So this might be a controversial question and definitely a question with multiple sides to it, but as instructors what do you think about classes that market to all students? Classes that say modifications can be made and the class is suitable for all levels and abilities? Obviously, this can be a good thing because it promotes everything working out and not excluding people. But is it bad if a class is only marketed to certain types of abilities? Does anyone teach a class like this now? I’m thinking about teaching a cardio dance class that would include plyometrics. The class would include up/down movements things like Burpees, push-ups, ect. This obviously wouldn’t be suitable for all levels as a beginner fitness participant could get sick or could even get injured with that type of format. What are your thoughts as professionals? Sometimes I feel like whe in showing modifications in a dance fitness class I’m wasting time of advanced participants and vis versa. I’ve noticed all do a routine full out and my beginner doesn’t know what to do. Or I’ll show a modification first and then build from there and my advanced people are bored. I know we can’t please everyone 100% of the time, but in an age where time is limited and people want the best workout for their time would this concept work of having classes designed only for certain types of participants? Any feedback you have is appreciated!
There are pros and cons to having all-level classes.
Personally, almost every class I teach is all-levels. It’s one of my specialties. My fitness mission is that everyone will feel welcomed and safe in my class, and that means that every move starts at an easy-to-learn version and then progresses up from there. The drawback is, my classes may weed out the most advanced exercisers who don’t have the patience to wait for progressions.
Advanced exercisers are already exercise-adherent. They don’t need as much explanation, hand-holding, or instruction. But if they’re advanced enough to know where I’m going with a progression – especially my regulars – then they can start with the progressed option while I continue to explain level one to the new person.
At some point, you (general you, not you specifically) have to pick what type of demographic you want. If you want all the hard-core people to be happy, you’re going to have a hard time getting newbies to stay. If you have a more newbie-friendly class, then you won’t keep all of the hardcore members. You might be surprised, though; I have quite a few members who are very fit.
Consistency also helps. I always start with low intensity, low impact and work from there. I always teach moves that are easy to learn but can be very intense when done with added resistance (whether that resistance is a band, a weight, or a percentage of one’s own body weight). I always do each set two or three times, so the newbies get an opportunity to progess when they’re ready, and the advancedbies can stay at higher levels and work very hard.
Even though I teach 8 different formats at present (14 classes a week), from dance to HIIT to weight training to yoga, I have a very specific brand and style. By being consistent with my teaching style, mission, and target market, I’ve been very happy and my classes are successful.