Over the past 12 months, I’ve bee to a LOT of classes. Big, small, welcoming, frosty, difficult, easy. Not a single one has reminded me of another- it’s been wonderful to have such varied and unique experiences on this constantly evolving journey into fitness. The other week over on Voopy Sport, I shared my thoughts on whats the secret recipe to creating and running a successful class. Due to popular demand, here it is for those you you who missed it…
A tablespoon of STUDIO
An amazing studio is definitely not the key to a good class. A beautiful studio is an added bonus, and undoubtedly makes a great first impression, but it absolutely isn’t everything. Imagine turning up to a blind date and seeing a good looking beau waiting for you. Yes, you are delighted, but within 5 minutes you want to know this yummy person has something to say for themselves. Same goes with a studio!
Half a cupful of AREA
London is vast, and it’s truly great that classes are dotted in every corner of the capital. A class does NOT have to be central to be awesome. A class miles from a station is completely acceptable, as long as two other factors are taken into account: 1) the class is worth the trek and 2) Directions are available and clear.
As an instructor, this is as simple as taking the time to walk from the closest station to your venue, and writing it up clearly on your website. As your students, we’re often dashing from day jobs, and so clear instructions on how to find a class will totally affect the mood we arrive in.
A big dollop of TEACHER
Onto the secret sauce. To me, a teacher is the single most important ingredient in the fitness class recipe. Students need someone who leads with confidence yet also listens, and someone who inspires. As a student, I expect enthusiasm and passion from my instructor about what they are teaching, or else I would stay home and put on a work out dvd.
Funny thing is, I’ve spoken to many teachers now and I’ve learned that a lot of them are wracked with nerves before every class. I find this so surprising, because I look up to teachers as being experts in something I want to learn, and often feel nervous myself just being in class! If you’re a teacher, even if you’re a rookie, then remind yourself that you have a class of people keen to learn what’s in your head. Hopefully this will encourage you to believe in yourself and in this amazing knowledge you are about to share with your students. Relax. Smile. Now- teach.
A liberal pinch of CLASSMATES
The factor you can’t control! But one you can control your expectations of. An important consideration- AT LEAST ONE OTHER PERSON IN EVERY CLASS WILL BE NEW LIKE YOU! Be proud of your bravery at turning up to that class; don’t be scared that everyone will be better than you. Give out to your classmates what you hope to receive from them, and I promise you, you can influence how others behave in that room. Even if you smile at everyone, and only one reciprocates, you’ve found an ally!
Simmer on medium heat for 60 mins until hot, sweaty and begging for mercy
And that’s it really- not too complicated! Everyone will be searching for something different in class, and you’ll all have your own preferences, but I think the above is a good basic recipe to follow. It’s up to you to get training and add your own herbs and spices!