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So You Want To Teach Group Fitness

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Yesterday, when I got to work and unloaded the cupcake torches, I had a little disaster on my hands that looked something like this…

source

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my phone or camera to capture a shot of the real thing.  I ended up leaving a note for the rest of the staff to enjoy a little Tuesday Treat.

At that point, I had pretty much given up and was going to toss the rest of the ice cream cone cupcakes I had sitting in the garage.  As the day went on, I continued to think about my little cupcake mishap and how I could have avoided it…surely I was not the first person to try to transport ice cream cone cupcakes!

So, I googled it, and I found a brilliant idea!

 

 

I took cereal boxes and cut little holes in them for the ice cream cone cupcakes to rest.  Perfect!  Another change I made was making my own icing because I knew that it would go through the piping bag better and hold up better on the cupcakes while they sat in my car during my morning gym session.

Yes, that is 110 servings of oatmeal…thank you Sam’s Club

 

Brian’s dad then had the brilliant idea to put the cupcakes in coolers to protect them and try to keep them cool.  Another perfect idea!

 

Let’s cross our fingers that we don’t have another disaster upon delivery this morning….

Breakfast

This morning, my sweet tooth was just as awake as I was, and a strawberry smoothie bowl was just what I needed to tame it.

The smoothie mix contained:

  • 1/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/3 cup banana
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder
  • 1 splash of vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • a little water to get things movin’!

I blended everything all together and then topped it with part of a homemade luna bar.  The strawberry, peanut buttery, and chocolaty combo quickly satisfied my sweet craving 🙂

So You Want to Teach Group Fitness?

Recently, I had a request to write a post about how to get involved in the group fitness community and how to break your way into the industry.

I still consider myself very new in the industry, and I am learning new things all the time.  Here are some important tips that I have compiled throughout my experience to help you get more comfortable teaching in front of others, to help you truly get the most out of the group fitness program that you are working in, and to ultimately land your own class slot. I have found that earning your own class slot on the schedule is like gold, and when it’s yours it is yours to do whatever you want with…so don’t take advantage of it and let things fall to the wayside!! Give it everything you got 🙂

1.  Get Certified

Whether it is ACE, AFAA, ACSM, or specific to the type of class you are teaching pick the one that works best with your learning style, time schedule, and will teach you the information that you want to know.  The fact of the matter is, that no matter what you want to teach…you gotta be certified!

2.  Find a Mentor

I was lucky to start teaching group fitness while in college at my school’s gym where we had a huge educational component and a group fitness coordinator that understood what it was like to be a new instructor with many questions and concerns.  Another good thing to do is to find a facility (maybe the gym that you already belong to) that will allow you to sit in on some group fitness classes as a spectator and take some notes.  If you have a friend that is already an instructor, you may be able to sit in on his or her class.  While you may have taken many group fitness classes as a participant, there many aspects to the class that you probably never noticed as a participant that are essential to making it run smoothly.  So, find a mentor, sit in on a class, and take lots of notes.

3.  Treat it Just Like a Job Interview

Because it is a job interview!  I have a separate fitness resume that I have neatly typed up to bring with me when applying for a group fitness position.  Your resume should include:

  • certifications (including CPR, Blood Borne Pathogen, First Aid, etc.)
  • formats you are comfortable teaching
  • leadership experience
  • fitness experience (if you have previously had large fitness accomplishments like placing 3rd in the all-city women’s marathon)

The big question I had was, what do I wear to the interview, or to drop off my resume?  The answer…fitness clothes!  Now, this doesn’t mean the cut-off t-shirt and bleach stained shorts you have had forever, but it does mean to have light makeup on  (if you are a girl!), your hair neatly done, and a nice fitting, matching fitness outfit.

4.  Be Available to Sub

When you finally make it to the gym in your nice fitness outfit ready to turn in your resume, ask to speak with the group fitness instructor.  He or she may be busy and need to schedule an appointment time for you to come back, but he or she may be ready to speak with you right there!  All they will want to do is get to know you, what you love to teach, a little bit about your fitness background, and anything special about you there is to know.  The biggest piece of advice is right here:  be available to sub and let the group fitness coordinator know.  Everyone always needs a sub, and while some gyms have a list of 50 people to call, some gyms have none.  This will help you get your foot in the door, and will allow people to see what you can do on the fitness floor.

5.  Meet People

Once you are on the sub list, the next thing to do is attend as many classes as you can in the formats that you are comfortable teaching.  At the beginning or end of the class, make sure to introduce yourself to the instructor and let them know that you are available to sub.  This will keep you top of mind, and I can almost guarantee that they will call you at some point or another to fill in.  Also, use this opportunity to learn from his or her teaching style and pay attention to the way the class reacts to certain things.

6.  Send an E-mail

Again, once you are on the sub list, send an e-mail to the list of instructors letting them know who you are, what you teach, a little bit about yourself, and of course your availability.

7.  Get Involved

If your gym has special group fitness events, or launches…get involved!  Volunteer your time, attend the event, use it as a chance to meet people, have fun, get a great workout in, and promote group fitness.

There is so much more that could go into how to really make your way in your local fitness community, but these are some of the key tips that have really helped me out in my path.  I hope this helps, and feel free to reach out to me with any other questions you may have!!

 

Still Sitting Here and the Food List Challenge

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Good Evening!

Today was pretty uneventful on my front.  Sometimes that can be a good thing, but today, I wish I had a little more action.

 

Ever since I have come home from the cruise I have been applying for jobs, subbing as a group fitness instructor at various gyms in Indianapolis, and random odd jobs here and there.  More or less, applying for jobs has been my full-time job.  So, today, I got up, showered, got dressed and ready, and then I sat at the table at my computer virtually all day.  And I am still in the same spot.  I did take a lunch break, a workout break, and a dinner break, but I realized that on days like today I need to get out of the house and go somewhere.  Otherwise it is like there is no break and separation between “work” and “home.”

Does anyone work from home?  How do you separate your work and home and avoid working around the clock?

 

During my first break of the day, I had lunch.  A delicious salad with tuna and egg whites, broccoli, red onion, celery, topped with salsa mixed with cauliflower hummus.

I make salad many days out of the week whether it be for lunch or dinner, but there are some times when they just taste way better than usual…today was one of those days.

 

After my break for my bodypump workout, I made a quick dinner of steamed broccoli and asparagus with leftover baked tofu (from Friday).  It was great and simple!

Have any of you heard of The Food List Challenge?  I read about it this evening as I was eating my dinner. It is a list of 100 foods and you simply check the foods that you have tried and compare the results with other people.  I love experimenting with new cuisines, so I thought I would share the foods I have tried.

 

To be honest, I had to google some of these foods to see what they even were!

1. Abalone

2. Absinthe

3. Alligator

4. Baba Ghanoush

5. Bagel and Lox

6. Baklava

7. Barbecue Ribs

8. Bellini

9. Bird’s Nest Soup

10. Biscuits and Gravy

11. Black Pudding

12. Black Truffle

13. Borscht

14. Calamari

15. Carp

16. Caviar

17. Cheese Fondue

18. Chicken and Waffles

19. Chicken Tikka Masala

20. Chile Relleno

21. Chitlins

22. Churros

23. Clam Chowder

24. Cognac

25. Crab Cakes

26. Crickets

27. Currywurst

28. Dandelion Wine

29. Dulce De Leche

30. Durian

31. Eel

32. Eggs Benedict

33. Fish Tacos

34. Foie Gras

35. Fresh Spring Rolls

36. Fried Catfish

37. Fried Green Tomatoes

38. Fried Plantain

39. Frito Pie

40. Frogs’ Legs

41. Fugu

42. Funnel Cake

43. Gazpacho

44. Goat

45. Goat’s Milk

46. Goulash

47. Gumbo

48. Haggis

49. Head Cheese

50. Heirloom Tomatoes

51. Honeycomb

52. Hostess Fruit Pie

53. Huevos Rancheros

54. Jerk Chicken

55. Kangaroo

56. Key Lime Pie

57. Kobe Beef

58. Lassi

59. Lobster

60. Mimosa

61. MoonPie

62. Morel Mushrooms

63. Nettle Tea

64. Octopus

65. Oxtail Soup

66. Paella

67. Paneer

68. Pastrami on Rye

69. Pavlova

70. Phaal

71. Philly Cheese Steak

72. Pho

73. Pineapple and Cottage Cheese

74. Pistachio Ice Cream

75. Po’ Boy

76. Pocky

77. Polenta

78. Prickly Pear

79. Rabbit Stew

80. Raw Oysters

81. Root Beer Float

82. S’mores

83. Sauerkraut

84. Sea Urchin

85. Shark

86. Snail

87. Snake

88. Soft Shell Crab

89. Som Tam

90. Spaetzle

91. Spam

92. Squirrel

93. Steak Tartare

94. Sweet Potato Fries

95. Sweetbreads

96. Tom Yum

97. Umeboshi

98. Venison

99. Wasabi Peas

100. Zucchini Flowers

I have tried 53 out of the 100 foods listed.  How many have you tried??

Now, I am off to do something non-work related for the rest of the night and get out of my chair 😉

 

Easy as…Quinoa

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After my afternoon run and smoothie, I headed out to turn in some resumes and job applications.  I then made a trip to my alma mater, Butler University, to hit up one of the group fitness classes called Pilates Barre Fusion.  Pilates, I know, but the Barre Fusion was all new to me.

The class was great!  It was a mixture of pilates and dance moves (such as plies and some leg extensions) that really focused on core and total body strength.  We did some exercises with just our body weight and some with light hand weights.  At one point, we even got up and used the ballet barre.  It was a fun new way to incorporate strength training into my weekly routine.

After the class and running a couple more errands, it was time to come home for dinner.  Somehow, I didn’t make it home until 8pm!  That is super late for dinner, so I was glad that I prepared it earlier in the day.

It was a simple mixture of quinoa, raw broccoli, raw tomatoes, red onion, left over haddock from last night, all tossed together with salt, pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, and lemon juice.  Very simple, light and flavorful!

How to Prepare Quinoa

Quinoa is so simple to prepare, and it is a great source of vegetarian or vegan protein.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cup water
Directions:

Combine 1 cup of quinoa with 1 1/2 cups water in a medium sized saucepan.  Bring the water to a boil.  Once it is boiling, turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 15 minutes (no peaking!).  And that is it!!! Then, your quinoa is done and you can eat it any way you like 🙂

 

Now, I am off to prepare for a group fitness instructor audition that I have tomorrow and read more of the Hunger Games.

 

Have a great evening!