So I teach a variety of different fitness formats (Hitt, Barre Pilates, cardio dance, cardio kick, ect.) My question to instructors out there is how often do you change your routine that you teach? Do you just add in a few different exercises each time you teach class? I’m finding that even though none of the classes I teach are the exact same each time I teach it I feel like I’m going a lot of the same type of combos/exercises in each class. Do you ever completely change the class choregraphy or do you keep it very similar and just change a few things? I know most participants like some repetition, but then I feel like I have a few classes where they want it completely different and I feel like it’s just not realistic for me to change the class completely each time I teach. Any suggestions only dealing with classes like that?
Hello Christy Sanchez,
It depends on the class participants. I will tweak the moves with different equipment or progressions/regressions. I don’t do a full program change before a month if the clients are happy and engaged. I also like to speak with everyone before and after sessions to get constructive criticism and feedback. The workouts are for the clients, not me.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
All of your answers are really interesting. I think this is something we all grapple with… too much change and they can’t adapt, not enough and they get bored. Yoga is a completely different animal, but with the other classes I teach, like most of the others I add and build on to what came before. With the strength training in particular I like to work through specific series for a while to make sure everyone gets good with form and then introduce variations to keep it fresh.
I also find that it depends on the students… when I work with seniors I introduce new stuff more slowly.
For me it depends on the class and the participants. For some classes I change the exercise for one body part at a time over the course of year. As an example, in a boot camp situation I would change a partner row (two ropes tug of war style) to a TRX row. The next week I change another body part/muscle group exercise like a push up to a high tension tubing chest press one arm at a time (really engages the core as well as the chest). Each week one muscle/muscle group (or two opposing groups) get changed until I have changed all of the sets one time through. Then the process might start over or maybe we start a brand new routine and restart the one exercise change at a time. I try to make enough of the class new enough to notice, but not so new that the benefits of any one exercise are not given a chance to be gained.
Or take my water fitness classes. We use three different pieces of equipment in the class. So, one day will be all noodles, one day all dumbbells, on day kick boards, and one day no equipment. Each piece of equipment provides a different resistance to the exercises. The exercises are kept the same for a few weeks. Then I do a week or two of using all three in each work out. Then a week of no equipment and then back to the one piece in each workout rotation. The exercises are changed for that round, rinse, repeat. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. Does that qualify as a pun?)
Most group classes also tend to tolerate only so much change at any one time. I tend to introduce new movements/exercises one or two at a time to reduce frustration with their need to over focus on the new stuff.
I teach a few interval classes each week (high intensity intervals mixed with strength training). I usually change it up a lot with variations on simple but intense cardio, and variations on pushups, squats, lunges, etc… I don’t teach much choreography, so I mix it up a lot. Occasionally I will teach the same class for both during the week. (I get the same participants in both classes).
I try to have a focus for each class. For example, I vary the interval times, and sometimes the focus for the morning is Tabatas, sometimes 1 minute or 30 second drills. Other times the focus is on super-sets for strength training or something like that. I have a ton of variations that I do while keeping some basic moves the same. Like Janet, I think I get bored before my participants because I’ve been teaching it so long!
My music always changes from class to class.
Hope this helps!
I am very similar in my approach to Nancy. For my cardio (including Zumba) classes I change the warm up and cool down every time, and I also add 1 new song a week and rotate in old favorites.
For my weights classes I have a pretty basic formula (usually to 3 exercises in a set, then repeat the set), but will totally change the exercises (and music) every time. I will also vary the equipment from class to class (bands, balls etc).
I do this changing more for me than my clients. I have been teaching 30 years and have a low boredom threshold, but I have been very successful with this approach.