Status:?? Asked:Jun 12, 2014 - 11:32 AM
I teach a group fitness class and would like to introduce heavier weights. What is the best way to do this?
Many people attend group fitness classes for the motivational aspect of being with others who enjoy the same type of exercise atmosphere, however, they may not all be at the same fitness level. Be sure to begin every class by letting participants know that you will be showing exercises and if they need modifications (either progression or regression) you will be demonstrating those as well. You should also let them know that if they have any injuries that they can share those with you during the warm-up or while you walk around the room (depending on the type of class). It is important to make your class feel comfortable with approaching you with their issues, but also feel supported by you if they want to push themselves harder in the workout (safely, of course). While demonstrating exercises, it may be a good idea to demonstrate the easier version first. Then, once most of the class shows proficiency in that movement, let them know how they might progress it to a harder version, if they are able. It may make those who can not do the harder version feel inadequate if that is what is demonstrated first and then you say something like, “if you can’t do that, then try this instead…”
In order to progress weight, give the class guidelines on what they should be feeling while doing their reps. If the prescribed set and rep scheme is 2 sets of 15, they should feel like after the last set of 15, they are not able to complete any more repetitions. If they do still feel like they are able to complete further reps, they should add weight in the smallest increments possible for that particular equipment. Keep the goals of the class in mind and be sure that your set and rep schemes coincide with those goals. For example, if the class is designed to be a ‘strength building’ class, 2-6 sets and fewer than 6 reps would be the appropriate type of training sets and reps. With this type of volume, weights should be significantly heavier than muscular endurance training in order to elicit the hormonal response appropriate for strength gains.
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