January is typically a time for health and exercise professionals to pull out all the stops. We spend the holidays thinking about ways to freshen up our classes and provide participants with an upgraded experience. Then, we hit the ground running with our new ideas. While I’m sure you have a fantastic trick or two up your sleeve for the new year, I'd urge you to pump the breaks on the big changes you have in store. Instead, begin the new year by considering four simple ways to refresh your classes that will prove equally beneficial for you, your faithful front row, and your fresh-faced resolutioners. Let's take a look.
- Description Deep Dive. Jump online or grab a copy of your group fitness schedule from the front desk. Take a good look at the descriptions of the classes you teach. Begin the new year by reminding yourself what participants think they’re going to get when they come to your class. Audit what you’ve been doing and be sure you are currently executing the “promise” of the class as described in all print or digital mediums. The review may prompt ideas for updating past class plans and improving what you’re already delivering. The best way to provide a great experience is to ensure that what participants believe will be offered is a reality.
- Playlist Purification and Preparation. Health and exercise professionals are always on the lookout for the latest tunes to freshen up classes, and the new year is a perfect time to add a few chart-toppers, obscure remixes and retro favorites to your rotation. Beyond adding songs to your carefully curated playlists, however, you could also spend time making your music easier to find and pull together throughout the year. Consider spending some time reorganizing your library, purging songs or playlists that no longer work, and creating a system for routinely reviewing, categorizing and adding new music to your arsenal. Spending a bit of time updating your music organization can free up tons of time in the future and help you craft perfect playlists week after week.
- Rethink, Recycle, Redistribute. Before you purchase any new equipment for classes in 2020 (or ask your facility to do so), take a quick inventory of the tools you currently have at your disposal. Perhaps there’s something you forgot was available, an alternative use for one of your current favorites or a piece you’ve never integrated because you aren’t sure how best to utilize it? Create a list of what’s available and a plan for making the most of what’s possible. Find reputable resources for ideas if the equipment is new to you or if you’re feeling a bit stale. Remember, if it requires training, be sure to invest in the proper education instead of searching for videos on YouTube. Then, spruce up your previous class plans by injecting a few new ideas here and there versus a complete overhaul. For classes that make use of multiple pieces of equipment, think about how you can be intentional about your choices and mix and match for best results. Cycle equipment options over time instead of throwing the kitchen sink at your classes in an effort to keep them interesting.
- Spruce Up Your Script. When you teach a specific format for a while or even face the same audience week after week, your “script” can get a bit stale. You might find yourself using the same cues over and over when correcting or motivating, a standard class intro or closing, or even recycled jokes. For the first month of the year, set aside 10-15 minutes before each of your classes to jot down a new intro or outro, one or two cues to use when correcting standard moves you use and one or two new motivational phrases to throw in the mix. If you want to take it to the next level, voice record one of your classes. Play it back and focus on the words you use. Identify filler words, cues or phrases you’d like to stop using, as well as those you want to continue using. Doing this on top of dreaming up new ways to get across old or repetitive information will upgrade your classes in no time.
While learning a new format, showing off new choreography or exercises and producing all new playlists at the first of the year might seem like the best way to excite the crowd, small tweaks and subtle shifts, such as the ones described above, have the potential to be immediately impactful with less stress. Keeping much of what you already do well and sprinkling in just a few upgrades here and there will help you freshen up your programming while remaining the confident, commanding, motivational leader your participants need and deserve.
Want to help others lead happier and healthier lives? Become an ACE Certified Personal Trainer!