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A letter to my fitness instructor: What will make or break your class

Dear Group Fitness Instructor,

There are many reasons why I may or may not return to your class.  As someone who attends group fitness classes 5-6 times a week, I tend to be very picky about which instructors I choose.  I do not work out on my own because I need someone who will motivate me to work hard, and push me to do exercises that I would not want to do by myself.  If you would like me to return to your class, bring my friends, and rave about you on all of my social media outlets, please follow these 5 tips and you will be what I consider, an excellent group fitness instructor.

1. Ask me my name.  Before the class begins, I appreciate it so much when the instructor asks everyone their names, and takes the time to memorize names so that they can correct the student’s form, if necessary, during class.  I know this may be tough in large gym classes, so in those situations, you should ask if there are any newbie’s, and what their names are.  When I return to your class the following week and you remember my name, I will feel really special.  I also enjoy getting commended during class as some extra motivation.  There is nothing like hearing, “Good job Missy!” especially when I’m not sure I am doing the exercises correctly.

2. Ask me if I have any injuries.  Also before class, this is very important to ask everyone. Those who raise their hands, you should go up to them personally to address the injury.  If my shoulder is acting up, I will want you to know about it so you can give me modifications during class.  Some people might be too shy to tell you on their own, so it’s important to ask.  I actually get offended when an instructor does not ask anyone about injuries.  I assume they don’t care if we get more hurt, which is never a good attribute for a fitness instructor, so please always ask!

3. Correct my form.  Do not be afraid to touch me.  I want to know how to do all of the exercises properly so that they are effective and so that I do not get injured. A simple cue such as, “tuck your pelvis in,” could save me from a back injury. I will never learn how to exercise properly if you, the expert, do not help me learn.

4. Play good music.  I personally need loud, electronic dance music to really enjoy a class. It gives me energy and immediately puts me in a good mood. I know everyone has different tastes in music, so take requests from your students.  Play dance versions of top 40 songs that your students will recognize.  If you have a younger crowd, chances are they do not want to hear your oldies playlist.  If I hate your music, I am confident I will not come back, no matter how great your workout is.

5. Be knowledgeable.  Please be an expert on what you are teaching and know why the exercises are effective.  I want to know that you really believe in this workout and understand the science behind it.  I want to trust you and know that I am making good use of my time.  I appreciate when the exercises are fully explained during class.  Learn modifications.  Stay after class to answer any questions about the workout students may have.  If you don’t believe in your workout, then I won’t either.

Follow these five steps and I promise that your class size will grow every week.  Your students will love you and will want to give you that one precious hour of their time, so that they can get an awesome workout with an amazing instructor.

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing