No matter how long you’ve been doing something, there’s always room for improvement. For me, I feel like I stop growing as a person when I continue the same patterns and behaviors indefinitely. I become close-minded and start myopically viewing the world around me.
One of my gazillion jobs is teaching group fitness. I teach in a variety of settings and it could be very easy for me to fall into the same workout structures or motivational quotes when teaching. In order to not only energize the class, but also myself, I need to find ways to continually improve my teaching. Here are four steps I try and take to always be a better instructor than I was before.
1. Listen to your members
The people taking your classes are the most important people in the room — not you. You are there to help them achieve the best possible workout they can and hit new goals along the way. Their feedback is crucial. If someone tells you that the music was too loud, too soft, or too anything, take that into consideration. One opinion might not be enough to change the way you do things, but if you hear the same feedback more than once, it’s important to take a look at that thing.
If you program your own workouts, listen to the comments that people have afterwards. If they mention that they loved the format or it was challenging, make a note and try to incorporate it again at some point. The same goes for negative comments. Limit those formats that people seem less than enthused about.
Finally, as much as you should listen to what they have to say, remember you can always ASK your members as well. See what they thought about a particular move, format, or anything else about the workout. You’d be surprised how much you can get if you just ask!
2. Stay on top of information
The world of fitness is always changing. New research is important to help guide you in programming the best workouts. Keep on top of new developments, such as the shift towards doing reverse lunges over front. Thank God, since I hate front lunges. 🙂
Make sure to take time to research new moves and new formats in order to keep classes exciting and challenging for your members.
3. Branch out
I can get caught in the cycle of going to the same place to work out for an extended period of time. It’s somewhere I’m comfortable, I know what to expect, and it’s easier for me to plan. The problem is that I get used to the same instructors and the same motivational cues.
Whenever I can, I try and attend classes at different locations. This way I’m introduced to new formats and new instructors, which often inspires me to change up my own teaching game. I hear new slogans to borrow 🙂 and I feel excited to get back and up my game.
4. Get enough sleep & leave your mood at the door
Instructors need to be energetic. It’s our job to motivate and encourage a room full of people to work harder than they might work on their own. This means that you need to be well-rested and leave anything you might have going on in your personal life outside the room. People can tell if you are preoccupied and not fully invested in teaching.
Last year was incredibly difficult for me to bring my A-game with everything going on in my personal life. Once things began getting better, I could immediately tell that my performance had improved from months prior (sorry to anyone who may have taken my classes at that time!). It can be hard to turn off negative emotions if you have them going on, but try and keep your head up and do the best job you can for your members.
- The Introvert’s Guide to Fitness Instruction
- 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Group Fitness Instructor
- 6 Ways You Can Become an Amazing Fitness Instructor
- 5 Things You Should Do When Taking A New Fitness Class
- Are you an instructor? What tips do you have?
- As someone who takes classes, what advice do you have to instructors on how to be better?