5 Tips for Hosting Your First Online Zoom Fitness Class

The coronavirus outbreak, which began in China, continues to spread across the world. Globally, there have been more than 2.9 million confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins. 

With the global economy coming to a near standstill, businesses are coming up with new ways to stay afloat. The fitness industry is no exception to this. 

As most gyms and fitness centers remain closed, many have turned to online communication channels such as Zoom to provide fitness lessons. 

Social distancing has put a lot of mental pressure on everyone, which is why online fitness classes are a lifesaver. They can help people learn and perform proper home workouts to stay physically and mentally fit. 

That’s where Zoom video lessons come in. 

Why Zoom?

Because, it offers more features suited to conducting online fitness classes. 

  • Perhaps the biggest advantage of using Zoom for online fitness classes is the synchronous connection. You can connect with all your students without any delay, making it easier to teach multiple students at the same time. 
  • The teacher can see all the students, and students can also see each other on their screen. So, it feels just like attending a regular class of martial arts in Chelmsford in a real classroom. 
  • You can easily share your screen with your students. 
  • You can record and document all your sessions using the recording feature. 
  • It also comes with a screen whiteboard feature that allows you to brainstorm with your students anytime during the call. 
  • You can host a class for up to 100 students with Zoom’s free plan. 

How to Host Your First Online Zoom Fitness Class

Although using Zoom is incredibly easy, you will still need to be prepared to host your first online fitness class. Keeping the following tips in mind should help.

Experiment with Camera Positions and Angles

The first thing you need to pay attention to is the camera angle. Just like they did in your class for martial arts in Chelmsford, your students should be able to see you well. So, you need a proper camera angle that you can use for all your online lessons.

If you are using a horizontal camera angle to shoot the video, make sure you have plenty of space in front of your mat. Test the camera shot to make sure the camera is capturing your full body, and as conveniently as possible. 

You can place your camera on a table or shelf. However, in my opinion, using a tripod is the best way. For starters, it allows you to adjust the camera angle easily. Most importantly, the camera will stay steady throughout the class. You don’t want your online class to get interrupted because your camera fell.

Make Things Look Professional

Just like your jiu-jitsu studio in Chelmsford, your home work-out lessons need to be professional. Even if you are shooting from your living room, there are a few ways to make everything appear professional.

As the first step, you should consider investing in a high-quality web camera. You also need a good quality microphone and wireless in-ear headphones. If you are going to move while teaching your students, you will need a wearable microphone.

Of course, you can work without any of this equipment. However, that would lead to subpar online fitness class experience, which in turn, may result in your students looking for other alternatives. So, it is better to invest.

Lighting is the best place to start. You need to find an area with plenty of natural light and low or no noise. You should also adjust the screen brightness to ensure your screen doesn’t blow the highlights on your face.

Ideally speaking, the light source should be at no more than 45-degree angle facing you directly. Once you have selected a well-lit area, shoot a demo video to see if you are visible properly.

Just like video, audio is also a vital element in hosting online classes. You would want your students to hear your instructions correctly. Make sure to test your audio.

Make sure you have a clutter-free background. Also, when you are conducting a class, be sure to keep distractions away. Ask your family members to stay out of the room. Test the area before going live with your class.

Practice Your Session in Advance

Teaching Jiu Jitsu in Chelmsford studio may come naturally to you. However, hosting it on a Zoom call is going to be a lot different, and even challenging for the first time. So, you need to be prepared well in advance. 

One of the best ways to ensure that your online fitness class goes on flawlessly is to practice your session in advance. Make sure to get everything in place the way you would for your live class. Start your practice session by looking straight at the camera. Don’t look at the screen. 

Test all your video and audio equipment before starting your session. Check all your video hosting controls and get yourself familiarised with the Zoom platform. Run through the entire class to spot hiccups or areas that might need altering.

It is also necessary to conduct your practice session in front of a live audience. You can ask some of your students to practice as well. It will allow you to find the potential challenges. For example, it will tell you if all your students have internet connections capable of providing a first-class online learning experience. 

Share your contact details with them to contact you in case your students face any technical difficulties in attending the class. Zoom also offers an excellent customer support service that can help you in case of technical issues.

Learn Zoom Like the Back of Your Hand

Zoom is fairly straightforward. However, it also comes with features that can help you get the most out of your online fitness classes. So, you need to spend some time learning Zoom like the back of your hand. 

Here are a few features you may find useful. 

Virtual Background 

This feature can come in handy if you can’t find the perfect spot to host your jiu-jitsu home workout class. From a sandy beach to a soothing sunrise, you can transport yourself anywhere using a virtual background screen


You can also ask all your students to keep their microphone on mute while your class is in session. You need to go to Settings > Audio > Mute to activate this feature. You can also press and hold the spacebar to quickly mute and unmute your microphone.  

Speaker View

When you are ready to start your class, make sure your screen is on Speaker View. You should also mute all the participants. It will avoid any noisy disturbance from your students during the class.

Gallery View 

When you want to see everyone in your class, you can switch to the gallery view. You just need to click the button that says Gallery View. 

If your online fitness classes have less than 49 students at a time, you can see them all on one page. You will need to toggle between pages if the number is higher. 

Spotlight Video

You can also use the Spotlight Video feature in Zoom. With this feature, you can keep your instructional video at the forefront during the online class. It will also prevent distracting sounds coming from your students.

Record Your Online Lessons 

You can also record your Zoom lessons, with both free and paid plans. However, the free plan allows you to record your classes only on the desktop or laptop, not mobile. 

You can go to Settings > Recording to turn on this feature. You can store and share your recorded lessons on cloud storage platforms such as Google Drive and DropBox.

Play Music

Music is a critical factor in keeping your energy up in adrenaline-pumping online fitness classes. Thankfully, Zoom allows you to play music over your live-streaming classes. When you enter your Zoom meeting, find and click on the Share button. Its location may vary depending on your device. 

Select the Advanced tab and check the Music or Computer Sound Only box. It will share whatever sound is coming from your device. In other words, you can play the music you need on your favourite music app while your class continues. 

This feature will not mute your microphone. So, you will still be able to talk to your students. Just make sure to adjust the music volume accordingly. 

Understand How Virtual Training Might Be Different From In-Personal Training

Zoom fitness lessons do simulate several aspects of in-person classes or training sessions. Yet, they are not the same. You will need to prepare yourself mentally to adjust to the small differences to get the most out of your online fitness classes. 

For example, a martial arts classroom in Gracie Barra Chelmsford studio is real and tangible. You can interact with multiple students in this classroom at the same time. In an online session, however, you will be able to interact with one student at a time. 

Student-teacher interactions through feedback and corrections also differ in a real and a virtual fitness class. In a real studio, you can suggest improvements and modifications through personal interaction with students. 

When it comes to online lessons, however, it is difficult to provide feedback on a student’s practice. But, teachers can point out common mistakes involved in a step to warn the students. 

An experienced martial arts teacher also adjusts the training based on how responsive a student is. So, they can teach a few beginners and the students ready for more challenging lessons in the same class. 

However, that is less likely to happen in online fitness classes. To overcome this problem, you can think of dividing students into virtual classes based on their level of training and practice. It will ensure that everyone is on the same page.

In Conclusion 

Not many people may find online martial arts training as attractive as the real life learning. However, under the circumstance, online fitness via Zoom is the best possible option out there. So, with a little bit of trial and error, you should be able to make your Zoom classes work. Hopefully, these five tips should come in handy. If you want to more about how Gracie Barra Chelmsford is working on offering online training, feel free to ask your questions in the comments.

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Rob Simpson

Rob started Judo at just 7 years old and, after years competing at national and regional championships, he discovered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The rest, as they say, is history! He turned his hobby into a business when he opened a martial arts gym. This lead to consulting and developing leads and marketing systems for major businesses, franchise brands, fitness entrepreneurs and gym owners.

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