On my never-ending search for trying new things in the fitness world, I recently took a rowing class at Row Zone Rittenhouse on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. The class was great and definitely had me dripping in sweat at the end of the 45 minutes, but when I looked over at the instructor at the end of class, I realize she wasn't sweating at all! Except for demonstrating a few exercises, she didn't do any of the workout, which got me thinking - is this what group fitness participants prefer?
I've taken quite a few trainings for different group fitness classes, and they each recommend a different approach. Specifically, when taking the Les Mills Bodypump Instructor Training, it is recommended (as an instructor) to do the entire workout with the class, maybe stopping a handful of times during specific exercises where everyone is laying on the bench, and it's difficult to see the class. However, when taking the Beachbody Insanity Instructor Training, it is repeated over and over that 'this is not your workout' as the instructor, and you should be walking around the room, helping everyone with their form and motivating everyone. I also know that while teaching heavily choreographed classes such as Step Aerobics, Hip Hop Hustle and TurboKick, if I were to stop doing the workout, the class would stop too, which is okay, because I don't think it should be expected that the participants memorize the choreography.
As a professional 'academic', I am fully aware that everyone learns differently, and there may not be an ideal way to teach group fitness class - everyone is going to have their own style of teaching and learning. In an ideal world, there would be a few instructors at every group fitness class - one to lead the workout, one to show some modifications or options and one to walk around the room, helping people with their form. However, this many instructors would only make group fitness classes more expensive and less accessible to the average gym-goer.
So, I'm asking YOU - what type of group fitness instructor do you prefer?