HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 8 January 2021 - From young, the fact that exercise benefits us physically, emotionally, and mentally has been constantly reinforced. Even though we might not necessarily live-in accordance to this truth, this belief is inherently embedded in us. However, due to the rocketing prices of personal training, tailored fitness regimes, hectic work schedules, most of us struggle to find time for exercise.
COVID-19 brought about many unprecedented challenges and norms, among which was the rise of home workouts. On-site gyms have been shut for months, making physical exercise in fitness centres with others impossible. Thus, more of us tuned in to fitness YouTubers and home workout videos to cope with the current situation.
Founded in 2010, Elite Personal Training ("EPT") is a Holistic Personal Training Studio that caters for the whole family. Unlike traditional fitness companies that may leave one more fatigued after a session, EPT aims to alleviate one's aches and pains, leave them feeling energized after a workout. In the light of the recent COVID-19 situation, EPT is at the forefront of the market for tailored online training.
"We must all pivot, but it is difficult for small and big fitness business to accept that this the new way to train is online. Yet, we remain committed to catering to your needs even during a pandemic. At EPT, we pride ourselves on being innovative and adaptable to keep up with the changing landscape."
Elite Personal Training's Managing Director, Nathan Solia, has been a CHEK (Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology) Practitioner since 1999. As a firm believer in a balanced life through nutrition, lifestyle, and movement, he practices what he preaches. He is an active person himself and is a keen sport player who runs, hikes, lifts weights, plays touch rugby, tennis and meditates daily.
With the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus, on-site gyms have been asked to shut for over 19 weeks, resulting in EPT having adopted 1-to-1 home visits and outdoor training in order to adhere to governmental regulations. However, the mandatory wearing of masks not only makes it extremely difficult for communication between instructor and client, but also increases physical exhaustion due to laborious breathing.
Given that COVID-19 has significantly impacted the business industry, EPT, like other fitness studios, have turned to online platforms to cope with the changing norms. Following the closure of on-site gyms, there has been an increase in demand for online classes. EPT hopes to cater to a variety of age groups and individual preferences through offering training sessions on different platforms including LIVE 1-on-1 sessions, group classes and targeted training workouts through digital apps.
As a holistic personal training studio with the aim to build a solid foundation in one's health and fitness, EPT also emphasises the importance of overall health and wellbeing. Naturally, to complement physical training classes, EPT has also sought to provide online nutrition and lifestyle, as well as mental coaching for all ages through virtual means as well. Though the present situation is far from ideal, EPT is among the few that has pivoted to accommodate the increasing demand of healthier lifestyles. At EPT, technology is honed to facilitate the accessibility of fitness to all in Hong Kong through virtual means.
"Technology may feel different to in-person classes, but it does bring many advantages. We are better able to use statistics to find out which classes are more popular, cater to different needs simultaneously and allow for people to join us through recorded sessions which may accommodate their schedules better."
Additionally, EPT has taken the mandatory quarantine situation stipulated by the government into account. During the 2 weeks of mandated quarantine at dedicated government appointed facilities, EPT offers a 14-day package with a complimentary rental of TRX set to cater to the needs of residents in temporary Hong Kong quarantine facilities, which will be picked up on the last day of quarantine. With the virulency of COVID-19, EPT has taken precautionary measures to ensure the sterilization and sanitisation of each TRX set for each rental, reducing the possibility of transmission. Such methods will enable those in quarantine to join zoom classes to continue their fitness journey whilst in quarantine and continue training with EPT to be in the best of shape.
Ultimately, EPT hopes to revert back to on-site training and coaching when the spread of COVID-19 pandemic subsides. However, it is clear that businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic, and the slow disbursement of COVID-19 relief funds make the upkeep of businesses even more difficult in these trying times. Some businesses have yet to receive subsidies following the second lockdown in July. This exacerbates the loss in revenues generated by fitness centres, which have seen a 30-60% reduction even with online training. With the third lockdown and the new restrictions introduced by the Hong Kong government with regards to the closure of gyms, EPT encourages the public to participate in online training so as to effectively build up ones physical and mental health amidst these trying times.
"Due to increased social distancing and self-isolation measures, individuals' health and mental wellbeing will inevitably be impacted. It is crucial to build immunity and prevent one's wellbeing from deteriorating so as to continue a sense of normalcy, and to fight against COVID-19. EPT hopes to support you in the ways we can, and join you in this journey."