CHARLOTTE, N.C. — New Year’s resolutions often include getting in shape or losing some weight. But, what if you don’t want to go to the gym due to COVID-19? Some places are offering virtual training sessions that are more intimate than a traditional class. 

What You Need To Know

Debbie Broughton says she usually takes online small group pilates classes three times a week, which is an additional cost to a YMCA membership.

“It’s definitely more intimate,” Broughton says. “There are usually no more than five people in the class.”

Broughton also said she usually does the classes live.

“It holds me accountable,” she says. “I can’t say ‘oh I’ll do that later.’ If it’s a 45-minute class and it’s a recorded video, you’re often like, nobody will know, I’ll just go do something else.”

Broughton said she likes doing the classes live because she knows someone is watching her and keeping her in check. Donna Clem teaches the Pilates classes and will even text her class participants to make sure they show up.

“It’s definitely more personal,” Clem said. “I know a lot of their kids' names. Like with my private clients, I know their daughter's dog’s name.”

Clem says she does both one-on-one sessions and small groups. She says pilates is a great workout to do from home because participants can just use their own body weight or they can improvise with weights around the house.

“We have used water bottles, wine bottles, water jugs, just to name a few,” Clem said.

Clem has also created a Facebook Page for her small group.

“We all get to know each other really well,” Broughton says. “I have actually made some friends through that.”


According to her, it’s been like a support group and she thinks that is key to staying in shape even during a pandemic.

“I think the more you hold each other accountable and have a relationship, the more likely you are to attend every Monday, Wednesday, Friday during the live classes,” Broughton says.

She gave this advice to those interested in virtual classes.

“I have been exercising for many, many years,” Broughton says. “You have to treat it like a dentist appointment, or like a doctor's appointment. It’s on your calendar, if you are not going to do it you have to cancel it and reschedule it.