A few weeks back, I addressed some questions that folks have had for me regarding becoming a fitness instructor, which I did back in 2009. That was the catalyst for a major life change for me – I dropped a whole lot of weight, and changed the course of my career. I’m now a Group Fitness Director, and blog – a little about running, and a lot about life – two things I would never have done had I not signed up for a Zumba® Fitness Training like 5 years ago.
I talked about how to get to teach at a gym once you do get the appropriate certifications here.
Now, let’s talk about once you start teaching. How do you make sure that you’re a good – GREAT – fitness instructor?
- Keep going to other folks’ classes. Just because you teach a full schedule doesn’t mean you should completely stop taking other classes. For one, you get to work out, for two, you can learn a ton of new stuff. You get to see how other teachers cue, and cherry pick things you love about classes, as well as some that you’d rather leave behind.
- Keep up with your continuing education. Fitness is not a one-and-done type of deal, and should never be. Continue to take classes that not only interest you, but those that will challenge you, and those that will strengthen you as an instructor.
- At the beginning of each class? Introduce yourself by name, and introduce the format of the class.
- Always ask if there is anyone who is new to class, not to embarrass them or single them out in anyone way, but to make sure that you explain some things to folks who are new to class. Are there any contraindicated movements? Anything you need to remind them off?
- Always remind the class that there are modifications to every movement that should make the movement safe for any “special” population. That term refers to anyone who may be injured, our folks who are morbidly obese, folks who are physically handicapped in some way, elderly populations, or even pregnant folks. Remind the class that there are modifications, but don’t assume that just because someone is elderly, that they’re not interested in a squat. These mods are for everyone!
- Eye contact is important. Make eye contact with every single person in the class. Make each person feel like they are the most important person in the room at some point. Because they are! They are the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing.
- Your class is not the time to show out or show off. Leave your ego elsewhere. Your job is to be the ambassador to a good, safe, healthy time. Straight up, don’t be a douche.
- Smile! Be genuine! Seriously. Nothing worse than an instructor who acts like the funeral march should be playing, or that they should be taken ridiculously seriously.
So there are my tips (just before the holiday) on how to be a great instructor that your students will <3. What is your favorite group exercise class to attend? Who is your favorite instructor?