Im a group fitness instructor about to embark on my first job. The gym I will be working for wants a functional strength class but Im having a hard time deciding on what exercises to do and how to make the whole class flow. I was wondering if anyone has any pointers on making a nice cohesive class? What are your top 5 tips for designing classes?
Congratulations on your first position! While your first time can be scary, its also exhilirating.
Like Harris said, with a functional fitness class your options are pretty open.
Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years in designing a class:
1. Focus on the clients. Who are they? What would they come to the class looking to get: core training, movement patterns, weight loss, increased range of motion, etc? How can I help them achieve this?
2. Practice the exercises, including the progressions and modifications. Make sure you can demonstrate them all.
3. Choose a focus for the class. One piece of equipment, cardio, HITT, max reps, core stability, etc. Make this fun!
4. Practice the flow of the routine, including what you’ll say. This is where you’ll see what works, if you need to change exercises completely or just where they come into the workout. Don’t underestimate this part.
5. Choose your music wisely. Some classes do great when the music is paired with the flow of the class. Others its just background motivation. Understand what your clients like to listen to. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had clients complain to me that so and so instructor had music with offensive language. It ruins the whole experience. (This is where bullet point number 1 – Know your clients – comes in!)
6. Know your classroom. Where is your class taking place? What is in the room? How do things work? Where are the bathrooms, water, towels, etc in relation to the room? Seems like simple stuff, but its incredible how flustered you can get when someone asks you a question you think you should know and don’t know the answer right before class begins.
7. Set the stage. Think of how you’ll introduce yourself, the class, greetings, explainations. Will you set the room up yourself or will the participants set their own area? Will you greet everyone? Does your facility require any sign ins or rules stated up front? Etc
8. Leave them wanting more. The way you cool down a class is as important and maybe more so than the warm up. You want it to be matched to the intensity and flow of the class. Going from high impact to meditative yoga doesn’t always work. How do you want them to leave your class? A lot of this depends on the timing of your class. When it takes place? If its at the end of the day, something that focuses on letting go of the stressors of the day, the importance of rest and sleep to the body, etc. If its at lunch, something more energetic, breathing in restorative, energy giving oxygen and breathing out stress and tiredness, the importance of water and eating “the rainbow” to restoring the body. Etc. You want the to leave wanting more and not being able to wait till your next class!
Good luck! Post back as to how it went!