Starting a brand-new fitness routine can be intimidating for some people. However, by offering a basics class, you will provide a low-pressure way for people to give your studio a try and build the foundation for proper — and injury-free — technique.
In a 101-type class, you can create an environment where new clients aren’t struggling to keep up with more experienced fitness practitioners. By keeping the choreography simple and instructions detailed, instructors can focus on teaching new clients proper form and execution.
TEACHING THE BASICS
If you or your instructors have been teaching for a while, there may be elements to your routines that you take for granted. For example, if you’ve had your barre studio for years, you may be overestimating your clients’ knowledge of proper spine alignment. In a fundamentals class, all of your assumptions have to be stripped away; everything has to be both demonstrated and explained. Instructors should focus on describing the key points and not overwhelming new clients. Most importantly, instructors should start small and simple to give their clients an early taste of success that will improve their confidence and provide inspiration.
That said, basic does not mean boring. While you may reserve the same time every week to hold these classes, you can vary the focus, theme and even music to keep both the instructor and the clients engaged. For example, if you offer a kickboxing basics class, you can organize each class so that time is set aside each week to really hone in on a particular move, such as roundhouse kicks or jabs, to help clients maximize the effectiveness of their workouts.
These types of fundamental classes don’t have to be for new clients exclusively. In fact, many regulars may be interested in working on their form, too.
THE FIT FACTOR
If clients don’t have the right stamina to keep up with your regular or advanced classes, that could deter them from returning. Basics classes are a great first step in getting the proper conditioning to keep up with your other classes.
Keeping in mind the goal of helping clients increase their fitness level to participate in the other classes you offer, basics instructors should safely challenge clients to reach the next level. At the beginning of each class, the instructor’s expectations should be communicated. Because each person in the class may be at a different fitness level, the instructor should provide options for how clients can achieve that goal. For example, when an instructor tells the class to do squats, he or she should demonstrate both a standard squat and a squat jump to give clients options.
PACKING THE ROOM
To promote your fundamentals program, create a dedicated basics page on your website. The content of this page should include the descriptions and times of your 101 level classes, a brief description of what clients should expect from the class, a list of what to bring, and a list of the type of clothing and gear appropriate for class. You could also post video demonstrations and blog posts that could be of interest to beginners. If possible, gather testimonials and success stories from your regulars and post them on the page as well. Promote your fundamentals content across all your social media channels.
You could also create a special offer for new clients to incentivize them to stick with your basics program. For example, issue each new client a passport that instructors stamp after each completed fundamentals class. After 10 stamps, the client “graduates” and earns a free class at the next level.