What are People Looking for in Online Fitness Classes?

Aug 23, 2022

✍️ Author: Sinead O'Connor


The popularity of online fitness classes continues to grow. Online fitness instructors can make their classes stand out from the competition by answering the question of what are people looking for in online fitness classes. 

People love the flexibility of taking classes from the comfort of their homes at any time of day. Online fitness instructors who are willing to offer clients what they are looking for can find a lot of success in this growing industry. Keep reading for more information on the most effective online workouts, the best online platforms, and other necessities for great online fitness classes.

Learn how to build a loyal client base whether you are offering online or in-person classes or both!

Running Online Fitness Class

What is Needed to Run an Online Fitness Class?

It’s often easier to start online fitness classes than in-person fitness classes. With online courses, there’s no need for a large studio space. You can often record in your home or rent a small office. With the right equipment and skills, you can become a pro at teaching online fitness classes.

  • Stable, high-speed internet: A successful online fitness class requires streaming high-quality video and audio and hosting others on an online platform. These functions all use more internet bandwidth than most other things you do online. You can perform a free speed test to make sure your connection is fast enough. The best streaming quality should be above 25 Mbps upload and download speeds.
  • High-quality camera, lighting, and sound equipment: The best online fitness classes use a webcam that allows HD video streaming and a high-quality Bluetooth microphone. In some spaces, you can take advantage of natural lighting, while others require the use of indoor lights or reflectors. Set up your space, so the light source is either behind or on the side of the camera.
  • A user-friendly website: Your website is your virtual storefront. It should be engaging right from the beginning to draw in new clients. The site should also be easy to navigate, so new and returning clients can find the schedule and quickly book classes. A strong website is a must for running successful fitness classes online.
  • A video hosting platform: The best platform for online fitness classes depends on your specific needs. Consider a platform like OfferingTree that allows you to do all your scheduling and classes in one place to make things easy for you and your clients.

What are People Looking for in an Online Fitness Class?

We researched what clients are looking for in online fitness classes so that you don’t have to. Clients want the same instructor expertise and welcoming atmosphere that they love about in-person classes, coupled with the flexibility to take classes from anywhere, anytime.

What people are looking for in fitness classes online:

Fitness Class Taken from Any Location

Ability to Take Class From Any Location

People love the ability to work out at home. There’s no sitting in traffic or looking for parking, and parents don’t need to find child care. Online fitness classes offer the convenience of at-home workouts with the benefit of a licensed expert to guide and motivate clients throughout their workouts. Being able to take workout classes at home is a major reason why people seek out outline fitness.

Online classes also allow people to not miss a workout while traveling. To cater to clients who travel often, consider offering classes that people can take from any state or even outside the U.S. Check your insurance policy and your online fitness studio platform to ensure coverage internationally.

24-Hour Access to Recorded Fitness Videos

While live fitness online classes continue to be very popular, clients are also looking for on-demand courses. Instructors can pre-record fitness video content or post previous live classes for clients to return to any time they want. This gives busy clients the flexibility they need to squeeze in workouts whenever they can. Selling fitness programs online means you can customize the live and on-demand options that you offer to your clients.

Core Workout

A Variety of Effective Workouts and Class Lengths

Just like the clients in your in-person classes, clients in online classes want effective workouts. They want to feel like they are getting their money’s worth. However, it’s still important to meet your clients where they are physically. Make sure to include modifications and different levels of intensity in all your online class offerings. Creating an inclusive environment can help you fill your fitness classes, whether they are online or in-person.

Research has also shown that shorter offerings are growing in popularity. Adding a variety of classes, some shorter sessions and some longer, can be a good way to test what works best for your audience.

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Professional Production Quality

High production quality will make your online fitness classes stand out from the competition. The top online fitness companies use the best webcams and studio lighting. This helps clients clearly see what the instructor is doing and easily follow along. However, you can create professional videos and classes without spending tons of money on equipment.

Choosing the right space for your online classes is key to good audio and video quality. Ideally, you want to use a quiet space with good natural lighting positioned behind the camera. No matter what type of light you use, it should come from behind the camera or on the side of the camera, never behind you. A light behind you will create shadows that make it difficult for clients to see your movements. Using a microphone while recording online classes can improve the sound quality of your videos and block out ambient noise.

Consider taking professional-quality fitness photos for your website to draw in new online clients. 

Licensed Instructor Responding to Customer

Licensed Instructors

Online classes give customers a wider range of access to skilled instructors since they are not limited to those who live in their area. Potential customers are looking for fitness teachers that they can trust to help them be safe and avoid injury even from a distance. This requires attentive, highly-skilled instructors.

Online fitness instructors should be licensed and carry insurance to protect themselves and their clients. Before teaching online classes, talk to other online fitness instructors to get tips on safety and online teaching.

A Positive Community

People need connection, and they are searching for it online more and more. It can be hard to recreate the same warm, welcoming environment of an in-person fitness class online. Clients may not naturally talk before and after class when it’s on an online platform. To help facilitate community building in your online classes, make sure to start each class with a warm introduction. Open the virtual space a few minutes early and greet clients individually as they “arrive.”

As you grow your online fitness business, think about other creative ways to build community among your clients. For example, you could create an online fitness club where clients have access to a forum or chat room to get to know each other. You may also ask clients for feedback on your classes and website, including how accessible they are. This will help ensure you are creating an inclusive fitness community.

Low-Cost Fitness Class with Two People

Low-Cost Options

Online classes often have less overhead cost for the instructor once the initial equipment is purchased. This means online classes are often cheaper than in-person ones. Many clients are looking for a bargain when shopping for online fitness classes.

Research what the competition is charging to get a clearer idea of what your classes should cost. You may charge more for live classes than you do for on-demand videos. Additionally, you could have a few shorter videos as a low-cost option.

Free Classes or Free Trial Period

Freemium options have become the norm for many online services. Most of the top online fitness companies offer a free short intro class or a free trial period. Free trial periods often last one or two weeks. Some require signing up for a membership, while others are no commitment. If you are looking to grow your online fitness business, consider marketing a freebie.

Are you a yoga instructor? Visit OfferingTree for specific tips for teaching online yoga classes.

One-on-one Attention in a Fitness Class

One-On-One Attention

All clients, whether in-person or online, appreciate one-on-one care and guidance. Ask your students to turn their cameras on when teaching live online classes if possible. This allows you to check in with each student individually on their form and progress. This helps clients feel special and gives them a reason to return.

Another excellent way to provide one-on-one attention is to offer private online sessions. These are great for you because you can charge more than you do for live group classes and on-demand classes. They are great for clients because they are getting a personal trainer often for much cheaper than they would at a gym.

Workouts With Minimal or No Equipment

When working out at home, many clients do not have a lot of exercise equipment. Plan workouts that rely more on body weight resistance than fancy equipment like doing pilates classes or cardio workouts. Assume that your clients do not have any equipment or notify them in advance of essential equipment needed for each class, such as a yoga mat, blocks, or a resistance band. You can also provide clients with creative suggestions for cheap alternatives, such as using water jugs as weights.

Someone Hosting A Fitness Class Online

Host Your Online Fitness Classes Using OfferingTree

It’s clear that with all the benefits of online fitness classes, they are here to stay. Keep in mind that online classes require careful planning and thoughtful execution, just like in-person classes. Additionally, fitness online classes require a fast internet connection, a webcam, and good lighting. Take the time to create quality online classes and watch your client base grow!

OfferingTree is your one-stop shop for all your online fitness class needs. We can host scheduling for live classes online and in-person as well as pre-recorded video classes. You can manage client accounts and host your own personal website all through OfferingTree. Whether you are an experienced online fitness instructor or making the transition from in-person classes, we’ve got everything you need to streamline your business. Try our software free for 14 days to check it out for yourself.

Not sure you are ready to take the leap to online classes yet? Learn more tips for teaching online courses from OfferingTree’s blogs. We even have recommendations on how to choose the best microphone for all your teaching needs.

OfferingTree Testimonial

“I’ve used OfferingTree for about three weeks for an invitation-only intermediate class of ~20 and a one-off workshop. Today’s class has 51 students, with very little friction or issue. OfferingTree has enabled us to make a remarkably smooth transition to operating as a virtual studio.”

Vickie Russell Bell, VRB Yoga

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Written by Sinead O'Connor, (she/her) BA Hons, RYT-200. She is a Yoga Teacher, Community Manager, and OfferingTree team member who lives and works in Calgary, Canada.The landscape of the wellness industry has transformed dramatically in recent years. Gone are the days...

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