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Cathie Ericson

Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer who specializes in health/fitness and business topics. She loves group fitness classes, especially now, especially outdoors, even in the variable Oregon weather. Find her @cathieericson.

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Article Archive

Group fitness instructor self-care

Prevent Injuries for Longevity and Fun

December 18, 2019

Like many instructors, you may feel as though you’re expected to do it all and be all things to all people. However, you also need to ensure that you are sustaining your own physical and mental health. How do you keep your standards high and your teaching schedule full while also remaining healthy and injury-free? Read on to find out how three avid veteran instructors achieve balance. Their experiences and advice model best self-care practices for a long and successful career.

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Prepare to Manage Generation Z

November 18, 2016

The Zers are coming! The Zers are coming!
Just when you thought you were finally up to speed with millennials, it’s time to look ahead to the next group, “Generation Z”—roughly defined as those born from the late 1990s to the early 2010s. Some sources use birthdates beginning with the mid-1990s or earlier (Williams 2015; Sparks & Honey 2014). Generation Z is on trend to outnumber millennials by nearly one million, according to census data compiled by Susan Weber-Stoger, a demographer at Queens College (Williams 2015).

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Seven Ways to Turn Visitors Into Members

May 26, 2016

As the midyear lag sets in, many fitness managers and owners search for fresh ideas to attract new members. In fact, it’s a business imperative: According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA 2016), even though retention rates hover around 70%, the remaining 30% still represent significant potential.

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How to Market Exercise Classes for Older Adults

February 25, 2016

The image of the cookie-baking, rocking chair–bound, bespectacled grandma is about as outdated as, well, leg warmers. It’s no secret that today’s older adult is “not your grandpa’s retiree.” Among people retiring now, many are socially, mentally and physically active. And that’s why fitness facilities that want to attract this cohort need to be particularly careful about marketing language and schedules.

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How to Thrive Amid Business Competition

July 23, 2015

When Jack and Jenna Oliver opened Above the Bar, a CrossFit® facility in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, 2 years ago, they knew it wouldn’t be an overnight success. However, they didn’t expect the competition to be so fierce. “It rattled us for a few seconds,” Jenna notes, “until we realized that people come to us because they think we have a superior product.”

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10 Signs You Are Suffering From Burnout

June 19, 2015

Generally, group fitness instructors are known for their upbeat, can-do attitude. It can be challenging to admit that you’re feeling burned out. The following signs of job-related burnout may give you clues about your own performance, so you can take steps to keep yourself inspired and motivated.?

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Friendly Competition: We Can All Get Along

May 15, 2015

When Jack and Jenna Oliver opened Above the Bar, a CrossFit® facility in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, 2 years ago, they knew it wouldn’t be an overnight success. However, they didn’t expect the competition to be so fierce. First, they had to deal with a Planet Fitness grand opening (with $10 monthly memberships); then, another CrossFit facility set up shop just a few miles away. Despite the competition, their box was so successful that they moved to a larger location—only to find out that a 24 Hour Fitness® was opening up less than a mile away!

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Coping With Instructor Burnout

March 17, 2015

The new year likely brought with it a crush of new class participants. But then along came spring, and the inevitable happened: As the snow melted, so did resolutions; visits became less frequent as members began suffering from a classic case of burnout. In fact, many fitness professionals also experience burnout. What can you do to stay inspired??

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How to Set and Keep Healthy Professional Boundaries

January 19, 2015

Most fitness professionals have seen and heard it all when it comes to boundaries. The very nature of the profession can lend itself to an intimacy you don’t see in other industries. Besides the physical closeness, personal trainers who approach wellness from a holistic viewpoint often fill an emotional need for clients.

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Inject Creativity Into Your Pilates Program

November 12, 2014

When you added Pilates classes to your schedule, you took the time to find the best instructors and invest in the right equipment. Sometimes, however, simply scheduling a standard Pilates class isn’t enough to get members to fill the studio. So, once you have a foundation you can trust, why not add flair?

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How to Optimize Your Website for Mobile Users

August 28, 2014

Mobile is on the move: According to comScore (2014), more than 166 million Americans aged 13 and over now have smartphones, and they are using them for much more than talking and texting: almost 60% of smartphone users and close to 75% of tablet users use the search function to get immediate information while they are on the go. What time is the next indoor cycling class? How late is the gym open? Where is this trainer located?

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Fitness Facilities Go Green

July 24, 2014

Fitness facilities are in the business of making members healthier, and for some that commitment extends to the environment. The shades of green vary widely. For example, some facilities have done a complete retrofit . . .

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Top Tips From Introverted Instructors

June 16, 2014

If you’re an introvert who never dreamed you could be an effective instructor, you are not alone. Luckily, there’s a place for everyone at the front of the room. Even if you have made it over the initial obstacle of facing a crowd looking at you for direction, you may still encounter challenges. Here are some tips from successful introverted instructors on how to excel.

“Tell yourself that you only need to bring it to one person, and your mission is accomplished. As corny as it sounds, find a catch phrase that works for you and use it during your class.”

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How to Thrive as an Introverted Instructor

May 27, 2014

When people think of a group fitness instructor, they likely picture a “cheerleader” type. An outgoing, enthusiastic performer. In other words, an extrovert. However, the reason that so-called extroverted qualities are typically associated with an instructor is because many people hold a misconception about what being an introvert really means. Being introverted is not necessarily the same thing as being shy or quiet, although some introverts are.

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Props for a Great Pilates Workout

February 24, 2014

Pilates instructors know that the key to a stimulating workout is to challenge students by mixing things up, and small props are effective tools for injecting variety.

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Boot-Camp Methods

January 13, 2014

According to Greg Justice of AYC Health & Fitness in Kansas City, Kansas, “the key to metabolic resistance training—or boot-camp workouts—is that it uses a perfect blend of both anaerobic and aerobic exercises to build muscle and burn fat as efficiently as possible.”

In broad terms, according to Justice, a successful boot-camp instructor can implement four basic types of interval/circuit training methods:

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