In my zombie-like state I have been frequently staring off into space and letting my mind wonder. Did I mention this was while I was studying? Yup straight A student haha. Okay guys, give me a break I did manage to get a fair bit done! But anyways what was I saying- yup my mind is wondering and I began thinking about fitness (as you do), group exercise classes (as you also do), instructors (1+1=2) and then I got to the topic of this post. What makes a good instructor?
As an active participant and an instructor I thought it’d be fun to do a two-sides of the coin type run down of what I think makes a
good great instructor. (This is from my point of view, so you may agree or disagree- feel free to let me know in a comment; I’d love to discuss it more!)
A good instructor from a Participant’s point of view:
- Runs on time.
- Knows their stuff- choreography, left from rights, moves etc.
- Is friendly and smiley.
- Makes the class fun.
- Turns the music up LOUD!
- Doesn’t say the same thing over and over.
- Offers options and challenges.
- Motivates when it gets tough.
- Is in time (you will be amazed at how often they go out of time haha!).
- Is not crazy/loopy– haha personal joke 😉
- Doesn’t take forever in between tracks or have 5 million drinks breaks.
- Is fit enough to not die on stage haha!
- Changes the mix so it doesn’t get repetitive, boring and easy.
A good instructor from an Instructor’s point of view:
- Speaks clearly and loud enough for everyone to hear.
- Offers visual, verbal and pre-cues.
- Uses correct names for the moves.
- Knows the feel of each track and how to deliver each one (which relates to the next one sorta)
- Knows the intention of each track (peak, work the legs, conditioning etc).
- Knows the choreography in and out. (And sticks to it mind you).
- Stays in time.
- Fit enough to effectively teach and do the moves.
- Caters for all participants- give options and adapts.
- Interactive and engages with the audience.
- Knows the participants names and uses it.
- TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE, TECHNIQUE. This should probably be first because Les Mills is fanatic about proper technique.
- Passionate about the program.
- Makes sure everyone does the class safely and with the best technique possible.
- Makes beginners feel welcome, safe and secure- so hopefully they keep coming back!
The biggest thing for me would have to be a flowing class (not constantly stopping), good and loud music, and someone who loves the class and teaches it in a way that makes you feel like you’re not exercising!
To each of us a good instructor is going to inhibit different qualities and do different things. For instance, I know some members who ate being asked to make ‘woop woop’ noises or join in on the countdown but personally I love it. I also know that members hate being ‘picked on’ for technique; and unfortunately I am probably guilty of this. I never point one person out but always start my class with a little speech at how important it is to chose an appropriate level and do that 100%, instead of doing a more advanced move dangerously or wrongly. Another option is telling the whole class to get their bums down and hope the person gets the message 😉
Don’t worry, I’m not quite like this guy 😉
What things do YOU think makes a good instructor? Or tell me about your favourite group fitness instructor!