10 July 2012


Last year sometime during the late spring (I think), the BodyPump-esque (I say -esque because BodyPump is a licensed Les Mills program and one must be a Les Mills licensed instructor in order to teach true BodyPump but lots of gyms offer something similar without the license) instructor at the Army gym was getting ready to go on vacation.  I asked her who would be conducting her class while she was gone and she said I should do it since I've been taking the class for years.  I jokingly said, Sure!  She wasn't joking.  So she helped me learn the script (it is totally scripted) and I got myself psyched up to teach a class. Then the gym manager found out and said that I wasn't allowed to teach without some sort of certification.

Fast forward to last summer when the NATO gym said there would be no classes for 6 weeks because everyone goes on vacation and not enough people come to class.  We were trying to figure out what we would do on our own for 6 weeks and I told some friends that I didn't really know what I was doing but that I could try to lead the BodyPump-esque routine for them if they wanted.  That was a year ago.  I'm still doing it. 

Last fall I got the idea in my head that I would like to be able to teach other classes and so I looked into what it would take to get certified as a fitness instructor. I found a certification program and registered.  I had 6 months to complete the coursework, take a written exam and make a 10 minute video of myself conducting a sample class.  Of course, I waited until the last minute to get it all done!  Once it was all in the mail they said it usually took about 4 weeks to get your results.  Due to the extra-long mail delivery times to/from here, it took 6-7 weeks before I found out I had passed the course and was officially a certified group fitness instructor. 

So, a few weeks ago when the NATO gym again announced that they would not offer classes for 6 weeks I said I could teach once/week plus an extra BodyPump-esque class in addition to the class I was already offering.  I offered to do a bootcamp-style class in place of the usual circuit training.  Because bootcamp/circuit classes require planning and I already work a more-than-full-time job I didn't want to get in over my head trying to do it too many times per week (the BodyPump-esque class, being scripted, doesn't require planning so I can just show up and teach). 

On Monday I taught my first, self-planned group fitness class!!  I think it went well (and for the record, there were 20 people in the class so that excuse that there's no point in having classes when everyone is on vacation...well, it doesn't hold much water).  A few people didn't like the new format; preferring the circuit training they're used to (remember, this is a military base and many military folks get antsy when things change) but several people said it was nice to do something different and that it was a good workout.  Now I have to start planning next week's class!

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