In this next instalment of our interview series with home workout experts, we’re stoked to welcome Sean Zazab, Fitness Program Manager at Fiit. Sean is a little more than that just a humble program manager though; he’s also been a strength coach for the England women’s cricket team, Loughborough University’s First XV rugby team and a karate champion. Now he’s been part of the incredible acceleration in the home fitness industry!
Hello! So, who are you and what’s your specialism?
Hi! I’m Sean Kazab, Fitness Program Manager at Fiit and a Level 3 PT. I work across the Cardio & Strength studios at Fiit, but my speciality lies in strength training. I come from a powerlifting background and worked as a strength coach for England Cricket, hence why you’ll see me lying face down on the mat at the end of a cardio class.
What’s it like, giving an online fitness class?
It’s incredibly daunting at first. You aren’t seeing any faces, body language and definitely not getting any verbal feedback from the people taking the class, which is a new experience for me. The hardest part for me was having no one there but myself to laugh at my awful banter.
After a while, you get used to it, and the fact I know thousands of people are going to take your workout really gives me energy!
Why do you think online fitness classes are so effective?
Convenience! Being able to take a class with the industry's most qualified trainers anytime and anywhere means Fiit can seamlessly slot into your day-to-day life.
You can squeeze in a 25min low impact class whilst the kids are asleep or even a 10min abs class whilst you wait for the pasta to boil… we work around you, you don't work around us.
How do you personally ensure every class is a brilliant experience? Can you share an example?
To me, our customer feedback is everything! I make a conscious effort to sit and scroll through every class comment each week. This is crucial and has a huge impact on how we program classes on Fiit.
From small things like ensuring a trainer counts you down at the end of every set, to more important things like ensuring more hamstring exercises in classes for specific issues such as knee pain. It especially drives the content we create. Recently, we launched loads of new upper body classes as we had an influx of members who were missing these sessions whilst gyms are closed.
What would you say to someone who has never tried an online class before?
They are harder than you think! To anyone who thinks home workouts are easy, we’ve made countless group fitness instructors say “that's the hardest workout I’ve ever done.” Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!
What would you do differently if you were starting out again now?
Take more risks and be bolder with our content creation. When we first started, we kept things super simple. We thought members might not get training styles like EMOMs, Buy-ins and Push/Pull Splits. We didn’t give them enough credit. In fact, every time we’ve introduced something new and what we thought might be “risky” - they’ve loved it!
What’s the funniest thing that has happened on set?
There are countless funny moments on set and our trainers love to have a laugh. After a lunch break with Alex Crockford, he kept accidentally calling dumbbells “dumplings” which really tickled the whole crew.
The trainers work hard on set too. They film up to four classes back-to-back, so the sweat is real. Courtney Fearon’s best moment was faking an untied shoelace so he could take a break from Fiit Club.
Have you noticed any particular trends in online fitness habits or preferences? Any classes suddenly booming which perhaps weren’t before? What do you think about them?
One particular trend that we have witnessed is a massive increase in women who want to lift and get strong. By lifting I don’t mean 10-minute booty burners but serious lifting like learning to squat and deadlift properly. 70% of our members on our new Push Pull plan, our hardest strength plan yet, are female.
This is an awesome trend as lifting is often seen as “macho”, but in reality lifting and getting strong is for everyone, and we are very proud to provide a platform that allows anyone to do so.
How are on-demand and live leaderboard classes different?
Our Fiit Club classes can get seriously intense! People tend to push themselves more on the live leaderboard, not only from being competitive but also working as a community and completing something together. This big push has led to us seeing on average 17% more calories being burnt on leaderboard classes!
Do you personally attend any other online fitness classes, and if so - which ones and why?
100%. In the current climate the number of trainers who are posting live classes has risen dramatically. I try to train with different trainers every week for inspiration, scouting and just to get a great workout in. One of my favourite trainers who has recently been posting a huge deal of online content is Luke Baden - the Kettlebell King.
Thanks so much Sean!
Stay tuned for more home fitness expert interviews on the Move blog soon!