Before becoming a certified fitness instructor, I took group exercise classes religiously. From boxing and barre to spin and TRX, I loved the variety and energy from the instructor and the people who surrounded me in each class. Personally, I found it more enjoyable than working out by myself. I never had to think about what to do at the gym, because the instructor provided the workout for me. All I had to do was show up and work hard.
Now that I’m teaching classes, I find it more and more difficult to actually take classes. I’ve been busier than ever this summer teaching 7-10 classes a week at three different local gyms and outdoor bootcamps. Other than working with my running coaches, it’s been longer than I’d like to admit that I’ve actually taken a class. But this morning I finally took a class after teaching one of my own. I hadn’t planned on it, as I had it in my head that I was going to go for a run with my daughter afterwards, but when the next instructor walked in she asked if I was staying, so on a whim I decided to ditch the run and take her class.
It felt so good being on the other side again, being told what to do, not telling everyone else what to do. Better yet, it felt amazing to focus on me and not anyone else. It was a good reminder why I started this journey as a fitness instructor in the first place. I got to thinking how important it is to continue taking classes; not just teach them, and how beneficial it is to continue working with other instructors, trainers and coaches.
Here are 3 reasons why fitness professionals still need their own trainer or coach:
- Accountability: As an instructor, I workout by default. I’m literally sore every single day from teaching every day. But regardless of that, when I’m teaching, my focus is on the group of men and women taking my class, it’s not on myself. It can be easy to skip my workout because I’ve already taught a class, but in the end, it’s nice to actually get in my own workout where I’m 100% focused on myrself and not someone else. Taking a class or working with a coach or trainer will keep you accountable for actually getting in your own workout.
- Sharing Ideas: If you’re an instructor or trainer, you’re probably always looking for fun and creative ways to spice things up in your classes or sessions. Doing the same old thing can get boring and mundane. But when you’re working with someone else you can learn from them. Whether it’s a different compound move, a great combination sequence or simply the way they demonstrate and explain an exercise, you can attain new moves or concepts. I’ve seen it too many times, people are afraid of their ideas being “stolen”, but let’s get real for hot a minute, none of us invented the squat press. There are a hundreds of ways to do the same old exercises using various combinations. We all want to be successful in our way at what we do, we all want to be a great instructor or, trainer or coach and we all deserve to be. Don’t be afraid to keep your ideas fresh by sharing them with others, and let others help guide you too.
- Motivation: When I’m teaching, it’s my job to set the vibe and motivate the group. In a group exercise class, everyone feeds of the energy off the instructor. Unless I’m running I get bored working out by myself. There’s no one else around motivating me or “yelling” at me to push myself through. As a certified fitness instructor ( and certified running coach), taking a class and working with my running coaches absolutely motivates me. They challenge me, they push me to keep going, they challenge me to work harder and at my true potential and they correct me when my form gets sloppy – just the I do when I teach. Fitness professional or not, sometimes all we need to get started and get our body moving is the motivation from someone else.
There are so many reasons I still need to take classes and work with running coaches. I don’t care how many certifications I or someone else have, very few of us, including myself is an expert. I’m not afraid to continue learning and growing from the amazing fitness professionals I know and work with. Fitness is a journey and lifestyle where everyone should be supporting each other, and what better way to do that than with the accountability, ideas and motivation from a certified instructor, trainer or coach 😉
Until next time, happy workout Wednesday and as always, thanks for reading!