Although our job title may be the same, “group exercise instructor’, each instructor brings their own personality, beliefs, and philosophies to their classes. Whether an instructor is teaching one class each week, or works full time in the fitness space, these beliefs impact their classes.
During my 7 years as a Group Exercise Supervisor, I have observed several M.O.’s (modes of operation), or should I say, philosophies/outlooks/behaviors, that tend to describe groups of instructors. The below 16 comments are ones I’ve heard from my staff of instructors. These statements are direct reflections of the instructors M.O. and teaching personality.
Do you find yourself saying any of the below sentiments? Which one(s) do you feel fit your instructor personality?
Common Instructor Quotes
- “I just teach because nobody else will.”
- “Sure, they can pay me to work out!”
- “I spend a lot of time preparing for my class, and I refuse to share my self-designed workouts with anyone else!”
- “I am there to help people get healthy and in shape.”
- “I don’t work out with the class; I model exercises and then walk around to supervise.”
- “This is the only chance I have to exercise, so heck, yeah, I’m on the mat with them!”
- “Group Ex Certification has Continuing Education tied to it?”
- “Modifications? THIS is the class, sorry.”
- “Those other instructors never put the equipment back where they got it!”
- “My class sells out every session! What can I say? I’m awesome!”
- “My ladies know the routine, they could do it without me.”
- “Yeah, I’m late again, I know. You guys don’t mind missing 5 minutes of sweat, right?!”
- “Make sure you stretch on the way out, see ya!”
- “You’re new? Hmm… well, jump in and do the best you can.”
- “This is your first class? Welcome! Let me show you how to set up your bike and explain how the class works.”
- “I hate to get a sub. Nobody will show up if I’m not teaching.”
Chances are you may have overheard some of these quotes, or even said them yourself from time to time. Let’s face it—teaching fitness day in and day out is not easy on a person. However, have you ever taken the time to reflect on yourself and think about how your students (and your GX Manager) see you?
Better yet, turn that question around and ask yourself, “What kind of instructor do I enjoy taking a class from?” One that is just there for herself/himself, is often late or runs over, can be negative and/or conceited, rarely mentions modifications, and basically doesn’t care about a warm-up before the class or a stretch afterward?
One that takes the time to plan, prepare and focus the class on a specific goal, is confident but welcoming, shows modifications for all fitness levels, presents himself/herself as a professional, and is prompt and knowledgeable in the field?
Once you have your answers, determine what personal areas YOU may need to improve to be the TRUE, top-quality instructor you want to be, and then develop an Action Plan to meet those goals.
My guess is that it won’t take too much time or effort to propel you where you want to go, and trust me… your students AND your Group Ex Supervisor will be super appreciative and love you for it!