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Supporting Our Industry with Crossfit Kirrawee

Supporting Our Industry with Crossfit Kirrawee

HOW TO ADAPT TO ONLINE TRAINING WITH YOUR MEMBERS

gyms, studios, dojos, personal trainers, and the WIDER sports and fitness industry

 Overnight, gyms and clubs were told to close doors, and thousands of small business owners and their employees were out of work

Mitch Davis, Owner of CrossFit Kirrawee (@crossfitkirrawee) spoke with us about the moment they heard the news they would need to close, how they have adapted, and what their member response has been.

On March 23rd, 2020 just over 1 week ago, the Australian government announced the first round of a wave of social distancing and business restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gyms and sports club were immediately in the firing line, being one of the first industries to be imposed with restrictions. Overnight, gyms and clubs were told to close doors, and thousands of small business owners and their employees were out of work. Gyms and Clubs could not have prepared for such a swift and decisive shutdown. By the end of the week, even our flagship sports leagues across the country were entering postponements and shutdowns – completely unprecedented and a scenario few had prepared for, let alone considered.

SMAI fully supports the measures being taken by government to reduce infection rates – health and safety has to be the number one concern across the industry and wider community. With restrictions in place and businesses having no choice but to close the doors to their premises, SMAI acknowledges how significant the impact on the sports and fitness industry the last two weeks have had – to put it bluntly - it has been catastrophic and immediate.

the impact on the sports and fitness industry the last two weeks have had – to put it bluntly - is catastrophic and immediate.

However, within days of the first restriction announcement, we noticed some clubs and gyms had already taken decisive, positive action. SMAI is in a unique position of being connected to a network of gyms and studios across the nation, so in many ways we have a finger on the pulse of the industry. While it was clear the industry is suffering, some businesses are moving fast to adapt. SMAI spoke with a number of gyms and clubs this week who have moved to online training, and today we want to share some of their insights and experience, in the hope that others can take their own measures and find success, if not, a path through to the other side of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Mitch Davis, Owner of CrossFit Kirrawee (@crossfitkirrawee) spoke with us about the moment they heard the news they would need to close, how they have adapted, and what their member response has been.

“Finding out at 5:25am Monday morning prior to our first class starting that we had to close our beloved gym down by lunch time for an unknown period of time obviously had a huge impact on all of us. Owners, coaches and our beloved members all without their second home for who knows how long. The communication has been disappointing and a partial shut down whilst still allowing Bootcamp’s to run is mind blowing.”

While the announcement took Mitch by surprise, CrossFit Kirrawee were already on the front foot – they had an existing online component for their training program. Mitch says they have needed to adapt that existing program to cater for members at home - “One of our online programs has minimal equipment but we have now had to adapt further and move to a zero equipment program for those without access currently”

"Aimless beat downs and thousands of burpees is not the answer (or much fun - for some)"

Mitch and the team aim to mimic their in studio program as closely as possible. He says “ Plenty of variation will be key over the coming weeks (hopefully not months) to keep people engaged, learning new things and making progress on their own. Keeping it as simple as possible to follow is key. Having the ability to describe what is required either through video or written word is important to ensure the purpose is understood. Aimless beat downs and thousands of burpees is not the answer (or much fun - for some)”

Online programing takes a basic level of technology use, but you can start simple and work up to more sophisticated setups as your confidence grows. Got a smart phone? Then you can live stream to your members via Instagram now with minimal setup and next to no cost.

CrossFit Kirrawee’s program is currently focused around pre-recorded sessions. Mitch says “We are yet to live stream a workout (yet) but we have a CFK Games Day planned to start Monday 30/3 that will see groups join together via Zoom and participate in a team work out together where strategy will be key. Our coaches have been incredible so far planning out and pre recording workouts that will slowly be filtering onto YouTube.”

Its clear then that staying connected with your members is critical at this point. Communicate and let them know you are here and how they can support you.

But the all important question that is on every gym or studio owners mind right now is – Will their members engage with an online program? “Any interaction is better than none, members are excited to keep routines as best they can I believe. Our members have been incredible, we can’t thank them enough.” said Mitch. Its clear then that staying connected with your members is critical at this point. Communicate and let them know you are here and how they can support you.

Mitch is pragmatic about the future of online training programing, saying “Our only current goal is to keep the business healthy enough to open our doors when things return to normal (if they do) and if they don’t, we will be levelling up on all things online to provide for our loyal members long term. I think people crave genuine face to face interaction. There is enough social media influence in the world, I think the more in person training the better in the future. If it a necessity then live online sessions may become a part of our program, but only if.

The take away message here is to adapt and keep moving. We can’t predict the future, but we can adapt to the situation at hand. We hope to return to our gyms, clubs and trainers in weeks, not months. But until then, keep pushing and support those around you in the industry. SMAI will continue to share other’s experiences through this difficult time in the hope it benefits anyone doing it tough right now.

SMAI would like to thank Mitch Davis, owner of CrossFit Kirrawee for taking the time to chat with us, and importantly being willing to share his experience with the wider industry at this challenging time.

We encourage you to follow CrossFit Kirrawee on Instagram and give Mitch a shout out of industry support.

Follow @crossfitfirrawee

Visit www.crossfitkirrawee.com

Contact info@crossfitkirrawee.com


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