WHILE many businesses (small and large) are being forced to permanently shut their doors due to the global coronavirus pandemic, national bodybuilder Dexter Simon has capitalised on the downtime and utilised technology to grow his client list throughout the region.
Over the past two months of the stay-at-home restrictions, the local professional bodybuilder has been using social media to host live, daily workout and dietary classes to hundreds of his regular and new gym members.
Simon’s classes have since increased in membership as all public gyms remain closed to prevent the spread of covid19. In September 2018, the 51-year-old launched his official website – dextersimon.com – and employed this medium to stay connected and updated with his client’s requests.
The owner of Asylum Training Centre in Diego Martin believes this website and his witty use of social media platforms gave him a great advantage to source new clients searching for certified online trainers to guide them through sessions while practising stay-at-home measures.
“The downtime is going extremely well for me. It was a smooth transition for me already having that online platform/offering. By use of Instagram, it was a seamless switch over to online training. Persons simply visited the site, made their payments via bank transfers and I would monitor their workouts,” he said.
Upon payment, Simon formulates a week of resistance training activities, cardio and core workouts partnered with strength training for members. They can choose from several different types of routines and must account on what was completed after every session, making them also accountable for their progress.
“The feedback has been excellent,” added Simon. “I haven’t missed a beat since the lockdown. I had no downtime, no drop-offs and got more clients. It’s a transformation with regards to people’s body, nutrition, diet and training, especially while at home. All it took was technology and forward-thinking.”
Simon’s team comprises of sibling Derrick Simon (national triathlon coach), Luke Hernandez (guru fitness), Jenna Camacho (trainer), Brendon Francis (professional bodybuilder/online trainer) and Alexa Cheekes (health coach).
The quintet also played integral roles in hosting the Unity Bootcamp which was held in Cocorite on three Sundays, leading up to Carnival 2020 – an initiative which Simon deemed an incredible success.
Now reaping the rewards of his technological foresight two years ago, Simon blames trainers for allowing the closure of public gyms to hamper them financially during this time. According to him, instructors were too dependent on face-to-face gym sessions pre-covid19 and were unprepared for a drastic change in public business and movement.
“Technology and reaching clients through various platforms is the way forward. We cannot just sit in the gym. When gyms had an opportunity to put one or two trainers in the gym and do an online feed to their clients at home, they didn’t capitalise on that. Trainers are at home gaining weight and losing all their clients because they never had connectivity to online. They must get with the times and international standards. You have to create options for income and accessibility to clients,” Simon said.
He, however, believes online training and the proper use of technology on a professional level, has to be understood and implemented, if it intends to reach the desired target audience.
Simon concluded, “You have to understand how to formulate your content, periodise your training, how to write, make sure instructions are easy to understand and follow. You must ensure your clients know they can do the exercises accurately on their own. Even by use of pictures for graphical scenarios. This is the way forward, this is how the future is going to be. Everything is going to be virtual.”