January 2021 Perhaps you are one of the millions of Americans who have purchased fitness equipment and technology-based fitness tools for their homes last year—both as a way to stay healthy, relieve stress and build a strong immune system throughout the pandemic. I spoke with Mark Moreland, owner/personal trainer at Body Outfitters Personal Training Studios, to learn more about how he and his staff have been meeting their clients where they are throughout the pandemic and how Body Outfitters is keeping the momentum going into 2021. Connected Workouts Moreland described his studios’ reaction as proactive rather than reactive to the stay-at-home order. Prior to Gov. Holcomb’s lockdown orders last March, Moreland told me that he and his staff had read the tea leaves and had already begun making a “hard pivot” to virtual training. “It's been a fun challenge to try to meet people where they are, but that's what we do all the time at our studios,” Moreland said. “We're just playing a little bit of an away game right now. We’ve been doing live sessions since March, so we’re dialed in. Our coaching cues are even better, and we know what these look and feel like.” For existing and new clients, Moreland and his staff set up appointments with their clients—either in person or virtually—and develop a customized workout plan. “We set up appointments on Zoom or a preferred platform of your choice,” Moreland explained. “There needs to be a visual aspect of so that we can get body cues, and then we can offer the three things that we specialize in: knowledge, accountability and the appropriate level of intensity. That’s what we bring to the table.” In the first session of the live sessions that Body Outfitters offers, Moreland shared that he or any of his trainers begin with assessment workouts and build a plan that helps their clients progress. Your “coach” gives you body cues to ensure proper movement—which is the foundation to any plan customized for you by Body Outfitters trainers. “We’re going to build a plan for you based on where you are and where you want to be,” Moreland stated. “You don’t need anything super fancy. From an equipment standpoint, most of the workouts that I’ve built since last March have one weight. That doesn’t mean we can’t progress those weights down the line, but to be creative and consistent with one piece of equipment—that won’t crush the budget—is a simple start.” Keeping It Simple and Neutralizing Excuses Moreland and his staff utilize another tech tool called “True Coach” for their virtual clients. True Coach is an app that allows trainers and clients to connect and be held accountable outside of live sessions. “We build our programs in True Coach, which by itself doesn’t have value to the client, but we use that to create an account and upload videos and examples,” Moreland shared. “The app also allows us to track when you’ve completed your workout and when you haven’t, so there’s a level of accountability. The difference between this and a live appointment is you can do it whenever you want, and you can do that workout again if you want to. There’s no need to have super unique workouts every time unless that what the client wants.” Moreland continued, “The other thing that we’re doing to meet people where they are is, we have been posting simple movements for people to do at home with simple equipment on our social media channels. One of the videos that I built for my clients during the lockdown is a stair workout. If you have stairs, that’s all you need for this workout. And if you don’t have stairs, a simple step is all you need.” Prior to the pandemic, and at least for me personally, not having “time” was the biggest excuse or barrier that kept many from carving out time for working out. Once the virus rampaged the entire planet, people began looking at their health and fitness as a means of surviving and less as an onerous task. “Most people’s previous excuses have been neutralized,” Moreland said. “Time is not a barrier anymore as many now have a surplus of time. Now that we’ve removed that barrier, it’s about consistency. I would say consistency and fitness are more important than how much it costs and what kind of equipment you have. It’s about doing something regularly enough that your body adjusts to it. That’s true with nutrition as well.” Create Your Space, Look and Time For those who want to work out from home and don’t have the advantage of “changing one’s scenery,” instead having to create that mental/physical space within the confines of their home, Moreland talked about identifying your personal “triggers,” creating your workout outfit and carving out time that becomes YOUR care time. “We all need a trigger,” Moreland admitted. “I own a gym and have been training for 23 years, and I still need a trigger some days when I don’t feel like working out. My ‘trigger’ is putting on my workout clothes. As soon as I put on my workout clothes, it’s almost like putting on a new identity—now I’m ‘Workout Mark.’ Then once I get moving, I start to feel better, and it helps pump up my energy.” Body Outfitters Is Ready When You Are For those who are missing in-person sessions and feel comfortable venturing out, Moreland discussed what measures both his Carmel and Zionsville locations have taken that go above and beyond the recommended safety protocols and pandemic restrictions. “We’re by appointment to begin with, so we have a controlled flow of people,” Moreland stated. “It’s easy for us to stay 6 feet apart, and our coaches and staff wear masks at all times. Our classes and groups are down to a four-person maximum. We have the space to spread people out and give you 8 to 10 feet apart from one another. And our treadmills are more than 6 feet apart.” Moreland concluded, “We’ve added significant air filtration systems at both of our locations. It kills 99.9% of things that come through the air. I can’t tell you that we are safer than your other gyms, but I can show you how we’re controlling our environment, and then you can choose to participate or not.” For more information on Body Outfitters and its Carmel and Zionsville locations, visit bodyoutfitters.com.