How I Saved my Gym From a COVID-Delayed opening

COVID | Strength & Conditioning


Daimond Dixon

Daimond Dixon was a walk-on member of the University of Miami (Fla) 1991 National Championship Football Program, and witnessed firsthand what it takes to build competitive athletes into elite performers. He has trained athletes in the art of sports performance the past 10 years with a focus on football, soccer, hockey, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, rugby, softball, swimming, golf and Mixed Martial Arts. He currently owns Alpha Human Performance, a performance training and recovery facility, and serves as Director of Sports Performance for Grand Rapids Christian Schools. He believes strongly that an individual’s potential is tied largely to their ambition to become their best self, with a goal of trying to bring out an “Inner Alpha” in those he works with.

// How We Have Leveraged Remote Training During this Pandemic

Our company Alpha Human Performance started building our training facility in December 2019. This 6,500 square foot building will specialize in performance training and recovery, we hope to be a haven for athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike. The upper mezzanine is powered by Normatec Technology overlooking a turf training floor and full strength area. 

About a week and a half away from completing the final painting, flooring, and equipment install, the coronavirus hit. 

And we had to re-pivot our “Spring Grand Opening” to an “indefinite unknown opening date”. 

Having trained athletes since the mid 90’s I thought I had seen, or even experienced it all. Being in the training business is such a process oriented thing. As performance trainers, we are training athletes for sport performance not just training for aesthetics. So in our business, we are always navigating in-season, off-season, pre-season, and postseason process driven systems. 

But, for the first time in my professional life I am navigating NO SEASON. Sports have stopped around the globe, pushing the pause button on how we have traditionally done training. Not only has there been a pause in sports, but our face-to-face contact has been stopped, isolating us from each other in our homes.

Remote Training, Virtual Training, Zoom Training, Facetime Training: It’s all training

Remote or Online Training is not a new concept, so doing online training was not completely foreign to me. I had, in fact, done this before with athletes, but never on such an exclusive “online only” scale.

Also challenging was that although I have a good amount of athletes that I currently train, we had great anticipation of new clients coming to our new facility. Lots of social media contact had led us to believe that once we did open, interest in our services would be relatively high. But with a facility 95% complete and no opening date in sight, how would we reach this new audience through training?

The Remote Training Solution

I offered a program called “Alpha Up!”, which was an online fitness program using the TrainHeroic app. I built 5 types of workouts, and posted each on every calendar day in the “Alpha Up!” group. Group members could pick from categories consisting of five different categories.

1. Body Weight Strength

2. DB Strength






3. Core






4. Speed and Conditioning






5. Alpha UP! Workout of the day






The idea was to create workouts that people could do, whether A) they were an athlete or fitness enthusiast, or B) whether or not they had access to any equipment. The only training session that required equipment was the DB workout. 

I planned to leverage social media to market FREE access to this program, expecting a few sign ups. Being in the middle of a pandemic, I was unsure whether or not we would have people committing to training. 

295 people ended up signing up for the “Alpha Up!” program. 

We expanded our reach to include travel sports organizations, and set up specific groups for each soccer and basketball organization. That added another 250 sign ups. We also worked with a small local company to create a virtual corporate wellness “train at home “ program. The demand has been much higher than we initially anticipated.

I monitor the teams/groups daily, send clear session notes and chat with individuals directly. I have been finding ways to leverage technology in TrainHeroic, to not just train remote, but gain access to a captive and engaged audience. I’m offering coaching, not just programming. 

A lot of trainers do video and Zoom training sessions, which is fantastic. I decided early on in the process to intentionally do less video training sessions. I was interested in seeing how well intrinsic motivation would take hold, and if those that signed up could train “anywhere, anytime on their own.” 

I wanted them to OWN their performance training and to OWN their fitness.

It worked. 

I review the data in the app daily. I look through each group. I can see in real time who has trained that day, what exercises they chose, etc. I can quickly and easily engage these new clients, giving them coaching similar to how I would in the gym. And as I review sessions, I craft out in my mind what the next week will look like when I sit down to create the sessions for the week each Sunday. 

As we move towards the end of the stay at home order here in Michigan, I feel like Alpha has already grown it’s membership base. We’ve started a loyal base of athletes and fitness enthusiasts who stepped up to and train on their own using the programs we created. 

They OWNED it. 

I can’t wait until we open our doors when the Alpha Human Performance Training Facility is complete, and to build a brand concept around people just like that. 

Huge thanks to TrainHeroic for providing not only the technology, but the idea behind “CHANGE, ADAPT and EVOLVE.” 

We’ve all had to.


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