbers will have to be limited and access to clubs restricted to avoid overcrowding.

With extra provisions needed to keep facilities clean, timetables will also have to be changed. There will be extra cleaning requirements, meaning less available time to deliver classes.


But with some planning and preparation, virtual fitness solutions can be used to:

  • increase the number of live in-person fitness classes per day
  • increase the number of participants who can take part in classes
  • increase access and avoid overcrowding
  • allow your instructors to return to teaching and reach more members faster


The solution


  1. Create a series of bespoke warm-up, cool down, and stretch videos for your live programs that your members have quick and easy access to.  You can easily host these on easy to find YouTube playlists if you don’t have a digital solution in place.
  2. Instruct your members to use dedicated warmup up spaces 10 minutes before the scheduled start time for each class. Participants can warm-up while other classes are still running or while spaces are being cleaned.
  3. Move your members into the dedicated studio or space for their class for the main session.
  4. Ask your instructors to direct members to use the dedicated videos for the cool down and stretch in the dedicated post-workout area of the club.


By having this production-style process in place you can use fitness videos to increase class numbers in your space. It’s possible for studios and facilities can be cleaned while members warm up elsewhere.

This frees up time to put on more classes and moves members around a club in a controlled way to avoid crowding.

And best of all you can start creating the fitness videos you need for warmup and cool downs now!

These videos are short and quick to produce meaning in a day or less your instructors could create a complete series of evergreen videos ready for reopening.

How film fitness videos with a DSLR

If you want to film fitness videos with a DSLR then there are a few things you should know before you go out and buy the latest camera.

Over that last few years the video features for DSLR cameras have improved massively with every model released. However they still have one Achilles heel which means it’s not necessarily the perfect solution for filming fitness videos.

You can film fitness videos with a DSLR in HD and even 4K now, but these cameras have a maximum record limit of 29m 59s and many split recordings in to separate 4GB files. This means that if you want to film a fitness video that’s longer than 30 minutes, you’ll need to hit record again. And because video may be split into different files you’ll need to edit them together with software after filming.

And without being ready to push the button straight away you’re going to lose a few seconds of your workout.

Of course, if you’re not planning to filming workouts any longer than 30 minutes, a DSLR camera may be perfect for you because:


  • The basic kit lenses are usually good quality useful for many situations
  • The storage media like SD cards are inexpensive
  • The cameras can dive good results in low light
  • Many have articulating screens so you can check your frame while filming and they can double as a vlogging camera
  • And many models have input jacks to allow you to attach radio microphones to improve audio quality


But to be fair, we have to highlight some cons as well.

  • You’ll probably need to invest in extra batteries because many will die after an hour or so
  • The pre-amps for audio recording inside older camera models aren’t the best quality.
  • You need to be careful how you record your audio to avoid a lot of hiss in your recordings.
  • Cameras can be more technical and complicate to use.
  • Video setup and menu systems can be confusing and you may need to consult the manual to make headway.
  • You will need a relatively sturdy tripod to help the weight of the camera.


So is it worth trying to film fitness videos with a DSLR?

It’s certainly an option and it can be a high quality and cheap solution. If you plan to do a lot of editing and construct your videos in parts then you can get high quality results with a low investment.

But if you’re adverse to editing and want a quick way to film and upload your fitness videos, then you might want to consider a dedicated video camera; an action camera like a GoPro or use a phone or tablet device.

Don’t commit these copyright crimes with your on-demand fitness workouts

Don’t commit these fitness music copyright crimes with your on-demand fitness workouts.

Watch out for fitness music copyright if you are creating online fitness workout videos.

If you want to create on-demand workouts fast to help your clients train from home, don’t make these fitness music copyright mistakes.

The following quick fixes are the WRONG way to go about it. They all fall foul of COPYRIGHT.


❌ Distributing, sharing or making instructor training DVDs and online workouts publicly available online. e.g Les Mills UK (LMUK), SH1FT, Beachbody

Selling or providing paid access to on-demand content that you don’t own.

❌ Taking free content from YouTube that you don’t own. Passing it off as your content to members of paid, private Facebook groups or via membership sites is wrong.

❌ Creating audio workouts that use your voice with commercial music. Using music that isn’t licensed for audio only products isn’t allowed. Many providers like Soundstripe , Epidemic Sound and Paramusical Music Library license their music for synchronisation to pictures only.

How to present world class fitness videos with confidence, speed and better results!

If you want to present fitness videos or launch an on-demand workout channel then this blog post is for you.

If you’re used to teaching to a room full of participants, presenting a fitness class alone to a camera can seem ridiculously intimidating.

Preparation is key. Without the visual feedback from people in front of you, there’s more to remember and less help to trigger teaching points.

With this list of tips, you can present world-class fitness videos that you can be proud of and deliver the best exercise experience for your audience so they come back for more.




Let’s get the most obvious tip out of the way at the start. Rehearsing pays of massively. The more familiar you are with your workout the more confident and natural your performance becomes.

Making mistakes can be frustrating and time consuming. If you want to bang out your workouts quickly, then take the time to rehearse so you’re more prepared and less likely to make mistakes.

When you know your workouts instinctively you can focus more on your performance and connection though the camera to your audience.




Keep your intros short and concise and aim for no longer than 10-30 seconds. People want to workout not listen to a lecture, so if you’re not saying what people want to hear they may not stick around.

If you’re workout warrants further explanation and back ground information, make a separate video. This provides a more appropriate opportunity for you to connect with your audience on a deeper level at a more appropriate time and doesn’t frustrate your audience if they want to get into the workout quickly.

A good intro:

  • qualifies your audience by need, ability or objective
  • gives a name to your workout and highlights the benefits
  • highlights and equipment requirements
  • tells them how long the workout is.


Anymore than this will overload the viewer with too much information and cause unnecessary delay to the workout.

Remember, you ability to deliver confidently to camera without ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ demonstrates your professionalism and ability to communicate.

If you’re using videos to bring more people into your live classes, then it’s in your best interest to make the best possible first impression.

Here are some good examples of workout introductions:


Yoga Class for BEGINNERS with Ashton August (Full Class)

15-Minute Beginner’s At-Home Cardio Workout 





There’s no reason why you can’t intro your workout while your audience is moving.

If you’ve planned your workout correctly then your warm-up moves should be low impact and easy to follow making it possible for you to maximise the workout opportunity.




Without the right preparation you’re more likely to make mistakes and say the wrong things on camera.

If you’re new to filming your workouts, relax, it’s OK to make mistakes and you’ll get better with experience.

If you do something by mistake in your video it can be hard not to show your disappointment,. But don’t stop and ruin what could otherwise be a perfectly good video.

Always film your workouts by imagining that they’re LIVE! What would you do it you made the same mistake teaching in a club?

You correct yourself and move on. You don’t have to be perfect, just be prepared to deal with mistakes in the most professional way.




When it’s just you and your camera, silence can be deafening and one of the hardest things for fitness instructors to be comfortable with is being silent.

If you want your audience to get the most out of the workout then you need to give them a reason to listen. If you’re talking all the time, it’s difficult for them to tell what’s most important.

If you find yourself talking too much, train yourself to coach in as few words as possible. Think before you speak and be economical with your words, review the phrase in your mind before sharing it.

This will help you to cue better and give any music the room to breathe for a better exercise experience.




Present your workouts so they’re suitable for returning fans. You audience will only be first-timers once, so coach for progression instead of introduction.

When you present your workouts, imagine your audience have already done it 10 times. This will help you to create workouts with a longer shelf life that will appeal to returning fans as well as first timers.

If you want your participants to repeat your workouts, then you need to coach and deliver in a way that doesn’t frustrate the experience or slow them down.

If you teach in a way that assumes everyone is doing it for the first time, then the pace of the workout could be interrupted by explanations or demonstrations that are unnecessary to a more experience audience.




Sometimes following along to exercise videos becomes an audio only experience. When you present fitness videos you have to rely on more than visual cues.

If participants are adopting yoga poses or exercise that make it difficult for them to see the screen, you’ll need to change your coaching style to be more descriptive.

When visual coaching cues are compromised you’ll need to rely on strong verbal cuing. If you can pace your cuing with moments of silence, then it’s easier for your audience to follow your coaching cues when they need them the most.




Making your workouts a positive experience for your audience will encourage them to return for more.

Rehearsing your workouts and paying attention to your teaching cues can help you to become a better coach.

Avoid negative cues like ‘don’t’ and ‘can’t’ and set objectives instead.

Warning people what they’re doing things wrong takes up valuable coaching time and doesn’t help your audience feel good either.


Here are some examples of negative cues and alternative phrases.


NEGATIVE: “Don’t let your knees fall inward as you squat down.”

OBJECTIVE: “If your knees are falling in, keep you them inline with your second toe as you squat down”


NEGATIVE: “Don’t bounce the barbell on the chest”

OBJECTIVE: “Are you smooth and under control as you lower the bar down?”


NEGATIVE: “If you can’t keep your speed up, drop your bike’s resistance”

OBJECTIVE: “Keep moving and drop your resistance if you need to, then when you’re ready take it up again”




Just like your intro, you need to script your outro. The last thing you want to do is fluff up the ending when your workout has gone so well.

Preparing your outro in advance is the only way to wrap up your video with confidence and avoid waffling.

The secret is simple here, just figure out the last think you want to say (word-for-word) and work towards it.

So what should you say as your outro?

  • Congratulate your audience on completing the workout
  • Empathise and let them know that you know how they feel.
  • Repeat the workout name and focus.
  • Tell them what to do next e.g. “if you like’d this workout , next time try this one…”


Remember at the end of the workout, your audience will be tired but they’ll also feel great, so it’s the perfect time to ask something of your audience.

That could be a request to subscribe to your YouTube channel, follow a link to find out more about your local classes or take advantage of a promo you’re currently running.


So now you know how to present fitness videos that will deliver your audience the best exercise experience.



Need to create better videos for your fitness business? Go shopping!

Everyone wants to create better videos to earn more watch time. So what can we learn from an in-store shopping experience to make videos better?

I’ve never worked in retail but I know from many trips to supermarkets that a lot of research and psychology goes into shop floor planning.

And so that customers buy more stuff!

Last weekend I visited an outdoor store that sells clothes, tents, footwear as well as many other gadgets and high-end gizmos such as GPS trackers and sports watches.

When you enter the shop you pass the tills and then you’re in the clothes sections split into two areas for men and women. And the first thing you see in the men’s section is a display for North Face T-Shirts.

North Face T-shirts are popular; they likely have a good margin for the store and an easy impulse buy so they deserve the extra promotion to be noticed.

Then you’re led on a journey through more clothes, coats, fleeces – because if you need a T-shirt you may need other clothes too right?

And then you have more options forking your path; left for bags or right for tents. The experience is simple and frictionless. There aren’t too many category options to become overwhelming and steering a direction through the store happens almost subconsciously.

Eventually, you end up at the back of the store eyeing up the deals on special offer. You find yourself trying to justify buying a collapsible aluminum picnic table and barbeque unit just because they are 50% off.

Finally, you decide that you don’t really need another rucksack and a GPS watch either so you head back the way you came to the exit.

But there it is again, the display of North Face T-shirts. It’s as clear to see exiting the store as entering it.

The shop made it is clear to see their best seller in both directions and let’s be honest, it doesn’t take much to convince a man to buy another T-shirt, does it?

North Face T-shirts… and they’re on offer!

If you haven’t figured out how this whole experience is relevant to good video design then let me explain.

Every video needs a hook to keep viewers watching. Just like a shop needs an enticing offer to suck customers further into the store.

The hook for the store is the North Face special offer. So shoppers buy some or at least stay in the store for longer.

For video, it’s telling the viewer exactly what your video is about in the first few seconds, so they’ll continue to watch for another few seconds.

You can only extend watch time of videos by constantly drip-feeding more relevant information to the audience so you keep their attention. Just like an in-store experience, visitors have to be led on a journey that makes sense and is logical and constantly stimulating.

The further visitors make it through the store (or your video) the more you can ask of them because they’ve shown an interest in your content. You have their attention now and they’re softened to the idea of finding out more (to watch another video in your series to answer more questions) or buying something from the 50% off deals.

Leaving the store is the last stage of the in-store experience. If you’re not already taking something to till then this is the shop’s last chance of making a sale, which is why they want you to see their North Face special offer again.

This is equivalent to the call to action of your video. You repeat the important actionable content.

It’s what you want your audience to do because that’s the whole purpose of your video.

Hey! This is important and requires your attention again! The sale ends this weekend!

Video is powerful, but only when it’s designed in the right way. Moving pictures isn’t enough to entertain or hold attention for long enough anymore, only content can do that when it’s crafted in the right way.

If you want your videos to perform better and give a positive ROI you need to hold their attention and give your audience the information they want in a logical and effortless way.

So next time you’re creating videos, don’t underestimate the importance of planning your content to provide your viewers with the best viewing experience.

Essential Marketing Videos For Gyms

The Promo Video

Promo videos are essential for gyms and facilities because they allow new members the opportunity to tour the facilities before they visit for the first time. This means that when they finally step through your door they are more likely to join, and you don’t need to dedicate staff resources to gym tours followed by the obligatory sales pitch.

However, epic promo videos only make your business more efficient and profitable if you can reach the right customers before they visit. Hosting a promo video on your website and YouTube, or pinning it to the top of your Facebook business page isn’t enough anymore, you need to adapt and reversion your promo to reach audiences through other channels. This means creating shorter versions for social media platforms like Instagram and ensuring your promo looks great on mobile as well as desktop.

You’ll always get visitors to your facility who haven’t seen your website or your promo video, so it’s handy to have a copy on an iPad if you don’t have a TV playing your promo in your reception area.

There’s no perfect length for this type of video though shorter is always better. If your promo is stretching to three minutes or more, you’re probably trying to cram too much in, so consider splitting your promo into shorter service specific videos which are more useful tools. For example, if you own a health club, with a swimming pool, spa and gym, create a simple promo to summarise the facilities and then individual promos to explain each in more detail.


Client Testimonial Videos

Did you know that more than 80% of customers rely on testimonials to make purchase decisions?  Short and succinct testimonial videos are highly effective tools when it comes to building trust in your brand. In many cases, social proof is all that’s needed to spur people into action, that’s why word-of-mouth and referrals are so powerful.

The best testimonial videos have a story to tell that others can relate to, so it’s worth picking your contributors carefully and rewarding your clients for their time. There are a lot of weak testimonial videos out there that are put together in a rush, spending time planning your content carefully to create a something meaningful and influential that’s not easily forgotten.


Client Case Study Videos

Not all clients will be happy to give testimonials and not all testimonials will produce great content, so if you’re limited by enthusiastic participants or useful material focus instead on creating content around specific individuals to create case studies.

These fitness journeys are popular on social media channels and help to demonstrate the expertise and personable skills of your trainers. Publishing these blog style videos on YouTube and Instagram allow the audience to join the client on the journey and engage with the content through comments and questions. Promote this content to your members and in your local area to attract new clients and turn your trainers into local celebrities.

These fitness journeys are popular on social media channels and help to demonstrate the expertise and personable skills of your trainers. Publishing these blog style videos on YouTube and Instagram allow the audience to join the client on the journey and engage with the content through comments and questions. Promote this content to your members and in your local area to attract new clients and turn your trainers into local celebrities.


Trainer Profile Videos

Every personal trainer at your facility should have a profile video which explains how they can help your members reach their fitness goals. Profile videos make it easier for members to find the trainers they resonate with most so they become clients quicker and are less likely to quit.

It’s important that these videos present trainers as the expert but not the star. It’s not an opportunity for them to show how fit and strong they are but how they treat their clients and the efforts they go to to get their clients results. Include footage from typical sessions, comments from clients and fellow trainers to build a sense of community, support and positivity that resonates with those who aspire to achieve more.


Class Videos

Fitness classes are a huge draw for members searching for a new gym, but they’re not necessarily enthusiastic about all classes on your timetable, so it’s wrong to assume that a few clips of classes in your promo video are enough to tempt new members to join.

If you run a large facility it’s important that you promote all of your classes uniquely.Research has shown that despite the popularity of independent cycling, Pilates and yoga studios, people still join larger facilities for these individual programs. Likewise, members of gyms also attend community classes such as Zumba and Insanity.

If you run a large facility it’s important that you promote all of your classes uniquely. Research has shown that despite the popularity of independent cycling, Pilates and yoga studios, people still join larger facilities for these individual programs. Likewise, members of gyms also attend community classes such as Zumba and Insanity.

Short introduction videos for each of your classes are a great way for your instructors to connect with members before they attend for the first time. This allows first-timers to see classes in action can give them the confidence they need to attend and because we know members are loyal to good instructors they will follow them from club to club. So promoting videos of popular instructors teaching at your facility across social media can help drive KPIs.


Recruitment Videos

Working in the health and fitness space has never been so competitive and finding the right talent with the right qualifications and experience can be challenging. If you’re proud of your ethos, company culture and facilities then share this content to attract your perfect candidates. Allow prospects to tour your facilities and get to know your team; tell your story and explain why you do what you do.

Invite candidates to engage with your videos and ask questions to build relationships early. Use this process to refine the candidate pool and improve the quality of submissions to make the formal recruitment process quicker and keep prospects suitable for other positions ‘warm’.


Group Fitness Instructor Auditions

Despite the number of qualified group fitness instructors being at an all time high, experienced instructors that can drive up class numbers are hard to recruit because they’re loyal to the members and clubs they serve.

Announcing class auditions with videos can be an effective way of recruiting new instructors for classes and building cover lists. If you’re offering a better opportunity than rival clubs then it’s worth creating a video to show off your facilities and demonstrate how serious you are about finding the best instructors.