Necessities for Every Group Fitness Class

I teach most days of the week and in many cases it could be a class full of people that have been in my classes long enough that they know the class, know what to expect, etc. Even though I know this, I still treat the class as if it’s a room full of new people. No matter the audience there are things that we should stay consistent with in every group fitness class we teach, whether it be spinning / indoor cycling, yoga, zumba, weights, cardio, etc.

  • Class Introduction (you name, the class name, the intent, the time length, etc) – People like to know what to expect and for new people it always starts classes off a little more personal when you tell them your name. They are more likely to walk up to you afterwards if they have questions when they know how to address you. In spinning / indoor cycling I will tell them my name, the class name, time, and even what type of class we are doing (strength, intervals, endurance, etc) so they know where we are headed.
  • Warm Up. Yes, I know that mentally we want to jump right in with both feet but the muscles need to warm up. When possible it’s even good to go through similar warm up exercises that will loosen the muscles up that you intend of using in class.
  • Form Cues. Always. You may have a room full of veterans but that does not mean that they have always heard everything you’ve said in the past. Plus, when we get tired we all know we lose focus and our form starts to slip. So, always strip it back to the basics on occasion and help them correct their form.
  • Cool Down. We just worked out for XX minutes .. the muscles need and deserve a cool down. This is not only for muscular stretching but it’s also to help lower the heart rate and taper back to our typical body state. So always add in an adequate cool down! I also use this time to add in any announcements or class changes that may be happening.
  • Class Closing. I always circle back around at the end of the class, tell them my name again, thank them for coming (without them we would not be teaching!), mention my other classes, and invite them to talk to me about questions or any bike maintenance issues. I think it’s important for my classes to know how much I appreciate them working out with me each week 🙂

I hope this helps!  Thanks for reading!

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Things New Spinning Instructors May Not Know

Most spinning / indoor cycling instructors have been trained. We’ve spent hours in workshops, learning body mechanics, how to design classes, and how to be successful coaches. We then spend hours sitting in front of our computers, stressing over classes, trying to get them perfect, from the music to the layout and intent.

We were prepped for all of that and while we walked in really nervous, we knew what to expect. We set the members up, introduce class, tell them our intentions and hit play. Then, we learn a few things in that first class that we did not quite expect.

  • Learning to breathe while teaching spinning / indoor cycling is an adjustment! I remember teaching my first class years and years ago, having everything down pat. About 5 minutes into class I was just trying to calm my nerves and keep my breath while trying to fight a few words out. Tip: Try running and talking, or try practicing to an empty cycle room. The goal is to get your heart rate up and be able to talk. It does not have to be non-stop conversation but enough to coach.
  • Teaching is both very humbling and very rewarding. If you just happen to say something wrong, everyone hears it. If you ‘woo’ during class (like I do) or are a heavy breather, everyone hears it. Guess what .. they get used to it .. and it’s no big deal. It’s humbling to be in front of a class but worth it, knowing that you are helping people along whatever fitness journey that they are on. Sometimes it ends up in everyone having a good laugh 🙂
  • You will put more pressure on yourself over every class than the class will ever put on you. We spend hours creating classes, wanting them to be challenging, inspiring, and just plain out perfect. We put the mic on that first time, teach the class, and hope that they enjoyed it. We put so much more stress on ourselves, on being perfect, than they ever put on us. We will always strive for perfection but that pressure gets better, I promise!

I could add more, and will do so in a later post. Teaching is one of the better decisions that I’ve personally made in my life.

To this day I’ll still have my nervous moments but I honestly believe that it’s a sign that we care and we want to give them a great class!

Thanks for reading!

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Why Group Fitness Classes?

I’m a big fan of group fitness classes. While there is nothing wrong with working out at home, or even in the main part of the gym, I found my niche in the group fitness classroom.

It amazes me sometimes the impression that people have of the classroom. The guys at the gym think that we paint our nails and curl our hair in there. The females that have never been in think that we pick up little bitty weights and sit them down. So, when people are unsure they seem to assume that we don’t do much .. or maybe I think this because I’ve only surveyed all the wrong people!

So, let’s talk about why you should open the door to the group fitness room and try a class:

  • A little bit of everything is offered in there! From cardio to weights to bootcamps and yoga, your local gym will offer plenty of classes to fulfill all of your fitness needs! Most of the time they are intentionally schedule so that we don’t ‘overload’ ourselves with too much of a certain type of workout (we can discuss that in a later post!).
  • It’s social! I love this part about it. You meet new people and become friends. They become your accountability buddies on the days you are there, and are not! It adds a bit of fun to the whole working out part.
  • It’s very motivating! You can work out alone and try to push yourself or you can workout with 30 other people all working just as hard as they can. Believe me, they will encourage you indirectly to get out of your comfort zone!
  • You are coached by a trained profession on what to do and how to do it right. You walk in and XX amount of time later you have walked out with a full workout and guess what? You did not have to plan it out or even think about it. Someone did all of that for you. That is pretty nice in itself!

I could go on and on .. but I don’t want to make this too long!

Sound appealing? Well, I highly recommend trying a class out. You never know what you will think of it unless you give it a shot!

If you have questions, let me know! Thanks for reading!

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My Last Day of Vacation – Both Wasted and Productive

I’ve been off for about 2 1/2 weeks, minus 2 (long, miserable) days smack in the middle. Aside from teaching at the gym my productivity has been … absent. But hey, it’s a vacation, who said we had to be productive …

Monday was it, my last day, and I was determined to waste as much of it as I could! Luckily I had to teach a couple of classes so that kept me from completely wasting time!

Keiser bikes for indoor cycling class
Keiser bikes at the gym. I love taking photos of the empty room before people start filing in 🙂

I taught lunch spinning / indoor cycling. During my regular work week I really love the lunch class. The group is fantastic and it gives me this great break in the middle of the day. I’ve actually been subbing this class for about 2 – 3 months and I have about a month and a half left subbing it. I’m enjoying it while I have it!

Up until now I really had not noticed a significant increase in the crowd, because of the New Years resolutions, and this class was not much different. Granted there were a few extra people in there but not enough to be significant.

Anyway class was great, as usual, and it was definitely worth getting out into the cold weather for. Plus, I am a big fan of burning calories.

One mistake .. Tervis water bottle with iceI left my water bottle out in the car with water in it … and the water was of course frozen. Thankfully by the middle of class it had started to break up a bit but still .. lesson learned!

(I love my water bottle, by the way. It’s a Tervis .. I’ll have to write a post about that bottle soon!)

After that I went back to complete laziness until I had to teach again. One last afternoon of hanging out …

I finally got moving and headed to the next gym for my bootcamp class. That class definitely felt more New Years resolution crowded, although it was not as much crowded with new people as it was with returning people. Anyway, another solid hour with those guys, as always. It is a fun class to teach but it is a HARD class to teach! Maybe I’ll talk about that class format in a future post 🙂

When it was all said and done I had burned 454 calories in the 45 minute cycle class and then 541 in the bootcamp .. so just shy of 1000 calories but with them being broken up it did not feel so tough!

So, it was a lazy day but not so lazy at the same time. I wish every day was like that!

Thanks for reading!

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