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What Does a Post-COVID Fitness Schedule Look Like?

Our director of fitness answers the most common queries his team receives

Smiling woman exercising at home and watching training videos on laptop.

If COVID-19 gave us anything, it was the ability to adapt. When fitness facilities were forced to close, many got creative—including the personal training team at Medcan. We pivoted to launch LiftSession, a platform that offers one-on-one virtual training sessions. It was a long-term goal, but the pandemic pressed fast-forward on our plans. And we’re glad for that, as the option to work out remotely has been fantastic for many Medcan clients—old and new.

Now, with the re-opening of gyms on the horizon, many clients are wondering how they can continue on their fitness journey. Should they return to the gym, continue to work out virtually at home—or combine the two? We’re here to answer your most common questions about fitness post-COVID and how we can continue to help you meet your goals, whether you’ve been working out since day one of the pandemic or just getting started.

I’m worried about returning to the gym post-COVID. Can I still work out with my trainer virtually, even if everyone else returns to in-person training?

Feelings of anxiousness or worry are natural—and if you don’t want to return to in-person workouts, you don’t have to. Our clients are loving the convenience of working out at home—and trainers love it too. Medcan will continue to offer virtual personal training sessions even once it’s completely safe to return to the gym.

I stopped working out with my trainer when the pandemic hit. Now, a year later, I want to start again, but feel out of shape and embarrassed. Do you have any advice?

This is a common feeling. But the best time to start working out is today. And you could start with virtual training, which can be less intimidating since it’s just you and the trainer. We’re offering the first session complimentary so clients can check out the platform, reconnect with their trainer (or a different trainer, if they prefer) and see how virtual training works.

When I was commuting for work, training at Medcan was convenient. Now that I’ll be working remotely for the foreseeable future, it’s not. If I’m training virtually, will I be able to keep my current workout schedule once the gym re-opens?

Absolutely. We’re planning that many of our clients will continue to train virtually—either entirely or to complement in-person sessions if they return to working downtown either part-time or full-time. We’re suggesting clients aim for two to three virtual sessions a week, and an in-person session once a month, which lets the trainer connect on a more personal level with the client, check their form, determine whether the exercises or weights are too hard or easy, and re-evaluate goals.

If I want to test out virtual training, can I do it without equipment?

Absolutely! For the first few sessions, all you need is a laptop, web cam and a 6’ x 6’ area. We can make do with household items, like a chair for balance and exercises and a duffle bag filled with books for weights. It’s our job to figure out how to give you a great workout while you’re at home. If you like the experience, we can discuss what equipment you might want to invest in.

What are the pros and cons to virtual training?

In-person training allows us to better demonstrate exercises and closely monitor clients’ form, and you don’t have to worry about purchasing equipment or having a good home workout setup. But if you don’t live in Toronto or plan to travel for work or pleasure, virtual training allows you to be consistent, wherever you are. Plus, you don’t have to worry about traffic or parking.

If I like working out virtually, what equipment should I get?

Key items include a set of dumbbells or kettlebells, an adjustable bench and a foam roller. With those items we can pretty much recreate the gym experience. And your trainer will happily figure out which equipment is best for you. That’s the benefit of working with a trainer, rather than trying to figure it out yourself.

I’ve been doing so many free videos online during the pandemic. Why would I pay a trainer?

You could watch a different free video every day for the rest of your life. But the value we offer is that we customize each workout to the individual. Every single rep of every exercise is chosen for you, depending on your fitness level and goals.

Another benefit happens when your trainer is not actually training you. He or she spends time to create new programs, so you don’t get bored and quit. If you’re training three times a week, we cycle between three workouts, making minor modifications each session—whether it’s to change the sets, reps or weight. And every four to six weeks we make fundamental changes to ensure we’re always challenging our clients’ muscles and helping them see maximum results.

Have more questions or looking to try a complimentary in-person or virtual session? Contact stephensalzmann@medcan.com for more information.

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