No matter how hard you work on creating and perfecting a class routine that’s fun and effective, teaching class after class can inevitably start to feel stale. Of course, there’s always the option to start over with a new routine — but even the best fitness instructors can suffer from lack of inspiration when it comes to whipping up new moves.
How can you push past the block and give your workout classes a fresh spin? We asked a few seasoned instructors for their best advice on finding new inspiration — which can make all the difference if you find yourself stumped for new ideas. Here are a few ways to spark creativity that you can channel into the next class you teach!
Plan Your Updates
When you’re trying to be creative, making a plan is likely not the first method that comes to mind in order to get you there. But Michele Gordon, creator of Cardio Sweat Party says that the key to keeping her classes feeling new and exciting is to know when to change them up, and plan ahead for doing so. “Once I started teaching more than ‘just a few’ classes a week, I realized that in order to stand out, my classes had to be really good on a consistent basis,” she says. “It was too much to change up my class choreography and music every week for spinning, strength training, cardio, barre and more. It became more realistic and programmatic to create new choreography every 3-4 weeks. It was planned, and it gave my classes something to look forward to. Every month we’d work on the same moves, adding some ‘flair’ each week, and we would get stronger together. By the time we got used to the moves, it was a new month and we’d switch it up. To this day, that’s how I run my classes. We change up the moves every month. This not only keeps people coming back week after week, but it gives us (the instructors) some time to be more creative. It’s tough to come up with brand-new stuff every day, but it’s fun to do it on a bi-monthly or monthly basis.”
Take A Class
Want to know what’s going to work best for your class members? Richard Wilcock, studio owner, personal trainer and C.S.C.S. says that putting yourself into your student’s shoes — literally — will give you valuable insights into what makes a workout class feel new and exciting. “One of the best things you can do to spice up a routine is see it from your client’s perspective,” he says. “Go to a class at the facility you work at, and then go to some more at other facilities. A big aspect of improving in the health and fitness industry is learning from others. Google similar fitness classes close by and pick the most attended one. At the very least, you can reaffirm that what you’re doing is being done by other instructors. Best case scenario, you learn a completely different way of doing things.”
Discover New Techniques
One of the most exciting things about working in the fitness industry is that there’s always a new technique or piece of equipment being introduced in order to make workouts even more effective. Stephanie Scott, co-owner of Studio 6 Pilates & Wellness says that staying on top of the latest happenings in the industry helps motivate her to keep her classes fresh. “I’m passionate about getting trained on equipment or fitness methods that are totally new,” she says. “I often find a few things that really feel awesome for my own body, then I will modify or ‘MacGyver it’ to work on the equipment we have already in our studio. Even if I’m just working in a few alternate moves with a client during a session, I love having a brand new toolbox of exercises to pull from to help them get results they may not have expected.”
Pay Attention To Current Trends
It’s helpful to know what your students are watching and listening to — especially when you’re selecting new music, or coming up with new dance moves. Kosolu “Kasa” Ananti, creator of afrikoPOP fitness says she leans on both insights from her class members as well as the latest music videos to keep her classes exciting. “The way I shake up a routine is to look at current music videos and the latest dance trends,” she says. “I’ll have lunch with some of my POPstars, ask questions about what their interest are. What they are trying to change for themselves? Is my class an outlet, or are they looking to transform their bodies and lives? People are a constant source of inspiration for me!”
Even if you’ve been teaching for decades, there’s always something new you can learn. Brooke Taylor, creator of TFIGNITE PROGRAM and Taylored Fitness NY LTD, says the key to keeping her classes new and exciting is to continue being a student. “Being an instructor/personal trainer for over 14 years, I have found that one of the most important things is to keep exploring, keep learning and stay involved in the fitness community,” she says. “I am a huge advocate on continuing education courses. I set new goals for myself every year both physically and professionally. I try to dabble in anything that I am not familiar with. I currently hold 69 certifications, and I am nowhere near stopping. I love to learn new things and sit in on different classes/lectures. I find that when you get complacent then you stop growing, you stop being inspired and it reflects onto your clients. This will encourage customers to keep coming back for more as they will always be guessing what the next thing is and you will keep the energy going.”