I lead a boot camp class several times a week and although it is incredibly rewarding to motivate the group, there is a small section of members that consistently talk though the class and do not fully participate in the workout. I have been approached by other members who genuinely put their full effort into the class who are annoyed by these talkers and feel discouraged when they are in class. I have tried ignoring the problematic clients, motivating them when I do see them putting more effort into the exercise and eventually started calling them out when I see them procrastinating on a station. None of these have helped so far and I can tell a difference in the mood of the class when these clients show up and when they are not present.
For those of you that are experienced in working in group fitness situations, how would you handle this?
You have every right as a trainer/instructor to make sure participants are following the class in a safe manner and respecting others who are there for a workout. I would pull the participants aside (not in front of others), and talk to them about the situation. Explain that you enjoy having them in class, but their conversations are distracting to others–and yourself–when you are trying to instruct the class. Keep it upbeat but remain firm and just state the facts.
While it can be hard to confront them, the conversation is needed. The class will respect you more for it.
Good luck and keep us posted!