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Role Reversal: Leaving the stage as a Group Fitness Instructor
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July 6, 2011

Role Reversal: Leaving the stage as a Group Fitness Instructor

I’ve been doing Pilates for over 8 years now and teaching for over 5. Teaching fitness classes is one of my favorite things to do in the world. What’s better than making people sweat AND smile at the same time? Probably an Auntie Anne’s almond crunch pretzel with no carbs. (OMG salivating)

Yesterday, I took 3 group fitness classes in a row. I seriously have not taken group fitness classes in the longest time, for working out purposes that is. Sometimes I take classes to educate myself and sometimes I screen people, but yesterday I took some classes in hopes that it would make me sweat. I use to be a group exercise junkie, lining up early for my kickboxing, BODYPUMP, or cardio dance just so I could make sure I had my spot in the front left or right hand corner. You can’t beat getting mirrors from 2 angles and a close view of the instructor! You know how it is 😉

Anyway, today marks the 6th day that I have left Boston for the West Coast. The 6th day without a gym. OMG! I have worked out every day except for 1 nonetheless. I’ve really gotten use to “killing it” on my own since I did that 8 week bikini shred so park workouts and runs outside held me over. I know what level of intensity I need to push myself to in order to get results.

Yesterday I went to CRUNCH with my sister and took 3 classes: TRX suspension training, Washboard Abs, and Kickboxing. Here’s a clip of TRX if you don’t know what it is:

It was so weird being a student again! I noticed a million things while standing in class…the music volume, the mic volume, cues, how prepared the instructor was, whether the instructor was paying attention to newbies or not, students who were loving it, students who didn’t get it etc etc. What I ended up realizing is that teaching a really good group ex class is very similar to a performer successfully working the crowd. You have to have a connection with your people, you have to monitor their body language and cater each class differently than you would the next because you’re going to get different people each time.

As an instructor, sometimes I got into this “zone” where I would feel like a conductor of an orchestra – moving my arms up and down fluidly as people did double leg lifts to the music. My voice would also go up and down like a cart on a roller coster, sometimes I’d even tippy toe and bend low to make a point. It takes time though to get confident enough to do this. I still remember teaching my first big class ever at 24 Hour Fitness – I was a college student at the time. It was one of the SCARIEST things I had ever done in my life. Afterwards I was trembling in my car. Today, teaching is like second nature to me. It took time though…and I think I developed myself most the 1.5 years I was in Boston. I owe it to my students for making each class exciting for me. I also kinda owe it to quitting my “real job”. Haha.

So did yesterday’s classes make me sweat? Yes! Trying something new is always so great for your body. The new ranges of motion challenged me and I loved it. Being a student is great, less pressure to perform, but nothing beats being “on stage”. ‘Cept for that Auntie Anne’s pretzel maybe. Can’t wait to teach again!

<3 Cassey

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