Creating change faster…how can we do it?

We as Les Mills instructors get asked this all the time: How do you create change on the floor faster, and how can we connect with our participants better?

There are tons of ways we can do this, a lot of which I took from both AIM I and AIM II, respectively. After all, we don’t want our teaching to get too stale and boring, do we?

One of the things I took from AIM II in terms of creating change faster – and I’ve been implementing this in my classes upon returning – has been to encourage participants to challenge themselves.

Something that we learned was to “be brave,” which is something my fellow AIMers and I accomplished just by taking that step in our Les Mills careers. But we don’t want to be the only ones being brave, because it’s all about the participants reaching their goals, not about us!

There are plenty to ways to be brave in all Les Mills programs, including BodyPump. The first, of course, is coming into that room for the first time, setting up that benchtop and taking a risk. That was the risk I took in March 2010 when I started my Les Mills journey.

Once you get those first few classes under your belt, its time to start challenging yourself a little bit. There are certain tracks in BodyPump that tell you to throw  that extra weight on the barbell, and while some people are willing to be brave to create change, others may be a little timid. But that’s OK!

Now, how do we instructors implement our own “bravery” to those on the floor to create life-changing fitness experiences for our participants? One thing we have to remember is we have to be good role models in more ways than one. While that certainly includes lifting “role model” weights, it also includes keeping our bodies in tip-top shape. That doesn’t mean we can’t have our cheat days – see my previous post as an example – but that also doesn’t mean we should be pigging out on pizza and cheeseburgers five times a week.

Another thing I took away is to be short and to the point when connecting with people. Sometimes, if you joke around with them during a track and/or use funny cues, it will actually motivate them to keep going, along with the old-fashioned  “keep on pushing” stuff. It also helps to have a smile on your face…don’t seem grouchy, or the participant will feed off that and not want to push as hard!

Remember, you can’t create change if you aren’t willing to take risks. That’s where the “brave” aspect of BodyPump comes into play. One of my all-time favorite movie quotes is “We can’t be afraid to lose. There’s no room for fear in this game.” Many people have different ways to being brave in the group exercise room, but if you don’t go for it, then you’re never going to create that change!


Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.