Keeping Classes Fresh

I’m totally psyched to already be done with my workout today.  Usually I don’t choose Monday mornings as my time to exercise, but today I agreed to sub for Molly’s spin class while she is off getting hitched.  Now I’m pumped to have a free night – that really doesn’t happen often in my life!

Recently a friend asked me, “How do you come up with new material for all the classes you teach every week?” and it got me thinking about how I usually do this:

  • Take other instructors’ classes, and often, to see what else is out there.  It’s really hard for me to remember everything from an hour long class, so my general rule of thumb is to remember two “take-a-ways” that I can turn into my own later on.
  • Continuing Ed Classes / Workshops.  Staying up to date with credits is a huge pain in the butt, but attending a good workshop keeps the moves in your classes fresh and new for attendees!
  • Exercise TV!  On Demand Fitness stations always have something that I can incorporate into my classes.  Sometimes I like this option better than searching the information superhighway because I really don’t need to add any more hours of sitting to my day!  With Exercise TV, I can move and practice the exercises along with the TV in the comfort of my own home.  Love, love, love the Jillian Michaels ones.
  • Women’s Health, Self, Fitness, Shape, etc.  Most of these magazines have started including little index cards that you can rip (neatly) out of the fitness sections.  These are easy to bring to the gym with you, or for me, add to my binder of fitness routines.
  • Far too many internet searches.  There really are pages out there for everything!  A nice site to look at is Turnstep, an online community where instructors share routines and ideas.

For any other instructors out there, one piece of advice I have aside from my suggestions above is to recycle your classes!  For example, I knew that the crowd in Ed’s Wednesday night spin class that I subbed for last week would be different from the Monday morning spin class I subbed for this morning.  So I used the exact same playlist / class format I did last week.  Did anybody know?  Nope!  Huge time saver.  This is also a good method if teaching at different gyms.  I often do similar moves in Tuesday’s Muscle Power at the Y that I would teach at the boot camp class I run for my company.  Just make sure you don’t have the same group of people going to both – because then the routines will get stale and your clientele will get bored.

Also, add variations.  Instead of doing regular pushups every week, do pushups with a leg lift, pushups on the ball, spiderman pushups, incline pushups, pushups with one arm on a bench, pushups against the wall, and so on.  Look how many weeks worth of classes I just covered with only 7 variations!

Any other ideas?  Feel free to comment!

Anyways, I’m so happy to have a free night tonight!  There will definitely be a Whole Foods and a Target trip in my future, and I will probably plan out all my classes for the week too.  Getting excited already for my Tuesday double session tomorrow! 🙂