Friday, July 24, 2015

Worst Case Scenario: Fitness Instructor Edition


You've prepped for your class and you're ready to go. You've done this plenty of times, what could go wrong? Well, we don't always talk about it, but sometimes you-know-what happens. Here's a survival guide for the worst case scenario.

Wardrobe Malfunction
If it slips, dips, or rips, you're just going to have to go along with it! Most wardrobe malfunctions can be covered up - a shirt tied around the waist, a strategic tucking, or a quick piece of tape from the gym's front desk. If you've had a severe malfunction, say a quick apology but try not to stop the class - this will minimize attention. I promise you some or all of your students probably didn't even notice. After all, Janet Jackson just got BET's Ultimate Icon award - so, you'll make your comeback, too.

A Blank Mind
No matter how many times you rehearse a sequence of kickboxing moves, yoga positions, or dance routines, you're bound to have a straight up "I have no idea what to do next" moment every once in a while. Be sure to pick a standard move ahead of time that will always be your go to when that happens. That way, you're not spending time trying to figure out what to do - you immediately start jumping jacksing, grapevining, or toe tapping so your brain can focus on what the heck you actually wanted to do.

Bodily Functions
Ew, I know. This is the one that nobody wants to talk about. But look, they happen. If you're not feeling well, it's OK to excuse yourself for a minute (you can assign the class sets of squats, pick a "leader" for a song, or have them stretch on their own) to avoid an issue before it happens. If it's too late for that, once again, say a quick apology and move on. Most students are just focused on keeping up. And if it's really bad, end class early, apologize, and offer to add X minutes to your next class at the same location to make up for it. Then get the hell out of there.

Where is everybody?
This may not be as bad as ripping a hole in your pants or trying not to puke on your front row students, but it can be awkward if you only have one or two students in a class. Most group fitness classes are not designed to double as personal training, and we feed off the energy of the group. If you find yourself in this situation, you have to BRING IT - all the energy you have. Get into the "audience" and move with them. Ask for special requests.


What other situations have you found yourself in? How'd you get yourself out of it?

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