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It's time for another round of "what's playing on my iPod! Check out these tunes straight off my brand new 2014 running playlist! I'm still rocking my Fall 2013 playlist too - I can't get enough of Katy Perry's Roar!
What's your favorite song to run to this season?
After about 5 seconds of panic, I thought there HAS to be some music with a constant beat somewhere in this building. I called down to the group fitness director and she said she'd send some music up. Great, crisis averted. Or, so I thought.
The first fifteen minutes of class is for first time steppers, where I just go over some basic moves before the class gets going. We don't use music for this, so everything is good. As everyone is arriving and setting up their benches, I couldn't get the CDs to play! It wasn't that long ago when I made the switch from CDs to iPod, but I couldn't figure it out. At this point, we're about two minutes into class, and everyone is just standing around. My last resort?
Me: "Does anyone have an iPod with music on it?"
Participant: "Can we play Pandora?"
Me: "Sure, fine, anything!"
Would I plan for a class to go this way? Absolutely not! But sometimes, you just have to improvise and "roll with the punches". I'm so thankful that my participants were patient with me and were able to laugh with me about the mistake. I apologize for forgetting my music, but please don't forget - we're human too! Thank you steppers! I'll be thinking of you as we stuff our faces with turkey next Thursday! I'll see you in December.
Have you ever had a fitness nightmare come true?
It's hard to believe that it has been over seven years since I started teaching group exercise classes. According to my quick calculations, that means I've taught about 900 classes. While according to Malcom Gladwell, author of, "Outliers", I have a long way to go before I become an expert (approximately 9,100 classes), I have certainly learned a lot over these past seven years. It is often the highlight of my day, and a extra special class can maybe even be the highlight of my week. I've made such great connections with not only the participants in my class, but the other instructors as well. When you get a group of instructors together, you can't help but talk about your classes that week, and yes, sometimes we even talk about the participants (mostly good things, I promise). So, I put together a list of 10 group fitness instructor "confessions". ENJOY!
We like the music loud
We have bad days too
We all have bad days, but as a group fitness instructor, you check your day and everything that went wrong at the door. You put on a happy face for your participants because they paid to get a great workout in a happy environment. The beauty of it? By the end of the class, we usually forget what was bugging us that day.
We are not impressed by all the weight you can lift or pushups you can do if you don't have good form
We love it when you smile
We might not know you're name, but we know your capabilities, potential and preferred brand of sneaker
It sometimes is embarrassing to ask you your name for the third, fourth or even fifth time. It's even more embarrassing when we've had about ten conversations about your new sneakers, your upcoming wedding, your kids, but I don't even know your name. Personally, I'm terrible at remembering names, so I apologize. It doesn't mean I don't remember you. I remember that you did your first push-up on your toes last week, I remember you finally got that hamstring combo, but I most likely don't know your name.
We encourage feedback (good or bad)
Unless your feedback is that the music is too loud. Just kidding - it's your class and if you want the music lower, I will begrudgingly oblige. Some people wear earplugs to my class - just saying. But seriously, we want to make the class the best for you as the participant, so be sure to let your instructor know your thoughts!
We would rather you didn't bring your cell phone to class
I'm actually pretty lonely in the camp of "I don't care if you bring your phone into my class as long as you aren't disrupting the class", but most (if not all) of my instructor friends think you should leave your phone in your locker.
We take other instructors' classes
At least half of what I've learned about group exercise classes has been from taking other instructors' classes. It helps us develop as an instructor and also gives us an idea of what else is going on at the gym.
We sometimes prefer to workout on our own
We LOVE teaching group exercise classes. I mean REALLY REALLY REALLY love it! But, sometimes, we like to work out on our own too. It's a much different type of workout, and it gives us time to work on things that can't be addressed in a group setting (and time to come up with those crazy moves we're having you do during class).
You make our day!
Are you a group fitness instructor with a confession? Share below!
FitYaf's Fall 2013 Running Playlist
What's on your playlist this Fall?
Post below and let us know what fitness gadget or app YOU are using?
I got to class about 15 minutes early and the employees there were SUPER friendly and SUPER nice. My cousin Sarah even got a free ride for bringing a friend for the first time, and Russ, the owner, helped us all get set up on a bike. I liked that the resistance on the bikes was digital and numbered, so there was no guessing about your effort level (you know, that ambiguous "half a turn increase"). Jess, the instructor came in right on time and we were off!
I'm now determined to go back to that class and really hit all of those RPMs! (I'm also super intrigued by the 6:30pm class - the people taking that class were stalking the bikes like vultures, anxious to get started on their ride!) But I can't get over how CHALLENGING the class was for me. I am constantly challenging myself with lifting weights with P90x and Les Mills Pump, seeing how fast I can run and trying not to take breaks in Insanity, Asylum and T25, and I'm always seeing improvements. It just goes to show how much your body can get "used" to a specific workout, even if you're constantly challenging yourself. I'm sure someone who does spinning 5 times/week would feel challenged by a workout that I am comfortable doing, if it's one that I do all the time. Many running coaches would advise you to cross train, not only to build muscle and prevent injury, but also to improve your fitness level. Whether you're a runner, training for a race or you just want to get in better shape, cross training and keeping variety in your workouts is SO important. Varying your workout routine not only prevents boredom (and perhaps the likeliness to skip a workout), but it also helps avoiding or delaying a plateau in workout performance and training results. It can also help you complete a challenging workout without just increasing your time/reps. At some point, you're going to run out of time!
ACE fitness reports on a study performed by exercise scientists at the University of Florida. This research showed that individuals who modified their workouts every two weeks over an eight-week period appeared to enjoy their workouts more and were more inclined to stick with their exercise programs when compared to individuals who followed the same workout regimens week after week. Varying your exercise routine can also help you stay physically challenged. Many of the body's physiological systems (e.g., the muscular system) adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks. If you do not modify your exercise routine, you reach a plateau because your body has adapted to the repetitive training stimulus. So, how can you keep your workouts varied? If you're a runner, try incorporating some intervals into your run. You can also cross train with exercises such as spinning and swimming to provide your body with a new challenge. If you're resistance training, try changing the order in which you complete each exercises. When you fatigue the muscles in a new pattern, you're introducing a new stimulus to your body. Also, try incorporating kettlebells and stability balls into your typical dumbbell routine. Or, as in my case - just try something completely new! Even extremely fit people can be challenged when trying something new!
How can you add variety to your fitness routine? What is something you've been wanting to try?
I used to think that people who ran without listening to music were CRAZY! But, this summer, I'm training for the Philadelphia half marathon with my husband, so I ditched the iPod for some conversation. Unfortunately, my husband told me that MY talking slows HIM down.
To my readers, please note this website and blog is for educational and informational purposes only. For medical advice, dietary restrictions, and/or medical diagnosis, and before beginning any diet and/or exercise program, please consult a doctor or healthcare professional.