Thursday, October 6, 2011

My Group Fitness Experience

How I got Started:  Teaching group fitness classes came to me by a complete mistake.  I was attending Eastern Kentucky University for Undergrad and I needed one more elective class that was easy.  That easy class was "Introduction to Group Fitness." I cheered in college, so I had coordination.  We practiced a lot too, so I knew I could keep hold my own in the class.  It was two times a week for an hour and it fit my schedule.  Sign me up!

Walking in the first day was intimidating.  The room was filled with 15 girls...and there I stood.  The instructor was even female. She introduced herself and said, "let's warm up." She made the class super cool, interesting, dynamic and fun.  I kept up in class, undersood how she was building the class and then realized she was getting paid for doing this.  What! Getting paid to work out? This was right up my alley. I was instantly hooked.

Half way into the semester, the instructor plugged her GFIT (Group Fitness Instructor Training) workshop at the Campus Rec Center.  She also happened to be the Fitness Director on campus.  I attended the training and realized it wasn't as easy as showing up to a class 5 minutes prior, memorizing exercises and wearing a microphone. I kept thinking during the weekend training, "They really put that much preparation into every class?" Now I know the answer, we do!

I "Team Taught" for about 4-6 months before I got my own classes.  Getting a class with "Jonathon" as the instructor on the schedule was honestly a great feeling! All of these people are coming to MY class.  The class was "butts and guts." Some days were worse than others, but it's always a learning process.

Some of the biggest surprises of teaching group fitness classes:

  • Why did he/she walk out of my class? At first it hurt my feelings because I thought I did something wrong.  I did nothing wrong, it could've been their schedule or maybe they were not feeling well.
  • That routine worked at home, why is it not working now? Twelve people are looking at you, you might've mixed up a jab for two knees and the combination did not work out - AH! Always have a back up.  Over the years I incorporate the same combinations or moves somewhere in every class.  It's a break for my mind, keeps them working and helps me think ahead if something did not work the first time.
  • I am out of breath, how can I talk too! It took time for my body to adapt to teaching.  Taking a class and teaching a class is different.  You'll quickly learn how to get a few breaths in here and there. Talking raises your heart rate and don't forget you have to think ahead too.  Sometimes at night I am both mentally and physically exhausted.  Stick with it and it gets easier.  I promise!
  • I'm getting regulars! The best feeling in the world is to see people on a regular basis and have them give you feedback on your class.
Why do I still teach?: I have a full time job at a media agency and work about 40+ hours a week.  Lately, I've been teaching around 11-15 fitness classes a week. That's a total of 55 hours of working. A very full schedule! I continue my fitness schedule for my regulars.  They mean the world to me! Tonight a student was leaving and said, "Your energy makes me work hard and I'm coming to all of your classes because I want to get in shape." I smiled (because she's in shape) and said, "I'll hold you to that statement."

People come and go, but if they come to class and continue to come to class and they build your strength and's like winning the lottery every single time.  I take pride in remembering names and fitness levels because I like to see my students work hard. I love to say, "that was hard for you two weeks ago and you killed it today!"

Proof:  Here's an oldie but a goodie - A picture after a Spin Class:

They all worked so hard before this picture (hence the smile on my face) and I see all of them on a regular basis.

I love my job and I love helping people reach their fitness goals.  This site is designed to help you achieve your fitness goals as well.  Follow me, message me, Join My Team (on the side) and remember it's a journey; take one step at a time to reach your goals.

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