Rival Fitness transitions classes to Facebook to keep people moving

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HARRISON COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) -- Thursday marks one weeks since gyms across the Mountain State shut their doors.

Multiple classes are held throughout the day over Facebook Live and are saved on the group's page to access at any time.

"I look forward to my daily workout and after my workout I feel so much better because I am stressed out all day," said Whitney Lambert, owner of Rival Fitness.

In January, Lambert's staff looked forward to what 2020 would bring. They saw a record number of new members chasing their New Year's resolution.

"I was like, wow, this is our best year yet. We are keeping everybody motivated and going, and then [coronavirus] happens," said Lambert.

Governor Jim Justice shut down gyms on March 19th leaving those motivated members without a way to attend classes.

"We built our club up to 35 students, 35 very good students, and we want to hold onto those students," said Brian Greynolds, a karate instructor.

So, Lambert tried something new, teaching through Facebook Live.

Lambert created the Rival Virtual Workout Group to hold daily classes. But just it is a closed group does not mean you have to be a member to join.

"We are letting anybody in, its still private, but if they just request, I will let them in," said Lambert.

Multiple workouts are streamed throughout the day offering different forms of cardio, strength training and martial arts for all levels.

On Wednesday, Brian and his wife Jenica held their first digital karate class. The Suibukan of West Virginia students tuned in on Facebook at 6:45 p.m. to train.

The Greynolds had to overcome some challenges.

"Alot of it is wondering if there are people on the other end," said Brian.

But the staff of Rival Fitness have one goal in mind; encouraging people at all levels of fitness to get moving.

"You do not have to be at home depressed all day. Just move around, it really helps," said Lambert.

She said after the pandemic ends and Rival Fitness reopens, she will consider keeping the Facebook Live streams going as a paid service.