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Shannon Fable

Shannon Fable, 2013 IDEA and 2006 ACE Instructor of the Year, has spent more than two decades helping and consulting with brands such as Anytime Fitness, Schwinn®, Power Systems, ACE, Silver Sneakers, FIT4MOM and BOSU®. An experienced educator, freelance writer and certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach, she helps fitness entrepreneurs navigate the industry and make more money.

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Article Archive

LEAD or Get Out of the Way

March 20, 2014

When someone asks you what you do for a living, how do you respond? Perhaps you say you’re “a group fitness instructor,” “a yoga instructor” or “a Zumba® instructor.” The correct response is, “I’m a leader.” You do more than simply host amazing classes that help people get fit. It’s time to think bigger about who you are and what you do, if you truly want to Inspire the World to Fitness®.

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Core Off the Floor

May 23, 2013

?Instructors, it’s time to take your core work off the floor. There are many fantastic ground-bound exercises that target the core—and you should definitely keep them! However, if you learn how to “sneak” in core work while standing, every workout has the potential to enhance participants’ strength, power and functionality.

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A Better Way to Determine Class Value

March 21, 2013

Class value is in the eye of the beholder. Depending on where you’ve worked and what you’ve learned over the years, the metrics you use to review, modify or cancel a class can vary significantly.

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Top Fitness Instructors: What’s Their Secret?

December 13, 2012

In many sports the Most Valuable Player, or MVP, award is one of the most coveted. MVPs create big plays or big numbers—so picking candidates for the award isn’t too difficult. It may not be as simple to choose the MVPs among your group exercise instructors. First, there are no winners or losers in group exercise; ideally, we’re all trying to do the same thing. So figuring out who’s contributing the most is tough.

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Top 10 Traits of Group Exercise MVPs

September 7, 2012

In many sports the Most Valuable Player, or MVP, award is one of the most coveted. MVPs are chosen for creating big plays or big numbers. It may not be as easy to choose the MVPs among your group exercise instructors. First, there are no winners or losers in group exercise; ideally, we’re all trying to do the same thing.

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The Pros and Cons of Being a Hobby Instructor

February 16, 2012

The fitness industry’s reach extends far and wide. In venues ranging from small fitness studios in large cities to huge recreational health and fitness centers in small towns, scores of people rely on fitness professionals for guidance. While personal trainers bring in considerable revenue, group exercise (GX) instructors, on average, might actually “touch” more people. With this in mind, why aren’t there more opportunities for group fitness instructors to teach full-time? The answer is not that simple.

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The Centralized Portal

September 2, 2011

Whether you’ve been forced to overhaul your current communication strategy or you’re just making minor tweaks, it’s time to bring this column to a close. Here’s the new reality: If you expect to stay relevant as a manager, you need to think of staff as your “main audience.” Employees will react to your “performance” as any audience would. The challenge, however, is that your audience isn’t captive! You have to be crafty in your delivery and diligent in meeting each person where communication culture exists today. Otherwise, your messages may fall short.

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Creating an Online Community

August 30, 2011

Group fitness is the heartbeat of the facility, but not because of the blaring music or sweaty bodies. People exercise in groups for the motivation, accountability and energy it brings them. Wouldn’t it be great to capture this energy outside the studio? As instructors, we’ve tried almost every trick in the book to influence more end users, get more bodies in classes and help educate members. Despite this, we’re still reaching only a handful of people.

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The Benefits of Streamlined Communication

May 30, 2011

The previous three installments of this column have given you a bit to think about regarding your current communication situation. As the group fitness manager (GFM), you must balance multiple streams of input and output. You face daily communication challenges with instructors, club members and upper management. There’s no doubt you could be more productive if you spent time revamping protocols. However, it’s hard to find the time to set up those spiffy protocols when you have the weighty administrative tasks associated with being a manager.

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How to Become a Fitness Manager

March 31, 2011

The pathway beyond group exercise instruction and personal training is not exactly clear cut. Fitness professionals realize early on that adding classes and clients to their already jam-packed, hectic schedules may not be the best use of their time. However, figuring out a way to increase stability and cash flow is challenging. Since most fitness professionals end up working for several facilities simultaneously and/or fend for themselves as independent entrepreneurs, finding a mentor can be tough.

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