When constructing a group exercise class that is not dance based, is it best to count reps or do exercises for time?
I want to do a calisthenics/cardio class. I want to make sure the class has the flow and intensity of a cardio aerobics class but with muscling building whole body exercises as oppose to classic aerobic moves. I know music is a important part of a group exercise class and keeping to the tempo is important to keep the heart rate up. I
You will probably get different responses from other trainers because everyone has different approach. I like to use the method of timing. For example 30 seconds on/30 seconds rest (you can adjust the work:rest ratio according to the fitness level of your participants and intensity of your class). In other words, a circuit training might be what you are looking for. There are many ways to go about this. If you are going to use weights in your class then a rep counting might work better.
The bottom line is to use your best judgement and not be afraid to switch it up as you see fit in your professional judgement.
I hope that this helps.
The answer is really whatever works best for you and your class. You can actually do both!
I teach a few interval type classes with higher intensity/low choreographed moves. Sometimes I go to the beat of the music for a certain amount of reps, and sometimes I use my Gymboss timer to do tabatas or 30 or 60 second intervals. I'm guessing from your comment about whole body exercises you may be thinking of burpees , jumping jacks or squat/lunge jumps, etc? Either counting reps or a timer would work just fine for those.
The nice thing about the timer option is it will think for you and beep when done. Plus, you may find some people are uncoordinated and don't like to go to the beat of the music.
Mix it up a bit--it's always more fun that way and then you get the best of both worlds. There is no right or wrong here!
I used to teach a total body workout class to music. I would do intervals of cardio/weights.It was high energy and fun.
People need motivation, music is only one way to motivate.