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September 23, 2011, 09:48AM PT in Fitnovatives Blog  |  1 Comments

The Biggest Secrets to Group Fitness Success

group fitness classI’m looking forward to my second ACE Fitness Symposium and now that I’m in a new role as the ACE Group Fitness Consultant, it feels even more amazing to return! 

I’ll be revealing some of the best-kept secrets in the Group Fitness Secrets of Success session and, without spilling all the beans, I’ll reveal one of the biggest here:p>

Far too often, in group fitness and personal training, we take for granted that those we communicate to and teach can hear us. Yes, they hear us, but we don’t often put careful attention into making our cues more succinct and effective.

3-Part Cues: Whenever possible, the three-part cue is the best way to address all people who can hear us.

  1. Verbal Cues: appeal to auditory learners who listen to what we say and then react.
  2. Visual Cues: appeal to visual learners who need to see a demonstration of the required behavior before embarking on a change.
  3. Kinesthetic Cues: The kinesthetic learner needs to understand both where and how something should feel.

Learning to turn important cues into three-part cues can assist everyone in getting new moves right from the first time.

Furthermore, getting into the habit of connecting moves with words will help combine visual cues with verbal cues. For example, when telling someone, “this is for the obliques,” be sure to palpate the obliques on your own body so that the listener understands where the obliques are.

When telling someone, “we’ll do four more of these,” be sure to hold up four fingers to give a visual cue as well. Even motivational cues can be visual and verbal: Practice always giving a thumbs up sign with one or both hands when giving verbal reinforcement.

Key Note About Communication:  If we could wipe away the word “don’t” from our vocabulary, we would all be better cuers.

Since the brain cannot understand a negative, we waste time cueing instructions like, “don’t forget to breathe” or “don’t let the knees go past the toes in a squat” because we are spending time addressing what we don’t want. If, however, we changed to the positive action of what we do want, we would elicit a faster response.

If we cued the positive, the aforementioned examples would become, “keep breathing,” and “keep sitting back so the knees stayed behind the toes.” These cues would be ones that give instruction to the solution rather than to the problem.  Isn’t that a better way to do it?

Furthermore, even with pets and children at home, positive cues elicit faster responses. Instead of “don’t put the Coke can on the table,” cueing “keep the Coke can on a coaster, please” keeps the focus on the desired behavior.

For more tips like this, please visit my session at the ACE Symposium where, in addition to talking about these topics and more, I will also be giving everyone time to practice. This will guarantee that everyone leaves as a better communicator than before.

Even more exciting, the topics I cover will serve as “teasers” to the new ACE four-hour DVD called Essentials of Exercise Instruction: Demos & Drills, which underlines all of the concepts of this session in a practical format that allows viewers time to practice many different types of skills.

Watch my personal invitation to the 2011 ACE Fitness Symposium below. Spots are filling up quickly, so register for the event today.

By Lawrence Biscontini
Lawrence Biscontini, M.A.

Lawrence Biscontini, M.A., creates award-winning group fitness and personal training programming at an international level for clubs and spas, including Equinox, 24 Hour Fitness, Gold's Gym International, Bally and Golden Door Spas. As Nutritional Counselor, Biscontini has created complete nutritional menus for spas from Manhattan to Mykonos. He regularly contributes to fitness industry publications, such as AFAA's American Fitness Magazine, IDEA Fitness Journal and Spa Asia. His books include, Cream Rises: Excellence in Private & Group Education, and he dedicates a percentage of his website sales to charity, as well as to inspire career wellness development. As a movement specialist, Biscontini trains celebrity clients, including cast members of ABC TV's soap opera "General Hospital," and has made appearances on CNN Headline News and LIVE! With Regis and Kelly.