DISCLAIMER: Obviously we reserve all rights to change our course of action if/when we get better info from medical professionals and government officials, so don’t be thinking that we are going bang our heads against a wall if things change.
For the FINNISH version click HERE.
48 hours ago we announced a complete shutdown of our gyms and face-to-face coaching due to COVID-19.
The decision was made right after we heard about the shutdown of Elixia’s location in Tapiola, Espoo.
As the leading high-end coaching and gym service in Finland, we decided that we are not going to go down a path of inaction.
Despite the awful situation for our industry and the society at large, we’ve been able to mobilize our team, the spirits are high and things are looking exciting.
We’ve sometimes likened our team of 28 coaches to a “crazy pirate-ship” that is agile and full of slightly weird but awesome and motivated people. Hopefully reading this helps you understand why.
Lastly, we’re committed to keeping all our clients healthy through this volatile time and this is how we’re going to do it.
So, here’s what has been happening.
A Complete Overhaul Of The Concept
After announcing the shutdown of our services on Thursday at 18:00, we immediately started brainstorming on how to keep our clients healthy and fit in the interim.
We blew the dust off of our old online-training systems and mapped out what is the most valuable remote service we can provide.
As the first coach-client calls explaining the situation were being done, one of our coaches realized to offer outdoor training (more on the medical/safety details below.)
This turned out to be a great idea. As of now about 200 of our existing clients have chosen to work with their coach outdoors, while also continuing their nutrition and habit change coaching.
To make this happen we bought outdoor training equipment and rented a small armada of cars. Now our coaches are “armed to the teeth” to provide the best possible service around the capital region.
Adapt And Overcome
For those interested in the entrepreneurial side of things, we believe that the key to making this happen is that several of the coaches – working as sub-contractors – own equity in the company.
Previously we had had an emergency meeting and promised that the company could give a 2000 € loan to each of the coaches every month to cover their expenses.
However, everyone understood that if the situation lasts for months it might mean the end of the company since a sudden increase of 70 000€/month in fixed costs isn’t easy for any startup to handle.
But, after the events of the past two days, it looks like we’re in a position to actually pay – not lend – the coaches their salaries.
We’re are extremely proud of our whole team of coaches, who pushed way past their comfort zone, picked up the phone and explained the situation to everyone. This couldn’t have been done without a concentrated team effort.
As stated above, our goal is to keep everyone as healthy and fit as possible.
To achieve this we first need to make sure things don’t get worse. This means avoiding any spreading of the virus and not making our clients’ health worse.
Then, we need to make sure to improve our clients’ health and fitness, so they are resilient for the weeks and even months to come.
To hit the first goal we instructed all of our coaches with the following guidelines when it comes to the outdoor sessions:
- No touching your client AT ALL during the sessions.
- Maintain 2+ meter distance AT ALL TIMES to the client.
- Sanitize equipment between different people touching them.
- Keep workouts at a difficulty level of 8/10 or below.
The first three guidelines are based both on the recommendations of medical professionals we’ve consulted and the general guidelines now in place. When in doubt, we’ve erred on the side of caution.
The fourth is a good general guideline for exercising during the flu period to avoid excess stress on the body. Training enthusiasts may google for “RPE and training” for more details on this one.
To hit the second goal of improving our clients’ health we are now pushing harder than ever before to provide the best possible nutritional and lifestyle habit consultation we can.
All of our coaches are trained weekly on the subject matters of training, exercise, and nutrition.
On top of this, we teach motivational interviewing and change psychology. This way all coaches are equipped to troubleshoot the practical and psychological problems that people have when trying to change their lifestyle for the better.
We believe that healthy habits are important, especially during this time when people might need more medical attention than normal.
Outdoors And Online
Our outdoor training is very well structured and designed by our in-house coaches with years of practical and academic experience.
But, this might not be an option for everyone, so we are also in the process of training all of our coaches to deliver a powerful online-coaching service.
Most online-coaching services lack a lot of accountability. We believe this to be a mistake.
In our online-coaching, all clients receive two weekly video calls with their coach and access to daily group video calls. Also, we give all clients a membership to a free Facebook group where our coaches guide you through your training, nutrition, and habit change.
We’re also in the talks to launch a home-delivery meal service very soon. This way our clients can order healthy meals directly to their homes while following the strict hygiene guidelines.
To anyone reading this, keep yourself as healthy and fit as you can during this difficult time.
I’m very grateful to our clients, who have been extremely loyal during this time.
I’m also very proud that our team has shown a culture of entrepreneurship and an adapt-and-overcome attitude beyond my expectations.
No Excuses. Just Results.
-Aaron Selkrig, CEO and founder
P.S. If you want to join the free Facebook group, click HERE.
P.P.S. Please share this post on social media if you found it interesting or useful! Thank you!