As a group fitness instructor, you love being in front of a crowd helping people reach their fitness goals! But being a group fitness instructor isn’t as easy as it looks. It takes patience, perseverance, and a whole lot of behind-the-scenes work in order to make it look effortless.
If you’re looking to boost your group fitness instructor skills and want to amp up your class, then you’re in the right place! We’ve put together our favorite tips to help you become the best group fitness instructor out there. No matter what you’re teaching – from BollyX to Yoga – growing and improving never stops.
Check out our top ten tips for being the best group fitness instructor you can be!
1) Have Your Brand in Mind
This should definitely click for you BollyX instructors – you have a brand you’re representing, and you need to keep it in mind at all times. We don’t mean that you should only focus on keeping up with your brand during your group fitness class (although, you definitely should!), but we also mean that from the moment you have students walk into the room to the time they leave your class, be in your zone and know your brand. Pay attention to your body language, how you talk, how you dress, and how you work with clients. Ask yourself, “what does this say about the brand I’m representing?” It’s not about your own workout when you’re teaching a class – you’re on the clock to make sure your students get one! Represent your brand well!
2) Read the Room (and Tune the Mood)
A great fitness instructor knows that (sometimes) being overly-energetic and perky isn’t the only way to motivate someone – especially when it’s a group setting. Want to be a better fitness instructor? Learn how to read the room and change the mood. While most people in a dance class are ready to ham it up, there are occasionally those who need a little more coaxing. Do you have a quiet and shy group this session? Dial back your cheers and turn up your smile! Create a safe and welcoming environment for them. Is your group a bit sluggish? Add some motivational verbal coaching and turn up the volume! Make sure you’re always taking the temperature of the room by reading body and facial language and adjusting based on what the group needs.
3) Be the Leader
This is hugely important for any type of fitness class – especially for BollyX – that involves creativity, freedom, and high-energy. Make sure you’re establishing yourself as the leader. Make sure you’re consistently working on developing your teaching personality and your leader persona. Are you firm and loud? Are you mellow but serious? Ensure you’re being consistent with your actions and words so that there’s no doubt that YOU are the instructor. Encourage students to get excited and be involved, but also ensure that they are aware and acknowledge you’re in charge.
4) Accept the Fact You Might Not Be Everyone’s Cup of Tea
This is enormously important for your leadership success – accept that you might not be everyone’s favorite. We know. It seems impossible, right? You do everything right, you lead the class well, you’re funny, energetic, well-informed, and more. But that doesn’t always mean you’re going to win everyone over. If you let this fact affect you, you’ll let that affect the way you teach your class. Remember, not everyone has to like you. You just have to be good at your job, know what you’re doing, and do it to the best of your ability! Once you stop concentrating on the students who may not like you or may not want to take your class, you’ll be able to focus on improving your class for the students who do want to invest their time with you!
5) Protect Your Passion
If someone were to get injured while in your class, you could get sued, leading to emotional distress, negative publicity, and financial turmoil. By investing in fitness liability insurance, you can prevent that from ever happening to you. Speaking of getting injured, it’s an unfortunate reality that no matter how knowledgeable you are as a group fitness instructor, there’s still a risk for students to get injured in your class. For example, if there’s some spilt water from a bottle on the floor that hasn’t been wiped up, and a student were to slip and fall, thus getting injured, you being the teacher could be liable.
6) Continually Get Better
This goes without saying. If you want to be one of the best group fitness instructors out there, you need to continually invest in your education and your training. Sure, you’re teaching 5+ classes a week and have been doing this for several years, but are you really making sure you’re consistently getting better at how you teach your classes? Don’t get caught in a teaching rut. What may have worked last year may not work any longer. Invest in your own education and be a student on a regular basis. Invest in learning new ways to lead a group. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to find a mentor. BollyX provides a mentor for every new instructor who goes through the certification training so they aren’t on their own when they first start preparing to launch a class. Many of the mentees have since become mentors themselves, paying it forward. Truthfully, if you want to be a phenomenal group fitness instructor, you need to recognize that the work to be better never ends.
7) Invest in Your Passion
To be a great fitness instructor, it helps to really love what you do – so love it! Invest in you, invest in your passion for leading fitness classes, spend time, money, and energy toward making sure you’re offering the best class possible, but also toward your own enjoyment. Stick to what makes you happy – maybe you don’t find joy in teaching a boot camp class (even if you are really good at it) or a group yoga class (even though you love to do yoga on your own). Maybe you strictly find happiness in teaching BollyX, but being a student in all other formats – that’s just fine! As long as you’re investing your time, effort, and energy into your passion, you’re on the right track toward being a great fitness instructor.
8) Be Ready for Unexpected Incidents
A good fitness instructor is always prepared. While we don’t think you should hope that something goes wrong, it’s okay to expect that something will (and to be prepared to deal with it!). Have a set procedure for every emergency you can think up. From the very minor (forgetting your password to your playlist) to the very serious (an accidental injury in class), have an emergency plan in place.
9) Be Yourself
This is something that a lot of great fitness instructors sometimes forget to do. Sure, you can layer on the leader persona, be funny and bubbly, amp yourself up to inspire your class, but don’t forget to be yourself, too! You’ll inspire your group by being who you are – someone who’s passionate about the program they’re teaching! Undoubtedly, there are other instructors or mentors who inspire us, who we learn from, however, you shouldn’t feel the need to copy their mannerisms or mimic their words in an effort to be just like them. Believe in yourself. Be you!
10) Have a Goal in Mind
Other than always being prepared for class and giving 100% to your students (whether there’s 1 or 100), you can have other types of goals for each class. For instance, it could be: you’re going to nail all the pre-cues in the new song you just added to your playlist; or you’re going to learn the names of 2 people in class and find out how they discovered your class. Always be on the lookout for new attendees in class. Make it your goal to smile and make eye contact with them throughout class to let them know they are doing well. Setting goals for each individual class keeps you motivated, which in turn, will keep your group fitness class motivated, too!
We hope you find this list helpful. Did we miss any tips in our list? If you have a tip to share on what helps you become a better group fitness instructor, please let us know in the comments. If you have any additional questions about this blog, don’t hesitate to reach out!
This article is co-written with our partner, Insure Fitness Group.