One of the hardest things to do when you are first starting out in the industry, or even as an experienced freelance instructor is to say ‘No’.
You will be full of excitement, passion, thinking you are Queen Bey in the fitness world (which I like to do regularly lol) so it is only natural to want to say ‘Yes’ to everything. To not miss out on opportunities, the money, and if you are freelance, you don’t know what is coming in next. But there are times when saying yes can compromise your professionalism, diverting you off plan, or even compromise your wellbeing.
It’s taken me years of perfecting the art of saying no, and even now I struggle with it.
As a tutor, you get asked many questions from students regarding this type of response. The thought of saying no to participants makes any new instructor feel nervous. Not only for the thought of turning a punter or a coordinator away, but we strive for the numbers and don’t want to be seen as difficult.
It is not being difficult. It is professionalism. Knowing yourself, and setting your own ground rules; trusting yourself and remembering it is your class.
Of course you need to consider company procedure, but you will select places of work that suit your work ethic.
Make the class your own. If your gut isn’t sure, I am a firm believer of following your instincts. Unless you are indecisive at everything, then take a bit of time. People will try taking advantage.
So here are some tips of when it is ok to say no. Don’t make the mistakes I made when first starting out; saying yes to everything to get the permanent slot on the timetable, over promising and under delivering.
Plan, be organised, take the best opportunities and allow fluidity.
I am glad I made mistakes as it has moulded me into the professional I am today, but it is always good to share with others.
It’s ok to say no when.
- You only have 15 minutes to get across town before the next class starts. The 5-minute chat before a class and the time you spend answering questions at the end of a session are worth more than you realise. It is the best time to build a rapport with your participants, to welcome new participants and knowing the needs and wants of your group will enhance your class content and success, more so than a flustered instructor with no time for anyone, because they are trying to cram in too many classes in a short amount of time.
- Someone has mentioned an illness or condition you are not sure of. You have a duty of care to look after everyone within your studio. If its pushing your boundaries than its ok to say no, politely of course. You don’t want to cause more harm than good.
- Your regulars are getting too familiar with you.Have your business account and then a personal one. Of course you will have your buddies and your favourites, but don’t feel like you always have to say yes. Save the socials for seasonal events. Anything too clicky will lose newbies and you will value your space.
- The pay doesn’t match your worth. Be realistic with the going rates, your experience and class numbers, but it always needs to add up. When considering your rates, do think about the planning time, business expenses and value you can bring to the centre. Minimum wage will only cover the time within the studio.
- If you are already at the max and you’ve planned in some well earned time off. Value the days off, your body and mind will thank you. Always ‘on the go’ won’t help your creative juices and focus. A time out is needed for balance. Always plan in a day or a morning off. Don’t just function, flourish.
- The deal doesn’t sound right. I’ve heard crazy stories on courses from students. They are only paid if numbers are over 8 in the class, or money is deducted from the permanent instructors wage because a cover instructor cancels a class later down the line. You completed the work. Be your own boss and be on the books to ensure payment.
- Instagram can wait. Some participants lack confidence and self-esteem. Getting these beauties on board is the most rewarding. Don’t give them a reason to stay away. They are already worried their leggings aren’t the latest, how they look when getting sweaty, or anxious they don’t know what’s going to come. Don’t then surround them with constant photos.
- Other instructors are getting too bitchy. Don’t ever apologise for being you.
“Your identity is your most valuable possession. Protect it.” ~ Elastigirl
And don’t you forget it!
by Kt Horsley-Page
For me, class instructing has always been a pleasure. I love to feel the music, the energy in the room and be right there with my class participants, feeling what they are feeling, hearing what they are hearing and doing what they are doing.
I would attend fitness conventions and just buzz for the whole weekend, jumping from one session to the next (and suffer for the next week!). It was at FitPro Live that I saw an advertisement for presenters for the MOSSA brand, and although I was pretty fresh out of the fitness gates and newly qualified compared to most of the people I was used to seeing up there on the stages, I decided to give it a whirl! And I’m thrilled I did!
I was selected (after a rather hard-core weekend of training and assessments) to come on board as a national trainer for the MOSSA brand. Whoop!
That was 3 years ago, and since then FitPro and MOSSA have been a huge part of my life! I’ve had the utmost pleasure to tour, write blogs and present in representation of the brand.
So, after years of idolising the presenters I had seen at conventions, it turns out I had what it take. So what exactly does it take?
Confidence? Yes. Physical ability? Yes. But I have a feeling it’s something more.
It’s about being an open, encouraging and accommodating personality! Connecting with the group, and through that connection allowing everyone in the room to relax, enjoy and feel like part of an experience. Everyone is playing on an even playing field and they will be included no matter their physical level. No-one will be impressed that YOU can do 100 clap push ups in a row (I can by the way) (I might be lying) but they WILL be impressed if the whole room is sweating, moving and alive with your great coaching and support.
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe if you can rock out a pair of jazzy leggings and look good with a head mic then you have what it takes – but for me, it’s why over and over I will go and check out people like Helen Carpenter-Waters, my MOSSA team mates, the TRIBE team and the ViPR trainers – because I know I’ll be welcomed with open arms, put at ease – but most of all.. I’m going to have theeee most fun!!
…and there we have it! Turns out the magic ingredient for me… is FUN!!
Moves that Matter!
For many years now group exercise has progressed along the route of HIIT training with an emphasis on time-undertension-exercise, often muscles are isolated and sometimes integrated (whole body approach) – both of which have merit- to elicit benefits that include the secretion of Lactic Acid, by which Anabolic hormones such as HGH, IGF-1 and Testosterone ‘ramp up’ in the person who engages in this activity.
The above makes total sense when looking at ‘how to get the most’ out of our participants in the small amount of time we are lucky enough to spend with them. Its ‘bang for buck, right?’
The problem with this method of thinking, and its execution, is that it’s actually diminishing the quality and quantity of the ‘human’ (that stands before us) life (literally?!?).
Let me explain, or try to at least in a short blog.
MOST (if not ALL) people do NOT MOVE ENOUGH to give their anatomy and physiology the bare minimum it requires to embide nutrients (that’s another point, most people DON’T get nutrient dense foods in diet these days) from the food they eat to take to, and allow for functional performance and remodelling (joints, connective tissues, skin etc).
The net result of the above is that joints begin to lose mobility, surrounding tissues ‘stiffen’ to protect further loses in range of motion, peoples connective tissues and skin rapidly age (faster than should be) with ladders up to ‘niggles, pains, aches, wrinkles etc’, and the sad reality is……the way we typically exercise does NOTHING to address these human progressive ailments that our participants come to, for our expertise, in the first place?…very sad reality, huh?
The current exercise paradigm (mentioned in paragraph one – HIIT and muscular focused exercise/movement prescription) is diminishing our life expectancy at the ‘cellular level’ and the movements themselves do NOT address the tissues qualities from an ageing, and mobility-stability-strength perspective.
So, our current exercise is KILLING us FASTER than its actually prolonging life? Yep, that’s true, see when you engage in regular HIIT style training (along with life’s other stressors, work, bosses, time constraints etc), without adequate rest recovery and ESPECIALLY LOW INTENSITY exercise/movement produces a constant ‘cell messaging signal called mTOR’ that is responsible for producing Faster, Harder and Stronger pathways that long term, with no offset, eventually die away (as mitochondria wither away and die, remember back to energy systems in L2, mitochondria store oxygen, fats and glycogen that is essential to cell maintenance and performance).
Did you know, that life expectancy is governed by Mitochondrial density (measurement of amount of mitochondria in cells across the body)
And, what is our HIIT training doing? Degrading and diminishing mitochondria.
Uh- oh, so live like a ‘beast’ with lots of ‘gainz’ in your 20s and 30s, but then be broken, crippled and potentially ‘brown bread’ (London slang) in our 40s, 50s and 60s.
Movement, and exercise MUST (or should at least) address the tissues (ALL but muscles) requirements for 3D variable movements – but not just ‘random shiz’ – movements that are essential to human performance, with purpose through variety built in.
How do we do this you ask?…
Answer, be there on April 20th and we will share the secret to longevity, performance and variation that will make your class participants ‘buzz’ with joy, because of the many new and fun (but purposeful) exercises that you have been empowered to own, and deliver to your masses.
I, for one, can’t wait to share in this experience with you. Purchase your tickets here.