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What Your Fitness Studio Needs To Learn… From Sesame Street

Mike Arce

Mike Arce

“Virtual” training has actually been around forever, since you were just a kid…

When Coronavirus hit, we all went into shock and panic, and rightfully so because for us, this was so new. I heard statements, as if they were foregone conclusions, like:

  • No one will choose a virtual fitness studio
  • At-home fitness doesn’t compare to our in-studio experience
  • We won’t make money doing fitness online
  • My fitness business isn’t designed for virtual training

What many fitness studio owners, especially the top ones we work with, are all finding out is that it’s not only possible, but people LOVE it. And the reason they love it? Because virtual training has actually been around since they were kids!

Virtual Training Since 1969?

In my COVID-19 Updates for Fitness Studios Podcast, Episode 83, I talk about how I’ve chatted with two pre-school teachers who said there’s no way for preschool to go virtual during this pandemic…

  • No one will choose a virtual pre-school
  • At-home learning doesn’t compare to the in-person attention we give
  • We won’t make money doing pre-school education online
  • My pre-school isn’t designed for virtual learning

FUN FACT: Kids have been learning “virtually” since 1969. It’s called Sesame Street. Think about it…

Kids have been learning their ABC’s, counting, math, sharing, building, shapes, colors, AND MORE from Sesame Street… FOREVER. They learn it at school, at home with their parents, and BOOM! then it’s reinforced in a fun, virtual environment. That’s powerful!

I think what happens in situations like this pandemic is we let our fear take over. We cling on tightly to what we already know and we assume the unknown won’t produce results, but here’s the kicker…

These Times Are Not As Unknown Or Uncertain As We Might Think

Sometimes all that’s needed in difficult times like these is a bit of reflection. Chances are, a quick look through history, and we’ll see people just like us taking on challenging times or so ahead-of-the-curve that we can draw from their experiences.

And hey, you’re not alone. It took me a while to discover this. School House Rock and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are other ways kids have been learning OUTSIDE of in-person interaction. So, let’s look back…

Richard Simmons, P90X, that Thighmaster thing… at-home workouts have been around for a long time AND they’ve been MASSIVELY popular! People love them. People spend tons of money on them. Now, think about THIS:

You have a unique advantage that they NEVER HAD…

You can go LIVE and allow people to interact with other people. That’s completely unique to you and your fitness studio. In fact, of the members we’ve surveyed, 90+% of them prefer LIVE workouts or previously recorded LIVE workouts to any other pre-filmed, pre-produced video workout.

Here’s what this really means: A global pandemic, which you thought was going to end your fitness studio, just put you at the top of the at-home fitness food chain. You’re able to invade the virtual space and conquer it like those who’ve been doing it for decades NEVER WILL.

But, if you want to win, you have to believe you can first. You have to take those negative statements of “fact” listed above and turn them into positive ones NOW:

  • People will choose and LOVE my virtual fitness studio!
  • At-home fitness doesn’t compare to our in-studio experience… but it’ll be as close as possible!
  • We’ll make plenty of money doing fitness online and keep our business growing!
  • My fitness business will be perfectly designed for virtual training!

Pssst… other at-home fitness options, because they’re not live and can’t, DON’T interact with the person who’s at home doing the workout. One of the big reasons kids love Sesame Street is that they think the characters are talking directly to them and involving them in the problem-solving process. “Do you know how many cookies the Cookie Monster ate?” (pause 3 seconds while looking at the screen — aka the child watching — for an answer) “Yep, he ate 5 cookies! Good job!”

Your fitness studio has the ability to have that same type of interaction with members when doing a live workout. “Hey, Mike, don’t drop those hips when planking…” (wait to make sure I corrected my form) “Nice job, Mike. Much better! Do you feel that? Yeah, I see you nodding your head!” This personal interaction is the driving force behind the success of your online fitness studio. Capitalize on it! It’s been around since at least 1962, so if you don’t capitalize on it now, someone else will.