Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Streamline Your Class Preparation and Have More Time for Fun!

When people ask me what I “do” for employment, it is funny because my mind immediately jumps to me being a fitness instructor over my corporate job where I spend most of my time. The simple answer is because fitness is what I love, it is my passion, it is what I want to do full-time. However, that is not in the cards at this time, so part-time fitness instructor it is. But is it really part time? Think about how much time you spend preparing for classes.
  • Scouting music
  • Working on original choreography
  • Learning choreography
  • Practicing
  • Creating set lists
  • Promoting your classes
  • Keeping your social media up-to-date
  • Networking
  • Building relationships 
  • Attending social events
Now imagine all of that work across several platforms, various gyms, different classes. It can really take up a large portion of your day. Here are a few tips to help you manage your preparation time.

Practice: Just as if you have scheduled classes, schedule yourself practice time. Mark it on your calendar and allot that time specifically for learning new choreography and fine-tuning your existing choreography. If you need a little extra motivation, ask some of your peeps to join you! You will find your energy increases AND the creative collaboration makes for some awesome choreography! 

Music: Take advantage of your downtime during the day. Maybe this is in the car on your way to work, or during nap time for your kids. Keep your music source handy and pop in your ear buds throughout the day to scout new music. Whether it is listening to music provided by your fitness genre, or doing a search on Apple Music of Spotify, you can basically hit shuffle, and tune it out until you find that one jam that resonates with you. Take that song and add it to a set list called “Choreography” so you can easily locate it when you are ready to work on it.

Set Lists: Come up with an easy to follow naming convention for your set lists. You can do this by month, genre, gym or date. In doing so, you will have a record on what you did when to ensure you are keeping things fresh for your participants. I work on set lists the day before classes. It takes about 10-15 minutes to rotate songs in and out or start a new set list. You can make it a practice to have a default set list for when you want to defer to the class favorites.

Social Media: There are several tools that are available in the marketplace to help manage your social media channels. In an effort to keep things streamlined and organized, you can create a content calendar at the beginning of each month. From there you can pre-write and post items and schedule them out with a third-party tool. Alternatively, you can set time aside daily to manage your social channels (I would recommend early in the morning to get it out of the way). The most important thing here is to create your point of view so your posts have value and meaning to your audience. If this is not your wheelhouse, don’t worry, for a nominal fee, you can actually hire someone to manage your accounts. 

Networking: This is such a huge part of the fitness industry. It is no doubt that classes are more fun with different styles and personalities, and those differences are what makes the fitness community unique. Make sure to carve out time in your schedule to get to other people in your fitness community. Visit other instructor classes, and when your schedule allows, attend events to see your friends, meet new people and network new business opportunities. 

We all know the TLC that is required for your fitness classes, businesses and brands. We certainly all know how busy and crazy life can be! Hopefully these tidbits will help save a little preparation time so you can truly do what you love most; inspire others through fitness! 

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