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Physical trainer shares the inside scoop on virtual personal training sessions
Image courtesy of pexels (Karolina Grabowska)

Physical trainer shares the inside scoop on virtual personal training sessions

October 13, 2020 at 12:00pm

By Maya Harris Ph.D. '20

“Change is inevitable. It’s the only constant thing in life so get used to it.” Someone told me this as a child and though it confused me then, I definitely understand it now.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about much change for many, if not all of us, in one way or another. Schools and work were moved online, or canceled, gyms, parks and bars were closed, and life as we knew it changed at a moment’s notice.

From a fitness perspective, gyms closing seemed to have posed a drastic issue. While there are truly some things about the gym that can’t be replicated at home for the average person, a good workout can occur almost anywhere as many people soon discovered.

Some discovered home workouts for the first time, while others couldn’t care less about gyms being closed. Some were downright outraged and took to the hot and humid Florida streets to protest by doing push-ups and yelling—which clearly wasn’t a workout outside if you let them tell it.

As a personal trainer at the FIU Wellness and Recreation Center and Doctor of Physical Therapy Student at FIU, the WRC closure forced me to become more creative in my fitness exploits as well.

I began conducting personal training online, which I never thought I’d do and never really had the desire to do. To be quite honest, initially, I wasn’t sure how things would go.

Prior to beginning online personal training, I strongly believed that some things about in-person personal training, such as tactile cueing, having a 3D visual of a client, or manually stretching someone, just couldn’t be replicated. But I soon came to find, just like most things in life, where there’s a will there’s a way.

With a few adjustments, some patience, and critical thinking, my clients and I have figured out how to make our online personal training sessions both enjoyable and effective with and without equipment, while still maintaining a safe environment for each of us.

As the world begins to open back up, but Covid lingers with a vengeance, I’d like to encourage people to be safe, take extra precautions and take this virus seriously. However, don’t let your caution translate into fear. Do not be paralyzed by the virus.

I encourage you to be creative and find new, and maybe even unconventional ways, to accomplish your goals, fitness and otherwise.

If you’re looking for that next step in your fitness journey, and were just about to start personal training or have been thinking about it but haven’t been sure, or haven’t wanted to go to the gyms yet, (as with most other things these days) consider doing so online.

Be safe, be flexible and stay strong!


Maya Harris Ph.D. '20 is a personal trainer at FIU’s Wellness and Recreation Center with a bachelor's in applied physiology and kinesiology. She has been a trainer for over four years. Harris graduated from FIU’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program this summer and is excited to begin her career and continue to impact lives each day.