This is all dependent on the exercise modality. Forms like yoga and pilates will vary less as there are staple sequences and poses that are usually always present. If we’re talking general fitness resistance based classes theres a lot more “flexibility.” (pardon the pun). That being said, members like consistency and the body needs something familiar through which to progress at the same time that it needs variability.
I would develop a few signature moves that will always be present in your classes. Something members can judge their progress with and they will also find familiar and comfortable. For spin, maybe thats your last or first drill. For resistance classes maybe theres a challenge built into each class thats the same week to week.
Sometimes we get to complicated because we think the members are getting bored, when really its us. Creating complicated movements for the sake of “freshness” doesn’t alway work to the advantage.
Changing day to day isn’t necessary. Changing week to week or cycle to cycle (4-6 weeks) is. Too much variability is not always good, too little the same.
Music changes everything. If you don’t want to change majority of the movements, change the music! Amazing how that can create a completely different feeling and have people forget that they’ve “done that class before.”
Also, you teach everyday, they don’t take everyday. You may have taught the SAME class 5 times, but odds are they’ve only taken it 1 or 2.
I hope this helps, I can go on forever as you see, so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to reach out.
Some of this will depend on the type of classes you teach and how often. Sean made some good points about keeping some main moves in each class. This will help some of your participants both feel comfortable with the moves and improve their form. Once form is perfected, then you can add on to those moves. If you are teaching a choreography based class, then you would want to keep much of it the same for maybe a few weeks to allow members the chance to learn and follow. Each class is different, so it may help to know what you plan to teach.
I do a combination of both–signature moves but I always like to challenge my classes with new moves for both an interest factor as well as muscle confusion. I tend to mix it up a lot.
Music is a big factor in motivation. I suggest having a nice collection of various play lists to keep participants interested and motivated.
Good luck and have fun! If your class sees that you are enjoying ourself, they will have fun also!
Thank you, Christine and Sean, I really appreciate your expert advice. I will be teaching a beginner total body conditioning class and when I rehearsed it with my very athletic 17 yo daughter she said, “Mom, you are going to kill everyone! It’s too intense and too complicated. Lighten up and have fun.” I will be referring back to your suggestions as I embark upon my new career!
Sean’s and Christine’s answers are right on.
One other thing that came to my mind is that the age of the participants can also be a consideration. An older crowd often appreciates predictability. I had once been teaching a very similar choreography for years. Just changed the music, and my class was always full.
Be also prepared to change things if you are losing the class. This can be difficult for a new instructor because you have your plan and not yet that much experience in changing on the fly.
I wish you luck and success.
Base your class on your participants. You don’t want to frustrate people.
Be flexible and able to change your workout depending upon need.
I had a teacher at my studio with a masters in exercise physiology, she would pre plan her workout and would NEVER change it even if the participants were unable to follow, she had the lowest class numbers.
The more you can “read”your class, the more success you will have.