I’ve recently attended a few fitness classes with instructors who are far more seasoned than I am. And, by seasoned I mean they’ve been teaching and/or coaching far longer than I have. In attending these classes, though, there are a few things I noticed that seemed pretty consistent with each of them.
For starters, none of them cued their class. Believe me when I say, I know the feeling of having my regulars in my class who can take over a choreography and just run with it and those who can just hear the first bar of a song and go all out without me even starting them off. But, for the NEW people who have never taken class with me, they have no clue what is going on. Without proper communication whether verbal or visual they are going to be lost ducks for 75% of the class. Regardless of whether you’ve been instructing for 20 years or for less than 6 months be sure to incorporate cuing into your choreography for the newbies in the back otherwise you may very well lose them.
Next, class tempo. More and more people are coming to group fitness classes these days than ever before. For many of these pre-formatted class types there are specific methods set into place to ensure the safety of you and your participants. I’m going to use Zumba as an example. A good class will incorporate songs that are a combination of low, medium and high tempo and combinations of each together. Walking into a class that has you jumping and hopping and and waving your arms around over your head for 45 of 55 minutes without any type of active recovery period is not good for your participants mainly because they don’t know how to breathe properly to keep them going. We as instructors were trained to bring our participant’s heart rate up and down over the course of the class, not keep it as high as we can only to then bring them down.
Lastly, be aware of what your participants are doing in the class. Are you teaching a format that does not require any equipment and and you have people taking the class holding 10 pound weights throughout? Or, are you teaching a class that does require equipment with a restricted weight limit and their weight is too heavy? As the instructor, you have a RIGHT to say something and correct the behavior before they HURT themselves. Yes, people know their bodies better than you do as a fitness instructor, but, when you’re teaching a regular Zumba class and you have an older participant waving 10 pound dumbbells around during a high intensity Merengue, please take a minute between songs to ask them to kindly put them down. Regardless of whether you piss them off or not, your participants’ safety is your responsibility while teaching. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people come into my Zumba Toning class with 10 pound dumbbells and who have argued with me about using them. I’m sorry, but when I tell you they are TOO HEAVY for the class, they are too heavy.
Fitness instructors take training, and hold licenses, so that we can provide you, the participant, an optimal full body workout that is safe and effective please heed our advice when it is given to you.