The 3-Step Formula To Improve Your Coaching (Step 1)

by Shawn McQueen, Two-Brain Coaching Mentor

Continuing off from a recent blog on ‘Understanding The Three Main Archetypes In Our Group Fitness Classes:’

How do we create a cohesive and inclusive environment for all 3 archetypes in our gym?

For the majority, those who want to move and sweat?

For those who want to train?

And for the smallest percentile, those who want to compete in some capacity?

How do all three groups thrive, achieve their own unique needs, wants and goals and have the business win too? 

It can be done and be done very well. 

So well that no one group feels more relevant than the other, the experience feels of high quality and value and the environment is fun, inclusive and always desirable. 

And when done well, all groups, including the business thrive and succeed and thrive together. 

There are 3 main ingredients to the formula for this kind of success.  


In part 1, we’ll cover the first ingredient and what I highly recommend Owners do is take each ingredient and call a team meeting with their entire team. 

And first, highlight all the great things they are already doing because if you’re in this line of work, you’re likely doing some great things already.

And then connect and come together as a team in ASKING them how you as a team can improve in this first ingredient of the formula to success. 

Let them have a voice, be heard and express themselves. Hear them out. 

Don’t judge. Listen. Seek to understand and appreciate what they say.

Our teams are our lifeblood to our business. 

Take the next 30 days to improve on this one ingredient. 

Assess the implementation. 

Assess the member satisfaction, the quality of the classes/service delivery. 

Appreciate and acknowledge each time you notice a Coach implementing the ingredient (to ingrain the new habit) that will help your business succeed even more. 

After a month, call another meeting with the team and highlight all the great things that came about. Highlight specific details, or specific things you noticed in each Coach. 

Ask for their feedback, what they noticed and share how proud/happy you are with them. 

Not only will this make your business better, your service delivery and your clients happier, it will single handedly bring your team closer together. 

And a close-knit, dedicated and driven team, is unstoppable. 

Let’s get to work: 

Ingredient #1 – Separation in Preparation 

There are 6 Stages of WORLD CLASS Preparation to help Coaches lead a 10/10 Group Class:

A- Write a Lesson Plan in DETAIL 

Map out how you will run your class, map out how long you’ll coach certain movements, what progressions you will use, understanding the time spent in certain places, reinforce what you’re going to say, having your communication mapped out to target all 3 archetypes. 

Manage your timeline. 

Determine your specific coaching focus’ for the day. 

This is the first place you’ll go to Coach, to get your kinks out. 

We teach coaches HOW to lesson plan on call #1 of our mentoring calls in the Two Brain Group Coaching Course. 

If Coaches aren’t lesson planning and simply winging it on the floor, they have no set map of how to fluidly and professionally lead their class. 

They haven’t prepared in advance how to coach certain movements, to prepare for the unknown and can easily get caught off guard, run class over or short or be caught “thinking” on the floor. 

Amongst many other unforeseen and undesirable events. 

Which is unprofessional and no member wants an unsure Coach. 

B- Write/Plan out your WHITEBOARD BRIEF 

(aka your notes of what you are going to say to these people) 

We use a SIMPLE system/framework (I will teach you in part 2) to keep this cohesive, clear and easy to understand. 

Not written out, not rehearsed, the coach is left to “wing it” on the floor. 

Members feel that and begin not taking the coach as seriously, which feels less valuable, unprepared and more of a guesswork.

This loses trust between the member and the coach. 

Which ultimately leads to things we don’t want for our business: coming less, coming less frequently, not an enjoyable experience, perceived less value. 

Taking the time to write out what you’ll say begins to get your thoughts out and when you move to the next step, helps you become a better speaker

C – Rehearse Your Whiteboard Brief 

Take 3-5 minutes to role play your whiteboard brief. 

Get your talking points together, organized, find your energy and tone and nail your flow down.

Trim the fat.

Don’t let your first go be in front of them.

You’ll likely talk too much, use too many fillers, talk too fast or go off course. 

To be extremely effective, well spoken, sound professional – Rehearse. 

Everyone respects and embraces a well spoken individual. 

D – Plan Ahead For Any Contingencies 

Review your lesson plan.

Start asking yourself questions like- 

What possible things could arise? 

What would I need to be prepared for? 

Plan for people who cannot do certain movements.

Plan for safety.

Plan to manage your own state. 

Plan for certain questions. 

Review your training for the day. 

Do you need to prepare extra whiteboard visuals?


What warm up sets look like to get to a heavy 5 back squat:

Time – Reps – Weight – Feel   

At 0  = 5 reps  – 135lb     – easy 

At 2 = 3 reps  – 185lb    – moderate

At 4 = 2-3 reps -225lb  – moderately heavy 

At 6 ready to go at 255lb – heavy but doable for 3 sets of 5 across 

Providing this simple visual aid goes a long way for our members, develops the coach as a thought provoking leader and a teacher who they can TRUST. 

E – Be Forward Thinking 

Look at who’s reserved your class ahead of time?

Who’s my audience? 

Who’s in my class? 

What do I know about each of them and what we are doing for the day? 

Are they brand new? 

Is someone dealing with a tweak?

Is someone returning from a week or two off? 

What’s appropriate for each individual applying to the day’s training? 

If groupings apply, who would  work well together? Or who could? 

For a more in depth breakdown, if you’d like to see a video I recorded and sent to my team, 

Tag me (Shawn McQueen) here on Facebook and I’ll email it to you! 

F – On the Floor Preparation (before class) 

Set up the room ahead of time. 

Prepare any visual boards to ease the understanding and guide them better. 

Ensure the music (vibe) is set to match the day/audience. 

Grab out any equipment you’ll need and ensure they know what they need ahead of time. 

Pre-set groups if needed for a warm up or workout. 

All of these things happen BEFORE the class is Coached to lead to the HIGHEST QUALITY experience. 

Which makes the service more professional, more valuable and something our members will enjoy, want and crave even more of. 

Coming next: 

In part two we’ll cover how to improve our coaches’ communication skills to be more effective, relatable and leaders. 

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