How Personal Trainers Helped Women Create Their “Village”
It’s only as the dust is settling, almost a year after the UK went into the first lockdown, that I’m able to reflect on the impact that Covid-19 has had on my clients, predominantly pre and postnatal women.
As if being pregnant or navigating life with a new baby wasn’t full of enough anxieties and stress, these women were suddenly separated from their support systems; travel, health appointments, childcare was all disrupted. Overnight, the touchpoints (literally), for emotional and physical support and release were removed and as a result, my role as a personal trainer adapted.
“I just want to have my mum and family sitting in the room drinking cups of tea while I get on with baby stuff. I miss my family so much” – Rosy, new mum and personal training client.
Emotional and Physical Support
As a personal trainer, clients put their trust in you, physically and emotionally. However, I noticed conversation became quite deep, quite quickly, covering topics such as:
- The best things to buy (maternity activewear, for a new baby)
- Feeling isolated
- Lack of support
- Frustration at missing out on a ‘proper’ maternity leave filled with coffee shop catch-ups and baby cinema
- Worrying that their child’s development is negatively affected
This was quite a change from the usual functional pelvic floor issues, and more a desire to share, be heard and receive reassurance.
I currently support my clients by hosting hold a free weekly online fitness class to keep my community together and help participants forge invaluable relationships. Wonderfully, people have been connecting in real-life – “I met you online at Warriors!” seems to be a common theme when they bump into each other in the park.
I’ve also had to evolve my skills; training someone online is very different from training in-person and therefore requires a different skill set, such as the right camera angles so you both can be seen easily and effective cueing. “Cactus arms” might be obvious to one client, but another will need more specific instructions. Anticipating the huge strain participants were under, I integrated techniques to refocus clients’ attention, calm minds and boost mood and positivity.
Technology and Personal Training
Technology has been a saviour during the pandemic; as a personal trainer you had to take your business online to survive.
Personally, I’ve used a mix of technology:
- Zoom for group classes (which is fantastic, as I can share a recording with those who couldn’t make it)
- Online training platforms
- WhatsApp to keep mums in contact with each other
- Trusted apps such as Biamother
It’s impossible for a trainer to include everything in a one hour session with a client, so in addition, I’d refer them to Biamother for pelvic floor workouts and stretches.
As a Biamother coach, I saw an increase in users looking for real time advice and a genuine person to chat to:
“I also want to thank you and the Biamother team for making my pregnancy so enjoyable. I loved reading my daily recommendations on diet, exercise etc. and I especially enjoyed doing the meditations.
Thank you whole heartedly for your support too. Having a real person to connect with on the app made it more real and personal.” – Neerali, new mum and Biamother user.
During a time of uncertainty and anxiety, Biamother gave women the confidence to be independently physically active, via personalised workouts and progressions, as well as many articles covering topics such as bottle and breastfeeding, nutrition and pelvic floor physio advice.
Supporting Premier Global NASM Personal Trainers
Biamother teamed up with Premier Global NASM, a leading fitness provider, helping their pre and postnatal personal trainers boost their potential to earn more and optimise holistic support for their clients. PTs are able to access hundreds of expert-developed workouts to further bolster their clients’ training, as well as collect insights from their clients’ use within the app. This is a powerful tool to help guide clients’ behaviour and drive real results.
Lockdown is easing for what we hope to be the third and final time. Even though it’s been a tough year, and one which has changed many people’s lives dramatically, it’s important to focus on the positives. Thanks to technology, relationships have been maintained, pre and postnatal care has been able to continue and skills have been learned.
About the Author
Eliza Flynn is a pre and postnatal personal trainer at The Warrior Method, Biamother fitness coach and mum to two and feral boys. She is also passionate about helping desk-bound workers improve their physical and mental health and has supported companies and their employees during the pandemic.