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.
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