Training online has been a bit of a shift for all of us lately...
Of course the social interaction is not quite what it used to be in the gym... However a lot of people are finding that online training actually allows for your coach to do their job very effectively. The one hurdle to your coach being able to 'coach' you is your camera. We want to help you make better use of the thing
Now, we recommend you use a laptop over a smartphone IF you have the choice. It's a better screen for seeing what's going on and the ability to tilt the camera up and down (by tilting your screen) is super handy
Let's explore a few simple rules to get your camera setup dialled-in so that you can have the best possible training experience
Rule #1: Contrast Is Not Your Friend
Contrast simply refers to having your camera pointed at both something bright and something dark. Your camera doesn't know what to do with this and it ends up making you into a silhouette. Nobody can coach a silhouette.
The trick is to not point you camera at a bright background - like a window, or an outdoor area, or the sun. Instead, find a different angle where the background is lit more evenly
Do not point your camera at a bright background
Point your camera at a more evenly lit background
Rule #2: Get Your Camera Off The Floor
The obvious place to put your camera is generally on the floor, however it's not a good angle for you (sorry to be the one to break that to you). If it's the only choice available then so be it, however if you can, get your camera off the floor and onto something around waist to shoulder height. The perspective will be much more neutral. You can use a bench, a table, or even better, a small inexpensive smartphone tripod
Setting your camera on the floor makes your legs look massive and your head look puny (perspective matters)
Setting your camera on a bench or table around waist to shoulder height is ideal
Rule #3: Frame It Up
By frame we're talking about how you actually position what the lens is looking at. Obviously we want the lens to see YOU, but we want to do it in a way that allows the coach to see you moving
If your camera is pointed up to high then it won't see you when you're on the ground. Similarly, if it's pointed down to low, it won't be able to see what is happening when you're standing. The trick is to find a good middle ground. Remember that moving your camera away from you will enable you to get the best of both worlds. And of course, frame it so that you are right in the middle of the shot
"How does my push up look, coach?"
"That's a nice push up, Joe. Keep it up."
Rule #4: Declutter Your Space
This is a kind of a common sense one, but still worth mentioning. The less 'stuff' you can have in your space the better. It will not only allow your coach to see you better but it will also make your training space clear and safe to move freely within.
"How does the dog bed taste, Joe?"
Look at that nice tidy workspace
Beyond that, here's a few extra tips:
- If you don't have the space to apply these rules, and need to point your camera into a window with hot sun streaming through it, positioned on the floor, and at a wonky angle that makes it virtually impossible to see you - we will take it. Something is better than nothing : )
- In this digital age it makes a lot of sense to have your own small, cheap smartphone tripod (if you're using your phone for workouts that is). There's a bunch of options on Ebay and Amazon and you won't have to spend much
- If you're training in the dark, its really handy if you can still be illuminated somehow so we can see you
- If you must point your camera into a window, close the blinds and block out the sun as best you can
- A laptop makes a much better companion for an online workout than does a smartphone. The screen is larger, enabling you to see more, and you can sit it on a bench very easily and tilt the camera up and down with ease.
Thanks friend, I hope that helps you get a little more out of your online training experience
PS. Not a member of Jungle Brothers and are in need of somewhere to train? Contact us here and let's have a chat