Flashback to the early 2000’s, I was a pre-teen at home on summer break carelessly flipping through TV channels trying to find something to watch. I stumbled upon TLC’s What Not To Wear with Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, and was immediately hooked! I related to the real-life fashion offenders on TV because I too, had loose baggy clothing, frumpy hair, and didn’t know how to color-coordinate with my shoes. Being an overweight child and spending a lot of time with my brother, you could say I was a tomboy. I remember wearing gym sneakers with EVERY outfit even in high school, I loved comfort over style.
I recently had an interview at a local gym for a coaching position and asked Steven, what do I wear?! That experience is the inspiration for today’s blog. If you’re a personal trainer or group fitness instructor, I’m sure the same thought has crossed your mind. The short answer is, well it depends…
Usually in the fitness industry, interviews have two parts:
This is the traditional sit down with the hiring manager and questions are asked. I say when in doubt go with business casual. For men, slacks or khakis with at least a polo or collared shirt. For women, a nice blouse with pants or a dress. If you are interviewing for management, dress business professional.
Being in the fitness industry our job to help people move so it’s only natural to make you demonstrate your skills in when hiring. With personal training, this might be a mock client situation or you may be given a scenario. With group fitness, it may be a short 5-15 minute demo class or small group training. As managers, we know within the first 10 minutes if we intend to hire you or not.
Regardless, wear clothing that looks the part. Make sure you’re not rocking that busted old free t-shirt you got in college that may or may not have an armpit hole. Try for workout shorts, capris, or leggings, and a top that isn’t too revealing (save that crop top for a rainy day). Bonus points if your outfit can match a little to show you gave some thought into your demo.
I would bring this change of clothes whether or not you know if they’d like you to be active during your interview process. Be prepared!
Thanks for tuning in to the What Not To Fear: Fitness Edition (Shirt and Shoes probably required)
Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. All rights to What Not To Wear belong to TLC
Creating a sense of community is key when connecting to active agers in group fitness classes. These participants want to be challenged while having a great time in class. As an instructor, balancing those two can be a challenge. Whether you are a seasoned instructor skilled in teaching active agers or new to that demographic, here are six tips for helping your participants stay forever fit.
Our principal investigator, Steven, had the opportunity to write a blog for ACE Fitness. Click here to learn Six Ways to Stay Forever Fit.
“Music such a strong word with an even stronger sound it can rumble beneath your feet, cry in your ears, take away your fears, replace them with tears a never ending cycle of life’s greatest years the innovation and creation that freshens the mind and sterilizes the soul and only you will know how far it can go it can take us away to new places that we hope will last or take us back to then and dwell in the past covering every emotion with devotion of a single word creating a time in our life and a place in our hearts from yesterday to tomorrow the music keeps playing.” -Justin Thorne
This is my favorite quote on music because it amplifies the power that music can bring. Do you work out better with or without music? Chances are the answer is better. For my fellow group fitness instructors out there, you know that music is such a strong motivator when it comes to exercise. Choosing music for a group fitness class is crucial; therefore, we’ll be going behind the mic in today’s blog so you can be the next music mogul in class.
To start off some general tips on music: make sure it is reflective of your audience and your class. For example, teaching in a campus recreation facility and retirement home would require two completely different playlists. (For more insight on teaching active agers check out Steven’s latest ACE blog here). Additionally, a zumba class has a very different tone compared to a cardio kickboxing class.
Before you even sit down to plan your workout, I want you to think about your audience, the format, the time, and the mood or effect you want your music to have on your participants. One caveat to that, if you teach to the music, meaning you follow a 32-count, then you want your music to have the appropriate beats per minute. Disclaimer: I am still learning myself but here are my general tips:
Choose a song with positive lyrics and eases participants into the workout. Some of my current favorites are:
2002 by Anne Marie Jay Pryor Remix Version
Five More Hours by Deorro and Chris Brown
Main working block
Think about the lyrics and the beat here, try to match the music to your workout intensity. Remember some people are motivated by the words of the music, the beat, or even your cues.
Dinero by Jennifer Lopez
Level Up by Ciara
Youngblood by 5 Seconds of Summer
This section of the workout should indicate a shift which is slower.
Magic by BOB
New Rules by Dua Lupa
Everyone knows when it’s cool-down time when the song is relaxing and smooth.
Colors by Jason Derulo
Love Lies by Khalid and Normani
You might be asking where do I get good fitness music: we’ve got you covered! Here are some of our favorite finds:
Fitness Music Resources
Steady130- This website offers free downloadable mixes. With numerous categories you’re bound to find a mix that fits your needs!
Yes!Go- Subscription required; however, you can edit the music to your preferred BPMs. They have pre-made mixes or you can mix your own!
Power Music- A paid app where you can get access to unlimited fitness music.
Last but not least Spotify- For all my fellow broke fitness professionals out there this is a great option. Check out my profile if you ever need some inspiration.
To continue our Hallowellness journey through the month of October, themed classes are popular around the holidays. To change things up, check out Steady130’s Halloween Bash mix to bring some fun to your next class.
I hope you learned something new and maybe you’ll get a gig as a DJ one day. For now, know you have the power of influence every time you step behind mic.
An aspiring fitness music mogul,
Group Fitness Instructors are incredible. We get up in front of a room of strangers and take them on a transformational journey. Within seconds, we build trust with a group and never look back. We instruct, coach, push, and motivate. We plan, choreograph, and practice our classes way more hours than we actually teach. Some of us work across many gyms just to make ends meet; but the thing that keeps us going is that we have the ability to impact so many people in a short amount of time. Participants may come to class wishing they were somewhere else, yet when they leave- they feel they can conquer anything that comes their way. No one says it as well as Steven Trotter, “Group Fitness Instructors take people to a place they can’t get to on their own.”
Today we’ll share five tips to help take your group fitness game from good to great so you can keep on taking people to new heights.
1. Be a music mogul.
Music is such a powerful tool in group exercise classes- it can motivate us to push harder, bring back special memories, or make us dance. Planning music is often the element that takes the most time when planning class because the music sets the tone for the workout, it creates the an atmosphere. You are the DJ and your participants are the concert goers. To stay on top of your music game always be listening for new music, you never know what could be your next favorite burpee track.
2. Become cue master. (We aren’t talking about pool).
People are usually a combination of three different learning styles: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. To make the most of your cueing be sure you are using a combination and variety of cueing to connect with everyone in your class. Have a rockstar participant? Next time you teach ask them to take note of what style you use the most and make it a challenge for yourself to up the other forms so you have a balanced variety. More information can be found here.
3. Never stop being a student.
Continue taking other instructors’ classes, you will always learn something new whether it be new music, a new combo or sequence, or cueing styles. Branching out of your comfort zone will continue to challenge your body. It’s always a bonus if your regulars see you in another class that they take- you become more relatable and it shows that you are just like them.
4. Create a community in and outside the classroom.
Your impact does not have to the end in the classroom, take it online. Social media, that is. For example, create an online Facebook group for your attendees. This will create a sense of community among participants and a platform where you can let people know if there will be sub or ask for feedback or song requests. Let me tell you, people love song requests and hearing their favorite in class. This is also a great way if you want to try something new in class, you can get feedback via a Facebook poll. There are so many benefits from an online group, the possibilities are endless!
Real life example: a fantastic resource for ACE Group Fitness Instructors is the online Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/acegroupfit/?ref=bookmarks
Ask questions, listen to webinars, or just see what others are doing for their classes.
5. Seek continuing education opportunities.
Usually to keep a group fitness instructor certification, continuing education credits must be earned every two years. Although some may think that is a pain, there is benefit! This helps you stay on top of your game, keep up with current industry trends, and expose you to new things. Even if you’re taught for 30 years, there is always more to learn. So attend a refresher workout, master class, or try for another certification. For example, I am taking the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam in December (wish me luck!).
Regardless of what formats you teach, how long you’ve been teaching, what workout gear you have, or what you look like, know that your work day in and day out makes a difference in the lives of so many. Without group fitness instructors the world wouldn’t be as happy or healthy.
Thanks to all the group fitness instructors out there! We are all one family.
Who we are
Just a team of round pegs in a square hole changing the world one interaction at a time.
Look back at it