What makes a GREAT BodyBarre Instructor?

What makes a GREAT BodyBarre Instructor?

This article is concerning group fitness instructors as a whole, but the tips listed are absolutely essential to teaching a great BodyBarre class, and to keep clients repeatedly coming back AND bringing their friends along!

Most people don't realize that fitness instructors have a special gift and talent that takes time and tenacity to cultivate. If you don't believe me, take a class with someone who has no idea what they are doing. You will see people burning the majority of their calories by cranking their head toward the clock to see when the madness will end, or they may just walk out because they don't know what the problem is, they just know something isn’t right. I've seen this happen while others have been teaching, and despite my best efforts to support a fellow teacher by staying until the end, like the others who jump ship, I too have left early when I couldn't take it any more.  This happened to me recently and led me to see that there are signs you can observe that tell if a person knows what they are doing, and what in fact, makes them outshine the rest.

Here are 5 signs of an outstanding fitness instructor that I have found:


1. They are confident. They come in, get the music cued, go in front of the class, introduce themselves, give eye contact, and smile. This may seem like a trivial characteristic but the way an instructor starts the class sets the tone for the entire workout. If they seem rushed, disinterested, nervous, flustered, or anything other than confident, participants know it and it immediately sets the "I could be doing [fill in the blank with anything other than this]" mechanism in a person's head. The lights that were on to be motivated to get to the gym and take a class click off instantaneously. People think, "Here we go. I knew I shouldn't have come here." Because let's face it: doesn't everyone always have other things to do than to taking a boring or unstructured exercise class?

2. They are able to give visual and verbal instructions to help you build, tone, and stretch the right body parts, or move rhythmically with ease throughout the workout. Here's an example of what I mean from a new, inexperienced, unskilled instructor: The music is on. The class has started. They go in front of the room and say, "Okay, here we go! March! Come on! March! Move! Go left! Go right! Get your leg up! Turn around! You can do it! Come on people!" And this is five seconds into the class! This may sound comical but I have seen this with my own two eyes. A skilled, outstanding fitness instructor cues people on the right muscles to use and engage such as their core, but not just by saying, "Okay contract your core!" which I hear people say and do all the time, having no clue as to what or where their core muscles are or how to activate them.  Or, they will also instruct people on the importance of neutral spine alignment, even if they've taught the same class a million times. There are certain factors of group fitness instruction that must be repeated like your regularly scheduled commercial break because you are always teaching the to the newcomer, and reminding the person who comes regularly all the same.


3. They know how to cue. This one is huge! People think that teaching a class is as simple as 1, 2, 3, and that it's done in that order. But this is a HUGE sign of a new, unskilled, or untrained instructor. And in fact, nothing annoys me more than being in a class where the instructor is teaching from the lower number going forward. They say, "Okay, we are going to do jumping jacks! Ready? Here we go! 1, 2, 3, ....!" Well when will we end? It's an open-ended exercise and this creates a feeling of wanting to quit because for the person exercising, there's no end to visualize. There's no finish line or tape to run across. The race is going but you have no idea where it ends. This activates a feeling of "I can't do it" to the exerciser, whereas a skilled instructor knows to count BACKWARDS starting from the highest number and going down to one.

As for cueing, it is pure artistry to be able to do 32-count phrasing smoothly and effortlessly. An outstanding instructor stays on the tempo and has the practiced skill of being able to tell participants what they are about to do, BEFORE they do it. So, if you want a person to do 20 jumping jacks, they know how to pump the participants up to say "We are going to do 20 jumping jacks, in 4, 3, 2, 1" and get people excited and ready for what's to come. Then, you start them at 20 and instantly, the participant says, "Okay, I can do this!" They begin to focus. They push. They may not extend their hands all the way over the heads or their lateral jump may become smaller but doggone it, they start at 20 and get to 1! Plus, an outstanding group fitness instructor will have the participants high five one another with everyone cheering, "We did it! We made it!"  And this leads me to my next point.

4. Outstanding group fitness instructors create a sense of community and camaraderie within their classes. People feel connected to one another. They begin to learn each other's "spots" in the class and may even rush each other in the locker room, or parking lot, and help them wrap up a conversation with someone else. They tell each other "Come on girl, we have to get to this class."  They may even start a phone tree or email group, and now thanks to social media, they may even form a Facebook group to keep one another encouraged and accountable. This is because outstanding group fitness instructors invest lots of time and energy into others, and most importantly, they do the same for themselves. This leads me to my last point.

5. An outstanding group fitness instructor invests in their continuing education. They know the importance of getting a nationally recognized certificate as an exercise instructor, in addition to trademarked specialty certifications for different formats for which they want to become highly skilled to have the licensing to teach.  Many even go on to pursue advanced academic study and attain degrees in the field of exercise instruction.  They stay on the cutting edge of trends in the fitness industry. They are lifelong learners and exude this enthusiasm and passion for knowledge to their participants.

Some people think that fitness instruction is some kind of glorified drill sergeant in spandex. But it's more than playing blaring techno music while yelling at people with a high pitched vibrato.  To be an outstanding fitness instructor takes  talent, skill, and amazing amounts of energy. It's also time consuming. It's expensive. It's draining. But most importantly, it's exhilarating and fulfilling. There is nothing more satisfying and heart-warming than to have someone thank you for how you've helped them.

Why BodyBarre?

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Why BodyBarre?

“Why BodyBarre?”

As a BodyBarre Instructor you will undoubtably be asked this question more than once. How will you answer them? You already know the amazing benefits of our method: it features intense cardio, toning and strengthening with zero impact, and it’s never the same workout twice! Seriously….what’s not to love? However, you may find it necessary from time to time, to break down the details for curious clients looking for more information about how the workout might benefit them specifically. Here are some helpful points to address when explaining the BodyBarre method, and barre fitness in general.

It fires up your CORE

With each isometric movement, you target the tiny muscles that may get ignored if you're just sticking to crunches. Plus, by repeating these small movements over and over again, you build up endurance. 

It improves your POSTURE

By maintaining an awareness of your posture in class, you'll find yourself aware of each time your shoulders slump forward at your desk or while lounging. Building on that core strength above, a stronger core also helps you to keep your back straight throughout your day, and with every BodyBarre class, you'll be standing a little taller.

We STRETCH and lengthen throughout BodyBarre class

Stretching prevents muscles from remaining tight, which could cause other muscle groups to not function correctly. So, not only does stretching in BodyBarre increase your flexibility, it also helps your muscles to perform correctly.

You don't need a dancer's flexibility to be able to take a barre class, but the stretching interludes between strengthening exercises will certainly help to increase your flexibility. Our classes focus on being both flexible and strong, rather than just pumping iron.

It is definitely a FULL BODY WORKOUT

Because BodyBarre classes use your own body weight to tackle different areas, you end up working multiple muscle groups at the same time, with zero impact. And remember, those isometric movements? Again, they help you to tackle smaller muscles that often get ignored. The result is a full-body workout that will leave you sore in the best way.

Have we mentioned it’s ZERO IMPACT?

BodyBarre class will definitely make you sweat, with our intense cardio bursts but you’ll never find yourself jumping, running, hopping, or performing any other movement that may be harmful to your joints. Compared to high-impact workouts, like running, BodyBarre is easy to stick with, without requiring breaks for muscle and joint rehabilitation. And we all know a long-term commitment means better results over time.

Zero Impact = LOW RISK

Because BodyBarre is zero-impact, that also means that it's low-injury. Less pressure on your joints means fewer chances of hurting yourself. Plus, you can even do BodyBarre while pregnant, as long as you are mindful of your body and notify your instructor, so that they can provide you with modifications and adjustments, depending how far along you are.

What are some of the reasons YOU love BodyBarre? What helps you get your clients in the door? Let us hear from you!!

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Tell me your name again?

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Tell me your name again?

One thing we consistently hear from trainees as well as seasoned instructors is that remembering students’ names is a challenge. The more classes you teach each week, and the larger the classes are, the more difficult it can become.

I have struggled with this in the past too, but have found these six tips to make a huge difference.

1. Repeat their name back to them when they first say it to you.

“Nice to meet you Susan. I am so glad you are here!!” Saying it back right away will increase your odds of remembering it.

2. Make eye contact when they tell you their name, and remember a detail about their face.

This detail might help you with memory recall. Something like, “Marnie has green eyes and freckles.” Then, the next time you see Marnie, you might not remember her name at first, but the detail(s) about her can help you pull it up in your mind.

3. Connect their name with a physical issue or goal they have.

This is my personal favorite because it helps not only with remembering their name but with following up on their progress with their practice, i.e. “Kate has knee problems.”

Then, when Kate comes back to class, I can recall her name and let her know I am interested in her motivation for attending class. “Hi Kate, how is your knee doing? Have you noticed any improvements?”

Notice how, by recalling what was going on with her the last time she was in class, I made the assumption that she is improving and showed her that I care about her wellness.

4. Stand at the front desk during class sign-in, or by the door to the classroom, and personally greet each student.

Seeing them come in helps you in many ways. You can note what their energy is like as they come into the studio, you can see movement patterns in their body, and you can catch their name if they are new or you don’t remember it off hand.

5. If time permits, go to each person before the start of class and check in with them.

This is something that has worked for me over the years. I stop by their mat and see how they are doing, if they have any injuries, and re-introduce myself if I don’t remember their name. This gives me a chance to personally connect with each person in the room.

6. Repetition, repetition, repetition. 

Repeat their names several times throughout class. Calling out “beautiful job” or “nice form”, along with their name shows that you are paying attention to them and care about their progress. The more you say it and hear it, the better you will remember.

Do you have a hard time remembering names? Have any tips or tricks that have helped you? Let us hear from you!

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Discounts on LEGGINGS: Even MORE Perks to a BodyBarre Certification!

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Discounts on LEGGINGS: Even MORE Perks to a BodyBarre Certification!

Did you know that as a Certified BodyBarre Instructor, you can receive GREAT discounts for amazing leggings and activewear?! No? Well you do now!! I’ve been compiling a list of some of our favorite brands who offer a substantial discount to BodyBarre certified instructors. For most of these you’ll need to have a copy of your current BodyBarre Certificate and you’ll need to be on the schedule of at least one studio. Know of a company that offers a discount to instructors? PLEASE share!! :)

AnjaliClothing.com: If you would like to apply to the Anjali Instructor Program, simply fill out the Instructor Application Form and they will often approve you the same day. 40% off for instructors!

GlyderApparel.com:  The Glyder Dreamer Program offers 25% off to instructors. Our primary goal is to exclusively endorse the Glyder Dreamers who embody our Limitless Movement. Membership is by application, is not guaranteed and can be revoked at any time. Visit https://www.glyderapparel.com/pages/glyder-pro-gram

*Application may take up to 2 weeks for processing and approval.

SweatyBetty.com : Email a copy of your BodyBarre certification to customercare@sweatybetty.com to activate an account, which will automatically give instructor a 30% off discount.

 

Alo Yoga: Certified instructors who are actively teaching can join Alo Yoga Pro Program by filling out this form. After a 14-day approval process, you may use the 30% instructor discount online or in-store.  

KiraGrace: Instructors can access KiraGrace’s Pro Program by filling out the online application, which requests either an uploaded copy of your BodyBarre certification. Once approved, you’ll receive a welcome email with steps on how to set up your user account, as well as a permanent coupon code to use when shopping the site.

PrAna: Instructors, avid travelers, and even non-profit employees can  join prAna’s Influencer Program by filling out the online application. Once approved prAna’s system will recognize you as an Influencer when you log in with your email address and password, then the instructor discounts automatically apply to your shopping bag.

Liquido Active:  Discount: 20% off Instructors can enroll in Liquido’s Teacher Appreciation Program by uploading your BodyBarre certification and current class schedule. From there, they can get a 20% instructor discount on any item, any time.

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High Intensity Interval.....BodyBarre?

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High Intensity Interval.....BodyBarre?

High Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) is the ideal workout for a busy schedule—whether you want to squeeze in a workout during your lunch break or to get in shape for a fast-approaching event. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than the girl jogging on the treadmill for an hour. And according to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Meeting, just 2 weeks of high-intensity intervals improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6 to 8 weeks of endurance training.

Not only do you burn more calories during a high-intensity workout, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body's repair cycle into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after, say, a steady-pace run.

Most people aren't used to pushing into the anaerobic zone, but in this case, extreme training produces extreme results. One 2006 study found that after 8 weeks of doing HIIT workouts, subjects could bicycle twice as long as they could before the study, while maintaining the same pace.

In addition to increased fat burning and muscle preservation, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!

BodyBarre has often been compared to a HIIT workout…..and that’s what makes us so different from all the other well-known barre methods out there. As you know you can create any “type” of class that you want, using the different BodyBarre series to work different body parts, however integrating those famed cardio-bursts throughout your barre series can really push the heart rate UP, turning your BodyBarre class into a HIIT workout! 

During these HIIT-style BodyBarre classes, you’ll want to make sure your class is always moving, even after each cardio burst is completed……for instance keep your clients in plies on flat feet, (offering breaks and drinks for anyone who needs one during this time), but give your clients something to DO to keep them moving. Plie pulse in place until you’re ready to move to the next series.

Also, there are no hard and fast rules on WHICH cardio series you have to use; Why not add 2nd and 1st multiple times throughout your class? Or work ALL the series in releve for an extra boost (as well as an extra workout for those calves and feet!). Another killer option is to add 1lb or 2lb weights to your barre workout! People can pick them up and drop them as needed, but you’d be amazed how much intensity a 1lb weight adds to the Cardio Sideline serie!

The fact that we use very little equipment in our workouts helps….research has shown that some equipment like dumbbells can make HIIT less effective because with h.i.i.t.,  you want the focus to be on pushing your heart to its max, not your muscles.

Summed up, don’t be afraid to add several cardio bursts throughout your classes.  Our new “Face The Barre” Series is INTENSE……one client tracked the workout on her Apple Watch and said she burned more calories in class than she did running sprints for an hour!! 

Make sure to tell your clients that it’s OKAY to take breaks, be gentle with their bodies, especially if they’re de-conditioned and coming to you to start a new workout regimen.  Be encouraging, but don’t call them out for taking breaks….AND make sure to offer challenges to your stronger clients! Push them by offering a releve option, adding a weight, throwing out options for more intense cardio bursts, plank variations, etc.! 

Thoughts on any of this? Let us hear from you! And let us know what you’ve come up with that works for your classes and your clients. We love feedback! :)

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Tips for Marketing Your BodyBarre Classes

Tips for Marketing Your BodyBarre Classes

When you’re a newly certified instructor, it can be tough navigating the path to actually teaching in one or more studios. Here’s a helpful article on tips and tricks for marketing yourself and your classes to studios you hope to teach at!

Many studios will ask you to come in and “audition”, which can mean teaching anything from a 10 minute flow to running a full hour-long demo class. This can make even seasoned instructors nervous, but if you know the material and your teaching strengths, you can streamline this process in a way that will make you feel confident and comfortable, in any audition process.

  • Know your strengths….what series and flows in the BodyBarre manual are you most comfortable with? Practice teaching these series in a mirror or even film yourself teaching. Make sure you feel confident with your cueing and vocal projection during these series. Use your favorite series for the short audition flows.

  • Practice teaching your series favorites to others. A lot. Grab a couple of friends, grab some chairs and hold a barre class in your living room. Film yourself teaching to others and then go back and find things you can improve on.

  • Know your music. Until you are comfortable and knowledgeable about your song choices, use continuous mixes that do not start and stop. Use songs with NO LYRICS…..that way your class can focus on your cueing and your voice can be heard while teaching.

  • Be open to ideas & input from others. Ask your class what they liked and disliked and what you can improve on.

  • Offer to substitute teach to “test the market” at potential studios.

Once you do begin teaching at a studio or fitness center, it’s up to you to build your class. The studio should certainly help you market, but how can you draw people into your classes and gain a loyal following without spending a ton of money?

  • Pop-Up classes - hold a free or inexpensive BodyBarre class on a weekend or evening and invite EVERYONE you know and their friends. Have treats or even champagne afterwards. Make it a fun social event to spread the word about your class.

  • Social Media - Post, post, & post some more! Let people know where you are teaching and when. Post pics and video clips from your class. Make sure everyone you know, knows you teach BodyBarre, when your classes are and where!

  • Traditional Marketing - Don’t discount this! Design flyers or cards (use our BB logos and pics or take your own photos) and visit local businesses where your target demographic frequents. Nail salons, hair salons, cafes, shops, restaurants and more…..Ask to leave flyers in their business. More often than not they will be happy to hand them out for you!

  • Film a series and send it to us to feature on YouTube. Make sure you clearly announce your name & the studio / location where you’re teaching. We’ll edit & post…..then you share, share, share! :)

  • Get your studio website listed on BodyBarre.com.

  • Remember your client’s names. This is SO important and will create a personal connection between you and your class. Make sure to pay attention to each client that attends your class, offering corrections and positive reinforcement to let them know you care about them.

What’s worked for you when marketing yourself and your classes? We’d love to hear your ideas in our Facebook Instructor Group!

Shop BodyBarre Discounts

Shop BodyBarre Discounts

Did you know? BodyBarre Instructors get 15% off in our online store!! We’ll be adding amazing leggings and all new tanks this Spring and being a member of our BodyBarre Beautiful family entitles you to a fantastic discount on all of it! Use the Coupon Code BBBEAUTY15 when you shop!