It’s a rainy Tuesday out my window this afternoon. A welcomed relief from the crazy heat we’ve been having in Missouri lately. My lawn is definitely saying thank you for the drink of water.
After a super busy weekend and Monday, I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and catch my breath. I spent the entire weekend attending an advanced instructor training at the gym then my Monday was crazy busy with 3 classes and spending some time with my kiddos at the pool during an unexpected evening away from my Monday evening class.
The training I am referring to is the advanced instructor module 2 (AIM2) for the classes I teach. It’s designed to provide an opportunity for instructors to enhance their teaching skills to create fitness experiences that participants won’t forget. Let’s back up so I can explain the process. To become a Les Mills instructor one must go through an initial training to learn the basics. To become an advanced instructor, one will attend advanced training modules 1 and 2. Those who wish to go further, can submit a video of themselves teaching their entire class for assessment and possibly earn the elite instructor status in order to go further in their teaching career.
It’s alot of work! I know as I’ve been through this process once before. I attended both AIM1 and 2 for BodyFlow and earned my elite status as my goal is to become a trainer for BodyFlow. Having this classification will hopefully get me noticed by the higher up Les Mills peeps.
But that hasn’t stopped me from wanting to improve and looking for the opportunities where I can. This training was held locally, so I had the pleasure to work with some of my instructor team mates that I really didn’t know before as well as meeting new TR1BE mates. AIM2 has a variety of programs represented so throughout the weekend, we did BodyPump, BodyCombat, CXWorx, BodyFlow and RPM. I originally wanted to present and recieve feedback for both BodyPump and RPM however, I decided at the last minute that I would rather get more feedback on RPM. Each instructor got to present 4x over the course of the training while we participated in their presentation. So lots of working out! Hence the soreness I’m feeling right now.
Without giving too much away, we declared the desire to SHIFT. The shift happens when you drop all barriers to learning and put focused energy into improving. We learned quite a bit about ways to make our classes participant focused instead of making it about ourselves, the instructor. It sounds pretty basic but it’s hard to focus on the people in front of you when you have to think about the choreography, what to say, what to do and how to say it. It’s easy to think people are judging and evaluating you and get caught up in your head.
Speaking of people, we learned about the different communication styles or personalities in our classes. I found this part to be particularly interesting both the first time I went through this training and again the second time. We determined our own personal style of communication which often determines our comfortable teaching style. I identified more with the introverted detailed based style although I classified myself differently at both trainings. Then we discussed ways to connect with all communications styles in our classes so every one feels included in the group. Something really to think about. And when an instructor steps out of their comfortable teaching style, that created contrast and gets people’s attention. Imagine the reserved yet intense instructor busting out singing along to the music. These are the things we pushed to do to enhance our teaching.
My absolute favorite part of the weekend was when we explored how music brings out emotion. I am a very musically driven person, that’s probably why I love teaching these classes as Les Mills does a phenomenal job letting the music drive the workout. In the dark studio so no one would see us, we were asked to conjure up an emotion as a song was playing. And then told to let the music move you. So cool! A few tears may have been shed on the inspired, happy and sorrow emotional songs.
My biggest take aways:
It’s ok to try something new and different because if you don’t try, you’ll never know if it will work. And something different may not feel right the first, second or third try, but it you stay with it, it will click.
Cut the fluff, stop wasting words and letting your point get lost in useless words.
Let cues land and describe more benefits to the moves/workout we are doing.
It’s ok to sing a little 🙂
Where to go from here?
I’m going to start to take baby steps toward becoming the ultimate instructor. What’s great about this training is that it doesn’t just improve the program I presented for. I can apply what I learned to everything I teach. In fact, my BodyPump class on Monday felt pretty fresh because I started to apply some of my take aways already.
I won’t revert back to my comfort zone of teaching. My goal is to create more of a contrasted journey throughout my class so it’s not boring and one dimensional. I won’t talk about the specifics but rest assured I have a step by step action plan to get there. When I’m ready, I’ll start video taping myself teaching (eeek painful to watch) to see where I’ve improved and what I can focus on. Then, the ultimate goal is to achieve elite status in RPM. I’ve got a year to do it.
Thanks to these super star trainers, Justin and Kurt for an awesome and inspiring weekend!