Whether you’re teaching six or sixty, it’s important to make clients
feel like No.1. With the launch of
T3 v.16.6 and
fx v.16.3, there's no better time to get to grips with group fitness.
is more popular than ever, with numerous classes for varying abilities and interests.
The dated image of aerobics has been replaced with one of fun, intense workouts
that not only deliver participants with results but also give them motivation and
the opportunity to socialise with others.
It is not surprising, therefore, that a
global Nielsen study of more than 3,000 participants found that more than 85%
of class members visit their gym twice a week specifically to engage in group classes.
45% of members visit four times a week for this purpose.
Furthermore, 20 out of 25 participants of a study by Penn State University taking
part in a 30-week group exercise programme never missed a workout - a compliance
rate of 98.8%! The conclusion was that group fitness motivated participants in a
way that solo workouts didn’t, developing both their confidence and fitness
This is not to say that personal training is a lesser experience. One-to-one
attention and personalization allows clients to receive bespoke instruction and
achieve their own individual goals. Personal trainers can also develop a rapport
with their clients, getting to know them and how fitness fits into their lives.
So, how can instructors bring this personal approach to a group exercise class?
Some of our experts at TRAINFITNESS give their advice…
Richard Scrivener, personal trainer and product development manager
Be there early, before the class begins, to great all the participants –
give them a handshake, high-5 or pat on the back. A warm welcome and some physical
contact creates a sense of connection and sincerity.
Make sure that each participant receives a strong glance of enthusiasm and encouragement
at least once during the workout.
Don’t be a passive coach at the top of the class – once you have
performed your explanations and demos, get in amongst the group! Move through the
participants and have some presence on the wings and back of the class. Encourage
as many people as you can with corrective cues, words of encouragement and/or motivational
body language. Pick out a few individuals that are working really hard and give
them a public shout out either during or at the end of the session.
When wrapping up, thank the group and tell them that you enjoyed coaching the
workout as much as you hope they did taking part. Also state that you are already
looking forward to next week. Your enthusiasm towards their participation in the
session will help create retention and repeat business.
Neil Bates, programme coordinator
If you’re teaching a regular class, then know the names of all the students
who come to your class and not just the ones in the front row. It does get a little
awkward when you have your loyal members who have been with you for many years and
you don’t know their name! A good way to find out names without having to
ask directly is by looking at their gym membership card when scanning in, or even
taking a class register. When you know someone’s name, you can then give them
some praise and encouragement and then they feel special.
Secondly, walk around the group. Making eye contact and giving correction goes
a long way! Give high-5’s to people; it makes them feel that you are observing
them in your class. If you are teaching to a large group then try to give eye contact
to all of the people, not just the front few rows. Look around the whole room and
smile! Finally, try to vary the tone of your voice as this will also help you to
motivate the group to work a little harder. When you sound excited and enthusiastic,
they’ll know you mean it!
Katie Higginbotham, personal trainer and course tutor
Use effective changes in the pitch and tone of your voice to suit the clients’
personality and needs, helping to keep motivation and enjoyment at a peak. Use your
body language in a way that creates an energy!!
Have flexibility in your exercise choices and be prepared to change your plan
should this give your client a greater experience of the session. Keep all these
changes as a positive rather than ‘regressions’.
Give specific feedback at the end of the session that really emphasises developments
and strengths people have shown during the class.
Tom Godwin, course tutor
Making your sessions feel personal is a very important factor when trying to
create that welcoming feeling that keeps people coming back to your sessions. I
think one of the easiest ways to create that personal feeling is to learn peoples’
names. I see so many instructors using generic terms to speak to their such as ‘mate’
or ‘buddy’. By learning names and using them never fails to create that
Trying to make personal connections with the people you have in your classes
is also an amazing way to create a bond. Spending a few minutes after the class
with different people each week can really strengthen that feeling of belonging.
Making sure you build in activities into your class that re-enforce the team
spirit can be an amazing way to not only strengthen bonds between you and your class
but also between the members of your class.