Setting the Virtual Stage: How to host your virtual fitness classes + programs

Posted by Active Wellness Team on Apr 15, 2020 8:00:00 AM


Fitness professionals have come to a unique time when the entire industry has gone virtual. Inviting your clients into your home may feel vulnerable and could become unpredictable (think cats, dogs and toddlers, oh my!). Here are ten tips from Team Active Wellness to help you set your stage to ensure a professional, welcoming and engaging experience with your audience.

  1. Frame your stage. Determine the space where you will host your class or session. Test your camera to ensure you are in full view for your participants as you queue, instruct and motivate them. Use masking or painters tape to map out your space so that you always remain in the camera frame.
  2. Consider your camera. Phones are the easiest way to film yourself. A front-facing camera is great but make sure you look at the camera on your phone and not your face. Be sure to film horizontally. 
  3. Invest in a tripod. There are many great options under $25 to ensure a steady picture. We recommend getting a tripod with height adjustments to create visual options and versatility if you coach or teach multiple formats.
  4. Set up your space. You want your participants to be focused on you and your class, not your unfolded laundry or morning cereal bowl. Ensure your space is well-lit, tidy and free of distraction. 
  5. Lighting is your best friend. Lighting will help you improve the quality of your videos. Shoot in the daytime and use windows as a natural light source. Try not to shoot against the light. Instead, use it to light your frame. If you must film at night, turn on as many lights as possible.
  6. Do a sound check. An empty space may cause an echo. Certain movements may cause vibrations or even things to move or fall over.Silence your phone and place it on do not disturb.. Also consider posting a ‘on air’ sign for your family members as a reminder that you are recording.
  7. Test your WiFi. Make sure you have a strong internet connection and turn off any devices that may take up bandwidth.
  8. Be authentically you. Speak to the camera just like you do in person. Make eye contact by looking straight into the camera and smile. Encourage, welcome, queue and cheer your audience - that’s why they love your workouts! Make that emotional connection to create a memorable experience.
  9. Prep and practice. Run through your class or program and make sure all of your planned equipment is available and organized near you so you don’t distract your participants. You might even create a notecard and post it next to the camera out of the frame to help keep you on track. 
  10. Have fun! Hit start and have fun connecting with your audience. You are changing and impacting lives during a very important time. Thank your audience for showing up and participating today, that takes a lot!

We hope these tips help you host your best class yet online. Share your advice with others in our comments below. 

Team Active content is not medical advice; it's inspiration to live actively! Learn more about Active's virtual fitness programs to support your members by contacting us here.

Alvin_Circle TemplateAlvin Dizon is our Visual Specialist for Active Wellness. Aside from creating/editing photos and videos,  Alvin also enjoys making things. During these tough times, he's been working on a lot of projects around the house to escape from some of the craziness in the world right now. He encourages everyone to find what that is for them. If you try something new and find out that it’s not your cup of tea, that’s alright. You’ve still learned something and it made you a more enlightened person than you were before.



Karah_Circle TemplateActive's Director of Wellness, Karah Ehrhardt, is passionate about meeting individuals where they are by providing our sites and members with the tools, resources and products that help support their health and wellness journey.  Karah is staying safe at home with her loved ones spending time chasing around her toddler and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen!