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9 ways to improve your personal training outdoors
Whether it's an outdoor gym or just an outdoor fitness space that you use with your own equipment, working out outdoors sometimes needs a bit more thought than in a traditional functional fitness alternative.
“I’ve put a few points down regarding your first sessions training clients outdoors,” says Andy Phillips, head of training for Escape. “Hopefully you can use some of them and if you need any more or think that we need to add anything, drop me an email.”
What's so great about outdoor workouts?
Outdoor training is an amazing way to keep fit but can require a little more planning than traditional gym training. There are more variables to think about, not just for you as a trainer but for the client as well. That said, the pay off and benefits are massive.
Do I have to pay to take personal training classes outdoors?
It depends. Park fees are something that trainers often don’t realise they will require. To use the majority of the parks in the UK, you need to pay a park fee that allows you to run your business there. There will probably be a need to pay a yearly fee to the council, for example. Talk to the council who will be more than happy to 'shop' around for you.
Are there any insurance concerns with training outdoors?
Simply put... Make sure your insurance covers outdoor training. It will vary by company, policy and training approach, so talk to your insurance provider and get everything in order for your needs – and those of your clients – before your first session.
What fitness equipment do I need for outdoor personal training?
The beauty about training outdoors is that you only need a few bits of well-picked fitness equipment. That said, the equipment you choose has to be up to the challenge of the elements, and it has to be versatile. Make sure it’s durable, as well as being easy to clean and maintain. Think kettlebells or dumbbells that have been weather tested, fitness accessories and floor markers, or a training tool that offers multiple exercises in one.
Where exactly should I be hosting my workouts?
Make it as easy as possible for your client to find the area you train. If you have equipment set up, they will have to come to you and making it out of the way will add time to their day.
Check the ground for holes, glass, sticks and make sure there aren't likely to be too many other people around. One thing I always did before a session was take a walk the workout space and check surrounding areas.
Leave nothing but sweat, take nothing but experience.
Leave it as you found it. Move areas so that you're not always using the same place to train. By this, I mean that if you have three back-to-back clients all doing shuttle runs, it will wear the grass down. Remember that parks are there for everyone to enjoy.
Consider access to toilets and other facilities.
Are toilets and public facilities within easy access to where you will be training? If it is an open area, presume that there's no chance of wild weeing. You may need to inform your clients of this.
Outdoor fitness tips: Before the workout.
Always check the weather forecast so you can communicate to your clients what clothing they need to bring to the session.
Give your client a check list. Brief them on what they may need to bring in their bags. Weather dependent, this list may include:
- Long sleeved top
- Gloves (either for warmth or grip)
- Footwear / trainers with good grip
- Rain jacket
- Medication (think about the potential for insect bites in the summer months or hay fever flare ups)
Are other people watching?
For any number of reasons, clients may be concerned about being seen working out in public. Think about this when you pick a location if a level of privacy is preferred. But also remember that you are on show. On a sunny day, parks are full of potential clients. The way you hold yourself becomes massively important.
Have branded kit so people can find out how to get hold of you, even get enthusiastic clients to wear t-shirts with your name on or company name.
Most of all, have fun in the elements and enjoy the experience, whether you're working out yourself or passing your knowledge on to others.