Friday, 17 July 2020

Covid-19 Updates - Plan of Action


I hope you are all keeping well and you are slowly finding some aspects of your life are returning to normal.

When we closed classes there were murmurs of lockdown lasting two, maybe three months, but we're now heading into the FIFTH block of four week virtual memberships (starts Monday 20th July). My lovely members have adapted really well and are enjoying the virtual classes, but we're all chomping at the bit to return to in person classes.



Whilst the government announced that gyms are allowed to reopen on the 25th July, unfortunately the easing of restrictions doesn't simply translate to community halls such as schools and churches. There's a lot of guidelines to adhere to which currently are not possible in smaller venues (ventilation, one way systems, maximum capacity). Further to this, both of my schools have confirmed that a return to classes will not be possible until September, provided the Covid-19 situation does not worsen and restrictions have eased to allow us all a safe return (the schools priority is quite rightly the children).

Considering the above information, along with recent government advice I will be working with a date of return to classes for the week commencing 21st September 2020. This is by no means set in stone but it does give us all a date to work towards. I have outlined a return to classes policy, which I would encourage you to read regularly as it will be updated as the situation changes. Once we return, all members will be required to adhere to the Covid-19 policy. All payments/bookings will resume from the first confirmed date we are allowed back.

The good news for those of you who are currently virtual members, is that this means we will have another four week block running between 17th August and 13th September 2020.

For those of you who have not yet joined us online, I really would encourage you to give it a go. I now have a combination of pre-recorded and live classes, as well as some catch up classes for HIIT and Boxercise HIIT which are available for 7 days after the live class for you to complete whenever your schedule allows. Please discuss giving the classes a go with me as I'd really love you to use the next eight weeks as a way of phasing yourself back into classes. You can read more about the virtual membership here.

If you have not yet completed the RETURN TO FITNESS SURVEY please do so as soon as possible as it really helps me to plan our return based on what the majority of members want.

I have found the transition from teaching in person to online a challenge but enjoyable at the same time. I've had regular emotional breakdowns about the uncertainty of what the future holds for Fitness Quest and my fellow community fitness instructors. I've missed the interactivity and naughty corners a real class offers up each and every week. I have also worked hard to adapt what I can offer based on member feedback, at times not knowing if it would work. I therefore believe wholeheartedly that by working together, we CAN get back to achieving amazing community fitness classes.

I'm beyond grateful for all of the support you've all shown me so far, but the journey to recovery is far from over. I appreciate your patience over the next couple of months, as plans are bound to change. Even once we make it back we can't guarantee that there won't be any further local lockdowns. Therefore I would ask that you all remain open minded to giving online options a go in case of a "plan B" scenario. Fingers crossed it's smooth sailing once we're back!

If anyone would like to discuss anything, from barriers to joining us online, worries about returning to in person classes or just to touch base please send me an email. I'll get back to you as soon as I can, I may be a little slow to reply as I've taken on some hours with the uni to help pay some bills!

Thanks again and I can't wait to see you all really soon!

Vicki

Monday, 6 July 2020

Fitness Quest Membership - Four weeks begin 20th July

When?

The next four week Fitness Quest Membership starts on Monday 20th July and ends on Sunday 16th August.

How much?

It's £25 for the four weeks, no commitment to sign up again after it ends.

What is it?

I've been adapting the membership slightly since we began lockdown, taking member feedback into consideration. Along with a support network, and priority access to in person classes (when they are allowed to return), the membership provides the following:
  • Unlimited access to the live class timetable, brought to you via Zoom (see timetable below).
  • Catch up with HIIT and Boxercise HIIT for up to 7 days after the live class, at a time convenient to you.
  • On demand access to a 40-45 minute PiYo session, one routine added to the library per week starting 6th July, these sessions can be accessed as often as you want, to do whenever you can.
  • On demand access to short stretch routines. As with PiYo, these are added to a library, you can choose which session to do, whenever you wish. These are simple yet effective stretches which focus on the most common stiff areas such as hips, lower back and shoulders.
  • Workout of the week (WOW). This is a weekly workout for those who fancy an extra challenge and something to do in their own time. You can adapt and modify the workout depending on your fitness level and available equipment.
  • Access to a private Facebook group where other tips and challenges are provided, also forming the main platform for our support network.
  • Potential for small in person fitness groups on private, outside land only (such as gardens). Social distancing must be maintained and the member who wishes to host the session must arrange with the other members and agree a suitable time with myself. If social distancing rules are broken, these sessions will no longer be offered.
  • A 20% discount on any further virtual Fitness Quest services such as exercise programming.


If you would like to book a place for the block starting on 20th July, please email info@fitnessquest.co.uk

Thanks again for all of your continued support, it's very much appreciated during these tough times!

Vicki

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Keeping in touch - Lockdown updates


Hi everyone, unfortunately I don't have much to update you on, apart from a couple of minor changes and to remind you of some really important topics which you may or may not already be aware of.

Returning to Fitness

I hope you're all managing ok and that you are slowly able to make that transition into the new normal. There are a few industries still waiting on clearance from the government to reopen, sadly Fitness Quest falls into that bracket. I've had a few members ask about running outdoor classes as they've seen others being held... Government guidance only allows for a maximum of six people, including the instructor to take part in fitness classes, even outside whilst adhering to social distancing. BCP council also requires trainers to have a license to operate classes on their land, most instructors don't have this. Without this license or if classes are being held in groups larger than 6, the instructors insurance is not valid. Finally, we all know how temperamental the British weather is, unless I'm able to run classes in all weather, it's not viable for me to replace the virtual classes at this stage. This is one of the reasons I asked members to complete a return to fitness survey, as it really helps me to plan how I can cater for as many people as possible. If you haven't yet filled this in I would really appreciate you doing so.

I have also outlined some Return to Fitness Policies of which I would be grateful for you to read, I don't know how much these will change before we return but these would be valid and put into place should we be allowed back tomorrow. The policies include government guidelines, Fitness Quest rules and consideration for venue providers (although I'm still waiting to receive their full T&C's).

Personal Training

1-2-1 and 1-2-2 personal training in person has now restarted. This can be on private outdoor land (such as a garden) with up to two clients from the same or different households, or inside a private residence with up to two clients from the same household. Full conditions are outlined in the Return to Fitness Policies. Virtual personal training is still offered and will now be a permanent Fitness Quest service.

Virtual Memberships

I was really hoping that our fourth online block would be the final one before we were allowed to start back with some in person classes, however, with no relaxation on gatherings (maximum of 6 from different households) and no communication from my venue hire providers, I'm going ahead with offering a fifth block of virtual membership, commencing on Monday 20th July and ending on Sunday 16th August. It may be that within that block some face to face classes are offered, but this depends on various factors all falling in our favour.

You can read about everything that's included in the Fitness Quest Virtual Membership here. As a quick recap though, this is what's on offer:

  • Six live classes each week (Kettlercise, HIIT, Stretch and Strength, Sculpt and Burn, Boxercise HIIT and Flexi Friday)
  • Catch up if you miss HIIT, Boxercise HIIT or Flexi Friday classes. These are available for you to do anytime you want, for up to 7 days after the live class
  • On demand stretch routines - I've recorded lots of routines for you to do and repeat whenever you need them, there is no time limit on these
  • Access to two brilliant formats on demand called SH1FT (HIIT based) and L1FT (weights based) for you to complete whenever you want
  • Workout of the Week - A tough exercise challenge for you to do in your own time
  • Technique challenges
  • Support network
Thank You

I know I keep saying it, but I really do appreciate all the support I've received over the past few months and going forward.Whilst the virtual memberships have helped to keep the business costs covered, I've now reached the point where I need to accept work elsewhere. Most of you know I also work for the University, now they are phasing a return to the office I have accepted some shifts just to help with my personal finances. Please be patient with me if I take a little longer than usual to reply to any messages. Please also be assured that running Fitness Quest is my priority and I will maintain high standards of service.

Finally, I'd like to say that we're still on this strange journey together. Some of you have already returned to the office, some of you have been key workers throughout, others are still shielding whilst some have apprehensively sent their kids back to school. Whatever your situation at present, it's completely normal to be lacking motivation. Some of you have been absent from classes and I just wanted to reach out, often we just need a gentle kick up the bum to get things moving, but sometimes the reasons run deeper. Please remember that I'm here to help, if you are struggling financially or need more than a kick up the bum please reach out to me and I'll do my best to help.

Stay safe.

Vicki

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Fitness Quest Covid-19 return to business policy


With the return to Personal Training as of 16th June 2020 and return to in person classes growing ever closer, this post will document the action Fitness Quest has made to ensure government guidelines are adhered to, by both staff and customers. The initial date of this post is 16th June 2020 and will be edited and updated in line with the easing of government restrictions and the policies of venue hire providers. Please note that the following information policies are that of government advice, venue hire providers and Fitness Quest. Further additions may be included based on customer feedback.

Personal Training

As of 16th June, personal trainers are permitted to train up to five people from different households at the same time. These sessions must be outdoors and 2m social distancing adhered to by all parties. Government guidelines can be found here. Fitness Quest will only be offering sessions from private outside land (such as a garden), as the risks are deemed to be lower. Fitness Quest will also only be offering personal training sessions for a maximum of two people at this time. As of 4th July 2020 indoor personal training is permitted in private households only, clients from the same household may participate in the sessions. All social distancing guidelines are to be adhered to during indoor sessions. Outdoor sessions should still be the preferred option where possible, however indoor sessions or online sessions can be arranged if the weather is wet.

It is advised that minimum equipment should be used and cleaned between uses. To minimise risk further, Fitness Quest will not currently be using equipment unless it belongs to the client. It is still advised the equipment used is cleaned thoroughly after each use. Basic hygiene measures should be adhered to by all parties, including washing of hands before and after each session and avoid touching the face whilst exercising. Face masks are NOT mandatory. First Aid protocols are outlined here.

It is the responsibility of each client to inform Fitness Quest if they have suffered from any of the Covid-19 symptoms within the past 14 days, have tested positive, or have been in contact with anyone who has displayed symptoms or tested positive. Sessions cannot go ahead if any party is showing symptoms or lives with a person who is shielding or is deemed vulnerable. Fitness Quest reserves the right to end a session if any Covid-19 concerns arise.

Fitness Classes

As of 16th June, personal trainers are permitted to train up to five people from different households at the same time. It is not currently viable for Fitness Quest to offer these sessions, however as soon as the maximum number increases to accommodate previous class members Fitness Quest will look for a suitable venue. Please note that current venue hire providers may have their own policies in place regarding lettings and therefore we may need to find a suitable alternative location. Should this be outside, only private land will be considered (not local parks).

Upon return class members will be required to maintain 2m distance from other members, at all times. It is expected that classes will resume outdoors before they are permitted to take place indoors, although this is subject to change as per government announcements. Washing of hands before and after class will be compulsory or hand sanitiser will be available should hand washing facilities be closed/not available. All members should avoid touching their faces during the class. Face masks will NOT be mandatory. No equipment will be used until it is deemed safe to do so, therefore some classes such as Kettlercise will require you to bring your own kettlebell. Any participant equipment should still be cleaned thoroughly after each class.

No member will be permitted to enter class if they have suffered from any of the Covid-19 symptoms within the past 14 days, have tested positive, or have been in contact with anyone who has displayed symptoms or tested positive. Sessions cannot go ahead if any party is showing symptoms or lives with a person who is shielding or is deemed vulnerable.

Each member is expected to take responsibility for their participation in each session, this includes avoiding touching as many surfaces as possible.

Maximum class capacity will be either the gathering size recommended by the government or one person per 3m2, whichever is smaller (including the instructor). First Aid protocols are outlined here.

A minimum of 10 minutes between each class should be maintained. If you arrive at your class early, please wait in your car or away from the entrance until the class start time to ensure social distancing can be achieved.

No cash payment will be accepted until further notice. All classes should be pre-booked and paid for in advance. Failure to book may result in you being turned away. Members should not gather before or after classes. Please do not bring sweat towels into the class until further notice.

Fitness Quest reserves the right to end a session, or remove participants if any Covid-19 concerns arise.

Outdoor classes may be weather dependant once they can restart, as sessions cannot be rescheduled at short notice, it is currently proposed that the session is completed online instead. This is currently under consideration as not all members can attend online, however without a plan B in place it may be an inevitably long wait until we can return to pre-covid class formats.

All members who were enrolled onto a course before lockdown have automatically had their sessions frozen. These sessions will resume as soon as the above policies can be put into place. Some classes such as Boxercise will need to be adapted unless the government permits close contact activities, all sessions will be programmed to reflect the objectives of each class format as closely as possible.

Due to limited class numbers, members who have had their classes carried forward and were already paid in full at the start of lockdown will be offered first refusal, followed by those members who attended virtual classes throughout the lockdown period. Should any availability remain, class spaces will be offered on a first come, first served basis.

Thank you for your support and patience.

UPDATED 2ND JULY 2020

Monday, 15 June 2020

Virtual Fitness Classes - Covid-19 update



I can't quite believe we're now heading into the second half of 2020! Whilst for me I've found the weeks have been passing really quickly, I'm really missing being at classes and can't wait to be back teaching you all face to face.

In terms of when that'll be... We're still waiting to hear, however, with shops reopening today and hairdressers and gyms set to open next month I am hopeful we are getting closer to a return. I really appreciate your patience and support, especially those of you who have already paid for the next block of classes (whenever that may be). I don't want to hound people by emailing you all individually but I would love to hear from those of you who didn't join us online, just to see how you are doing.

Speaking of online, the next online block begins on the 22nd June - I know some of you felt online training wouldn't work for you, but I really do urge you (especially now we're getting closer to a return) to give it a go. Most of the members, and myself were all skeptical to begin with. We all thought it wouldn't work or wouldn't be as effective, but it's been amazing and even those self confessed technophobes have said they've found joining the classes nice and simple. You can now join any of the classes on a pay as you go basis or you can join us for the next four week block for just £25.


The virtual membership not only includes unlimited access to the class timetable, but it also offers on demand access to two class formats (SH1FT & L1FT), catch up with HIIT and Boxercise HIIT for up to 7 days after the live class, weekly short stretch routines, weekly workout challenges and technique challenges.



Return to classes

In terms of how I plan to return to face to face classes, I'm trying to work on this and would appreciate your feedback. Currently the government allows for fitness classes to be held outside for up to 5 people (6 including me), maintaining 2m distance. Presently, I cannot run classes for 5 people, and once the numbers I'm allowed increases I also need to consider where, and what happens if it rains! Some classes cannot be taught in the rain for safety reasons, so as a back up I would suggest a virtual class - However, I need to know everyone is happy with outside as plan A and virtual as plan B, which I know may not be the case (this is where it becomes very difficult for me to plan and keep everyone happy and fit). I've also taught outside in public places in the past, and this is not something I'm happy to do again (too many problems), therefore I'm hoping the schools will soon allow the use of their playgrounds/fields. Currently, neither of the schools I hire are allowing community bookings.

It is very likely that I will be sending out a questionnaire within the next couple of weeks, with the view of finding out how the majority of members intend to return in line with the government easing restrictions. Please understand that I'm trying my best to get back to "normal" but the business I grew and have loved since 2005 will be healing for many months to come.

With that in mind, I would like to open up the ability to purchase class credits, I won't be putting an expiry on these, but it would help me massively over the coming months if anyone not already booked onto an upcoming course would like to buy what is essentially a voucher, which you could exchange for a course once the dates are released (the next course of sculpt and burn is fully booked). As an example, earlybird six week courses are £30 and earlybird eight week courses are £40. Those of you who have already booked onto a course or were mid course when we had to close - Your classes will continue as soon as it is safe and viable to do so.


Personal Training

I can now take bookings for 1-2-1 or 1-2-2 personal training as long as you have private access to outside space (such as a garden), which can be accessed without me entering your house. Other Covid-19 regulations apply such as maintaining 2m distance, for full details of this please get in touch.

Thank you for reading, I post more frequently on Facebook, so please give the page a like for the most up to date announcements.
  
Please get in touch if we haven't spoken in a while. Once again, thank you all for keeping Fitness Quest alive during this difficult time.

Vicki



Saturday, 16 May 2020

Virtual Fitness Classes - June Memberships


Wow! We're heading into the 3rd four week block of virtual fitness classes and it seems they'll be the home of group fitness for the foreseeable future. However, I'm loving teaching online (although I miss seeing everyone in person), and I've had endless messages from members saying how the classes have helped them; from actually losing weight and getting fitter to the importance of the routines keeping them sane during lockdown.

There's so much to update you on and I could write another essay, but I'll try to keep it to the point...


1. The Fitness Quest Virtual Studio includes unlimited access to all of the live classes (Kettlercise is only available if you've done Kettlercise with me before, although a 1:2:1 Zoom session can be scheduled).

2. You have on demand access to the amazing SH1FT (HIIT based) and L1FT (weights based) formats, you can do these whenever you want and they are only 30 minutes long but you'll certainly feel them.

3. I'm also adding to a stretch routine library on a weekly basis, which you can access whenever you need it.

4. If you miss the live classes, you will have access to HIIT and Boxercise HIIT for 7 days after the live class. Perfect to catch up, repeat or just try it out.

5. I'll be adding technique challenges, the focus is on improving your form and showing you where you should be feeling each exercise and how to spot common bad habits.

6.  There will also be a workout of the week (WOW) it'll be different each week and the idea is you submit your score (or just comment "done" if you don't fancy sharing). The idea is to create some accountability and bring some friendly competition.

7. If you need it, you'll get 20% off any other virtual extras (online PT or bespoke programming).

8. You'll be added to a private Facebook group (optional), which acts as your membership hub where you can easily find everything above but also chat with other members, which provides a much needed community at the moment.


The next four block begins on 25th May, it's £25 to join. You'll also be locked in at this price for as long as you'd like to be a member and as long as we need our virtual studio!

Finally, there's two final things you need to be aware of... 1. There's a competition on FB - Enter to win four weeks free (can be June or July if you've already paid for June) 2. If you sign up a friend you get June HALF PRICE!

But be quick - I only have 5 new membership places opening up for this block.

To book, please email info@fitnessquest.co.uk 




Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Join the Fitness Quest Community Virtually!


The Timetable

Monday's:

6:30pm-7pm - Kettlercise - A series of full body kettlebell exercises (requires previous attendance due to safety reasons and a kettlebell).

7:30pm-8pm - HIIT - Body weight exercises done to a near maximal effort to really build up a sweat, build fitness and burn calories (suitable for all levels, minimal space and no equipment).

Wednesday's:

6:30pm-7pm - Stretch & Strength - A great class to ease out some tight spots and focus on the strength of some vital muscle groups (suitable for all levels, minimal space, grab a yoga mat/cushions/towel etc).

7:30pm-8pm - Sculpt & Burn - A full body challenge suitable for all fitness levels, although no equipment is required there will be opportunities to utilise any equipment you do have access to.

Thursday's:

7pm-7:30pm - Boxercise HIIT - A fun class which incorporates punching and kicking moves into a HIIT format (suitable for all levels, no equipment required).

On Demand:

As part of membership you also gain on demand access to L1FT (weights based) and SH1FT (HIIT based) fitness formats, which you can do at any time on any day!

Why should you join?

I've now been running my classes virtually for over four weeks and everyone is loving keeping their fitness routine going. Now more than ever, staying fit is so important, not just for physical health but mental health. The Fitness Quest members love seeing each other (I give you the option to stay and chat at the end) and being in a virtual class allows me to keep an eye on you during your workouts too and provide verbal feedback to improve your workout experience (much like in a face to face class). I also take into consideration member requests for exercises and stretches when planning the classes, making them feel more bespoke for you all.

I'm only taking on a maximum of 10 more members for the May intake to ensure I don't overcrowd my screen and continue to offer quality coaching based on what I can see you all doing.

Before teaching virtually, I had taught fitness classes since 2008 and have been a Personal Trainer since 2005. I'm also a qualified level 4 strength and conditioning coach, and hold certifications in many fitness programmes. I'm fully insured to teach online, registered with REP's and first aid trained. I'm finishing my 3 year BSc Nutrition (Hons) degree at Bournemouth University, and am currently studying to become a qualified Pilates instructor. You're continued support over the forthcoming weeks and months helps to keep my little business running by enabling me to pay for the costs which continue even when I can't teach in person and invest back into Fitness Quest and my own knowledge to improve the help and expertise I can offer to my lovely members.

How can you join?

If you would like to join, or have any questions about joining you can email me. Let me know if you would like to try a class before committing and I can forward you a link.

Once you have joined, you will gain access to a Facebook group with the meeting access details, the Facebook group will also act as a back up if Zoom fails us (hasn't happened yet). If you don't have Facebook I can email you the meeting information to keep safe, but please subscribe to this website in case of any emergency announcements.

The sessions are held via Zoom, you will need access to internet and a device with a camera (smartphone/laptop etc). I am more than happy to talk you through how to use Zoom, although it's very simple and once you've done one class you don't even have to think about what you're doing.

You will be required to join the Zoom session on time for each class - If you are late, I won't be able to admit you to class as missing the warm up means your body isn't ready for the main workout.

**All new members will be required to complete a screening and waiver form before joining their first class**


You can read more about my reasons for taking Fitness Quest Classes Online here. I really hope you are able to join us for the next four week block starting on Monday 27th April 2020.

Stay safe, stay fit, stay healthy.