Posted on

Why I have an ACE Group Fitness Certification to Teach Group X Classes

ACE Group Fitness Certification handbook

If you want to become a Group X instructor, you’ve likely started researching different fitness certifications that you can get to teach, including the ACE Group Fitness certification. You may have noticed that all you need is a Group X certification and CPR/AED to technically teach group fitness classes; however, some certifications are more impressive and widely-accepted than others.

If you have a specific gym in mind, you’ll want to make sure you ask the group exercise director that runs their program what fitness certifications they’ll accept. It might also be worth emailing the gyms nearby to see what fitness certifications they require in case you decide down the road you want to teach there. Otherwise, you’ll have to decide for yourself what certification to take.

Here’s why I chose the ACE Group Fitness Certification.

When I was taking UCLA’s Fitness Leadership Program back in 2010, we were encouraged to take the ACE Fitness group exercise certification test, because it was one of the most accepted and respected options for Group X instructors. There were other choices, but this one was strongly encouraged. I didn’t think anything of it at the time and just selected the ACE Fitness test, but I was so glad I did.

Moving up to San Francisco Bay Area after college graduation, I started looking for gyms I could teach at, and every single one accepted the ACE Fitness certification. For reference, I’ve been on the group exercise instructor list at more than five gyms. A year in, one of the gyms I taught at ClubSport even changed its policy and required instructors to have either ACE or AFAA nationally-accredited certification. Many instructors were frustrated that they had to go out and get another certification. If you’re just starting out, you can avoid this scenario by choosing ACE or AFAA in the first place.

For more advice, check out the group exercise ideas and tips page.

(Image source: ACE Fitness

Posted on

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: Knockout Tights

For any group fitness instructor who has had to go through the agony of wearing saggy, see-through workout pants, this Victoria’s Secret Sport review is for you. I’ve had my fair share of terrible workout bottoms, and I know I’m not alone. There are so many pants out there that will stretch out after a couple washes, and start to fall at the waist during yoga or strength training.

It’s also mortifying to have your underwear or skin show through the pants because the fabric is too thin. I experienced this first hand a few years ago in one of my 6 a.m. weekday strength classes. One of my participants was courteous enough to tell me after class that when i bent into child’s pose to stretch my pants got really thin —talk about mortifying.

After that experience, I thought my search for the perfect workout pants would never end. But then I stumbled upon Victoria’s Secret Sport, and now I finally have a go-to pair of workout bottoms. The Victoria’s Secret Sport Knockout Tight, Crop or Capri will become a staple in your fitness wardrobe.

Victoria's Secret Sport Review

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: The Fit

What I love about the workout tight, capri and crop is that they’re high rise, so you can squat and twist without worrying that the pants are going to sag too low. They’re also 23 percent Lycra, and I’ve washed mine a bunch of times and they’re still holding up good.

The one thing to remember when it comes to fit is that these run pretty small. I wear a size small, and they sometimes feel like they are suctioned to my body. When I’m teaching group exercises classes, it’s great because that fit helps to make sure the pants stay up and support me throughout the class. But, they’re not the type of pants you’d wear to lounge around the house or get cozy. Once you shimmy into these bad boys, you’ll feel inspired to work out. They’re those types of pants.

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: The Material

The fabric is super thick — it feels like a scuba material. The fabric does not show through no matter how you twist and turn. Some of the fabrics do have a sheen to them, which makes it seem like you can see through it, but it really is thick. If you prefer lightweight, breathable fabrics, this may not be for you. I personally love the sturdiness and thickness of the fabric.

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: The Prints

So far, I’ve gone pretty simple in my pant selection. I have two pairs of tights — one all black and the other black with some pink details. I also have a pair of black crop pants with a rainbow side detail. I did buy my mom a pair of purple capri pants for Christmas that she liked. But, when looking online, they had a lot of fun options to choose from. There are bold prints, more simple ones like the ones I have and then solid colors, as well.

Victoria’s Secret Sport Review: The Price

At full price, the knockout crop, capri and tight options are costly. I just can’t bring myself to shell out $60+ on a pair of workout pants. But, the good news is that these go on sale all the time, since the company is really pushing their new Victoria Sport brand. You’ll definitely want to wait for a sale, and you’ll likely be able to get them for around $30.

If you’ve read this far into my Victoria’s Secret Sport review, it should come as no surprise that I’m a huge fan of these workout bottoms. They give me peace of mind that my clothes will hold up against my workout, so I can focus on giving my members the best fitness class possible.

For more group exercise posts, check out the group exercise ideas and tips page.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich!

Posted on

February 2017 Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

Shay Mitchell's Workout for Fitness Instructors

February was a fun month for me. I got to share resistance band workouts and how I became a spinning instructor with my favorite fitness instructors and enthusiasts (yes, that’s you :)). On a personal note, I got to go bridesmaids’ dress shopping with my gals and celebrate National Margarita Day/Presidents’ Day with friends. My wedding is this October, so buckle your seat belts because it’s going to be a wild ride until then, but I will continue to post most Mondays and Wednesdays in between planning.

I may have been busy this month, but that didn’t stop me from keeping up on the latest fitness tips and trends. I pulled together a list of my favorite articles for fitness instructors, so you can easily keep up on what’s happening in the health, wellness and exercise industry.

Here’s a roundup of 10 February articles that fitness instructors and enthusiasts should read:

  1. Shay Mitchell (or should I say SLAY Mitchell?) recently posted her workout on Instagram and it is straight fire. SELF broke down all the moves in the video here. Also, those braids?! #GOALS.
  2. How to pack on muscle with eccentric exercises — I love seeing articles that teach the body mechanics behind exercise.
  3. Refinery29’s hip dip plank exercise. I anticipate group fitness participants bringing their booty too high in the air for this one, so something you’ll want to monitor when you introduce in your next Group X class.
  4. I have yet to try an Orangetheory Fitness class, but this article points out all the reasons I want to go: “Orangetheory Fitness Wants to Shame Your Half-Assed Workouts Out of Existence”
  5. Why Shape Magazine’s fitness director Jaclyn Emerick wakes up at 5 a.m. everyday. Advice for anyone looking to become a morning person.
  6. Fun Lower-body exercises to add to your fitness routine for dynamic balance.
  7. On days where you need some serious #fitspo, check out these 28 black fitness pros you should be following on Instagram.
  8. 5 creative body-weight exercises to mix things up.
  9. My kind of Valentine’s Day love: why exercise is good for the heart.
  10. And, in case you missed it, my most popular blog post from last month was this Valentine’s Day spin playlist. I’ll tell you, it was a big hit with my spinning classes!

If you liked this list, you’ll also like my link roundups from January and December. You can also check out other group exercise ideas and tips here.

(Image Source: Byrdie)

Posted on

Group Fitness Instructor Tips for Small Class Sizes

Group fitness instructor teaching a small class

Sometimes beyond all of our control, we show up to teach our group fitness class only to find just a couple participants ready to join in. I know firsthand that this can feel embarrassing and stressful. But, when there are holidays like Presidents’ Day, or it’s the first beautiful sunshine-y Saturday after months of gloomy weather, it’s hard to fault your regulars that decide to skip class. Here are a few group fitness instructor tips for making the most of smaller class sizes.

  1. Do not focus on what (or who) is missing.

A natural reaction to walking into a seemingly empty room is to ask, “Where is everyone?” However, you do not want to call attention to the fact that your class is small today. If you focus on what’s missing, you make it seem like the participants that did show up are not important. Why give any extra energy or attention to the folks that aren’t there when you could be instead focusing on giving the ones that did show up the best workout of their lives?

  1. Frame the small group fitness class size as a positive.

What can you do with this group of people that you couldn’t do with a larger group? Can you play that song that you love that one of your no-show regulars always complains about? Can you do those leg exercises that you normally can’t do because they take up too much room? Is there any equipment you can dust off because there’s now enough to go around?

Take advantage of the smaller class size to do some of the things you normally can’t do.

  1. Throw in some of those all-time favorite exercises.

If folks usually love the arm exercise routine you do, then use it as an opportunity to please the participants that showed up. Crowd favorites are my go-to on days where the class size is smaller or I’m feeling off for some reason.

  1. Above all else, give the class a challenging workout.

Participants are willing to overlook a lot as long as they get a good workout. Maybe they are the only ones who showed up, or maybe you led the same routine you did last week with the same playlist, but as long as they leave feeling like they got the workout they wanted, it’s all good.

It can be unnerving to walk into an almost empty group fitness class. As long as you try to spin it as a positive, and focus on giving the folks that did show up the workout they want, everyone will be happy. It also makes me feel better to think that most people probably won’t remember this class in a couple months, maybe even weeks, and we still get paid no matter how many people show up.

For more tips and tricks, check out the group exercise ideas page.

Posted on

This Group Fitness Instructor’s True Love? Resistance Band Workouts

Fitness instructor loves resistance band workouts

This Valentine’s Day, I can’t help but celebrate all of my loves. And let me tell you, I love a lot of things. Sweet potatoes. Margaritas. Hi-rise leggings. Ponytails that don’t pinch. Words that stick. But, at the top of my list of loves this year? Resistance band workouts.

I know I talk about resistance bands all the time, but they are seriously the perfect exercise tool to use in your next fitness class. Resistance bands are great, because everyone in a class full of varying fitness levels can pretty much all use the same resistance band and get a good workout. The bands have so much versatility — they help us get a full body workout, especially when mixed with bodyweight exercises.

When leading your class through resistance band workouts, instruct participants to first inspect their band for rips or tears to prevent the band from breaking during the exercise. Then, grab the band and get started.

Here are my five favorite exercises that you should include as part of your upcoming resistance band workouts.

  1. Lunge with Reverse Fly

Resistance band workouts: lunge with reverse fly
Grab the band in both hands and extend your arms out in front of you so the band is already taunt. Step out with one foot, and bend both knees to lower into your lunge, while also bringing your arms away from each other. Remember to keep your elbow slightly bent, but you don’t move at the elbow joint in this exercise. Instead, you’re moving at the shoulder joint to bring your arms further apart.

  1. Push-ups

Resistance band workouts: push-up
Wrap the band around your back and put your hands over the band securely. If it bothers participants to rub the band against their body, they can either put a towel between their clothes and the band or they can do push-ups without the band. From there, do push-ups as you normally would. The most important part is to make sure that the band is taunt when you’re in the plank position at the top of the push-up.

  1. Squat with Overhead Press

Resistance band workouts: squat with overhead press
Place the band underneath the arch of your shoes for one or both feet. Then grab the handles and bring your arms up so that your palms face away from your body. If this makes the resistance too heavy, then you can leave the band by your sides as you squat. You can also do one arm at a time. If this makes the resistance to weak, you can “choke up” on the band and grab the band itself until it feels more challenging.

Squat with your hands by your shoulders, and as you stand bring your arms overhead in an overhead press.

  1. Side lunge with Bicep Curl

Resistance band workouts: side lunge with bicep curl
Place the band underneath the arches of both shoes with your hands in the handles by your sides. Step out to one side, keeping the band under the arch, and bend into a side lung with one leg bent and the other straight. Then, come back to standing with your feet together and bring your arm into a bicep curl.

  1. Tricep Extensions

Resistance band workouts: tricep extensions
Place the handle in one hand, then swing the band behind your back and grab the band with the other hand. The more you “choke up” on the band, the more challenging it will be and vice versa. Bend your elbow so that it faces the front of the room with your hand behind your head. Then, keep your elbow where it’s at and bring your hand up to the ceiling.

Make sure to switch and do the other side for this exercise and the others that are unbalanced left side to right.

These five exercises will give your class a full body resistance band workout. For more exercise ideas, check out the workout routines page.

Posted on

December Links I Love for Gym Instructors

December Links I Love for Gym Instructors

With holidays, school tests, end-of-year reports and New Year’s resolution prep all high priority in December, it’s safe to say gym instructors had a busy month. When life gets hectic, oftentimes we don’t get to spend the time we want catching up on industry news and trends. Yet, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings in the fitness industry to provide the best experience for folks coming to your group fitness classes.

Each month I pull together my favorite fitness articles from the month prior to help my fellow gym instructors quickly catch up on the news. So, grab that cup of coffee or protein shake, snuggle up on the couch and dive in to the top fitness and health articles from December.

  1. A new study suggests that a single vigorous workout may do little to counter the effects of prolonged sitting, while strolling around frequently in addition to exercising does seem to keep the harm at bay.
  2. Shoulders are sexy. And this workout series exclusively targets shoulders with unique moves you don’t see that often.
  3. New Year’s resolutions are bound to fail. Try this instead.
  4. A new study shows the best time to work out varies from person to person. I LOVE the message here: any workout is better than no workout. But, always take rest days for injury, fatigue, etc.
  5. Arianna Huffington, James Altucher, and Gabrielle Bernstein share life lessons they learned the hard way.
  6. 30 bizarre fitness classes that actually exist — for anyone looking to switch it up in the new year.
  7. ‘Twas the night before fitness: how to incorporate holiday spirit into your classes.
  8. The 10 best health stories of 2016, curated by Huffington Post.
  9. 6 trainers share the one workout move they can’t live without. Did yours make the list?
  10. This article on wellness trends to watch in 2017 shares fresh, interesting predictions for the fitness industry.

As December and 2016 come to a close, we see common themes popping up. Many gym instructors in the industry are talking about the dangers of sitting, the challenges of sticking with New Year’s resolutions and fun ways to mix up the same ‘ol fitness routine.

If you liked this post, you’ll also like my fitness article roundups from November and October.

Posted on

3 New Year’s Motivational Cues for Group Fitness

Motivational Cues for Group Fitness

The fitness industry is plagued with a body image problem. Skinny is in, strong is sexy, big is beautiful, any body is a bikini body — it’s enough to make your head spin. With so many conflicting opinions circulating the web, your group fitness participants are likely feeling torn (and confused!) between feeling confident in their current skin and wanting to work to better themselves. This places a lot of responsibility on Group X instructors’ shoulders to use the right motivational cues for group fitness while avoiding phrases that may trigger more confusion and uncertainty.

Yes, it’s quite a challenge! But I know this is one of the reasons you and I are in this business: to inspire and help others find the joy in working out.

When looking for motivational cues for group fitness classes, I like to steer clear of body image conversations. Instead, I look at recent trends and timely events for inspiration. A new year has many people already feeling inspired and reinvigorated about their fitness routine. So, it only makes sense to use motivational cues for group fitness classes that tap into those existing feelings of potential and excitement. Without wasting too much time on your cues, here’s a look at three motivational cues to try in your group fitness classes in the new year.

Motivational Cue #1: Encourage Thankfulness

Studies show that folks who practice gratitude have a more positive outlook on life, exercise more and report fewer physical problems. There’s a wide-range of health factors that improve when you practice gratitude. You can start or end your group fitness class with a moment of thanks. I’d recommend cueing it when participants are still, possibly during an end-of-class plank or child’s pose. You can start by thanking them for coming, then offering them a moment to think about what they’re thankful for. It can go something like,

“Thank you so much for coming today. I’m thankful that you showed up, gave it your all, and that you took time out of your day for yourself. If you’d like, take a moment to remember what you’re thankful for. We sometimes rush through our day, and now’s a great time to stop and collect your thoughts.”

Motivational Cue #2: Tapping into New Year’s Resolutions

In spin class, I love to channel participants’ motivation for their goals in their life. It doesn’t have to be fitness related. Rather, just asking participants to think about a goal or resolution they have, and then give that their attention as they ride. It can sound like,

“I want you to think about a goal you have — it can be fitness related, but doesn’t have to be. Now, coming up we’re going to do a breathless sprint. I want you to picture yourself striving towards your goal. Focus your energy and your effort for this sprint on achieving that one thing.”

Motivational Cue #3: Use the New Year to Show Some Self Compassion

People are really hard on themselves when it comes to their fitness regimens. They miss a workout or indulge during a diet, and can start to feel down. I like to use the new year as an opportunity for a fresh start. It’s a chance for us to forgive ourselves for any time we weren’t perfect, and wipe our slate clean for a new year of hard work, passion and a full life. At the very end of the workout, here’s what I would say,

“It’s a new year, which means we can finally close the chapter that is 2016. As we turn this page, I want you to say goodbye to whatever was holding you back last year. This is our fresh start, our opportunity to do and become whatever we want. So, as we go through this last song, I want you to leave all the bad 2016 juju on the floor, and leave here today feeling lighter and brighter. 2017 is our year, let’s do it!”

People come to group fitness classes for the social motivation. We do have a lot of responsibility to motivate our participants in a safe, supportive environment. The ideas above are a great way to tap into the new year to provide some fresh fitness motivation.

For more motivational cues for group fitness, check out the fitness motivation and cueing page.


Posted on

Top 10 Group Fitness Blog Posts from 2016

Group Fitness Blog Author Michelle

At the beginning of this year, I started this group fitness blog, and ever since then, we’ve covered everything from new spinning routines and workouts to group exercise tips and motivational cues. There was also quite a bit of fitness news this year, including that ClassPass upped its pricing, REI marketed a campaign encouraging us to get outdoors and a celebrity conducted in inappropriate gym behavior that we all must take seriously. To look back on everything this group fitness blog has covered this year, I rounded up 2016’s Top 10 blog posts.

The 2016 Top 10 Group Fitness Blog Posts

  1. How to Cue a Group X Class Without Wasting Time
  2. How to Make Those Holiday Group X Classes Special
  3. Group X Spin Class Routines: Steep Hills (45 minutes)
  4. Group X Spin Class Routines: Climb & Sprint Combo (45 minutes)
  5. 21 Motivational Songs for Workouts
  6. “Across the Floor” Exercises for Packed Group Fitness Classes
  7. 3 Simple Tricep Workouts for Group X Classes (Part 1)
  8. How to Cue Music for Group X Beginners
  9. How to Get Your Group X Class Out of a Rut
  10. Mother’s Day Gift Guide for Group Fitness Instructors

I’ve noticed the most popular blog posts cover spin class routines, themed workout playlists and motivational cueing tips for group fitness, so I’ll be sure to give those topics extra attention next year. As a Group X instructor, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to think of new workout routines and songs to try each week, especially when we start to get busy with everything else life throws our way.

I created this group fitness blog as a way to build community with fellow instructors, and be a resource to make it easier for us to do our jobs. I think 2016 brought me one step closer to that goal, and I look forward to striving towards it with all of you in 2017.

If you’d like to check out more group fitness blog posts, check out the group exercise ideas page. And, if you’d like to see more posts or new posts on another topic, please let me know! 🙂


Posted on

45-minute Spin Class Routine Ideas


Why do your participants show up to your group fitness class? That’s one of the hardest questions to answer, but one of the most critical for personalizing and tailoring your spin class routine for your audience. I was able to attend two separate spinning classes this month with two very different types of people, and I took away some great spin class routine ideas to share with you.

What I found most interesting from the two spin classes I took were how the style of instruction differed, and how my friends and fellow participants reacted to each class. The first was a dream for all my data heads out there. You plugged your stats into the bike, and then as you rode, the bike would let you know if you were working in the ideal range. My engineer, number-crunching fiancé loved it. He told me he much preferred that to the motivational rides that tap into your feelings. After that ride, I felt like I needed to focus on spin class routine ideas that cater to the numbers and stats.

But then I went to the second class with two inspiring, emotionally-driven friends. Familiar with spin classes, they told me they just wanted a dark room where the music was on fire and they could just let go. We went to Flywheel class where there were some numbers to look at, but it mostly focused on the high-energy music with an instructor that had a personality to match. Also interesting was that the Flywheel class has a “torq” board you can sign up for that will flash on the screen so you can race your fellow participants. In my class, only one other girl participated with me, while there was a handful of men on the board. Yet, the class had at least a dozen other women in the room that did not want to be on the board. If I just had that one experience to pull from, I would think I needed to focus on spin class routine ideas that catered to good music and inspiring directions.

This just even further complicates the question of why people are coming to your spin class. Ultimately, everyone comes for a different reason, seeking a different experience. It’s up to you to find your own style and own it, even if it’s not one everyone likes. So, we need to make sure we’re constantly evolving and changing up our spin class routine in order to cater to the wide-range of needs in a given class.

If you’re looking for 45-minute spin class routine ideas, here are a bunch of class-approved playlists and routines to try.

As you know, I like to teach my spinning classes in a series of exercises that we do twice or three times through, depending on the series. So, I pick a couple exercises to make up my series, and we stick to it throughout the class. That way, participants know what to expect, so they can go big when they’re supposed to and not hold back for fear of another interval around the corner.

Spin Class Routine Ideas #1: Fast Feet

  • Song 1: “Seated climb + 30-second sprint”. Keeping feet fast (to pace of music), increase resistance starting moderate and ending hard intensity. Then, 30-second breathless sprint at the end.
  • Song 2: “Seated climb + 45-second sprint”. Keeping feet fast (to pace of music), increase resistance starting moderate and ending hard intensity. This time, the 45-second sprint happens in the middle. “Force” the recovery by continuing to climb afterwards while working at a lower intensity.
  • Song 3: “Seated climb + 60-second sprint”. Keeping feet fast (to pace of music), increase resistance starting moderate and ending hard intensity. Finally, do the 60-second sprint at the beginning. Afterwards, “force” the recovery continuing to work, but at a pace and intensity level that allows you to catch your breath. At the end of each series of three songs, allow for a full recovery with a towel and water break.

The Fast Feet Playlist

  • Livin’ on a Prayer, by Bon Jovi [Warm-up]
  • HandClap, by Fitz and the Tantrums [Song 1]
  • Bad Reputation, by Joan Jett [Song 2]
  • Hey Ya!, by OutKast [Song 3]
  • Just a Girl, by No Doubt [Song 1]
  • She’s Out of Her Mind, by Blink-182 [Song 2]
  • The Greatest, by Sia [Song 3]
  • She Works Hard for the Money, by Donna Summer [Song 1]
  • Walking on Sunshine, by Katrina & The Waves [Song 2]
  • I’m Still Standing, by Elton John [Song 3]
  • Loving You Easy, by Zac Brown Band [Cool Down]

Spin Class Routine Ideas #2: Crushing Climbs

  • Song 1: Climb. Start at a flat road resistance in moderate intensity. Then, add resistance, while maintaining RPM or pace, until you end in hard intensity.
  • Song 2: Climb continues. Once you have enough resistance on the bike where it feels like you have to stand in order to keep up that RPM, then stand. You should have plenty of resistance under your feet. Then, continue the climb ending in a harder intensity (but not breathless).
  • Song 3: 20/20/20 intervals. For the first 20 seconds, participants will strive for breathless intensity (a.k.a. sprint) for 20 seconds seated. Then, they’ll do the same thing standing for 20 seconds at breathless intensity. Finally, they’ll recover for 20 seconds standing or seated. I usually do this twice in a row, and allow them a longer break in the middle (typically around 40 seconds). Then, I’ll do one more 20/20/20 interval, or two if there’s enough time left in the song.
  • Song 4: 30/30 intervals. The last exercise we did was 30/30 intervals with increased resistance. So, participants would hold breathless intensity for 30 seconds, then recover for 30 at moderate intensity. Right before each interval, I asked the class to add some resistance, so that it felt like they continued to “climb” with each sprint.

Crushing Climbs Playlist

  1. You Make Me Feel, by Cobra Starship [Warm-up]
  2. Rebel Yell, by Billy Idol [Song 1]
  3. Separate Ways, by Journey [Song 2]
  4. Without You, by David Guetta [Song 3]
  5. Heartbreaker, by Pat Benatar [Song 4]
  6. Clarity, by Zedd [Song 1]
  7. Back in the Saddle, by Aerosmith [Song 2]
  8. Dirty Deeds, by AC/DC [Song 3]
  9. Can’t Stop the Feeling, by Justin Timberlake [Song 4]
  10. In the Air, by Phil Collins [Cool Down]

Spin Class Routine Ideas #3: Climb & Sprint Combo

This time, we did a 5-song series:

  • Song 1: climb + 30 second sprint at the end
  • Song 2: climb + 45 second sprint at the end
  • Song 3: climb + 1-minute sprint at the end
  • Song 4: moderate pace/intensity with hard intensity surges at the chorus. Can be a mix of leg speed and resistance increases.
  • Song 5: surprise sprints. The instructor calls out an intensity (hard or breathless) and a duration (30 seconds). When you say “go”, we’re off to the races.

If the bikes in your Group X classes have monitors, this is an easy lesson plan to incorporate the monitors, as well. Instead of doing 30 second, 45 second and 1-minute sprints in each series, devote each series to one amount of time. Say, 30 seconds for the first one, then 45 seconds for the second and 1 minute for the last one. With each sprint in a series, have the participants do the same amount of time, and track the distance they cover on that first sprint. From there, set a goal for members to try to beat that distance when they do the sprint in the next two songs.

So, in the first series, participants are sprinting for 30 seconds, tracking their time, then sprinting for 30 seconds in the next two songs and trying to beat their distance. After the first series is over, start fresh tracking the distance traveled in 45 seconds, and so on.

Climb & Sprint Combo Playlist

  1. Let’s Ride, by Kid Rock [Warm-up]
  2. I Love Rock N’ Roll, by Joan Jett [Song 1]
  3. Wherever I Go, by OneRepublic [Song 2]
  4. Our Own House, by Misterwives [Song 3]
  5. Without You, by David Guetta [Song 4]
  6. Memory, by Sugarcult [Song 5]
  7. Communication Breakdown, by Led Zeppelin [Song 1]
  8. Wild Ones, by Flo Rida [Song 2]
  9. The Way You Move, by OutKast [Song 3]
  10. Clarity, by Zedd [Song 4]
  11. Give Me Everything, by Pitbull [Song 5]
  12. Hymn for the Weekend, by ColdPlay [Cool Down]

For more suggestions, check out my workout routines and playlists page.

And, let’s connect on Twitter @GroupXMich.


Posted on

November Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

November Links I Love

As a huge fan of fitness, I stumble upon health, wellness and exercise links I love almost daily. Fascinating new research and tips are released each day, which is also a good reminder of how challenging it is to stay up-to-date on everything that’s happened in the past month.

I’ve done some of the hard work for you, and gathered my favorite links I love, including articles, news and tips from November into one handy roundup.

Before we dive in, I do want to give a special shout out to the Self magazine team. It was just announced that Condé Nast will be shuttering Self magazine. February will run the last official issue, while the team will continue to operate. Self magazine and the Self team have always been a source of inspiration for me. I wish the Self team well in this next chapter – both those that will continue working on the site and the ones moving on to the next adventure.

Self magazine cover photo

Now, here are the November links I love for fitness instructors:

  1. Confidence coach Susie Moore’s recent post on Greatist, “How Successful People Think (Hint: It’s Not All About Being Positive)”
  2. One woman’s experience working out for the first time. I’m disappointed with how the personal trainer acted in this situation. Good learning lesson that we don’t want our clients and participants feeling defeated on Day 1. Imagine how helpful it would be to have a trainer that motivated and encouraged her.
  3. What your doctor wish you knew about weight loss. It’s scary that doctors don’t have time to help patients plan out weight loss anymore. Here’s the advice they would share if they had the time.
  4. The power of giving thanks in group fitness from a global perspective. Tips for bringing thankfulness inside the Group X studio.
  5. 3 push-up modifications to try. If you’re looking for even more options, check out my push-up round up here.
  6. Are your ankles interfering with your squat form? Small, weird tips to remember when helping others with their squats.
  7. Strokes rates are rising in younger people. Reasons are unclear, although rise in obesity and diabetes likely play a role.
  8. Why do I gain weight when I exercise?
  9. Here’s why you shouldn’t take too much time off from the gym this holiday season.
  10. A good reminder that you can’t always trust what you find on the internet. A woman took “before and after” photos seconds apart.
  11. And finally, the best pump up songs to tackle any workout.

These articles provide great inspiration and research to share in your next Group X class. If you liked this list, you may also like my “Links I Love” roundup for October.

(Image source: Self magazine and Fitness magazine)