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Sample Classes

Sample Class: Sand Bell HIIT

More flexible and variable than dumbbells or kettlebells, sand bells are sand-filled disks that can be lifted, slammed, tossed, curled, or flipped like a heavy pancake. The following playful workout mixes high-intensity cardio and strength training with two levels of progression, creating a user-friendly class for any participant.

Sand Bell HIIT Details
FORMAT: strength and cardio conditioning
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes

Kickboxing class with a woman in the foreground ready to perform an uppercut.

Kickboxing Safety: Back to Basics

Kickboxing classes may not be as popular today as they were in the late 1990s, but people still love to hone their skills with this effective cross-training option. Whether you’ve been teaching for several years or you’re just getting started, it’s always a good idea to review the foundational concepts that make up this total-body workout.

Sample Class: The Playground

Do you remember recess? That break in the monotonous school day when you could run wild and free, lost in playful movement? The glory of the playground lingers in many of your participants’ memories too, and you can help to recreate that experience by taking your next class a little less seriously.

Turning the group fitness studio into a playground is a great idea for stressed-out, time-crunched, social media–weary adults who need a break from responsibility. So grab a whistle, cue the bell and get ready to inject some fun into everyone’s day!

New Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program

As green exercise and the health benefits of spending time in nature gain more prominence in popular and scientific news, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is introducing a Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program in October.
The curriculum includes elements of forest bathing, Ayurveda, yoga, outdoor skills, and research related to nature’s health benefits.

Strong Starts

The warmup. Is it simply a time for small talk while people trickle in, or is it an opportunity to ignite attendees’ best efforts? This may be the class section that fitness instructors plan the least, yet devoting some time to designing the warmup is really worthwhile. Why? Because starting on a strong note significantly affects the outcome of the entire workout. We want our participants to get the most from our classes, so let’s set them up for success.

Strength Ladder

Strength training classes don’t have to adhere to a classic “sets and reps” template. Why not climb your way up and down this fun fitness ladder for a fast and furious total-body workout? Repetitions are high, but so is the frequency of change, keeping interest piqued during intense work sets.

Strength Ladder Details
GOAL/EMPHASIS: total-body strength training
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour

How to Help Participants Find Flow

For a moment, think about your own workouts. Tap into that feeling of being completely absorbed in your favorite fitness routine. Everything else fades away, and your entire focus is on the present moment. You feel confident in your body’s abilities, you’re challenging yourself, and you find great meaning in what’s happening now. You’re in the zone. Before you know it, your workout is over, and you can’t wait to do it again.

The Group Dynamic

clients: Ben, Pat, Jacob (trainer), Jeanine, Tania, Jennifer | personal trainer: Jacob Trione, CEO and Founder, Triaffect Fitness | location: Clear Lake City, Texas

Tennis: Reduce Pain, Improve Performance

Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. In the U.S. alone, there are almost 18 million players, with another 14 million expressing interest (TIA 2018). Unfortunately, the dynamic, forceful twists and turns of the game pose ever-present injury risks to players (Roetert & Kovacs 2011).
If your fitness clientele includes people interested in playing this sport, you need to understand the causes of tennis-related injuries. This will help you develop strategies to improve movement function, reduce pain and keep clients on the court.

Why Water Fitness?

While water fitness was once the domain of older adults, now participants of all ages and ability levels are benefiting from aquatic workouts. Shirley Archer, JD, MA, water fitness specialist and health and wellness blogger, examines what’s new in aquatic training research and looks at different types of programs.

Research Update
Here are some of the newer findings related to aquatic training:

Sample Class: Step With Variations

Step classes are still alive! Many participants remain eager for creative yet easy-to-follow choreography. You can keep yours simple while retaining some of the frills that people enjoy. Here’s an example: This class starts with one 32-count step combination for the warmup and continues with four variations on that combo during the main segment. Try this choreography during your next step class.

Step With Variations Details
GOAL/EMPHASIS:cardiovascular workout with classic 32-count step choreography

Teaching Yoga at the Wall

As a yoga teacher, you guide participants through a practice that deepens their understanding of asanas (poses) and how these take shape in students’ bodies. You cue, coach, align, adjust, demonstrate and discuss, and you offer tips on breathing, anatomy, “feel” and sensation. Often, the most effective way to help participants understand a specific element is to slow down, grab a prop or two, and work a little deeper. You may have access to straps, blocks and bolsters, but you might be forgetting another perfect “prop”: the wall.

Stand Up to Aging

Getting up off the ground grows more difficult as we age. Muscles and bones weaken, coordination becomes less fluid, and simply doing chores around the house gets more challenging. Ground-to-standing (G2S) exercises address these changes. hile even performance athletes can benefit from G2S drills (see the sidebar “G2S Exercises Also Help Performance Athletes”), they’re supremely helpful for older exercisers who are at risk for broken hips and other threats to their mobility.

Barre Moves for Core Development

Barre classes focus on the core throughout the entire workout and have many ardent followers. Why not use barre-inspired moves in the core section of your HIIT or boot camp class? Your participants will love these variations on classic core fundamentals!

Creative Ideas That Inspire

TabataRide, offered at various JoyRide® locations and based on Tabata™ workouts, is an indoor cycling class that offers high-intensity interval drills that include 20 seconds of top effort and 10 seconds of recovery, repeated for 4 minutes. This is followed by 1 minute of rest before repeating the cycle. The high-energy, super-athletic classes at this studio are designed to “torch calories and boost endorphins.” In addition, the instructors strive to provide authenticity, joy, humor and positivity.

How (and Why) to Host a Family-Themed Indoor Cycling Class

Every Thursday morning, my cycle studio fills with an array of participants, ranging from accomplished Ironman® finishers to preschool moms trying to maximize their minutes—and Nora, a 92-year-old great-grandmother. Together we pedal like maniacs, laugh, sing a few refrains and walk out soaked through with sweat. In the cycle studio, participants of all ages and abilities can be motivated by being in a group, but riders can still slow down when they need to without sticking out. In fact, my own cycling journey began when I was pregnant and in search of a low-impact workout.

Facilitated Flexibility

While some participants don’t stick around for the cooldown, those who do are rewarded with the many benefits that stretching offers. Help students go a little deeper with a very simple yet versatile tool: a stretching strap.
Straps are great to have in your fitness toolbox (and relatively inexpensive for the program manager’s budget). They not only assist with proper positioning and numerous techniques but also nullify the “I’m not flexible enough” excuse.

Five Techniques
Before we get to the stretches, consider these options:

Spotting and Fixing Flaws in Walking Biomechanics

Participating in a program of regular exercise is a good idea at any stage of life, but particularly as we get older. Exercising frequently and consistently has many documented benefits, including promoting good health, preventing disease, enhancing mental health and physical capacity, aiding recovery from injury and illness, minimizing the effects of aging, and improving one’s ability to handle the physical demands of life (Bird, Smith & James 1998).