What it’s like to be a group exercise instructor.

By Amanda Marie Heileman


Being a group fitness instructor is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Due to the recent temperature change here in San Marcos, my allergies have made me a snot machine that excretes an impressive amount of ooze when I workout.

The actual hard part of my job is the amount of work I have to put in to deliver a successful class. I have to prepare my combos in advance, and I need to change those compos weekly so my participants don’t get bored. I need to practice them before I teach, and I need to work out regularly so during the class I’m not wheezing like I just walked up a hundred flights of stairs.

Of course, me being the awkward and nervous person I naturally am, my first week of classes were terrible. I forgot my combos, I forgot how to match the moves to the beats and I kept trying to kill myself by falling off the step. I was determined to do better.

Tuesday morning came and I taught my second 20/20/5 (20 minutes step, 20 minutes floor and 5 minutes cool down) class. It was actually OK! My participants were engaged, and they seemed like they actually wanted to be there. Their positive energy helped me feel more confident.

After the class I figured it was probably a good time to introduce myself and try to make a connection with my participants. I went up to one woman, who I had taken classes with before I started my instructor training, and started a conversation.

Me: Do you have any classes today?

Participant: Haha no.

Me: So you’re staff?

Participant: Yes, I’m the president or the university.

Me: … (insert nervous laughter here)

Denise Trauth, the president of Texas State University, takes my group fitness class–and I didn’t even know who she was. Here’s a little tip from the not-so-wise, learn something about your school/job/community you’re apart of instead of just taking from it.

I’m going to end this post in the same corny fashion I end all my group exercise classes. Let’s all take a few deep breaths and use this moment to appreciate yourself, thank yourself for coming out today (well in this case reading my blog) and know that I appreciate you and I hope you have a fantastic day.