I've been hearing how amazing and resilient fitness industry legends from around the world are adapting to this new reality.I recently caught up with Cathy Spencer Browning, VP of Training and Programming at MOSSA, a Group Fitness Programming Company to hear how she's adapted.
What does adaptability mean to you?
To us, adaptability means keeping our core visions, missions, and values in play, but being able to move and pivot in how we achieve them. For example, our tag line is LET'S MOVE. Our company is passionate about getting people moving and keeping them moving. This will always be our DNA. With Covid-19, what was our core business, of achieving this in groups
within a facility, has to change and adapt. We still want to get people moving and keep them moving, but we have to be creative and do it in other ways.
Tell us about your company and how it has adapted?
MOSSA is a company that creates Group Fitness programming for Health Clubs. We have a total of 11 programs that cover the gamut from fitness programs to movement health programs. Our primary business was licensing to Health clubs and instructors. We also have a consumer digital streaming service called MOSSA MOVE, which has not been our core business. We ended up deploying the digital service to help our customers (health clubs) to be able to service their members while they
were closed. We then put all of our efforts into creating education to help our facilities keep their customers engaged and moving during the lockdown. We hosted webinars, created white papers, developed educational resources, spoke to them, and gave them the tools to keep their customers engaged. Because our business is directly connected to their business, we knew we had to do everything we could. Aside from that, as you can imagine, we are now investing a lot more into our
How has your role changed?
My role is essentially the same as we continue to create programming for health clubs and develop programming for our online platform. Our consumer product is rapidly evolving. I am now spending more of my time on that arm of or business. For example, where I used to create education for instructors, I am currently doing that plus creating education for
What are the new skills Group Exercise instructors would need to bring to this environment?
Many instructors are private streaming, live streaming, etc. I am sorry to say (and see) that there are times when I have never seen our industry looking more unprofessional. We should still be maintaining professional standards of dress, communication, environment if we are live streaming. As it is, the quality is already a downgrade from a facility experience.
So we have to do our best to look the part, be the part and be in an environment that is thought-out to deliver an experience. I don't think you should be considering live streaming if you don't have a suitable environment. I could go on! Many of our facilities are doing combined experiences, like teaching live in the club and doing ZOOM to reach at-home members. It's essential that instructors really think about keeping the at-home user feeling engaged with and part of the experience. We have to practice being more to more people in different situations.
What has surprised you about yourself/team etc. during this time?
It isn't surprising, because I believe we are a great team, but I am proud of how well we have worked together. We met every day for two months straight to strategize and figure out the next, best steps. We had each other to really diffuse the intensity of what was going on. We all just jumped in and did whatever we could to save our business. And we weren't just saving it for us – we wanted to keep everyone employed. That was our drive every day!
What is one adaptation you will continue doing?
Our digital presence will be a more significant part of our business now.
From your perspective, how has the fitness industry been impacted?
I am incredibly optimistic. We will get through this phase of physical distancing (I really dislike the term social distancing) and get back to a new normal of elevated hygiene and a changed acceptance of going out in public if you are sick. The changes are useful and necessary. Here in the USA, it used to be considered like a badge of honour to go to work even when you are sick. I am glad for this change. I hope that this is the push our inactive population needs to realize that we are not just exercising for fitness – we are exercising for health, and a big part of health is a healthy immune function. Maybe these things will be the strong-arm society needs to get moving! And I really think that social fitness will become even more critical after these extended periods of isolation.
More information: https://www.mossa.net