Arrgghh! Evaluation time again! I find the whole process of having my teaching performance evaluated so nerve-wracking and artificial. I worry beforehand about doing well; then I feel my evaluator cannot get a true picture of my long-term relationship with each class; and lastly, not much ever happens as a result of my evaluation. Any suggestions or subtle words of wisdom I can give to my director to make our time spent on evaluations more worthwhile? Do any instructors have successful experiences with performance evaluations they can share with me?
Picture this common scenario. You are just preparing to teach your regular 5:30 pm fitness class when one of your participants asks if you would mind turning down the music a little during the workout….
Some controversy surrounds the role that stretching exercises play in regard to fitness training, especially group fitness classes. Perhaps more than ever, debate is brewing about the proper time and place to stretch. Exactly when and what type of stretching exercises do we need to include in our classes? Although little definitive research is available on the subject, fitness experts are trying to reach a consensus.
Everyone wants to know them and to benefit from them. Fitness consumers demand them—except
for those who try to avoid them.
What are the newest fitness trends?, we ask.
A trend, according to Webster, is a “line
of general direction and movement” or a “current style or preference.” Being trendy
is being fashionable. And in fitness, there can be a lot of fashion!
Managers and staff in the fitness industry are very resourceful. The quality and quantity of activities they produce show a flair for innovating an apparently unending blend of exercise formats and equipment. This capability is captured in the results of the 2001 IDEA Fitness Programs and Equipment Survey. IDEA members reported on their clients, programs, equipment and work environments, and painted a landscape of tried-and-true activities integrated with new options.
“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness.” Joseph H. Pilates, the founder of what we commonly refer to as “the Pilates Method” or just “Pilates,” used to share this belief with his students. In fact if Joseph Pilates had had his way, people all over the world would be practicing his exercise technique, which he originally named “contrology.”
Recent articles have focused on the benefits of teaching new, specialized classes, such as hybrids that combine several complementary elements into one group session. Perhaps you are toying with the idea of creating your own new class but are unsure how to start. How do instructors come up with innovative concepts and titles like “Indoor/Outdoor Intervals,” “Step ’n’ Sculpt” or Yogilates®? What has to happen for
a new class to become a reality?
After more than a decade, step classes are still going strong. Our longtime, dedicated steppers are growing ever stronger—or so we assume. And our step teaching awareness is at an all-time high—or is it?
Develop a green thumb and your fitness career may blossom into something greater. Sound
farfetched? Not if you follow the lead of skilled gardeners and try hybridization.
Thank you for the February 2001 Problem Solver column, “Dealing With Fellow Instructors’ Eating or Exercise Disorders.” Recently a colleague of mine encountered this situation with a member of her facility. With regard to getting involved, our staff is concerned about the legal implications, including possible claims of discrimination and privacy violation. What are the legal guidelines for approaching a member (especially at the request of other members) when it is clear that the member’s health is in danger?
Every facility follows a business model, which impacts all costs,
including salary levels. When looking at these figures, keep in mind how costs are associated with revenue. For example, it is simpler to
associate the cost of a personal trainer with the revenue of a session fee than it is to associate the cost of a fitness instructor with the revenue of a membership fee, which allows access to an entire facility. These cost-revenue associations may impact compensation.
Your participants rush to the gym in the early morning,
during their lunch hour or after work, desperately trying to stay fit, keep the fat off or simply feel better about their bodies. Pressed for time and wanting results, many exercisers are after something new—an exercise that delivers more or is better than other exercises.
Did you know that innumerable teaching opportunities exist beyond the conventional health club setting, which caters mostly to the already fit? The truth is that moneymaking options for group fitness leaders are plentiful—if you are motivated to move beyond the comfortable limits of traditional facilities and if you widen your clientele to encompass those who are less fit.
Average hours worked and compensation for the industry were reported in the January 2001 issue of IDEA Health & Fitness Source. These charts break down those results into regions. When looking at the numbers, consider that the region includes big cities and suburban areas, as well as small towns.
As amazing as it now seems, back in the 1970s we had to prove that aerobic dance could actually increase your heart rate. “Yes, cardio activity is effective,” our new and growing industry asserted. Once this effectiveness was established, researchers began publishing studies that detailed injuries sustained during aerobics classes. So in the 1980s and 1990s, our adolescent industry committed to making classes safe.
Experienced teachers know that class variety is one secret to long-term success and self-preservation. Teaching a wide repertoire of class modes—for instance, step, indoor cycling and kickboxing—can help prevent burnout and improve your teaching skills. Developing options within a mode—endurance cycling, mind-body ride and power spin, for example, or step interval, multiple step and advanced step—is also important.
By Greg Roskopf, MA
When Clients Feel Pain
How can you identify muscle imbalances that contribute to discomfort or distress?
s personal fitness trainers, we recognize our role as specialists in exercise maintenance. On a daily basis, we set up exercise programs designed to help our clients reach their fitness goals. With the educational background and the skills we possess, trai…
With so many fitness activities available, how do you determine which ones are a good fit for your business? Asking current customers is your first step to answering that question. Surveys, informal conversations and tracking participation are good ways to find out what clients are interested in. The second step is to see what other facilities are offering, both locally and nationally, and predict if your customers will like the same programs their customers do.
By Leigh Crews
Group Resistance Training:
Guidelines and Safety Suggestions
Editor’s note: This article is the fifth of a five-part series on guidelines and safety suggestions for various group fitness modalities. The genesis for these articles is you, the IDEA member. In our most recent readership survey, 100 percent of respondents said they wanted to see more space in IDEA publications devoted …
By Karen Asp, MA
Get Tough With Tubing
ith so much new equipment emerging all the time, it’s easy to forget about those tried-and-true elastic tubes and bands. But guess what? They are making a strong comeback in group fitness classes. And for a good reason: Used well, they really work! If you review a few principles and get a creative jumpstart, you can rediscover elastic resistanc…