Working in the fitness industry, it is not uncommon for our news feeds on social media to be full of various gym videos. We may see folks videoing themselves hitting a PR, trainers sharing videos of their clients, or posting ideas for workouts their followers can do at home. We may have also seen videos taken sneakily to show someone using equipment wrong or lifting with improper form, bloopers of another gym goer walking in front of the camera, or coming up to talk to someone attempting to film themselves.
Social media has become another extension of ourselves and, for those of us who spend a lot of time training, it’s natural that we will share posts of our time in the gym. Additionally, as trainers, we may want to utilize social media to promote ourselves and our work. But with growing conversation around gym culture and the videos we share online, it is especially important we recognize the fine line between what’s appropriate to post and what is not.
5 Do’s and Don’t’s of Shooting Gym Videos
- DO: Use videos as a tool to educate others
Videos are a great way to teach others about exercise. A lot of what you share with your clients can reach a larger audience when captured on video and posted to your social media channels. Utilize videos when it’s easier or more efficient to explain something verbally rather than in writing, or when it could be helpful to give your followers a visual demonstration of a particular exercise or workout routine.
…but DON’T: Share information that is beyond your expertise
When sharing educational videos, a good rule of thumb is to only share information that you are qualified to discuss. For example, you may leave in-depth nutrition talk to the registered dieticians. In instances where you are speaking about something that may not be your area of expertise, be sure to provide sources. Also, remember the videos you share do not have to be your own! If you come across an informative video from an expert you follow, share their post on your own profile and give credit where it is due.
- DO: Display the work you do with your clients
One of the simplest ways to tell people what you do as a personal trainer is to show them. This is an effective way to attract new clients, especially if they are intimidated about hiring a personal trainer! Videos allow them to see you in action and decide whether your coaching style will be a good fit for them.
…but DON’T: Post your clients without their consent
Before videoing during one of your training sessions with a client, make sure they are okay with being recorded. It’s a good idea to have your clients sign a video consent and release form if you intend to take and to share videos of them. But, even if they have consented, you may still follow up with them to ensure they feel comfortable with you sharing a particular video.
- DO: Inspire others with your hard work
One of the many ways we can attract clients is by sharing videos of our own personal workouts, the progress we make, and the goals we achieve. A quick and simple way to create content and share these moments is to set up a camera and capture yourself hitting a PR or filming a quick core workout that others can do at home.
…but DON’T: Let it affect others
Filming yourself in the gym may seem harmless, and usually, it is! But be considerate of others if you do decide to set up a camera during your workout. Though gyms are public places, other people may not want to be in your videos that end up on social media. And those who may be intimidated to go to the gym for the first time may feel even more uncomfortable showing up if they fear being caught on camera.
Set up so that you are the only one captured on camera or ask others around you if they are okay being filmed. Finally, be efficient and mindful so that you don’t take up too much time; people may be waiting for the space or equipment you are using.
- DO: Have fun with your posts
Not all videos have to be serious and intense. Show others that going to the gym (and hiring you as their trainer) can be fun! Lighthearted, fun videos may attract others to you and can help to showcase your personality and encourage others to view exercise as a positive and enjoyable activity.
…but DON’T: Make fun of others in your posts
While taking the humor route, make sure it is not at the expense of others. There are many videos online of gym goers taking sneaky videos of others using machines incorrectly or performing a unique or unfamiliar exercise. While these posts may get a lot of engagement, they do not promote a positive gym culture. Consider the impact your posts may have before you decide to share.
- DO: Celebrate progress
Just like with images, videos can be used to show the progress you and/or your clients have made. As long as your clients have consented, share a series of videos that showcase their transformation over time. Or, ask your clients to share video testimonials about how they have grown and progressed since working with you. Additionally, let others get to know you by sharing your own personal fitness journey and the progress you’ve made since you started.
…but DON’T: Forget everyone has different goals
To attract a variety of clients, remember to focus on the many ways exercise is beneficial. Many posts online focus on how exercise can transform the way a person looks. You may instead brainstorm the many different goals your current or future clients could have and utilize videos to showcase these transformations instead. Progress doesn’t have to look like pounds lost or heavier weight lifted.
If you work with athletes, you may share videos of them performing well in their sport– like scoring a goal or crossing a finish line. If you work with the everyday client, you may showcase the client who is now able to play outside with his grandchildren or the client who is finally getting better sleep. Think outside of the box when sharing the progress your current clients have made, or the goals you can help your future clients achieve.
This digital world gives us so much more to think about as trainers. It can help us retain our clients and attract new ones, to connect with those within our community, and inspire others to join. As fitness professionals, we have the ability to contribute to creating the gym culture we want to be a part of, and that others will want to be a part of too.