By Shawn McQueen, Mentor for the Two-Brain Group Coaching Course
I used to have this mentality that I wanted to help, serve and coach everyone and I believed I could do that in group fitness classes. The truth is I hadn’t yet identified who group fitness classes are truly for and who they are not for and who my target audience was. What’s beautiful about group fitness classes is the diversity of people, ages, abilities, sexes and backgrounds and the realization that none of that matters in the class! The culture created is one of cohesion, a shared experience of betterment, and the unification of propelled momentum towards continued progress.
And what’s universal is effort.
And effort equals respect.
While this is all noteworthy, still group classes are not for some people.
So who are group fitness classes really for?
Group Classes are For:
Individuals with the intention of learning and growing every single day regardless of experience level or the years they’ve been coming.
Here are some more details on how that manifests:
- They have respect for their peers, coaches, equipment and the policies [ie: be on time.] They are someone who sees the bigger picture; the culture being created, the systems in place for an exceptional experience, treating the gym and the things in it like it was their own.
- They are consistent in showing up with coming to class, week to week, month to month. And consistent with who they are within class. This is self-discipline: you shouldn’t need to be chased down to get to class.
- They are always open and receptive to feedback (aka coachable) regardless of movement, skill, experience etc [always a student.] They have the mentality that there is ALWAYS room to improve, no matter the margin and know that feedback is delivered with the best intentions.
- They make the classes better by simply being in them, whether that’s being kind to others, having great energy, being upbeat or a hard worker who elevates others.
- They don’t possess any severe limitations, injury or chronic pain. Group fitness classes aren’t designed to fix those. You are better in a 1:1 setting where a coach can address your specific issue(s) and create a plan to work on them. Trying to do that during a group class can have negative psychological effect that will derail your joy, enthusiasm or spark for coming, ultimately halting your progress in your health and fitness.
Group Classes are Not For:
Basically the opposite of everything we listed out above. Here are some additional thoughts:
- Those who don’t want to be seen. [example: those who say things like “don’t look at me” or “look away” while performing a movement.] How are we supposed to do our job? We aren’t here to judge you, we are here to keep you safe, improve what you are doing so you can get the most out of it to achieve whatever it is you want to achieve. If you don’t want the coach to do their job, group fitness classes are not for you.
- Those whose VALUES don’t align. For instance: seeking to be competitive, a lack of care for warming up/coaching, thinks more = better, ego driven over movement virtuosity and safety, wants “access” versus coaching, on phone distracted during class, would rather have earbuds in, etc.
Those who read the not for and identified that that’s you, or someone you know, don’t take it personal, it’s just not a right fit and that’s perfectly okay.
We believe everyone should and could benefit from fitness and is it absolutely okay if not everyone is a fit in what we believe group should and needs to be.
And for those who are a fit – keep leading from the front.
In our next post: Where Group fitness goes bad and how to save it.