Over the past 12 years of teaching, I’ve learned a lot… Here is what I’d like to share about my personal experience in the fitness industry.
1. Be kind. You don’t have to be mean or competitive to get ahead. You just have to believe in yourself, and be passionate about what you are doing.
2. Always stay one step ahead of the game. Weather it be by attending other instructors classes, fitness conferences, getting new ideas on YouTube, or reading and being inspired by a motivational speaker or new theory, ongoing education is crucial. You must keep on learning and keep on becoming a better version of yourself.
3. Think business. Become an ambassador, contract with a company, ask and you shall receive.
4. Watch and learn. Observe and get inspired by the ones who have already made it in the field. Watch and learn without replicating identically… be yourself.
5. Stand up for yourself. Don’t let anyone make you believe you are a puppet or just a small player in the game of fitness.
6. Be a team player, not a diva. Start and finish class on time, help colleagues out with subbing when you can, and stay humble. Also, create a nice working ambiance and truly be happy for the success of others. Team work serves everyone, and it doesn’t take anything away from you,
7. Sub a lot. It is such good practice to work with different types of crowds, and more importantly, it’s a great “ego check”. You want to be the best you can be, but you don’t want to be full of yourself.
8. Work for facilities whose values reflect your own. Also, work for many different companies. Exclusivity towards one company should not be imposed on you, unless the said company is willing to pay you the big bucks to justify your lack of freedom. Plus, encouraging studios and independent gyms is a great way to help new companies and make dreams happen for entrepreneurs. Opening your own facility may be something you too may want to do one day.
9. Appreciate the journey. I struggle with this one myself. I’m so eager to succeed that I am often too goal-oriented, and forget to enjoy the process. Remember, it doesn’t always happen as fast as we would like it to, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not a sprint, it’s a long and steady race.
10. Take care of your body. As you know, it’s your work too. And contrary to popular beliefs, we are not machines! We need to apply what we teach our students.
11. Make it happen for yourself. Being a fitness instructor can be and, in my opinion, is a profession. Don’t let anyone make you believe otherwise. You can explain that in a nice way to anyone who asks something along these lines: so what do you do besides teaching? In other words, what’s your real job?
12. Last, but by no means least, keep doing “freestyle." As instructors, we are stronger and more powerful (and less dispensable) when we create our own class content.