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Innovation gets you in shape to cope with current challenges

Many Ipswich personal training businesses are having to come up with fitness plans with a difference to survive restrictions around the COVID-19 situation.

They have gone from big group workouts to very small gatherings, and, after today, to online and webcam in order to continue.

And clients have jumped on board to stay fit during these challenging times.

Fitness trainer Haaije Pijl has been getting Springfield residents in shape for more than a decade.

But his In Shape Outdoors business has had to reinvent itself quickly in the wake of the current health crisis.

Mr Pijl and his usually large group of fitness devotees can be seen most nights and mornings at Grande Park, Grand Ave, going through their exercises.

He has gone from 1 to 150 members in 11 years, offering 20 session a week. That was until the coronavirus struck and the Federal Government issued social distancing and group restriction guidelines.

“We are still operational,” he said.

“We are now live streaming sessions to our members who are at home … how great is technology?

Up until the new two-person groupings, Mr Pijl last week had seven members in the park and seven online for one session, including a member joining in from New Zealand.

“With all gyms and indoor boot camps closed at the moment we are blessed to still be operating. Our live online streaming program is really taking off. I’m very happy to be able to provide our members with great workouts during these difficult times.”

It has been a huge change in operations for his business, yet Mr Pijl has shown how you can adapt and innovate to survive.

“I’m also creating an online membership website where clients have access to different styles of workouts, such as nutrition.

“I am looking after my members as much possible, many have lost their jobs so we are trying to offer affected clients solutions based on their personal circumstances. They have been loyal to me and I’m not letting them down. So yes lots of things happening at the moment with stress levels at 100 per cent, but staying positive.”

Mr Pijl has started an online ‘sugar detox program ‘ that includes access to live steamed training sessions, a 21-day nutrition plan, daily coaching and accountability emails, aimed at getting through this.

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Felicia Payne, Pride & Fitness, Eastern Heights

I had made the decision to put all boot camps on hold and have gone online.

I am using a Facebook community page and we do online workouts. I even had one member who is currently in Germany and she did her first home workout this week.

It means having to be creative and getting people to use items from around their home.

It has certainly been a challenge, but a lot of people are going to lose their jobs and I just want to do what I can to help the community.

Sam Murray, Smile and Move Personal Training, Brassall

My partner and I have been operating a private business from a home studio.

We work with quite a few people with a disability, so we have had to pull the pin on that as it requires physical contact.

We started small boots camps with 3-7 people, but now we will be using webcam for our clients.

Danielle has been doing online courses, helping people use equipment from their home, such as lifting chairs.

Kelleigh Wallace, Ipswich Health and Performance Centre, Raceview

These are very uncertain times and PT is a luxury item for some. But exercising is definitely helpful too.

We have three trainers here and all three have been out of work. We are not getting paid by our clients, so it means no money coming in.

For the moment, we are regrouping and looking at what we do going forward. Everyone is jumping online and that is becoming saturated.

We are looking at doing something completely different, something to interest and motivate our clients and keep everyone fit and healthy.

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