A MONTH before her Gateshead operation Urban Base Fitness was closed down with gyms across the country, Erin Wilson had a feeling things were about to turn.
"We were already working on getting a mobile app up for a while for our clients outside our gym sessions, because we are big on them having a pathway away from us. We'd been creating content and filming exercises for different strengths, power and muscle growth," says Wilson.
Wilson, who has and exercise and sports science degree from Sydney University, where she played football as well as in the NSW Premier League, had already used an online platform as part of her previous efforts helping to train the Newcastle Jets women's team.
By the time the federal government announced gyms were to close, she and her team, including four sports scientists, sprang into action.
"As soon as it hit and we had 12 hours to close our doors, we straight away put all our general clients onto the app and loaded all our bodyweight programs first," she says.
"Every single program has instructions on timing, movement and a video of what they have to do and for our personal training clients, we have added on the app for them individually. For those in a group program, we uploaded 12 weeks of programs and we deliver and pick up equipment to our members, rotating every two weeks, so they are not missing out on anything and have something to look forward to."
Ms Wilson's gym has 150 members and represents her vision of combining her science-based knowledge to combat trends within the industry, as well as offer a stable pathway for those who share her views.
"I wanted to create a client focus, having my science and exercise background, no more fads and just giving people the information they need to get results, and having a team that supports that vision," she says.
"We create an inclusive environment that provides the information I or we have learnt to anyone - from someone seeking general weight loss to an athlete development program. Whether you are young, old, seeking help with weight loss or strengthening, everyone should have the same access to that knowledge."
Guy Olney, who runs Crossfit Coalface Gym in Newcastle West, said it was offering virtual memberships which included daily Zoom classes and 12 video workouts per week.
"We are offering a link so if people don't have equipment they are doing Zoom Classes in mornings at 7am and afternoons at 5pm and we are offering all our online programming for our power, Crossfit and high intensity burn classes," he said.
Mr Olney said the classes catered for those members who had a garage gym or a designated in-house are to train, alongside those who were just doing it under their own steam with no equipment.
"Usually the guys who have access to stuff at home won't do a Zoom class but do program at their own leisure then send through the then we provide feedback," Mr Olney said.
"It is a tough time but Crossfit gyms are in a better position than standard gyms as we have a strong relationship with clients who want to keep moving and communicating."
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