Avoiding the class energy slump

Hi friends <3 Don’t forget to check in for Winter Shape Up and enter our second giveaway if you haven’t already! It’s a good one πŸ™‚

Some things of lately:

Beautiful flowers

Sunflower  1 of 1

(the sunflower was a nice cheery contrast to the gloomy weather we’ve had lately)

The Pilot’s famous turkey burgers:

Burgers  1 of 1

(the best part: lots of chopped pickled jalapeΓ±o)

Made some chocolate roons last night:

Roon dough  1 of 1Fresh juice all around this morning:

Juice  1 of 1 3

(apple-carrot for Liv and carrot, apple, beet, lots of ginger for me)

and had a super sweaty Zumba class at work. Class was PACKED, I got to do some new songs -I wish I could find this mashup I’ve been using on YouTube so I can post it- and it was one of those days where the energy was seriously amazing. I’m lucky to team-teach at work, which means that it’s so much easier to keep the energy up, but I’ve definitely had moments in the past where the class seemed to slowly slide into womp-womp land.

Zumba  1 of 1

Here are some of the things I like to do to bring the energy back:

-Play a song that I LOVE, loudly. Music seems to be directly correlated with energy and if it’s something the class knows and loves, they’ll perk up. Today in Zumba we did “Pound the Alarm,” and everyone went crazy because they all knew the song.

-Move around or change which direction you’re facing. It’s easy for participants to be bored if they’re complacent and know what to expect. Throw them a curve ball.

-Fake it till you make it. If it’s not your style to yell (“whoo too!” “GO!” or my personal favorite, “you’re not tired yet!”), you can pump people up without turning up your personal volume. If you increase the range and intensity of your movements, chances are that the class will match it. It’s also fun to designate a hype girl/guy to keep the energy going. Since I teach at a resort, the participants change every week. This is a good thing because your stuff is always “new” to them, but we also have homeowners who live on property and employees that help motivate to switch things up on a regular basis. On the days I’m more tired, or have a lot of classes in a row, I’ll ask my co-instructor to help keep the energy up and I can usually count on the “regulars” to yell and enjoy themselves.

-Be patient with yourself. When I first started teaching, my classes were a little… rough…. even though I had so much experience with dance. I was used to teaching something slowly, sans music, practicing with music and then adding on. It doesn’t really work that way in group fit and it took a little while for me to get my groove and learn how to instruct and build combos without stopping. Put a smile on your face and convince yourself that you’re having a BLAST. You will be before you know it πŸ˜‰

Fellow instructors, what do you do if you feel the energy slipping during your classes? Any fun tricks?

Group fit lovers, will you leave if you get bored during a class? Are you a yeller/hyper?! If so, come to my Zumba class, mmm k?



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  1. Nelly on January 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I do a group song and the class involved! Works like a charm!

  2. joelle (on a pink typewriter) on January 30, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    Fake it till you make it – totally advice my dad has given me since a kid! Eventually, it all work out as it should. πŸ™‚

  3. Michele on January 30, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    I’m kind of picky about my Zumba instructors. There is one I complained about at my gym. She basically just stands there most of the class and rotates her hips around. Awful! I didn’t walk out of her class but a few other people did. I won’t go to any more of her classes. I like to make a lot of noise in class but I am too far away to come to one of your classes! If you were still in Orlando, I’d be there!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      awww! do you live in orlando? if you, you HAVE to try a dance trance class πŸ™‚

      • Michele on January 31, 2013 at 8:58 pm

        I live in Melbourne, so I’m about an hour from Orlando. We actually have Dance Trance here but I’ve never tried it. I’ll have to check it out! πŸ™‚

  4. Allison @ Train Eat Repeat on January 30, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Mmm chocolate roons, i need to get my hands on some of those!

  5. Kim on January 30, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    I’m pretty sure I would enjoy one of your classes!!!

    • Madison (Pointy Toe Shoe Crew) on January 30, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      I second that! We need to get Gina to make a few more Zumba YouTube videos so we can have an online Zumbathon with her. You know…when she’s not busy doing the 1 million other things she does, haha.

      • Fitnessista on January 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm

        i just wish there was a way to make them with music, without youtube blocking them. i’d have TONS if music weren’t an issue!

  6. Emily on January 30, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I’m moving to Phoenix/Scottsdale in a couple weeks… I know that’s pretty far from tuscon but do you have any suggestions on gyms to join with great classes??

  7. Diana on January 30, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    I gotta agree with Michele, the zumba instructor totally makes or breaks the class for me. I’ve been to a few different zumba classes in my area, and one was totally womp-womp. It was so disappointing, cause it was a different place then where I started taking zumba. Now I check out 1 class and instructor before I commit to the “package” of classes. I’m totally loving the instructor I just found. And the location is great too.

  8. Sheena on January 30, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    I totally agree with the sentiment that the instructor makes or breaks the class – for me this applies to not only Zumba but all group fitness classes. I’ve actually walked out of a Zumba class (under the guise of getting an important phone call) because the instructor’s style and music choice simply wasn’t getting me amped up. On the contrary, a motivating instructor actually makes me stick out a class even if I am exhausted at the end of the day and have feelings that I want to ditch for the treadmill or elliptical.

    BTW those turkey burgers look delicious! Would the pilot care to share his famous recipe? Was that tiny patty in the corner for Bella or Liv? πŸ˜‰

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      it was for livi πŸ™‚

      • Fitnessista on January 30, 2013 at 11:44 pm

        and yes, i’ll ask the pilot to share his recipe

        • Lucie on January 31, 2013 at 2:54 am

          Oh yes, I’d love to know the recipe too πŸ™‚

  9. Vicki on January 30, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I have gotten really bored with my Zumba class, unfortunately. It’s just not challenging at all for me, but for some reason I keep going back every week, I think mostly because I want to keep the variety in my workouts. I kind of live for when we have a sub, because he is fantastic and makes the class fun and challenging.

    • Erin kl on January 30, 2013 at 11:04 pm

      I’ve never left a class from boredom. I’ve only left one class and that was because the Zumba instructor was not giving any direction and I almost ran into people about five times. I definitely feed off the instructor and other participants as far as energy.

      • Erin kl on January 30, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        Oops meant to reply to the entire post, not a comment, sorry!

    • Fitnessista on January 30, 2013 at 11:43 pm

      that makes me sad! what city?

      • Vicki on January 31, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        I’m in a western suburb of Chicago.

  10. Amanda @ .running with spoons. on January 30, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    It’s definitely a lot easier to get myself in the zone when a song that I know and love comes on. And I actually won’t leave a class if I get bored. I feel super bad walking out when I know how difficult it can be for the instructor to motivate people, so I stick it out and try to make the most of it.

  11. Madison (Pointy Toe Shoe Crew) on January 30, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I had such a horrible experience at my first Zumba class that it took me two years to dare try it again. The first one was all really classic sounding ballroom music. It reminded me of the music I had to do compulsory dances to in my figure skating days (booooring). And none of it was in English. I wasn’t feeling it, and it was obvious the instructor and other participants weren’t either. I don’t mind the Latin and Meringue style songs, but it’s so much more fun to get into it when it’s mixed in with something familiar! Or at least something cool like Daddy Yankee or Pitbull πŸ˜‰

  12. lisa on January 31, 2013 at 12:28 am

    As an instructor would you be offended or thankful if your students gave you constructive criticism? I ask because I took a cycling class last week with an instructor I don’t like, her classes are always so boring! I don’t think anyone else likes taking classes from her either because I was the only one there this time. So she kept asking me how I was feeling and I said “fine” but was really thinking “bored”. I didn’t know how to nicely say I wanted more of a challenge. There is nothing worse than leaving a class feeling like you wasted and hour and $20.

  13. Lucie on January 31, 2013 at 3:01 am

    I would never leave a class because of boredom. I mean as long as the instructor is not mean or arrogant, I guess he/she is taking time and effort to plan and teach the class and it must feel awful if people leave. But in regards to the energy – For me it is important to feel that the instructor is having fun with what she/he is doing. It will transfer to the participants and then it is really fun.
    In regards to the yelling . if you know the mentality of the Swiss, you know that we don’t yell. Typical Swiss people feel embarrassed by any outcome of an emotion – unfortunately. So mostly I am the only yeller πŸ™‚

  14. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on January 31, 2013 at 6:08 am

    I want to try your roons so badly! I don’t think I’d ever leave during a class, but I’ve sure wished it would end when it gets boring!

  15. Sara @ Fitcupcaker on January 31, 2013 at 7:49 am

    And I love a good Turkey Burger. I’ve been wanting to get a juicer. Any suggestions on brand?

  16. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on January 31, 2013 at 7:49 am

    I wish I could come and take some of your classes! The only class I have ever walked out of was a yoga class that was an hour long and 1 hour and 45 minutes later I just couldn’t stay any longer so I had to leave, but normally I always try to stay for the entire thing.

  17. Danielle on January 31, 2013 at 8:02 am

    Love this list of tips! I struggle with this sometimes in my classes so I will definitely keep this in mind for next time!

  18. Sara on January 31, 2013 at 8:39 am

    When teaching classes, the people who LOVE and want to be there are right up front, the others that are intimidated usually gravitate towards the back. The only problem is when up in front you work it !! But in the back its too easy to just go with the motions but not full out. I try to switch up the rows during class. I’ll call the back row to the front and everyone takes one row back. This way everyone is accountable and gets a different aspect of the class !!

  19. lindsey on January 31, 2013 at 8:50 am

    I agree with the changing it up and faking it till you make it. I’ll start flinging out all kinds of sound when I start to get tired, I guess it fools my psyche into thinking I’m not as tired as I am. Also, I keep a little orange juice in my bag, if my energy starts to slip, a few gulps and I’m good to go for a bit longer. πŸ™‚

  20. Steph @ Upbeat Eats on January 31, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I’m really not a yeller/hyper, BUT I will reward any teacher with VERY enthusiastic dancing if I know and love the music – I can’t help but give it 110% if I’m really feeling the music!

  21. Ashley on January 31, 2013 at 9:44 am

    What you said about the instructor changing positions is so true. Usually at my gym, for spin they always keep the lights off. Whenever my teacher threatens to turn the lights on and “check on” everyone, I make sure I pedal faster haha.

  22. Lauren @ Eat Like An Elephant on January 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

    I’m not a group class person, but I would never leave once I was there! Do people really do that??

  23. Kim on January 31, 2013 at 10:02 am

    The only time I’ve ever left a group fitness class was when I knew the instructor was doing things that were dangerous, because I’d been certified in the same teaching method. There’s a lot of pressure for instructors to do something new and challenging–but there are also guidelines in place for a reason. Otherwise, even if I’m not digging it, I stick with a class till the end.

  24. Cassie on January 31, 2013 at 10:02 am

    Love this post! As an instructor who also takes many classes from other instructors, it has definitely made me pickier about other instructors…I have walked out from boredom (or worse, lack of tempo). I am definitely a cheerleader in my classes and all about the yelling and challenging the members to pick up the energy (“Push it – GO!”)l. I also love to throw curveballs at the class, like you mentioned – my favorites are making them split down the middle and face each other (hard if there’s not another instructor in class) or to make them start on the opposite side (this mainly goes for TurboKick, but left lead instead of right).

  25. Chels on January 31, 2013 at 11:17 am

    I used to teach a similar dance format like Zumba and so I think changing direction in the room while dancing is fun and does shake things up a bit! I bet your class is so much fun πŸ™‚ I teach spin class now and so it’s not so visual so I have to be a bit more creative than ever before with my coaching…I have them visualize going up a steep hill and surging forward…I have to use a lot of positive cues but I also just tell them to have FUN with it! I think having fun along with the fitness is so key!

  26. Melissa on January 31, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I don’t think I would ever leave a class b/c of boredom. There have been classes (Zumba or otherwise) that I really haven’t cared for the instructor’s energy or tone and have made a mental note not to return to their classes. I HAVE left a Zumba class for one song when the instructor made everyone get into a circle and picked people to come into the center and have everyone follow their “choreography”–she said that no-one could opt out if they got picked. Ummm…NO. I am not shy and fairly decent at Zumba but had no idea of the song and do not feel comfortable making up moves (for a group) on the fly. I know she was trying to amp up energy but I also wonder if that’s also just “lazy” instructing. I had managed to avoid getting picked in the “circle of death” the week prior but knew I wouldn’t be able to escape again, so I left to “get water” and returned when the next song started!

    That being said, I will definitely “whoop” and make noise, ESPECIALLY when I can tell the instructor is trying to amp it up. I genuinely want the instructor and class to succeed and hope that they can tell I’m trying to help! One of the instructors that I take from asks for volunteers to come up front with her on familiar songs and this past weekend I jumped out of my comfort zone and went up there (I may not want to choreograph but I WILL dance!)—it was one of my favorite “regular” songs that she does and I had an absolute blast! πŸ™‚

  27. Tia on January 31, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I want to try a group Zumba class so so sooooo bad but I’m terrified I’ll look like a complete goof and I can’t convince any friends to go with me, BOO!

    I actually really like in Turbo Fire when Chalean is always telling me I’m not tried lol! When I first started I’d yell at the TV and say “YES CHALEAN, I AM TIRED!” now I’m punching and kicking away when she says it and I just smile, one video she says “You’re not tired, matter o’ fact you just got your second wind” and I always find myself saying it along with her lol!

    • Fitnessista on February 1, 2013 at 12:26 am

      that’s my favorite part, too!
      (ok, and the “boom i got your boyfriend, i got your man”)

    • Jen on February 1, 2013 at 8:56 am

      You should try the class! I live in England and I’m 34. I just attended my first Zumba class with -get this- all 60+ year olds!!!! Not joking! So if they can do it, so can I! No one cares if you mess up, they all messed up when they started too. They were nothing but sweet and helpful to me. Give it a whirl! You won’t be sorry!

  28. Jessica on January 31, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    I teach spin and there are only 12 bikes so there is usually a wait list and not everyone gets a bike – if I feel the energy dropping I’ll remind them that someone else wanted their bike so they better make sure they’re giving it 100%! Always works!

  29. Naomi on January 31, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I have never left a class early, but the class I have been going to is getting a little stale. It’s always the same music! Oh well, it is sometimes nice to know what is coming next, and I feel like I get a better workout when I know the songs already

  30. Chelsea on February 1, 2013 at 3:49 am

    The only time I ever left a group fitness class was the first step class I ever went to – the routines were really complicated (I thought anyway, I am pretty uncoordinated!) and I was just standing there like an idiot because I couldn’t keep up – the instructor did not ask if there were any new people and seemed to focus all her attention on a group of ‘regulars’ …I felt slightly better because there were 3 other girls who looked just as lost as me!

  31. Herbivore Triathlete on February 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    The only group class I’ve ever taken is spin class. I’ve had five different instructors and definitely have my preferred style. My least favorite instructor is one that a lot of other people really like, just goes to show how different everyone is. I don’t go to her class anymore because she uses the same playlist every time and the same routine. Too predictable to me. Plus I don’t find her classes challenging.

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