An upbeat exercise class is a fun way to get an effective workout in while meeting new people. For those who dread working out, a well put together group exercise class can almost make you forget you’re working out at all. If you want to get to know the people in your life better while becoming fit and having fun, organize a group exercise class. There are many different types of group exercise classes, and many different types of people who participate in them. All of the options can make your head spin, but with some practice and careful planning you’ll be good to go.
Create a Group Exercise Class
Assess your target population. Think about what type of people are likely to be in your group exercise class. Whether the class is likely to be made up of old, young, women, overweight people or those who are crunched for time should make a big difference on the overall format of the class.
Choose an appropriate format. Research different types of group exercise classes and pick one that fits your target population the best. For example, if your class will mostly be overweight or elderly people, choose a low-impact format such as a floor cardio routine. Different types of classes include strength conditioning, step aerobics, high/low cardio, kickboxing, fitness dancing and many more.
Select music. Find a collection of songs that fit the mood and tempo you want. If you want a lot of energy in your class, choose upbeat songs. If you’re looking for a more relaxed feel, choose laid-back, feel-good songs. Make sure the music you choose is favorable to your target population, elderly people will have a hard time getting into a workout with the latest teen pop star blaring. Put the songs in an order you like and burn a CD, or keep it as a playlist on your mp3 player.
Plan moves or exercises. Find workouts that complement the format and music you’ve chosen. String exercises together into a routine that flows smoothly and fits seamlessly with your songs. Consult a credible fitness resource to see if any exercises are not recommended for the type of people you will be teaching.
Practice, practice, practice. Once you have your routine and music all ready to go, give it a run through on your own. Scrub up any rough areas and go through the whole thing again. Grab a friend and ask them to critique you. The more you practice early on, the better your class is going to be. You don’t want to forget what comes next when you have a sweaty mob staring back at you.
- When you teach your group exercise class, speak in a loud voice, give lots of instruction, don’t be shy and make sure to interact with the people in the class. Confidence can make a good class a great one, even if your routine isn’t perfect.
- To be covered for legal issues, consider having the class participants read and sign liability wavers. While this will most likely never be an issue, it’s a good idea to cover your bases -- especially if you don’t have formal training on group exercise instruction.
Jilana Dennis is a health and fitness writer based out of San Antonio, Texas. Dennis is a nationally certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise and holds a B.S in exercise science from Illinois State University.