Four reasons why this boutique fitness enthusiast fell in love with live-streaming during COVID-19
Stephanie Kuzydym is a runner, yogi, barre, and rev lover based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She’s an 8x marathoner and 5x triathlete who will try any workout once—which is how she found herself falling in love with live-streaming fitness classes since the start of COVID-19. Here she explains the four reasons why.
It’s been 104 days since I started live-streaming classes. In a world of choice: endless choices of movies on Netflix, endless playlist options on Spotify, endless restaurants to order from on UberEats—here’s why I’m glad virtual classes are here to stay.
1. No more excuses to skip a workout
While 2020 has brought us so much stickiness, there’s one part we’re breathing deep in to: live-stream classes. There’s no reason we can’t get a sweat session in anymore. You don’t even have to find your keys or feel like you must match from head to toe. Woke up late? No problem. The first cup of coffee can brew while you’re standing in tree pose.
Fitness studios are now practicing what they've long preached: They’re meeting us where we are—in our own space. They’re helping us close our eyes, take a deep breath, and reconnect all by building a similar atmosphere in a new way.
And speaking of atmosphere, I recently bought a strip of LED lights to add a studio feel during my workouts, and I got a shoe rack from Home Depot to hold my weights, straps, and blocks.
2. A new way to experience community
One of the many reasons I go to a studio is because of the community it creates. It’s the time I make in my day that’s 100 percent for me. Live-streaming classes have allowed me to explore new studios, new instructors, new workouts, and new ways to sweat.
How can we feel part of a community when we’re not in the same space? Because of the old community that’s already there—and because sweat communities are so strong they travel through live-stream. Positive vibes and finding strength and balance are universal needs, which is why so many people choose to be members of boutique studios instead of gyms.
These days, there’s a moment in class where we used to ride in a pack or flow with linked breath, the instructor takes themselves off the Spotlight and you see the whole community you’ve been riding with or flowing with, in the gallery view.
That moment cannot be manufactured. It’s your community agreeing to show their true selves. And just like a new space, a new community is powerful.
3. New instructors to experience
As fitness goers, we’re accustomed to hearing about great instructors that we have to try. And try as we might, sometimes, for whatever reason, we just aren’t able to make it to that instructor’s class. We never connect.
That is no longer the case.
Now, I take classes with instructors I never took before the pandemic. And, because my career has made me move, live-stream classes have given me the ability to actually reconnect with a former community and former instructors.
One of these instructors saw me like a lotus flower: They helped me grow when I was in darkness. This morning, I was live-streaming a spin class. I had just been thinking about all the restrictions that have gone in place in the world around when he said this:
“Don’t restrict. Expand. But with that being said, I’m going to test you on that by adding more resistance. By adding more, your ability to stay open becomes challenged. And that’s when we start to train for everything in life.”
That spoke straight to my soul. THAT is why you still have a community together, even though we’re apart because you can still speak to our journey when we are lying our sweat-soaked frustrations all out there.
4. The strength I didn’t know I had
The next thing that the instructor said is, “You’re on your own.”
This is the real truth about live-stream classes. You are 100 percent accountable to yourself.
In the studio, there are eyes, so many eyes, who really aren’t paying attention to you but do keep you from actually staying in child’s pose or savasana all class. Now, only a small little camera that can never be turned on keeps us from really joining in. That means we really do have to dig deep and add a little resistance and find our own strength to push ourselves. It’s a different kind of strength than we rarely really address: mental accountability.
2020 has thrown a lot at us and it’s standing here asking us: so how are you going to choose to handle it? Choose to push play.
Stephanie isn’t the only student who loves virtual classes. Thanks to FitGrid’s client feedback tool we’ve seen reviews expressing gratitude and appreciation for live-streaming from studios worldwide. And with nearly 6 million minutes of live-streaming completed across our network of studios (as of early July), it’s clear that clients love it.
Your clients love live-streaming so give them the best. Start your free trial of FitGrid today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stephanie Kuzydym is a runner, yogi, barre, and rev lover whose goal is to one day become an instructor. She’s an 8x marathoner and 5x triathlete who will try any workout once. She’s worked the front desk at a studio for several years, which has made her fall in love with people’s willingness to share in struggle and strength through a sweat. When she’s not on a sweat date, she’s an award-winning journalist who loves her pup and a good breakfast taco.
FitGrid is a community management system designed for boutique fitness studios to engage clients on a personal level