I’m a group fitness lover. I’m a group fitness instructor. I have a few things that I expect to experience when I attend any type of group fitness class. I trained to teach my first Les Mills group fitness class, BODYPUMP, a few years ago while living in Orlando, and my second, CXWORX, a few months ago in San Francisco.
On the West Coast, the principles of teaching a good class are the same as they were back home. In my explorations of local gyms in this big city, I’ve encountered some high-quality presentations as well as some that were sub-par at best.
How to teach an effective group fitness class
Here is my list of the must-dos for an instructor to create a welcoming environment and a good class:
- Start some music before the class begins, so when people come in they get excited and pumped up about the workout.
- Turn on the microphone, set up early and let the class know who the instructor is right away when they walk in. Ask the class if there is anyone brand new to see if they want help with setup.
- Introduce yourself. Never start teaching a class before telling the members your name and reminding them the name of the program they are attending that day.
- Before you start, ask people if they are ready and make a point of saying the class is going to begin. Don’t just push play and start barking orders.
- Make eye contact with your members and give them both verbal and visual cues so that they know what to do during class.
- Make eye contact with your members and give them tips about how they should be moving. If they aren’t doing it properly, let them know in a constructive and positive way. They are there to learn from you and get a good workout, so they need to know how to do it right. If they don’t correct themselves after you offer help, don’t badger.
- Change the tone of your voice every once in a while. An hour of whispering is not fun. An hour of straight yelling is not fun. Think about being diverse with your vocal inflection to keep people engaged.
- Have a sense of humor. Don’t be too serious the whole time.
- Drop a fun fact about yourself every once in a while — that way they feel like they know you.
- Be motivating.
- Don’t forget to be motivating. People come to group fitness classes to feel the social element and push themselves harder in a sanctioned environment with others. They aren’t there because they love to workout alone, so give them the reinforcement they came for.
- Let your members know how much longer they have to push hard during the highs and let them know how long they have to recover during the lows.
- Congratulate your members at the end of the workout, let them know you are happy to answer their questions and ask them to come back again.
It sounds like a lot, but people go to group fitness classes for the “people” who teach them.Top tips for teaching an effective group fitness class ... Click To Tweet
Question of the day
If you teach or take group fitness classes, what are some of the things you look for?