Fitness Instructor tips and on a scale from 1-10….

March 6, 2013

 I will be taking a 3 hour nap every time I teach an early morning spin class until my body adjusts to waking up this early again.  Spin was great and I came home just a little bit after Brooke woke up.   PS I think that she is teething or she is just sick of eating baby food fruit and wants the real deal.  

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I found the absolute BEST hill climbing song for spin (okay, my sister found it for me but I want to pretend I found it).  I am so in love with it (like I am with all of their songs).    


I actually wrote these tips out for myself last night to refresh my memory of what I think makes a good spin teacher since it has been over 10 months since I taught my last spin classes.   

My tips for being a good spin instructor:

Start on time.  I don’t mind if people come in late or leave early but I know it is important to the class to have a teacher that starts on time.  They may have a limited time to work out and they may not want to waste it on waiting for the instructor to get set up.

Music.  This really makes or breaks a class.  Keep updated with the newest songs.  Choose songs with fast beats and songs that you think will give your class ENERGY.

Fake it to make it.  Even if you are tired and feeling low on energy you just have to fake it:)  It is your job to give it your all and to energize your class.  If you are tired… oh well:)  Push through, put on a smile and give your class an awesome workout.   Your energy will really help to determine the energy of the people taking your class. 

Get to know the people in your class.  Know people’s name and USE their names during class to encourage them to keep up the good work.

Make eye contact and really pay attention to each member of your class.   It is easy to look down at the ground and just focus on your own workout but making eye contact with class members helps them to push themselves.  Paying attention to each member of your class helps you to judge how effective your workout is for them, to check their form (and help them if they need help) and you forget you are working out yourself.

-Before class starts you have find out if you have any first timers.  Spend the time to help them set up their bike, teach them about the tension and let them know what your different cues mean.

VARY your workouts.  I switch things up every 1-2 songs.  I personally go crazy if I am told I am going to be doing 30 minutes of hills or 10 minutes of sprints etc. so I like to keep my class guessing about what is next and change things up often.

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(Don’t worry, I didn’t wear my Christmas socks or coat today to teach)

Lunch was extremely plain but just what I wanted.  Spinach salad, chicken (topped with a cup of bbq sauce after the picture), baked potato and an english muffin.  Hit the spot.  Now to take that nap….

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What do you think makes a good fitness instructor?

Any fitness instructors reading?  What do you teach?

Favorite fitness class to attend?

On a scale from 1-10 (1=bouncing off the walls, 10= so tired your eyeballs hurt) how tired are you today?

Did you have a plain lunch of an interesting lunch?

Amanda March 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Omg my spin teacher uses the same song for climbing too!! How funny. I’m sooo obsessed with that song/band.


Potatoes and Pilates March 6, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Congrats on your first class, Janae!

I think it is important for instructors to give modifications for specific exercises so that everyone can participate regardless of level or injury.


Brittney @teaberrytrails March 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm

I think it’s awesome to see that you are trying to be the best instructor possible! Those are fabulous qualities in a top notch instructor ;) Waking up early is def something that takes some adjusting to…I’m still in that transition phase myself! I think once summer rolls around and I can actually run outside in the morning without freezing my tush off, I’ll have better luck!


Elizabeth @ My Neon Running Shoes March 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm

My favorite fitness classes have been spin and zumba! My lunch was also plain today… leftover pizza and a spinach salad. Luckily I got an hour nap in while Noah did so my 4:30 rise time doesn’t seem so bad :-)


Koryn @ High Heels & Healthy Alternatives March 7, 2013 at 9:40 am

**Random/Un-related comment** but just wanted to say thanks! I read your comment and now I know what I want for dinner tonight… leftover pizza and a spinach salad! Plain, yes – but just what I want! :)


Jessica March 6, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I am a fitness instructor part time, and I teach about 15 classes a week, ranging from TRX, Gliders, Bootcamp, Pilates, etc, but SPIN has my heart.

I theme each class. Sometimes it is 90’s. Sometimes it is reggae. On Valentines Day it was Love Disco and we played a game with chocolate hearts that determined what exercise we were going to do.

I agree with the morning classes. I sometimes teach a 5:30 am class and teach until 9 pm at night. Naps are key. But I have an advertising and marketing job in between classes, so it is COFFEE for me. :)

Love this post, Janae!


Allee @ Griselda Mood March 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Great list. I think a good fitness instructor (like a good classroom teacher) also knows where the weaker links may be and encourages them and builds up their skill. I once took a fitness class and the teacher was so self-absorbed in her own fitness (“watch what I can do!” kind of thing) that she left everyone in the dust and didn’t care. I bet you make a great teacher!


Rachel @ Operation Rosebud March 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I really like your tips for teaching– would it be rude to give them to the instructor here at my Leisure Centre? She was so dull– it was a bit like torture. She did start on time, but she would say, “We are going to do hills for 10 minutes. Start climbing.” And then not talk for 10 minutes. It was awful! I’ve had great teachers before. I agree with the nap. I wish my littles would still take naps!


Amy N. March 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

You sound like a fantastic instructor! I wish you could set up a live spin class for all of us to do over the internet.


Kelly March 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I definitely agree with starting on time and names! I’m always more excited to go to classes when I feel like I’m friends with the instructor! Yoga classes are my favorite, I feel 100x better after a class than after a video or doing my own thing. I had pizza before and after my run, so I think that makes 2 plain lunches? Enjoy your nap! :)


Rene March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I appreciate what you said about starting on time. I just joined a new gym and the instructors are habitually late. It drives me nuts. I don’t have time to wait for them, then stay 15 minutes past the ending time because they were late.
Having said that, one of the reasons I switched was my other gym was so crowded that the instructors didn’t give feedback on form which is really important to me. My new gym is really good about that, plus they know my name which makes me feel important :)
I had a great nap today do I’m at a 1.


Cori @ olivetorun March 6, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I use to teach kickboxing and one of the things I appreciate the most out of instructors are those who not only challenge the CLASS but challenge themselves.
Don’t go easy just because you’re up front.


Sharisse March 6, 2013 at 2:17 pm

All of your tips are what I like in class instructors! Great job! On the tired scale I am a 7.68.


Ashlee March 6, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Brooke looks so cute in those tiny jeans!


Lisa March 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Yes, all of your tips are what I definitely like in instructors! I also think it’s important to use a microphone and speak up, get interactive with the class! I had on instructor who subbed spin and used no mic and would kind of do his own thing and tell us to follow along, not the greatest.


Andrea @ mainerunnergirl March 6, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Your spin class sounds fun! Spin in my favorite group workout but Zumba with a friend is always fun too!


Annette@FitnessPerks March 6, 2013 at 2:20 pm

YAY! You’re back to teaching spin!

As you know I LOVE teaching fitness classes–and your tips are spot on. Starting on time is SO crazy important. And so is challenging the class–it’s so boring when the instructor doesn’t really care that much. You can tell when the teaching is passionate about what he/she does & the people get inspired by that!

hmmmm I’m probably a 3. I got a great night’s sleep-yay!


Sonia the Mexigarian March 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

I think a good fitness instructor is one that can keep the energy of the class moving and have people excited to be there and working out. Make the hard work fun. And also be able to speak clearly and audibly. I have been to classes where I could barely understand the instructor or hear them and focusing on that drew me away from my workout.

I love going to Zumba/UJam, aqua aerobics, cycle and yoga.

I am about a 7 right now. did a brick workout yesterday and didn’t get too much sleep last night because of the darn wind and rain. :) apparently the foothills have a vortex.

lunch was a turkey, spinach, hummus sandwhich. and a hardboiled egg.

i sooooooo want to do a cycle class with you!! i wonder if the gym offers guests passes. . . .


Heather March 6, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Love the tips! I am a running coach and have a client that wants to run at 4:30 am. I definitely need to fake the energy for a few miles before I wake up :)


Zoe March 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm

congrats!! i was so curious to hear how the class went. that’s so smart to have gone to a class yesterday and see how things went, and great that you were willing to alter your teaching style for the gym. so curious to hear how it goes!

I used to go to a cardio- kickboxing class all the time. it was so fun! it would have some kind of coordinated thing in the first 15 minutes or so, then like random jumping and running and a jumping contest (nbd i won once) in the middle, then more cardio-kickboxing, then some thing with weights, then guided stretching. it was awesome! the instructor was ripped and did all those things you said, was totally into it the whole time.

today is a SNOW DAY here in Baltimore, MD. And let me be the first to tell you… there is no snow!!! seriously no snow. i work for the federal gov and they shut down too!! crazy. suffice it to say i’ve had a nap day :) but gearing up for a good run and strength tomorrow!


Miranda @ Miranda in Motion March 6, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I teach spin, weights/resistance, and kickboxing! Spin is my favorite because I get a lot of compliments on my classes being killer.


Andrea March 6, 2013 at 2:25 pm

That picture of Brooke is so cute!


Jade March 6, 2013 at 2:28 pm

All of those things make a good instructor! Loved my spin instructor that would just woop it up the whole time and constantly switch up what we were doing.


Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom March 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm

All of your tips are what I really like in an instructor, and I second what someone said about modifications. I think modifications are super important, especially for those first timers. I also think that there’s a difference between being energetic and yelling… I have attended some classes where it seemed as though the instructor was screaming at us when really they were just trying to raise the energy. It was a little intimidating! I haven’t been to a spinning class in a long time, but I really love spin! Maybe I can find a new one.

I’m about a 5 on the tired scale.


RainStorm March 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I have a ballet teacher who obviously works from a similar list – she is great with names, even in classes of 30+, and makes an effort to use everyone’s names at some point – either a correction or encouragement. And she’s good with beginners too.
I have a migraine :( so despite working a half day and sleeping two hours this afternoon I feel rough…


Amanda March 6, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I’m just getting started with personal training and looking at starting to teach spin. How did you get started teaching spin?


Theresa March 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Man, I’m jealous! I feel the need for a good spin class!! I’m really liking the new Fallout Boy and Pitbull/Christina Aguilara songs. I think they would make great spin songs!!
I’m a running coach, I coach a 10k program Tues and Thurs after work. Today, I’m about a 6 on the tired scale and my lunch was pretty dull but I’m looking forward to an amazing dinner of spaghetti squash and turkey meatballs.


Irene March 6, 2013 at 2:44 pm

I’ve got to say that’s pretty much the only imagine dragons song I’m not in love with. Will you please start sharing your spin playlists again?? Pretty please? I love good workout music.

I really appreciate instructors who make an effort to start on time. I HATE it when they are just chatting with their friends and goofing around and assume everyone can just stay 15 minutes over time if they start late.


Andra March 6, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I teach cardio kb and strength and conditioning classes. Couldn’t agree with you more on the tips. Fake it till u make it is my favorite.
An awesome instructor knows how to keep the classes energy high but ensures safety at the same time. Most importantly, a good instructor knows that “its not your workout its theirs.” Its all about the students and their needs. Every student is different and I try to remind myself to never skimp on levels and safety cues.
Also, a good instructor HAS FUN! If its not fun for you it’s probably not fun for them.



Brooke @ Running In Heels March 6, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Music totally makes the class! Our instructor has the best playlist EVER and he’s always jamming out while spinning.. it makes the time go so much faster and I never fail to laugh in that class


Fiona @ Get Fit Fiona March 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I totally agree with the starting on time thing. I had a yoga teacher who would start late and then end early. I was paying for a full 90 minute class and I wasn’t getting it. It drove me crazy. Needless to say, I’ll never take another class with her again.


Kathee March 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

My favorite class is TRX! I think the best teachers are the ones that are excited to do the class and also take note of anyone with injuries or special needs. I can’t tell you how aggravating it is to tell the same teacher over and over that I won’t be doing jumping jacks or anything jumping until my foot is healed. I also enjoy being with a teacher that remembers me, especially when I’ve been to their class 10 times.
Today I’m a 7 tired. Trying to take a nap but the world has decided today is the day to call me.


Gracie (Complicated Day) March 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

That is the cutest picture of Brooke I’ve ever seen!


Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Hmmm I’m about a 8 right now… Had a bad nights sleep, and early morning, a long workout, and just took my brother’s dog to the park in the snow. I’m pooped. And I really appreciate when instructors start on time and when they talk about what we should be feeling, especially in things like strength classes – like you should feel this in your abs, or your glutes, etc.


Brittany March 6, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Oh I love that song! it made me buy the whole album!!!
I would try your spin class lol I’ve only ever tried one and didn’t love it :(
I think motivated happy ppl who keep you interested are the best instructors!
On a scale from 1-10 I’m almost a 1 but I’m wondering when I’m going to crash lol I took a new pre-workout fuel yesterday and it kept me up all night! I’m still going even now… apparently it’s a morning-only fuel and also I should probably have a smaller serving size then what is recommended!


Clara March 6, 2013 at 3:06 pm

You sound like a great teacher!!! :)


Christina @ The Tiny Runner March 6, 2013 at 3:08 pm

i’ve been flirting with the idea of becoming a spin instructor! I think I am about a 2 today. I have had a lot of energy and my workout was great!


Raychel March 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Man I wish I could take your spin classes! When I first started to spin in college I had a really awesome teacher and my gym now has the worst spin class ever- I miss an energetic teacher that switches it up, and I know you must have the best energy ever even at 5am :)


natalie@ southern fit foodie March 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I agree with your tips on teaching fitness classes. I think starting and ending on time is one of the most important tips!

I am probably a 4 or a 5 today. I’m having a knee issue (praying it isn’t a torn meniscus) and it’s keeping me awake off and on through the night. Here’s hoping I’m a 1 tomorrow! :)


TorontoRunner March 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm

i imagine you’d be such a lovely and energetic instructor! I used to go to body attack all the time and found it amazing how much energy, enthusiasm the instructors had – it’s not an easy job!

Music makes all the difference in the world too!


Alyssa March 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm

Yesss I HATE when instructors start late because it’s either morning and I have to rush to work OR I rushed out of work to make it to class on time! Your spin classes sound great!

Today was a snow day for this teacher so I am feeling super energized since I got like 3 extra hours of sleep! Lunch was extra special too because it wasn’t half a can of soup that I heated and scarfed down without even tasting it so I could set up for my math lesson. JK I love my job.


Ashley W March 6, 2013 at 3:31 pm

What certification do you have? I’m looking into becoming a fitness instructor.


Peachylau March 6, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Love this song, thank you for the discovery! Please post any new songs you have, I am in need of inspiration!


Nicole@TheKidlessKronicles March 6, 2013 at 3:33 pm

I think those are ALL great tips. And get there early to help new people get setup on their bikes, adjust, ask questions, etc.

The Kidless Kronicles


Sarah @ OurPersonalRecords March 6, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I love taking spin, Zumba and yoga classes!

I had a great lunch today: a home made black bean burger with chipotle mayo and avocado. Delicious!


Deana March 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Sitting around a level 9 tiredness today! My day started at 4am to my youngest waking up, a 6am conference call, work all day and now another meeting tonight at 8:30 at night! Not sure if I want to squeeze my run before hand or a nap!!


Katie March 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Hey! I was just wondering what if any certification you have to be a fitness instructor? I am interested in getting my fitness instructor or personal trainer certification .Any suggestions? Good luck on your new adventure! How fun!!


Sandy H. March 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I start with names, injuries or medical conditions, and then once the class has settled and we’re ready to go, I ask for requests.

It’s good to know where your regulars’ are at, if they’ve done a hard workout the day before, and they just want a good stretch, or if they have a thing for mountain climbers and muscle burning agony.


Clare @ Fitting It All In March 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I’m going to an imagine dragons concert tonight!!
With you on all those things!


Monica L March 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

Congrats on your spinning class-you sound like an awesome teacher! Your tips are great. I’m am a 9 tired right now, I would say 10 but I am sitting here reading your blog so….I had a great lunch today at Panera Bread-French Onion soup and 1/2 turkey sandwich (perfect for a cold snowy day). I’m off today but I had so many errands to run I’m more tired than if I had gone to work. I haven’t done hardly any fitness classes-I love yoga and I’ve taken one Zumba class that was a blast even if I was an uncoordinated mess!


Monica L March 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Oh and I know I sound like a broken record but that picture of Brooke is so adorable. I love her tiny little jeans!


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 6, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Glad your class went well!!! I absolutely HAAAATE when instructors don’t show up on time! It’s the worst.


Stephanie March 6, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Thank you for that post, it was exactly what I needed. I’m supposed to meet with Rona soon and you gave some great tips. I may even have to use your climbing song :) I sure miss you and that adorable baby, she is so stinking cute!


Liz Dean March 6, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I love, love that Imagine Dragons song! I spin 2-3 times a week faithfully at my local gym and was so excited when my fav instructor added this song to our weekly workouts! Good choice for a climb for sure. :)
Oh, and when my son was about Brooke’s age to about 18 months, he’d chow on clementines like it was his job (and lemons and limes)!


Anne March 6, 2013 at 4:07 pm

You were spot on with every one of your tips!
I can’t think a single thing else I want from my spin instructors!

I am always amazing by spin instructors. Seriously, I have a hard time making it through class just chugging along and worrying about myself, I can’t fathom worrying about a class and trying to speak/shout/motivate! Kudos to you!


Katie March 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm

I looooove that song Radioactive. It’s been on my running playlist forever, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

My lunch was pretty normal. I mainly just had a sandwich, but it was so much better because I made it on a bagel. Bagels > healthy wheat bread.


Teresa @ March 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm

I have been taking spin for a few months now and I love it!! What are your thought about purchasing spin shoes?? Should I invest in a pair??


Stephanie Rigg March 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm

i miss coming to your spin class! you are the best spin teacher ever! You always have the best music and are always energetic. Glad you are teaching it again!


Karen @ Runner Girl Eats March 6, 2013 at 4:48 pm

I def appreciate an instructor that starts on time and comments on my form. One of the biggest reason I take classes is to get feedback on my form and call me out when I start to slack off. (obviously in a nice, non drill sargent way)


Sarah @PickyRunner March 6, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I feel like your spinning classes would just be so lively and fun, it would be hard NOT to want to work hard. I’ve never been to one but if I lived near you, I’d be at your classes every week. I know with zumba I really like it when the instructor calls people out and engages individuals. It makes it more personal and fun.


Grecia March 6, 2013 at 5:24 pm

In college I took a spinning class and it was amazing! The instructor basically hit all the things that you recommend.
Brooke’s eyelashes looks really long in that picture!


Jill N March 6, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Workout song suggestion= “Sail” by AWOLNATION. It’s been on repeat for my last few runs!


Jackie March 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

My husband told me about that song! I love running to it and the one you mentioned the other day, “On top of the World” Keep the good songs comin!!


Molly March 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm

I love it! I secretly want to be a spin instructor :) took my first classes in college, and since I am working in the health field I feel it would fit! They’re so fun!


Kristen March 6, 2013 at 5:37 pm

That list of tips for your classes is great! I especially think the one about getting to know people. I had a pump instructor a few years ago who used to get there early and talk to people before class while we waited for the class before to end. I’ve never taken a spin class, but I’d love to! Looking forward to hearing more about your teaching stories!


Linda @running4two March 6, 2013 at 5:41 pm

Congrats on teaching again! I love it when instructors know the class by name, it makes me motivated to do even better!

I am super exhausted because my baby girl has decided to stay awake all day and wants to eat constantly!


Samantha March 6, 2013 at 5:48 pm

I think a good fitness instructor is someone who you can tell loves their job and has the perfect level of enthusiasm (not so much that you cringe). I am always down for a boring lunch. I am a creature of habit, so I usually stick with the same things for lunch, but I’ll mix it up every once in awhile. Have you been even hungrier then normal with the extra exercise?


Mallory @ ifgravityhappens March 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Good tips!!! I have never had the guts to try a spin class but this made me feel a little more comfortable and reassured that the instructor would help ease me into how things go! :)


Holly KN March 6, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I’m on board with all your tips, especially: Start on time, Help the newbies (I get so annoyed when there’s someone new in the class and the instructor doesn’t help with specific instructions!), Mix things up, Connect, and Use names.

I might also add (although this seems obvious): Make sure the mic is working, speak clearly, and check the music/voice balance.

It’s 10 AM. My eyeballs don’t hurt, but I think I’m going to go for a cup of coffee… :)


Holly March 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm

My favorite spin instructors are upbeat and give specific instructions…actually describing the hill we are climbing, envisioning getting to the top etc. One instructor I had would have us match his cadence throughout class. That was really helpful. You could be at whatever resistance you wanted, but your cadence, and therefore effort matched his.

What doesn’t work…berating the “customers.” Sadly, I’ve had more than one fitness instructor that thought that was how to motivate. I’m not sure you’d even know how to do that! :) No worries for you on that one.


Stephanie March 6, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Brooke is so precious! I hope teething goes smoothly!

I am a tired of 9! And sad thing is I just got to work…I won’t crawl into bed until 8am :(

Enjoy your spinning!


Cassidy March 6, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Thanks so much for sharing these tips! As a fitness instructor I think it’s so important that we talk to and take classes from other instructors–we can learn so much from each other. I teach a dance fitness format called U-JAM (actually started in San Jose :) and I love to move around the room and interact with my students during repetitive segments when they don’t need me in the front. I’ve even had spin instructors do this during a song or two and it’s super motivating when they’re in your face telling you to pedal faster. Good luck with the Gold’s crowd, I’ve heard they’re a fun group of students!


Katie March 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm

I teach Jazzercise! I love it!!


Melissa @mypeachlife March 6, 2013 at 6:41 pm

I had a spin instructor that had a couple of light up disco balls/light (you know the ones that can sit on the table or ground.) she had the reg shiny disco ball, and multi colored spinning light and a red flashing light that she would use during some classes. They would set the “mood” of the class. Like if the disco ball was out I knew the music was going to be super fun but if I saw the red light then the music was more rap esc and the class would be a sweat fest. It was so fun and different


Carmen McDowell March 6, 2013 at 6:44 pm

I think I would LOVE to take a spin class from you!


Caitlin Bergren March 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm

I LOOOOVE Radioactive! It’s one of my absolute favorites right now!

And I’ve never taken spin – but it looks fun!


Colleen March 6, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Yay for your first spin class! I know they loved you. Add Sail by AWOLnation to your playlist next time. It’s my current favorite climbing song in my spin classes. As a group ex instructor and p-trainer I think that “faking it til you make it” and calling out modifications for exercises are key. The class is only going to give back 50%-70% of the energy you give them, so you have to be at 100%. I’ve been hovering around an energy level of 5 this week. Blah. Perhaps my Spring Break will help to up my levels next week! :-)


Becky March 6, 2013 at 7:11 pm

On a scale of 1 to 10, how cute is brooke? 5,000,000!


Natalie @ Twenty-Something Talk March 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I had a lot of energy today (especially for a Wednesday) and I think it’s because of my new found love-chia seeds!

I am just amazed at how big Brooke is getting! She looks so grown up in that first picture holding her own orange and sitting up all by herself. So crazy that we get to share in watching her grow up!

I’ve never done a spin class before, they kindove intimidate me, because any group fitness classes I’ve participated in, the instructor hasn’t done a great job of helping out the new kids (like me) but I’m hoping to get out and conquer my fear this year!


Traci March 6, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Great tips from you and many posters today! I teach Spinning and BodyPump, but my heart really belongs to Spinning:). Along with the tips already mentioned, two things really stand out for me in a great instructor. One is the ability to motivate without a lot of whooping and hollering, something more authentic that makes you wan to challenge yourself. Language and timing are key to this, I think.

My other fitness instructor tip is to know the goal of the ride or workout as the class starts. I always give my riders a run down of what we’ll be doing so they know the main focus of the ride (ie strength, intervals, speed work, etc) and how to pace themselves to get their best effort. I gte annoyed when I go to a class that’s just random with no real direction.

Love Radioactive! It is a great climbing song.

Lunch today was leftover pasta fagioli and some Naan bread from TJ’s. Mmmmmm…


Meegan March 6, 2013 at 9:22 pm

I wish I could take a class from you! I have taken many classes at my old gym and the best teachers have a fun energy they bring to the class. I bet you are great, because you have such a fun and bubbly personality that shows through on this blog. Also, wanted to thank you for your motivation. I signed up for a half marathon! I did one about a year and a half ago, but lately have been slacking on the regular exercise. Hopefully this gets me in shape for the summer! I love your blog, and also think Brooke is the cutest little girl ever! Good luck with teaching!


Therese March 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm

You would be fun to take a class with. Maybe I’ll come up and do that -maybe this summer when I have more time. Music is so important. My instructor plays that techno music-I don’t like that. I totally work out to the beat of what I listen to.


Tanja March 6, 2013 at 10:54 pm

i would totally love to attend one of your spin classes. the instructors in my gym are the opposite of you and don’t really motivate me.


MILF Runner March 6, 2013 at 11:08 pm

I imagine you are one of those favorite instructors that people rave about :) You really “get” it.


Gina B March 7, 2013 at 3:02 am

I love how positive you are about teaching, and how you seem to exude a “this is your workout” attitude to your class. My favorite instructors are the ones that keep that in mind, but keep saying that they’ll push you if you want to be pushed. Also, it’s great that you understand when members have to leave early. I think it’s important because it allows people to get rid of their “all or nothing” attitudes towards fitness (as long as they stay for most of class though!). Basically, I’m trying to say that I wish I could a spin class of yours! :)


Kari @ Running Ricig March 7, 2013 at 5:16 am

I ate a pretty boring lunch yesterday. A bagel, an apple, and yogurt. I’m so wild.

I think a good fitness instructor is really into the workout and wants other people to be excited about it too.


Lizzy March 7, 2013 at 5:46 am

i love bodyworks+abs at LA fitness and step class, even though i can’t figure out the choreography 98% of the time. it flies by!


Sierra March 7, 2013 at 6:05 am

I am a certified instructor, but I haven’t taught anything since I moved to Chicago. I need to get my mojo back. You definitely have to turn on a personality and give your class the bubbly, positive motivation that they crave.

I bet you are awesome, I think I should come take your class next time I visit.


Amy @ Healthy and Fit for Real March 7, 2013 at 7:45 am

As a spin class “goer”, not an instructor, I completely agree with all of these. I have been to spin classes where we just do one thing for long (LONG) periods of time and/or have music that makes me want to take a nap…it is awful! My favorite instructor plays cranked up tunes, yells ( positively) to us to push us, and one more thing (that you didn’t have) tells me how much longer. I like knowing that I have 30 seconds left of whatever I’m doing because I know I can push myself hard for that 30 seconds. When I don’t know, I tend not to push myself as hard. It works for me so you might want to consider that too in your classes!


Erica @ Love the Leap March 7, 2013 at 7:52 am

Ugh I would LOVE to take one of your spin classes!! The only reason I go to the class at my gym is because the instructor is so incredibly good looking. Too bad he’s married :( He doesn’t even really use the best music, which is a bummer.

I am certified to teach TurboKick and PiYo Strength!!! Super fun and awesome music involved with them as well :)


Sue March 7, 2013 at 7:53 am

So I have a question, I’ve been doing your wake-up-your-glutes exercises when I run and they work wonders. I’ve recently purchased cycling shoes for spin classes and I notice that I get extremely sore in my shins, calves, and quads with no real soreness in the glutes. Should I do those same exercises for spin class? I have a desk job and I can def say that I have weak glutes.


Jenn@ Be Me March 7, 2013 at 11:21 am

My lunch was yummy! chipotle burrito!


See Stella Run March 7, 2013 at 11:45 am

What spin bike do you use at home?


Debbie @ Deb Runs March 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm

You hit the teaching tips exactly right! Boring lunch for me, too… fruit, peanut butter, and Greek yogurt. Boring, but yummy!!!


Melissa March 7, 2013 at 2:45 pm

You have such a beautiful smile! I’ve never tried a spin class, but it’s something I would love to try out.

<3 Melissa


Kay March 7, 2013 at 3:04 pm

I bet you are an awesome spin instructor!!


Jess @ Blonde Ponytail March 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm

GREAT list. I have to agree with faking it especially. It IS our job to encourage and guide our classes–if we are low energy, how can we expect participants to go hard?! So glad you are getting to teach again!!


Kayla @ kpLOVINGit March 7, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Funny, I JUST wrote about that song!!! Have you watched the official video?!?! It is awesome! I wish you could come teach spin where I live! Actually, I’d really like to become a spin instructor! How did you get into it?


Kristine March 7, 2013 at 9:38 pm

I LOVE Imagine Dragons!

I couldn’t agree more with your tips on good fitness instructors. I teach Pilates, and I do all of those things. I also try to let the people in my classes get to know ME – I tell them funny anecdotes, make comments about my music, and try to make the class fun and personal. Another HUGE thing for me is to get on the machine and actually DO the exercises with them. I had a spin instructor tonight that literally stood in the front of the class yelling at everyone. It was awful. I’m wiped tonight – I was up at 5 to get a 7 mile run in before work and then forgot to cancel out of my evening spin class in time to not get charged. Early to bed!

I can’t wait to attend YOUR spin class at Goog soon!


marta March 8, 2013 at 7:05 am

Agree on all your tips for a good instructor. I also think taking other peoples classes can be a big benefit. I’ve used radioactive a few times now in my spin class. I love it. I had someone ask me about it after class… that’s always a good sign. We don’t have a dedicated spin room in our gym so the whole fitness center (weights & cardio machines) hear your music…


carli March 8, 2013 at 10:25 am

Hi. I live in San Jose. Where are you teaching spin?


The Hungry Runner Girl March 8, 2013 at 11:21 am

Hey! I am teaching at golds gym! Do you have a pass there!


Carli March 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Unfortunately, no. :(


Bri @ ShapedforFitness March 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

Great instructor tips! I teach Xtend Barre, Piloxing and Yoga and my top 3 instructor tips are:
1) Be passionate. Students love it when the instructor loves what they do.
2) Be encouraging. Students come to group fitness class because they want to be motivated. The workout is only 1 hour of your day, make it the best!
3) Educate the students on what they are working and where they should be feeling the burn.
And yes, music makes a huge difference in class, keep it motivating!


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