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4 Details to Tell the Substitute of Your Group Fitness Class

Outdoor group fitness class with a sub

I’m leaving today for a week-long vacation in Hawaii! Before I could let myself daydream about dipping my toes in the sand with a margarita in hand, I needed to make sure all of my group fitness classes were covered in my absence. As I’m sure you know, the biggest hurdle is finding a substitute for each class. If you want to make sure your participants have a great experience while you’re out, you’ll also want to consider giving the sub a heads up about certain parts of your class once they agree to teach it.

Here are a few details you may want to tell the sub before they teach your class.

  1. Are there any members with special limitations or needs?

It’s a nice courtesy to tell the substitute if any members have special circumstances. For example, I used to teach a class with a pregnant participant. It’s nice to tell the sub about this, so they can make sure to avoid exercises in supine positions.

If the majority of your class has bad knees or wrists, and you usually work around it, I would make sure to tell the sub.

  1. Do you have any ongoing group goals or activities?

Sometimes I like to do a push-up challenge in my class, with each week working towards a set goal of pushups. If you have a weekly activity, you can let the sub know, so they can incorporate it into their lesson plans.

  1. What’s the overall vibe of the group fitness class?

Are members laid back and relaxed? Do you have a boot camp teaching style? While the sub doesn’t have to mimic your style, it’s nice for them to know what the members are used to and may expect.

  1. Anything else they should be aware of?

While it’s nice to tell your sub how great the group fitness class is, it’s much more helpful to give them a heads up about something that may catch them off guard. Do you have participants that get mouthy? Can your members get territorial of their class? Usually instructors are quick to say how wonderful their class is, without providing any useful insight. I’d much rather you share tips to what your members are looking for, so we can do our best to provide an optimal class for everyone.

Next time you have a sub, think about what information you can share that would be helpful to them. If they have a good experience, they’ll be more likely to come back to your class again. I’m off to Hawaii, but I do have posts scheduled in my absence next week.

Also, if you’d like to check out more tips and tricks articles, check out the group exercise ideas page.

Hope you enjoy your week, and aloha! 🙂