I have taught group exercise for over 8 years and have been a participant in countless classes. Here are some of the tried and true findings that will make for a better experience for both the member and the instructor.
10. As a member, DON’T get overly attached to a particular “space” on the gym/studio floor. Yes, you are always in that spot, generally, but if you come to class and find another person inhabiting your space, take a deep breath and find a way to enjoy your workout anyway. Trust me, hard work and sweat can be done in every corner of that room.
9. As an instructor, DON’T bring your emotional baggage to class. Members are looking to you for enthusiasm, inspiration, and instruction. It is your job to not only guide them through an appropriate and safe workout, it is your job to motivate and challenge them to do there best. Letting your “bad” day influence your energy and performance would be unprofessional and inconsiderate.
8. As a member, DON’T approach an instructor as he or she is starting class to explain your particular health situation. The instructor needs to start the class on time for all other members. Approach them 10 or so minutes before class begins or shortly after class ends. If you have special concerns, use common sense coupled with your own feelings to see if an exercise is right for you. Then after class, you can approach the instructor and ask for modifications, etc.
7. As an instructor, DON’T come to class without back-up music. Not only should you have your iPod, but CD’s too just in case you run out of charge or vice versa if a CD skips, etc.
6. As a member, DON’T leave your equipment that you used in class on the floor, put it back in its correct area. This means re-racking weights, dumbbells, and neatly stacking mats, balls, and bosus to prevent injury to others and providing a clean area for the next class.
5. As an instructor, DO arrive on time and greet your members before you begin class. Saying welcome, and stating your name before class begins is not only nice, it’s professional!
4. As a member, DO also arrive on time so that one, you do not disturb a class in session especially if it’s a Zen like class, two, so that you have your favorite space, and three, so that you are able to participate in the full warm-up to prevent injury to yourself.
3. As an instructor, DO be a drill sergeant/bubbly cheerleader! Find that middle ground where you can effectively lead your class and make them enjoy the pain and smash through their fatigue. In my experience, this is best done when the instructor is not actually doing the exercises, but leading and cheering the participants to success!
2. As a member, DO be courteous to other gym members and greet each other hello. You guys are about to sweat through some tough times, might as well know who’s sharing the foxhole!
1. All together now, DO have so much fun. Enjoy what you’re teaching; enjoy the class you’re taking—BE IN THE MOMENT! Kick-ass, take names, and leave the sweat on the floor!!! Then DO wipe it up 😉
TNT! (Till Next Tuesday =)
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