American Council on Exercise

T he fitness industry was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, the industry in large part relies on face-to- face interactions and groups of people sweating and breathing heavily in indoor settings, which is why fitness facilities were among the first businesses to close their doors in early 2020. The ability to quickly pivot one’s business model was suddenly essential for survival, not only for the large gym chains and small business owners, but also for the countless independent contractors – health coaches, personal trainers and group fitness instructors – who had to find new, innovative ways to reach and serve their clientele. As the gravity of what was happening started to set in, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) became proactive in helping its more than 90,000 certified health and exercise professionals continue to empower their clients to make behavioral changes to improve their overall health and wellness – at a time when the importance of that objective could not be clearer. Serving Clients in Innovative Ways Exercising outdoors or in the comfort of home are hardly new trends in the fitness industry. Instructors have been long leading outdoor boot- camp classes and yoga sessions, for example, for decades and remote or virtual training and group exercise go back to the days of Jane Fonda, VHS tapes, and late-night infomercials. Technology and customer expectations have changed a lot of over the years, of course, but customer service and the delivery of a safe, effective and fun exercise experience remain the primary tenets of the fitness industry. Throughout the pandemic and continuing through today, ACE has provided resources to its certified professionals via a dedicated webpage that features everything from information on how to access governmental programs like the American Counci Reaching Clients in New and Innovative Ways