For instructors and participants alike, group fitness training is a great way to work up a sweat and have fun too! Not only do fitness classes offer the benefits of an energetic group atmosphere and a chance to share your expert guidance with more people, they are also extremely effective. Here we explain some of the many benefits of giving group exercise classes.
The 7 Ways You Can Benefit from Group Fitness TrainingGroup fitness classes have come a long way since the days of leading an aerobics class to 80s music in brightly-coloured leotards. Maybe your forte is giving yoga classes and helping your participants achieve balance and inner strength. Perhaps you prefer demonstrating the latest dance moves in a high-energy setting. Or you might love helping clients get their frustration out with a kickboxing session. Whichever type of exercise or plan you excel in, many gym-goers are looking to group classes to provide a variety of activities. But fitness classes don't just give your group a chance to improve their health. Here are some of the many benefits you'll enjoy as a group fitness instructor:
1. Encourage AccountabilityOne of the biggest problems many people face when it comes to maintaining a fitness routine is actually getting to the gym in the first place. Leading group classes enables you to have regular contact with many gym members. That means being able to encourage accountability in those who attend your classes. Once you start seeing the same participants each week, being able to greet familiar faces will make regular attendees less likely to skip a class as they know they'll be missed. And, if you're a personal trainer, group classes can often keep clients more accountable than solo sessions. While they might be prepared to cancel on just you, knowing that their friends or other group members will be working hard without them may be the encouragement they need to make the class.
2. A Motivating AtmosphereAccountability will get your participants to the gym, but it's the motivating atmosphere of your group fitness classes that will keep them coming back for more. Exercising alone might be more convenient for your class participants but without your added encouragement they may slack off and skip certain exercises. By encouraging the class to keep going, even when they think they can't work any harder, you'll see that you can push them to achieve goals they never thought possible. Looking round at their classmates giving it their all will also encourage your participants to keep at it. And, by choosing the perfect workout soundtrack, even a tough boot camp class will fly by for you and your group in no time.
3. Workout VarietyMost gyms offer a diverse range of group fitness classes, from weight-lifting to yoga, and hip hop dance to boxing. That means you'll be able to lead whichever classes that you're certified to teach. You may even be able to start a new group class that interests you depending on demand. It's a great idea to encourage your class members to attend other sessions you teach so that they have the opportunity to mix up their workouts. For example, if you teach a weight-training class and then spinning, remind them that this combination of resistance training and cardio will help with their fat-burning goals. Exercise classes are also designed to incorporate a variety of moves and lots of different equipment. This variety will help to keep your class engaged and keep your energy levels high.
4. StructureFor your students, exercise classes take away the pressure of having to learn what exercises to do or for how long, and they provide an instant structure to follow. It is up to you as the instructor to provide that structure within the allotted time for the class. However, whether you follow a ready-planned workout or are able to design your own routines, it's vital to incorporate time for warming up and cooling down. An easy way you can build structure into a class is by planning out the music first. Or, if you have a set amount of time for your class, you can select timed workout music to complement the length of your session.
5. Provide Expert CoachingTrying out a new fitness class for the first time can be daunting for your participants. However, you can put them at ease by explaining more about the class and giving a brief introduction to certain moves. Classes give you the opportunity to show your students exactly how each move should be performed for optimum safety and fitness benefits. Watching how your class members struggle with certain moves can also provide inspiration for how to modify these exercises, or what exercises to include in future sessions. Group fitness classes are a great opportunity to provide expert coaching that reaches many people at once. Attending gym classes may be the only opportunity many of your participants have to get personalised fitness advice and feedback on form. But, even regular gym-goers can benefit from advice about which exercises they can improve on.
6. A Sense of CommunityGroup fitness classes encourage a real sense of community and a strong bond between you and your group. This especially true when you get used to seeing the same faces following your moves week in week out. Knowing that everyone taking your class is committed to improving their health and fitness can be really inspiring for an instructor. Many members of your class may even struggle to find support from friends, family, and colleagues, and will look to you and their classmates for motivation and encouragement.
We all know that sticking to anything is a whole lot easier if we enjoy it. Exercise is no different - it has to be fun or we quickly get bored and find something else more fun to do. By combining a friendly, social atmosphere, dynamic moves and great music, group fitness classes are the best way for your class members to have fun while they keep fit. This is where you come in. By encouraging your class to give it their all and have a good time, you'll get a huge buzz from seeing the smiling, if a little sweaty, faces of your students when they leave your class. What exercise classes are your favourite to teach?
Any tips for other instructors to get more out of group fitness training? Let us know by leaving a comment below.