Rainy Days. Snow. Wind. Excessive Heat.
One of the biggest questions a fitness professional has about starting an outdoor fitness business is the following: What do I do when the weather is bad?
This is a good question, and a reasonable question. And, the variety of solutions you have waiting for you may be surprising.
We have worked with trainers in Canada who do boot camp in the snow. One instructor has her clients use snowshoes, and the continue with class. There is a guy in Manitoba, Canada who uses a barn if the snow gets too deep. We are not suggesting you do this. We are just letting you know that people interpret “bad weather” differently. For the purposes of this article, we will just say that “bad weather” is any weather which doesn’t allow you to operate your outdoor fitness business as you prefer.
Here are your options when the weather is not in your favor:
You can simply take the day off from work. Why? Compared to working at a health club as an employee, or operating a small box gym, your outdoor training business will still be far more profitable than those options. Taking a day off will be relaxing and, compared to the other options, you’re still not out any money. Make sense?
You can just deal with it. Yep. Just show up and make it work. Of course, you always need to factor in safety. There are many safety considerations with outdoor fitness, but in some cases, extreme weather makes it unsafe and not fun. Sometimes a little rain feels great.
You can coach online these days. Yes, we know you have an outdoor fitness business, but if the weather is really bad, just deliver a class online for an hour. Sometime solutions are the simple. Of course, the workout may be significantly different than your planned outdoor workout. Regardless, keep your clients engaged, and you keep the money coming in. And, the variety will do your brain some good and eliminate any potential boredom from doing the same workouts over and over. Be sure to check out the online coaching and training systems we have created for you that are easily implemented with any business model.
You can train your client(s) in your home for the day. Even if you don’t yet have a home gym set up, you can still make it work. Obviously, this won’t work if you train a large group outdoors. But it’s perfect for 1 or 2 clients together. How many bodyweight exercises do you know? 40? How many dumbbell exercises do you know? 100? How many yoga postures do you know? 10-20? How many warm-up and cool down movements do you know? 50? You don’t need much to have an effective workout for a wide range of clients. You have options. If your client has a gym at their home, you have even more options. Remember, this is just to get you through the bad weather. Keep them engaged. Keep the client/coach relationship strong.
You can train earlier in the day when it gets too hot. There can be huge swings in temperature between 5AM and 9AM. Just moving your sessions a couple hours earlier can decrease the temperature by more than 15 degrees.
You can offer seasonal programs. Maybe you already have a successful home-based gym business and work with some clients online. You may decide to just offer outdoor classes during the months of the year with optimal weather. Done correctly, you can make an additional $10,000 – $30,000 each year with just a couple months of work. So, think about it. Which 2-4 months are best for outdoor programs (or some type of camp) in your area?
You can have a “stand-by facility” that is available in case of bad weather. Sometimes people who are affiliated with a church, or other place of worship, have arranged to use some portion of the facility during extreme weather days. Others use a friend’s martial arts school (in the AM before it opens for class). Still others use a school that teaches kid’s tumbling, cheer or gymnastics. Make arrangements in advance and always be respectful of other people’s facility/property.
You can use a shelter at the park or outdoor exercise location. Many parks, harbor areas, schools, churches and recreation areas have some type of shade, shelter or covered area that can be used to protect you from rain, wind, heat or snow. In many cases, these areas have picnic tables. Here are just a few exercises you can do on a picnic table: push-ups, dips, step-ups, leg lifts, many stretches, plyo jumps, lunge variations.
As you can see, you have many options when it comes to outdoor fitness training. In most cases, you can train every day with success, without interruption and without unforeseen challenges. You just need to know how you will handle certain situations. In short, you can train clients outdoors in most areas 80-90% of the year without many challenges. If bad weather occurs, use one of the above-mentioned options and carry on with business.
If you need additional training and certifications before you begin, start here.