PERSONAL trainers are now offering virtual sessions as fitness enthusiasts look to stay in shape during lockdown.

Gyms were forced to shut last month, but technology has allowed training to continue.

Scott Chapman, 35, of Selkirk, started leading exercises through video conferencing after premises in Galashiels closed their doors.

“It’s been challenging, but it’s made me think outside the box,” said Mr Chapman, originally from Galashiels, who set up Scott Chapman Personal Training in February.

His venture had been operating for less than two months before we entered lockdown, he said.

Despite being “in a bit of a panic” at first, he was pleased to learn clients were happy to begin remote classes.

Now, relying on Zoom, a video conferencing platform, he leads group kettlebell sessions and high-intensity interval training throughout the week, typically with up to 12 participants. 

“I’m not that comfortable in front of the camera, so it’s taken me out of my comfort zone,” said Mr Chapman, who believes the sessions have nevertheless been working well so far.

“The only challenge is getting new clients,” said Mr Chapman, “because a lot of people have either been furloughed or laid off, so a lot of people aren’t parting with money - which I completely understand.”

Meanwhile, Monika Marciniak, of Tweedbank, runs personal training sessions for free, having been furloughed from her job as a health and fitness advisor.

The 28-year-old manages a Facebook group called MonFitClub, which boasts more than 150 members.

She leads a class every day through Facebook Live, pitched at “medium-to-high” intensity.

She said: “I think people are over the moon that they can do it, keeping them sane and active. 

“You’ve got to remember that people were coming to the gym every day and then for the gym to be shut was probably a big shock for people.”