Author Archives: Jason Layden

The Fitness Instructor/Student Love Connection

Instructor love

It’s a funny thing how some of us can become attached to our favorite fitness instructor. Whether it’s your Spin, Pilates or Cardio Dance instructor, the connection can be intense. I’ve seen this attachment firsthand with my own students. I’ve noticed how some of my students refuse to show up for class unless I’m teaching. For example, I have been told that some of my students have walked into the studio ready to get the workout of their life and have walked right out the moment they learned that I am not teaching that day. Believe me, I’m flattered, but the teacher subbing my class sure isn’t. On the other hand, I get it.  I am also a student, and when I find out there’s a substitute instructor, I am not motivated to attend class. But why? Why do our instructors mean so much to us?

Hot Fitness Instructor

Besides thinking they’re hot (lol), it could be their dynamic personality, their enthusiasm or simply their magnetic smile. These types of traits usually boil down to a person’s charisma. The definition of charisma is: clear, compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Ding Ding Ding…Maybe it’s devotion that keeps people loyal? I recently read an article about the 3 pillars of charisma. What Makes People Charismatic, and How You Can Be, Too. Apparently this is something one can learn and practice. Couldn’t hurt, a little charisma could go a long way.

Reliability is Everything

Our time is precious and the last thing we want to do is waste it. To help you better understand how this pertains to your favorite fitness instructor, let me set the scene. It’s Tuesday night, your significant other is working late. You are rushing to feed your kids and to make sure their homework is complete. The babysitter is on his way. You have him arrive at 6:30pm, to give you just enough time to get to your 7pm Hip Hop class so that you are home by 8:30pm. This means you are only on the hook for two hours of babysitting time. You get to your class and you find out there’s a sub. Strike one. You stick around because the babysitter is already hired after all.  However, the sub is ill prepared and starts the class 10 minutes late. Strike two. The class begins and instead of the sub teaching what you are used to (Hip Hop) they decide to give a lesson in belly dancing. Strike three.

frustrated after a bad fitness classBy this point you are frustrated, so you decide after the class that you will complain to the studio owner. You not only feel that your time was wasted, but you’ve wasted your money. You are now late to get home and you owe the babysitter an extra hour of pay.  What a mess!  This scenario, which I’ve heard one too many times, may have zero to do with the sub himself, but everything to do with what you were counting on and being let down.

Finding the Comfort Zone

For some students, it took a lot of guts to get themselves to a fitness class.  But after finding the bravery to do so, many students start to find their comfort zone. They know what to expect from the fitness instructor, they know what to expect from the workout, they know where they like to stand in class, and they no longer feel that nervous feeling.  It’s kinda like a relationship…where you can finally let out a burp without feeling like your partner will jump ship.  Now that’s comfort zone.  And being comfortable with someone definitely leads to longevity.

comfortable with my fitness instructor

Attention Fosters Loyalty

Whatever the reasoning is, being a dedicated and loyal student says a lot about the fitness instructor. Frankly, it’s the loyal students that often help the instructor gain popularity. The instructor is obviously doing a great job if he or she has fostered this connection with you. Perhaps you like how clear your instructor announces the next yoga pose, or they‘re just easy to follow.  Or maybe it has nothing to do with the workout, but rather the attention you receive from your instructor. The acknowledgment you get when you complete a full set of pushups.

Fitness Instructor motivating student

The thumbs up or name recognition you encounter when you walk into class. I would gather that many people lean towards the latter. It makes sense. Most people thrive on being noticed in all parts of life. Why should it be any different in this case? It’s difficult to stay devoted to a workout regimen so if you’ve found a fitness instructor to make that commitment to working out more achievable, that’s gold!

Getting a good workout

Are you loyal to a fitness instructor? If so, what motivates you to regularly attend class from that fitness instructor? What prevents you from taking class from other fitness instructors?

 

3 Steps To Create a Killer Workout Playlist 

3 Steps To Create a Killer Workout Playlist 


I started teaching dance in 2011. Since then, with the help of our master trainers, we have choreographed dance routines to over 250 songs!  I’d love to take credit for all of them…LOL. As you can imagine, that is a lot of routines to try to remember. While 80 percent of the routines have been filmed, the remaining 20 percent still rest somewhere in my brain in fragments. When I teach, students are always requesting songs, but every now and then the routine doesn’t always make it to the top of my memory. If you are a dance fitness instructor, you may relate! Or maybe you’ve been the student requesting a song from the teacher. Either way, there is a lot to remember when teaching dance fitness. Here are some tips for staying organized and having a stellar playlist.

How to Stay Organized

Keep a running playlist on your phone. If you’re old school, buy a writing tablet, but honestly at this point you should have a smartphone!  There are many different apps that you can use to purchase songs and store them. Click HERE to see a list of free music apps! I personally like to use Spotify or iTunes. They both allow you to share your playlist, which is a perfect way to stay connected with your students. You should have at least three playlists at all times. At the beginning of each year, I will create a playlist call PlyoJam 2019 Master. By the end of the year this list may sometimes have over 50 songs. Then I create a second list call PlyoJam 2019 Old, again by the end of the year this will have over 50 songs on the playlist. Thankfully, with the apps I recommended, it’s very easy to move songs from one playlist to another. I then create a third playlist called PlyoJam 2019 Current. This is the playlist I review before each class to determine what I will be playing in class. The three playlists evolve throughout the year. If I have a special event or a demo to teach, that will always get its own playlist and labeled accordingly.

How Often Should a Song Be Played

How often you play a song in your class is important to consider. The more you perform the routine the more it will become ingrained in your head. The moves and transitions will become muscle memory. Another thing to consider is how much is too much? You do not want to over play a song in your class. You will become that teacher who appears lazy and lacking creativity. If you are a student reading this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Big no no!

 

Teaching Schedule

Depending on how many dance fitness classes you teach on a weekly basis, a song should only be on your current playlist for four to six weeks. That is plenty of time for the students to master the routines. Any longer, and your students will get bored and tired of hearing the songs. After four to six weeks, that song should be moved to your old playlist. Be sure to keep your old playlist in the order you add the songs. That will make it easy to reference them later. Now here is the trick! Let’s use Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings” as an example. You debuted the song in your class on January 1. You moved it off your current playlist and onto your old playlist mid-February. You put the song back onto your current playlist in 8 weeks, mid-April. At this point “7 Rings” can be sporadically played through the year, maybe once or twice a month. By this point, your students are no longer sick of the “7 Rings” and feel like badasses because they remembers the routine.  By keeping your old playlist in order, you will have a better gage as to the time of year the song was put on the playlist. If you want to be even more precise, you can create an OLD playlist for each month.

Take video!

Taking video will depend on how you get your choreography. If you are a PlyoJam teacher, the videos are provided and archived in the teacher’s dashboard. If you are someone who isn’t part of a brand, then taking video is highly recommended. Have a friend or a colleague film you on their smart phone.  Set up an account on Vimeo. The basic package is free. This site will not block or mute your videos. Vimeo allows you categorize and search for your video. They also have an app that you can download. I recommend getting this on your phone. You will want to be able to access the video easily when you’re building your current playlist. I often find myself in my car watching video to refresh my memory of the routine that I have completely forgotten.

Here’s is an example of what our Master PlyoJam Playlist looks like on Spotify!

Click HERE to listen!

I hope these tricks help!