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Group X: Reignite Their Fire


Fitness is a journey. There is no start, no end. It’s a pathway riddled with ups and downs even for those who make a life or career out of fitness. This time of year it’s easy to give in to the little monster that hides inside all of us telling us that it’s ok to stay home under the covers and skip a workout. But it’s our job in Group X to motivate members and class participants to stay with the program. So we trudge on through the ups and downs with our “game” face on, motivating participants and encouraging them to continue on their fitness journey.

But I often ask myself, “Who will motivate the group fitness instructor (or anyone who works in the fitness industry) when they are experiencing a ‘down?’” It’s during that time that we as managers need to provide our instructors with the correct leadership and direction to keep them on the right track.

One way to do this is to host a certification or encourage instructors to participate in a training or upskill. Often the instructors affiliated with a host site will receive a discount to participate in a training that could really reinvigorate everyone, while offering the instructor a way to build their resume. Fitness is a continuous learning process. What better way to keep them informed and up to date with the latest studies than hosting a seminar that could help them earn their CEUs/CECs? If you lack the ability to host a certification or seminar, do some research, find some local trainings and encourage instructors to attend as a team.

You can also reward instructors individually. Maybe start a monthly “Instructor of the Month” award. This one is easy and can be as simple as printing out a pre-formatted award on a color printer and framing it — if you really want to get fancy you can give them a gift card to a local coffee shop, Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts. It doesn’t need to be a lot of money — usually it’s the recognition that makes the impact and the actual “award” is of little importance. Surprise them before or after class in front of their class participants and take a picture for Facebook. Voila! Just remember to keep it up monthly. Soon your instructors will wonder when you are going to show up to THEIR class and surprise THEM.

The message here is clear though, we ALL need motivation. Everyone needs a pep talk, pep rally, or recognition to give us a boost once in a while. We all need to be reminded what brought us to this career that can often be mentally and physically draining (constant practice, making sure we have fresh and new music, teaching while sick or sad or tired, etc.). Even the best and most motivated individuals have those “down” days. In the end it is up to us to keep our instructors happy and feeling valued within clubs.


Kerri Miano

Kerri Miano has been working in the fitness industry for over 10 years. She is currently the group exercise director at Meridian Fitness & Wellness in Hazlet, New Jersey.

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