You’re not likely to find a line of members waiting to use the bike on the gym floor; however, indoor cycling classes often have waiting lists. Why do members flock to ride in a group setting? Because a cycling class is much more than a workout: it’s an experience. A great cycling class is a confluence of motivation and technique from the instructor and inspiration from the music. Here are 10 tips from top teachers—and a few astute cycling class members—for giving your students the ride of their lives.
Congrats! You’ve been asked to take over a key class for a popular outgoing instructor. The transition, however, promises to be a tough one. The participants love the current teacher, they hate change, and they’ve never heard of you. However skilled you are, you are walking into a challenge. Participants want the outgoing teacher forever. Unfortunately and undeservedly, they threaten to unleash their fears on you. Don’t walk out—and don’t let them leave either! With a few takeover transition tips, you can win over the class and make it your own.
Group exercise participants love core training, so it’s no wonder that TRX® Suspension Training® has become a favorite in fitness and wellness facilities. What is this type of body leverage training, and how does it work? By suspending either your hands or feet, while the opposite end of the body is in contact with the ground, you displace your center of gravity, activating your core muscles during every exercise. So even a biceps curl becomes a core move!
You walk into a group fitness class and never see the instructor’s face. Her back is to attendees as she checks herself out in the mirror. Another class turns into the most tedious workout ever because the instructor counts and counts—for a solid hour. These and other teaching flubs are common. And while newbies are most susceptible, even veterans fall into bad habits. Refine your subtle teaching skills and create an optimal experience that will keep students coming back. The following tips from veteran instructors help make a good instructor great.
Have you forgotten your roots? Did you become a group fitness instructor because you loved taking classes? Once you become a teacher, you sometimes lose touch with that spark of joy you felt in the beginning. Sure, you may attend continuing education workshops, but you don’t even think about attending classes in your own facility. Maybe it’s time to rethink that. Attending someone else’s class may be just what you need to supplement your education and growth.
For years, group exercise instructors have been debating the topic of creativity. The controversy usually arises when facilities license preprogrammed classes. Some instructors argue that preprogramming limits creativity. They feel that “free-style” classes are more creative and are better suited for advanced participants, who “crave complex movements.”
The fitness industry’s reach extends far and wide. In venues ranging from small fitness studios in large cities to huge recreational health and fitness centers in small towns, scores of people rely on fitness professionals for guidance. While personal trainers bring in considerable revenue, group exercise (GX) instructors, on average, might actually “touch” more people. With this in mind, why aren’t there more opportunities for group fitness instructors to teach full-time? The answer is not that simple.
Bands, Body Bars®, dumbbells, balls (of all shapes and sizes), discs and rollers—our equipment lists have grown considerably longer over the past few years. If you think it’s overwhelming for you as the instructor, imagine how students must feel! Have you fallen into the trap of always making class “different and interesting”? If so, is this for your students or for you? The desire to offer variety is one thing, but participants can still be challenged and motivated with only one or two pieces of equipment—or maybe with none at all!
If you’re an introvert who never dreamed you could be an effective instructor, you are not alone. Luckily, there’s a place for everyone at the front of the room. Even if you have made it over the initial obstacle of facing a crowd looking at you for direction, you may still encounter challenges. Here are some tips from successful introverted instructors on how to excel.
“Tell yourself that you only need to bring it to one person, and your mission is accomplished. As corny as it sounds, find a catch phrase that works for you and use it during your class.”