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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 four 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 while she/he tries to rip the legs of the participants while 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 learned ten 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 learned 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. Let’s get one thing straight if you learned ten new releases overnight or in a few days good for you, that’s 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 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’d 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 to the 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 person 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 you slept in two weeks ago? Your hair –  is it brushed or is it bed hair at 6 am? 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 it.

Motivation can also come from your energy, are you fit? Are you lazy – do you practice what you preach? You don’t have to be jumping all around the stage like a crazy person, that’s 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 depend 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 it’s about the experience and whats in it for me and how does it make me feel. We need to look at the new generation of the 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 coach them.

Mel Tempest

Fitness Business Coach
Motivational speaker on the business of fitness
Innovator Implementer Ideas person