I apologize for abandoning you in the middle of the ClassPass Experiment. The problem was that I took no good classes. None. Zero. Zippy. Writing the blog articles became an exercise in how to be entertaining without being mean. Because I had almost nothing nice to say. And I think we have all learned, if you don’t have anything nice to say…
I do have something to say to the group fitness instructors of the world, and also to the group fitness enthusiasts. My hope is both groups benefit from both messages.
To the group fitness instructors out there:
That’s what we’re most-often called, I think? Instructors. Sometimes teachers. Occasionally trainers. What else are we? Leaders? Educators? Demonstrators?
My point – we are INSTRUCTors. So why do so many of us shy away from actually INSTRUCTing? In 23 years of teaching group fitness, I know I have had several different answers for this. I’m guessing many instructors reading this will be able to find themselves in one of the following stages of group fitness instruction.
ClassPass #2 JOURNEYoga in Arlington, VA Thurs, June 11th at noon Yoga with Stephanie 6 women, 2 men = 8 total attendance
I had to pay $2 to park. Not a good start.
However, I was greeted at the front desk by TWO smiling, warm-feeling people. They handed me a clipboard, asking for a brief medical history and waiver.
I felt immediately welcome and comfortable. They called me by name when I turned in the sheet, and directed me to leave my flip flops in a row of bench topped shoe cubbies in the front desk area. They pointed me to the bathrooms and noted where I could put my backpack once inside the room. My welcome was efficient, friendly, and the people I encountered acted with ownership.
The welcome area was lovely – bright and cheery with a filtered water spigot and coffee, and plenty of places to sit.
They have two rooms – capacities 15 and 30.
Class was held in the big room – high ceilings, stark yet clean décor. But weird HVAC sounds whooshed on and off throughout class. Job well done by Stephanie to find a music level that somehow could be heard over the whooshing, but then not too loud when the HVAC kicked off. Acoustics can be a nightmare for an instructor, so this feat was super impressive to me.
Occasionally during class, we could hear water moving through pipes loudly, I’m guessing from upstairs somewhere – which was a bit distracting. All I could think was – did someone just flush?
ClassPass #1 Barre60 at Barre Tech in Del Ray, Alexandria, VA Tuesday, June 9th at 9:30am Instructor: Amy (owner?) 5 people in class – at least 2 brand new, possibly 3
I arrive 15 minutes early, as the website instructs. Upon arrival, I run into M, a fitness friend of mine, and am immediately happier to be taking class with someone I know.
Note: My experience is already better because I sense even the tiniest bit of camaraderie. I am not unique in this, and I think it is an important point for instructors everywhere. How do we create an immediate sense of community for someone new?
The “urban chic” appearance of Barre Tech is appealing, and inviting, and clean. And the girls waiting are friendly enough.
M and I tell Amy that we’re new. Amy says something positive – like “great!” or “cool,” except I’m guessing not “cool” because she appeared about mid-20s, and I think only 40-somethings say “cool” anymore. Actually, maybe just me and Abed from Community.
I am so, so, so excited to introduce Kate Finamore, Director of TRUE GRIT at TRUE Health and Wholenessin Arlington (and also my sister), as our first contributor to CTF! Kate has 20+ years experience in the fitness biz but she is undoubtedly known for her expertise in all things GROUP FIT! She is, without question, a Group Fit Guru.
Kate approached me about borrowing a little space on CTF to blog about an experiment she is conducting where she will be taste-testing several fitness classes in the Alexandria, Arlington, and Falls Church, VA areas using a two week free membership to ClassPass; a service that, with membership, allows you entrance to a number of boutique fitness classes such barre or cycle classes without needing to “belong” to any one gym/studio.
I, of course, JUMPED at the opportunity to hear her thoughts on these classes and as we collaborated to get her first review up, we realized we could probably do better than just a two week trial series. So… Group Fit Guru was created. Kate will be the major contributor, but I’m likely to add my two cents occasionally as well.
Keep your eyes peeled for more services being added soon, including a phenomenal opportunity for fitness instructors to get direct feedback from Kate on their teaching. Until then, please enjoy Kate’s introductory post to The ClassPass Experiment.