Thinking Outside the Gym
Fitness experts make their workouts more pandemic-accessible via virtual and outdoor classes
Another day… another run… down the same streets, past the same houses, with neighborhood views you’ve completely memorized.
If your workouts are feeling all-too-predictable these COVID days, a new class guided by a skilled instructor could add more variety and challenges to an otherwise monotonous routine. Lucky for you, local fitness coaches are increasingly connecting with exercise enthusiasts through virtual training sessions, on-demand videos, and park meet-ups. With safety at the forefront and small studio spaces being shunned, they’ve initiated innovative ways to keep you – and their small businesses – moving forward.
When the quarantine forced Tribe OKC gym to close abruptly, Owner Tiffany Whisman amped up her already popular online program, Wildfire. She added a new series of bodyweight workouts for people who don’t have equipment at home, incorporating everyday household items like a coffee table, pantry goods, books and gallon water jugs to stand in for gym equipment.
“We offer classes designed to teach you how to lift weights safely, properly and effectively with results-focused programming,” Whisman says.
The bodyweight series includes strength movement, hypertrophy and cardio workouts. Additional online classes – three years’ worth of Tribe OKC content – cover strength training, body building, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and explosive movement. Tribe OKC is offering the first month free. Then the program costs $39 a month.
Each workout begins with a “coach chat” and positive thoughts for the day. Whisman is quick to recognize the opportunities to learn and grow, especially during this pandemic. “Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures – but even better than that – unprecedented revelations about who and what we are deep down at our soul’s core,” she says.
This Land Yoga
Yoga develops strength, balance and an inner sense of calm – coveted attributes during times of uncertainty. “We can take refuge in the simplicity of breath and movement, the moment that’s right in front of us,” says Shannon Stephens, owner of This Land Yoga.
Stephens launched a Vimeo channel at the beginning of the pandemic to stay connected to the This Land Yoga community. The channel has grown both in popularity and content, with new videos uploaded almost daily. Today, it showcases a variety of yoga disciplines, kids’ classes and three workshop-style programs: Creating Calm in the Midst of Change, Relieve Low Back Pain, and Vinyasa Foundations (to perfect your Chaturanga). For $18 a month – and the first month half off with the code “PRACTICE” – online subscribers get unlimited access to all sessions, ranging from just a few minutes to 75 minutes long.
Stephens believes even a few minutes of practice every day can have a lasting impact.
“There’s no doubt that the way we care for ourselves informs the way we view and interact with the world,” she says. “Stress, pain, grief, and hardship are inevitable, but when we take time to connect to our bodies in a healthy way, we become more resilient, kinder, and compassionate. The ripple effect is immeasurable.”
This Land Yoga also offers yoga classes in-studio with mandatory masks and social distancing. Visit the website for a schedule.
With EVOLVE, it’s hard to find an excuse not to work out. “Money, feeling alone, being intimidated in a group class setting – my main goal is break down those barriers to get people moving,” says Owner Jamie Crone.
To prove this goal, Crone leads free community classes at Stars and Stripes Park every Saturday, weather permitting. Parents are encouraged to bring their kids and make exercising a family affair. The weekly workout is an interval-type class – adaptable to any age and fitness level – with Pilates techniques mixed into the workout.
Another approachable option: EVOLVE On Demand, a “one-stop virtual training shop.” For $47 a month, you can access all of the Pilates and strength training classes recorded in the Evolve studio. The latest series, Back to Basics, is a six-to-eight-week program that focuses on mastering foundational moves, like squats and push-ups. Additionally, Crone preforms every physical challenge, right along with you, while cheering you on.
“These are fully guided workouts,” she says. “I am moving and sweating with you throughout the entire work out. It helps when you feel like you have a workout buddy.”
Jill Jordan Fitness
This one’s for the ladies. Jill Wallace, owner of Jill Jordan Fitness, specializes in personal and small group training for women. The goals, location and (if you want to invite friends) small group are all determined by each client’s unique wants and needs. A FaceTime workout session is nothing new for Wallace – she has a roster of clients who travel, live out-of-state and have children at home.
“I was so thankful to have virtual training in place during the quarantine,” Wallace says. “It was a simple transition for many of us – and a way to keep my clients accountable, healthy and fit from their living rooms.”
Monthly costs vary, and packages can be customized to fit all budgets and workout goals. For personal training, a one-hour private session is $75 and 30 minutes is $40. Group sessions are $35 per person per hour, available five days a week, with each day drilling a different target area. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the small groups work the upper body. Wednesdays and Thursdays focus on lower body, and Fridays cover a total body workout.
“I believe in functional training and target training to get the best and fastest results,” Wallace says. “I also add HIIT in for weight loss and cardio on some of the lower body and total body days. I do a wide variety of workouts to keep the body from plateauing – and to keep it fun and challenging.”