It’s about the experience not about the sweat!

So many times like many of you I come across this scenario from group fitness instructors rearing its ugly head!

If you want a proper step workout you need to have 4 bricks under the whole time, if you want a proper pump class you gotta load the bar up! Oh and in cycle its scream scream scream from the instructor whilst she/he tries to rip the legs of the participants  whilst they turn a ghastly pale white! And so forth you get the picture – then there’s the instructor who spends more time telling the social media world they did 500 classes that day and  learnt 10 new releases overnight to the accolades of their friends on social media….. The high percentage of people don’t care how many classes you did and how much choreography you learnt, actually they don’t give a rats bum and by doing so you just alienated half the population from feeling good about the exercise they did that day. Lets get one thing straight if you learnt 10 new releases over night or in a few days good for you, thats your choice the rest of the world doesn’t need to know and if you taught 4 or 500 classes in one day I wonder if each participant actually felt like they mattered?

One of the main reasons group training has taken off in the last few years is because it offers the group effect that some instructors don’t instruct when teaching group fitness. Group training gives experience. Look at Crossfit,Functional training,HIIT and so forth, forget what the foundation of each program is for a minute and think about what they do in EVERY situation…… All of the above take any person at any fitness level and teach them physical execution,they give them goals to aspire to,they do not preach anything ‘they set a small goal building over time and say do your best’ that person then has something to look forward to the following week.  When was the last time you instructed a class and told them to focus on one goal for that week and to hold back in other classes and it was ok to rest that they don’t need to go flat out every session.

Now yes there are some great group fitness instructors who teach fantastic classes and meet all the elements and these guys get great numbers in their classes and people just keep coming back for more. This is what club owners want. So how do you give a participant a great group fitness experience  “make it about them” you might say I do,but do you? Have you ever walked into any BodyStep/Step class and said today I’ll teach the whole class at a beginners level,I’m going hang out with the new guys? Maybe no bricks just the platform,every move is a basic move giving a harder option as a preview and then reverting back to beginner. Have you done this? Yes/No When? Or was your response ‘yeah but I’m there for a workout to’ ‘you can’t motivate that way’ ‘the choreography book doesn’t say to do that’ and blah blah excuses and justifications. Do you realise whenever you put yourself in the same position as a new participant more participants will feel inclined to trust you and come back to your class. It shows you have care factor. Experienced members know what to do but beginners don’t and you are there to encourage health and wellbeing to every person. You are there to encourage 100% maximum workout from them as a single individual,every persons 100% is different from the person standing next to them,when was the last time you told your class this? Your class is their workout, it could be the best part of their day make it an experience.

Motivating your participants comes from the journey you create from the start to the end. It comes from you verbally in what you say and how you say it. It comes from how you present yourself on stage,what you wear,are you wearing clean neat tidy clothes or something your slept in two weeks ago? Your hair –  is it brushed or is it bed hair at 6am? Your make up could just be lip gloss,make an effort. Teaching class is a job you represent a brand, the brand of you – present for it.

Motivation can also come from your energy, are you fit are you lazy – do you practice what your preach? You don’t have to be jumping all around stage like a crazy person, thats not attractive at all nobody wants to come  to ‘out of control classes’. But they will come back when they feel they count, when they feel that class was about them and not just the front row. Don’t be afraid to walk into class and spend a week teaching to all the new participants at their level, they’re depending on you to help them create change. It’s a little sad when you actually hear group fitness instructors talk about the front row, like is that all you see six or seven people at the front week in week out what about the rest of the room. Maybe your front row people are there every week but wow how many people have come and gone? And you didn’t even see them.

The industry is evolving and some factors are changing or slowing down and becoming less and less. You only need to look at Les Mill Live becomes Les Mills Virtual. Like all things we do its about the experience and whats in it for me and how does it make me feel. We really need to look at the new generation of exerciser, there are more of them and they have a different approach to fitness,they are not the dinosaur bodybuilders from the 70’s attitude or the Richard Simmons crazy aerobics member with leopard skin g strings.

The new generation is the generation we created.

Now go coach them.

Mel Tempest

Fitness Business Coach
Motivational speaker on the business of fitness
Innovator Implementer Ideas person
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Scare tactics and Independent health club owners

We already know that the #futureoffitness is technology, we can’t run from that, it’s happening now! What I find interesting is the amount of publications referring to boutique studios are the in thing with each studio differentiating itself from each other. Yoga,Barre,Cycle,HIIT etc etc are the supposed go to tools, become one or go broke. Lets take a bigger step back say seven years when 24/7 franchise boxes were opening here in Australia, the negativity that followed for the independent club owner it was dooms day we wouldn’t be able to compete 24/7, low pricing and blah blah. So here we are seven years later and a high percentage of independents have gone 24/7 and have become fierce competition for these now smaller clubs. How did they do it? Education – going 24/7 is not a big deal it just sounded like a big deal and the fear of god was put into the club owner at every convention or workshop they went to…So now lets look at boutiques clubs – the opposite to the 24/7 franchised gym – specialising in anything from hot yoga,cycle,dance,hiit you name it – again another supposed threat to the independent club – I don’t think so. You see all that really needs to happen is we as an industry need to educate our independents on how to counter act boutique style clubs…. Really? Yes! You see the common factor in all this is one thing “group interaction” Training in a club irrespective of its size,its brand,its social status its group training,its social interaction its everything it was back in the 80’s just different…just like fitness of the 70’s was different to fitness of the 80’s ,at the end of the day it was still the above.People meeting with people. There is absolutely no reason for an independent not to re-brand their group training in their club an offer the same as, if not better as the boutique clubs. Training Gym area’s can be set up in any independent club – I’m doing it as I write,I’ll still have a separate cycle room and GF studio – I’ve taken the PT area dumped it and re-developed it – group training – functional training – people want social interaction, you don’t have to be boutique or Crossfit to offer this, you can be an Independent! Boom I just added value to my members membership! ……And any club owner can put in a Heart Rate monitor system in their club and offer an app – Like #Netpulse. You don’t have to be boutique or a 24/7 box club to have these. My beef at the moment is the hype that is caused from ‘experts’ in the industry to shell shock the independents into negative mindset – your role is education, educate them on how to change and become a better business not a scared business.Thats your job – nobody is interested in what you did or saw on your travels they can google that stuff. They want A to Z get me to the finish line.  

Let me leave you with two points to think about –

1.When was the last time you checked how many boutique or 24/7 franchised clubs were up for sale. I love to google “gyms/health clubs for sale, the amount of franchised clubs up for sale is an education itself don’t visit specific www just google.
2.Anybody that tells you that you need to be apart of the latest trend say to them “thats great now show me how to get there and how you got their” If they can’t replicate to you their own experiences then I would probably disregard it… Seriously it would be like somebody who hasn’t owned a gym or fitness business in the social media era telling you how to sell memberships on social media.

Never preach what you haven’t achieved.
Mel.

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