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.
At the end of every thrilling fireworks show is a great finale. Wouldn’t it be anticlimactic to close with quiet music and a few sparse booms? Similarly, a heart-pumping, challenging class deserves its own finale. If you’ve ever spent an entire class energizing participants only to leave them slowly peeling themselves off the floor in a dark room half-asleep, read on for some fun ideas to help them walk out feeling invigorated and excited to come back.
ShockWave, offered at Equinox® facilities nationwide, is a “total-body circuit challenge” that combines high-intensity cardio on Indo-Row® machines, functional exercises using the ViPR™ and strength training with The Body Bar®, BOSU® Balance Trainers and kettlebells. Participants compete with each other in the rowing portion of this 30-minute class.
Most group fitness instructors introduce and close their classes with some remarks to participants. Style will vary depending on personality, but openings and closings are always important opportunities. Petra Kolber, 2001 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year, says, “People may not always remember the actual choreography, but they will recall the first and last 5 minutes. Since we only have one chance to make a great first impression, being prepared for the beginning and ending is key for success.”
Personal trainers who teach group exercise classes find that this is a common experience: participants routinely ask them about their personal training services and, from there, often sign up to become clients. There’s something to be said for the marketing power of teaching to groups.
The definition of core work varies from format to format and means different things to different people. My own perspective has evolved over 28 years of yoga, running, dancing, Pilates, shiatsu massage, cadaver dissection and opera singing. Of all the core muscles, the respiratory diaphragm seems to be the most underutilized.
Weight Training With Yoga Principles is offered by the Mirbeau Inn & Spa in Skaneateles, New York. This “personal training experience” combines the benefits of yoga and weight training, according to IDEA member Maggie Thomson, who is the health and wellness coordinator. Thomson says the class combines yoga concepts such as guided imagery, breathing, concentration and awareness with strength training equipment and free weights to create “structurally sound posture.”