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My Top 5 Tips for Cueing Group Fitness Exercises Effectively

Group X Instructor cueing group fitness exercises

One of the hardest parts of being a fitness instructor is cueing group fitness exercises effectively. Self-doubt always used to creep into my head as I explained technique. Am I talking too much or not enough? Are folks understanding what I’m saying? Are they even listening? It’s a delicate balance to find, and unfortunately, you won’t always get a lot of feedback from participants mid-activity. At first, it’s normal if cueing group fitness exercises sometimes feels like a shot in the dark whether it resonates with participants. But, I promise fitness instructor cues will come more naturally over time, and it’s definitely something you can learn to master.

Here are my tips to help you sound like a pro when cueing group fitness classes.

  1. Practice cueing group fitness exercises. ALL. THE. TIME.

The first time you ever use a cue, it usually comes out awkward and long-winded. Practice saying your cues often, so you can say them quickly and efficiently. You can practice this while you’re doing other stuff — taking a shower or driving in the car. Think about an exercise you want to do in your next class, and go through the cues you’ll use.

I strongly encourage you to practice saying your cues out loud. It makes such a difference to say it instead of think it. If you can, also practice your cues to the music you’re going to use. That way, you’ll get used to how much time you have to get through all the instruction you want.

It may feel silly, but it’ll save you from feeling uncomfortable in front of a class full of participants. Trust me, my boyfriend would walk in on me sitting on the couch with my headphones on saying, “Alright, ladies! Time for another hill!” He teased me about it for weeks, but my class went off without a hitch.

  1. Start from head to toe (or vice versa).

If you’re ever in doubt about what cues to share, think of the body like a checklist. Tick through the cue for each body part starting at the top and working your way down (or vice versa). For example, where should you be looking, at your feet or straight ahead? Is the neck in line with the spine? You can think of a cue to share for just about every body part. Even if some feel obvious, it’s nice to use as a reminder or clarification for the class.

  1. Scan the room, but don’t stare as you cue.

If you’ve ever taken a Group X class, you know that every cue the fitness instructor shares feels like it’s directed specifically at you. It’s mission critical that the instructor is scanning the room and sharing cues based on what participants are doing. Those cues are going to prevent injury and make sure everyone is getting a good workout. But, you don’t want to make anyone feel bad by staring at someone or pointing anyone out for doing the exercise wrong.

  1. Share both positive and negative feedback.

Sometimes we’re so busy sharing cues to correct form that we forget to acknowledge all of the good stuff our participants are doing. Have their push-ups gotten so much better in the past few weeks? Is their plank form on point? Tell them! It feels amazing to hear your Group X instructor tell you that you’re doing something well.

  1. Don’t be afraid of silence.

You don’t need to talk all the time, nor do you need to feel guilty about talking a lot. You’ll find your sweet spot between periods of silence and cueing. Especially in the warm-up and class intros, you can (and should!) talk a lot. The rest is up to you.

As you build your confidence in cueing group fitness exercises, you’ll be able to start having fun with it. Participants will come to your class each week because they like your personality. Start to personalize the cues you use and your style to really make your Group X classes your own.

For more cueing tips, check out the fitness motivation and cueing page.

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January 2017 Links I Love for Fitness Instructors

January links I love for fitness instructors

January marks a busy time for fitness instructors, with the New Year’s resolution gym-goers packing classes at all hours. It’s also a good time for group exercise instructors to add in new workout playlists and freshen up their routines, to add some new material for the new year. With so much going on, it’s hard to keep up with the latest trends and articles in the fitness industry.

From new exercise ideas to tips for maximizing workout efficiency, this month’s links list is jam-packed with new ideas to bring to your next Group X class. Here’s a look at my favorite fitness and wellness-themed articles from January to help my fellow fitness instructors stay up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry.

January links I love for fitness instructors:

  1. Even just a little bit of exercise will improve your mood.
  2. How to choose the right weights when strength training.
  3. For the first time since 2014, ACE Fitness as developed a new key policy position statement — the inactivity epidemic.
  4. How to maximize efficiency of workout time using creative exercise techniques.
  5. The only running playlist you need by Refinery29.
  6. The six-pack ab moves your trainer didn’t tell you about.
  7. 14 back and shoulder exercises for a strong upper body.
  8. “I’ve Helped Thousands Of People Get In Shape—This Is The Fastest Way To See Results”
  9. Ways to make your workout more effective.
  10. Men’s Journal’s “Getting Fit from Scratch” series has so many great workout ideas!
  11. How to turn exercise into a lifelong habit or “practice” like they do in yoga.
  12. How to be mindful at your desk.

If you liked this post, you’ll also like my fitness and wellness link roundups from this past December and November. You can also check out the group exercise ideas page for similar posts for fitness instructors.

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Outdoor Fitness Brand Does Good: Patagonia Requests to Buy Your Old Clothes Back

Outdoor Fitness Brand Patagonia Does Good

I always love to hear about a fitness brand making good, conscious decisions on behalf of the customer, and sometimes even the world, without prioritizing profits. According to Fast Company, last week Patagonia announced they will soon offer store credit to customers returning their old Patagonia gear. Then, they’ll clean the item up and repair it so it can be resold on the website.

The fitness brand is looking to start this new program soon:

“In a new take-back program that will launch in April, the company will begin offering store credit for used (but still usable) clothing. At its repair facility in Reno, California—the largest garment repair center in North America—it will wash used clothes with a new waterless technology that helps restore the fabric, and then make any needed repairs. The refurbished garment will be sold on Patagonia’s website.”

When asked if the new program will hurt sales, Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s VP of environmental affairs, wasn’t concerned. “We have a model that is attracting enough people, an increasing amount of people, that want to align with our value proposition,” says Ridgeway. “That is a business for us. It really works well.”

Sure, maybe they won’t sell as many new clothes, but I’m confident that many people will continue to purchase from the fitness brand in the future, given their consumer-conscious decision making. In order for this program to work, Patagonia needs to make durable outdoor fitness gear, which it does. The goal is to reduce the amount of jackets someone will need in their lifetime, by keeping the same high-quality jacket for longer. That way, the company ends up making less jackets, which results in a smaller impact on the environment.

Way to go, Patagonia! Check back in on the group exercise ideas and tips page for more fitness brand news.

(Image source: The American Genius

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What’s Part of the Group Exercise Instructor Job Description?

Woman looking up the group exercise instructor job description

A typical group exercise instructor job description leaves a lot to be desired. Sure, you sort of already know what you’ll be doing if you’ve ever taken a group fitness class before, but what about intangible qualities that are important for Group X instructors to have? And, what about embracing and embodying the unique culture at each gym?

After a few searches, I came up with two group exercise instructor job descriptions that I found particularly helpful in understanding what is expected of you as an instructor, and what the culture is like at the gym. Check out some of my favorite lines from the 24 Hour Fitness and Club Sport job descriptions.

The 24 Hour Fitness Group Exercise Instructor Job Description

What I really liked was that the job postings went on to explain in detail what the responsibilities included, like:

  • Greet all members and orients new participants
  • Instructs class to the ability level of the students participating
  • Encourages new participants and orients them to class
  • Stores all equipment neatly and appropriately

And, the qualifications were useful, as well:

  • Ability to deal with a diversity of individuals
  • Ability to communicate with people of all age groups
  • Ability to effectively demonstrate all skills being taught to participants
  • Must be outgoing, energetic and able to perform in front of an audience

The Club Sport Group Exercise Instructor Job Description

Club Sport also keeps it real in their job description, including the responsibilities:

  • Arrive at least 10 minutes early for class to prepare; stay after class to interact with members
  • Be available to substitute teach whenever possible
  • Strive to maintain and increase your class size
  • Teach to make students feel successful, and educate members on proper exercise techniques
  • Make your students’ safety and enjoyment your number one priority
  • Convey warmth and genuine interest to the students: make eye contact, smile, use students’ names, personalize the workout, even in a large class
  • Operate studio stereo equipment properly, with music at sound levels that are appropriate to class type and intensity, but also safe for students and not disruptive to the adjacent studio (where applicable)
  • Ensure all equipment and props are properly used during class and properly put away / stored after class

And, the qualifications were pretty specific, as well:

  • Properly demonstrate and perform all exercise / dance / stretch movements included in each class routine taught
  • Perform assigned class for duration of class while cuing and coaching without becoming “out of breath” (i.e., maintain a level of cardiovascular fitness that allows this)

If you are looking to start teaching group exercise classes, here’s a pro tip. I would recommend trying to find the email address for the group fitness director, and sharing your resume with them directly. I’ve been most successful in getting on a new class schedule when I’ve either sent an email directly or known someone at the gym already who was able to refer me.

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

(Image Source: The Training EDGE, NASM Magazine)

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How to Find a Mentor to Help You Become a Fitness Instructor

How to Become a Fitness Instructor

If you’re looking to become a fitness instructor, you’re likely already aware that you’ll need to get a certification to teach, like ACE or AFAA. As long as you pass one of these tests and are CPR/AED certified, you can officially teach a class. But, imagine a certified group fitness instructor walking into class on their very first day without having ever taught a fitness class in their life — pretty terrifying for both the instructor and participants. Since it’s not required as part of the certification, how do aspiring fitness instructors get the experience they need to successfully teach a class? My suggestion: find an expert group fitness instructor to be your mentor.

I trained to become a fitness instructor through a year-long program at UCLA, which included getting paired with a mentor and assisting in that person’s group fitness class each week. This had the biggest impact on my actual ability to teach an exercise class. I was able to start by just teaching the warm-up, getting feedback from the instructor each week on how to improve, and building up to teaching more and more of the class.

Since having a mentor was so pivotal to my experience in becoming a fitness instructor, I’d like to offer a few suggestions for anyone looking for a group fitness mentor.

If you want to become a fitness instructor, here’s how to find the right mentor.

Step One: take a ton of group exercise classes with a ton of different instructors.

The best way to get experience with group exercise is to participate in a lot of classes. That way, you’ll start to notice what types of teaching styles resonate with you. I would even suggest taking classes out of your comfort zone — dance, spinning, aqua, boot camp, kickboxing, etc. Normally, we get really excited about one or two formats, and have no idea what goes on in the other classes. Who knows, you may find out you love one of the less popular classes!

Step Two: talk to the group fitness instructors after class.

Once you’ve taken enough classes, start to talk to the instructors that teach the classes you really like. Instructors are usually pretty distracted before class, but after class is the perfect time to chat. You can start by introducing yourself, and talking generally about the class. Build a relationship or rapport with the instructor, so he or she can start to recognize you in class and help you with your workout.

From there, you’ll likely want to let some of the instructors know that you’re interested in teaching, and are planning to take your certification test.

Step Three: ask one to be your mentor as you become a fitness instructor.

After you begin to build a rapport with different instructors, your gut will likely tell you which instructor you should ask to help mentor you. Then, go up and let them know that you’re training to become a group fitness instructor, and ask if they would be open to being a mentor for you.

Specifically, you want to see if you can teach a short segment, like just the warm-up or a lunge routine, in one of their next classes. They may be open to giving you their email address, so you can email them your routine for their input beforehand.

Finally, you’ll want to see if they would be willing to stay after their class for just a few minutes to provide feedback on the segment you taught that day.

If anyone helps mentor you as you become a fitness instructor, make sure to thank them. A handwritten thank you note goes a long way. Depending on how much time they spend helping you, you might also want to consider getting them a small gift card to Starbucks or a frozen yogurt shop.

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

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7 Surprising Qualities of a Great Group Fitness Instructor

Group fitness instructor leading ab exercises

What are some qualities of a great group fitness instructor? I’m sure it’s a no-brainer that group fitness instructors should like to work out. They also need to have a pretty good grasp of biomechanics and body functions, or at least a desire to learn all of those things. But, what about the qualities that aren’t so obvious? Do group fitness instructors need to be extroverted or rhythmically inclined? My short answer is not necessarily. In my experience, some of the best Group X instructors are shy outside of the studio and some were even born with two left feet.

But, there are common characteristics that make for fantastic group fitness instructors. Here are a handful of the qualities important to the job.

Great Group Fitness Instructor Quality #1: Adaptability

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve showed up to teach a Group X class only to find the stereo not working, the mic out of batteries or my pants have a hole in them. The best group fitness instructors have learned to roll with the punches, and always have a backup plan. It’s also the reason we all have those sexy raspy voices — is the mic ever working?! 🙂

While it’s great to be able to go with the flow from Day 1, this one gets easier with time. After enough classes under your belt, you’ll start to know exactly what you’ll do when the stereo is out or when you run out of equipment for participants, etc.

Great Group Fitness Instructor Quality #2: Preparation

It’s certainly important to be flexible when challenges arise, but it’s just as important to put time into planning your class in advance. Nothing is worse than coming into class and sitting around for a few extra minutes as the instructor figures out what to do.

Make sure you’re finding ways to mix up your fitness routines and workout playlists, so your participants don’t get bored. Also, preparing a lesson plan is a great way to make sure the workout will take up the whole hour and balance out each muscle group involved.

Great Group Fitness Instructor Quality #3: Eloquence

Since fitness is all about movement, it would seem like it would matter more for instructors to be able to perform the exercises well in front of the class. But, it’s even more important for group fitness instructors to be able to describe the exercises clearly. On top of that, group fitness instructors should be able to accurately explain form cues, so that participants can understand how to self-adjust their form all from one to two sentences of instruction.

I’ve seen stellar group fitness instructors come in with a taped ankle, sit in front of the room and lead an amazing workout because they are able to provide instructions, cues and motivation all verbally.

Great Group Fitness Instructor Quality #4: Thick Skin

I wish I could say that every participant is a pleasure to work with, but unfortunately there will be people that are mean to you as a group fitness instructor. Some will blame you for their problems, whether it’s their fitness plateau or overworking injuries. Others will “jokingly” tell you that your Group X class, the music or lesson plan sucked.

As a group fitness instructor, you’ll have to find ways to handle these situations and try not to let these comments affect you in the long term. You’ll also deal with wonderful, passionate, friendly participants, so I hope you won’t let the one or two outliers distract you from the great work you’re doing.

Great Group Fitness Instructor Quality #5: Quirkiness

I’ve taken a lot of group fitness classes over the years, and the one thing I don’t like to see is an instructor that tries to be perfect to a point where it comes across as disingenuous. That’s why I much prefer instructors that have a quirky uniqueness about them. Find whatever makes you special and own it. All those times we mess up or are a little off make us more interesting, relatable and just plain fun to be around.

Great Group Fitness Instructor Quality #6: Persistence

Working in the fitness industry and maintaining group fitness certifications requires a lot of time and upkeep. If you think about how much the industry has changed, you’ll be glad that we’re required to keep up-to-date on our certifications in order to teach. For example, new research suggests static stretches are not helpful during a warm-up, which is why we’ve replaced them with dynamic exercises that warm the body and actively prepare our muscles for the workout. Yet, even recently I’ve gone to other activities, like sporting events or casual workouts, where folks are still stretching before they exercise. It’s because the people leading those activities aren’t required to keep updated on the latest findings in fitness and wellness.

If you want to be a great group fitness instructor, you’ll have to be persistent in your fitness education, and always seek new industry insight.

Great Group Fitness Instructor Quality #7: Multi-tasker

When you teach a Group X class, you need to be able to keep the class working through each exercise without any awkward breaks, share modifications and progressions to accommodate every fitness level and provide form cues to make sure folks are doing it right. The list goes on. When you first start teaching group fitness, it will feel almost impossible to say everything you want in between each exercise. It’s a good idea to practice leading certain exercises while listening to your playlist, so you can work on the best ways to phrase each cue and how it will fit within the timeframe.

As you get more comfortable teaching group fitness classes, the multi-tasking will come naturally, and you’ll be able to lead the class through an exercise, perform it in front of the room and walk around to correct form — all in an hour’s work.

These are a few qualities of a great group fitness instructor. Many of these can be learned, so if you don’t feel confident in your ability to multi-task in the first class, that’s okay. Over the years, teaching Group X classes has improved my ability to adapt and have thick skin. I remember those first few group fitness classes being awfully scary to teach. If you’re persistent and prepared, the rest will come naturally and you’ll be a great group fitness instructor in no time!

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

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What’s The Average Group Fitness Instructor Salary?

Know the average group fitness instructor salary

Teaching Group X classes seems like a glamorous job. You get to hang out every day in sweats, work out all the time and get paid doing it. If you’re interested in becoming a Group X instructor, it’s important to know the average group fitness instructor salary before jumping into the deep end of the employment pool. It takes time, effort and experience in order to make enough money to support yourself as a group exercise instructor, which is why you see a lot of us teaching as a side hustle or hobby. But with the right experience and class opportunities, it is possible to make bank as a group fitness instructor.

What’s the average group fitness instructor salary?

According to the 2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) findings, fitness trainers and instructors made an average of $36,160 per year and/or $17.39 per hour.

Salaries do vary by location. The top-earning states include New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut and District of Columbia.

Group fitness instructor salary chart by location
Image Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

In another 2013 survey, ACE Fitness reached out to 3,000 of its certified members and found the average salaries for personal trainers to be $52,537 annually and $26 hourly, and the average group fitness instructor salary to be $52,848 annually and $26 hourly.

Group fitness instructor salary by location and position
Image Source: ACE Fitness

What factors affect the group fitness instructor salary?

In addition to location, there are many factors that will affect the salary you’re able to negotiate with your Group X director. First, the number of certifications you have. Most gyms require you to have a general Group X certification like ACE or AFAA, unless you teach a specialty class like yoga. If you’d like to make more cash money, consider adding additional certifications like a spinning or dance class. Keep in mind that each certification costs money to acquire, and some will have different costs associated with upkeep (think continuing education credits, monthly dues, etc.).

After that, many gyms will pay differently based on experience and popularity in class. Something else to consider is that some gyms will also pay an admin fee to cover your time spent preparing for each class. Talk to your director about their policies, because this can be another way to boost your salary.

What’s the outlook for group fitness instructors?

The good news is that the fitness industry is growing, which means more job opportunities for group fitness instructors. The BLS expects Group X instructor jobs to grow by 8 percent, about as fast the average job growth. This is because more people, and even more companies, are getting serious about fitness.

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

(Image Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; ACE Fitness)

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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.

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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.


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How to Bounce Back from a Bad Group X Class

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Group X Class

True story: I taught a pretty rough Group X class recently. Here’s what happened — I tried to mix it up by having participants go across the floor, and there was a lot of time wasted trying to get everyone coordinated. I take full responsibility in the fact that I did not cue the activity well, so it’s safe to say it was utter chaos for the first few minutes.

We finally were able to find our Group X groove, wrap up the across-the-floor portion and transition back to the center of the room when I realized we had been listening to the same song for the past 15 minutes. The stereo was on repeat and when I took it off repeat, it didn’t work at all. So, I had to manually click to the next song after each one ended.

It was the sort of group fitness class where I never really felt like I found my rhythm (no pun intended :)). It’s really hard to leave an exercise class like that and not feel down on yourself. A thousand bad thoughts ran through my head. Did I just lose all of my participants? Is everyone going to be talking trash in the locker room? Did I ruin everyone’s night?

Well, the short answer to those questions is “no”. But, how do you squash all of those terrible thoughts in your mind and not let a bad class ruin your night?

Here’s what helped me: I thought about how I would react as a participant of that Group X class. I thought back to all of my favorite Group X instructors, and asked myself how I would react as a participant if they taught a chaotic class like the one I just led. And you know what? I wouldn’t bat an eye.

What I would do is make sure I got a good workout by modifying or adjusting, as needed. And, I wouldn’t think twice about the stereo problems, because it really wouldn’t be a big deal to me.

I tend to magnify my mistakes when I’m the instructor, and it’s refreshing to remember that everyone else will go on with their day as if nothing out of the ordinary happened. Sure, maybe I’ll lose a participant or two, but if I come back to the next Group X class with tried-and-true, challenging activities and (hopefully!) a working stereo, everyone else will be satisfied.

I hope this serves as a reminder to cut yourself some slack as an instructor. We try so hard to give our participants the very best group fitness class each and every session, but we’re all human.

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