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The Last Of The Dinosaurs!


The Last Of The Dinosaurs!

When you look up the word Dinosaurs, you get over 1,000+ examples explaining how it dates back to the 1800’s, the biblical days. Man oh man….am I that old?

When I started teaching group exercise classes it was 1987. I was thrown into it like most of us back in the day.  However, by 1989 certifications started to pop up (NEDITA, AAAI), and many companies starting requiring them as part of group exercise/personal training. Back then, they were never designated group exercise instructors/trainers, everyone did everything: Answered phones, trained members, sold memberships, cleaned equipment, emptied the garbage etc. As we progressed through the years we separated into silos now creating specialties. Group Exercise packed out classes, and PT was on an up swing. Why do I feel the need to write about the old ways?  I guess because the old ways, there were a cohesive group of dedicated, passionate, hard working fitness professionals.  This needs to be addressed for the new fitness professionals to understand how hard we worked to make Group Exercise, and Personal Training recognized as a serious career.

These days we notice everyone jumping on the train to Fitness. This is motivated by new programming, new classes, new fitness toys, and probably the biggest one…The Economy. Everyone is hitching a ride on the train…. However, not realizing that it is a professional job, not part time, but a full time love, and passion that should be treated like any other profession.

The new programming makes it easy for anyone these days to get certified. A certification today requires maybe 2 days tops, and your are certified, good to go for Monday morning.  However, where is the mentorship, the accountability that you are able to teach/train correctly, the application, the practice time, the process to make you comfortable to teach, or to train?

So here we go…

The Dinosaur instructors when we teach, we make it feel seamless, easy, and we inspire the new breeds to want to become fitness professionals. However, making it seem seamless takes a lot of preparation, class design, musicality, timing, listening, understanding, and education.

To be a great instructor, here are the top 12 values you need to follow:

1-Class Design

2-Building Choreography

3-Musical Awareness


5-Voice projection with inflection in your voice when needed (no baby, meek voice)

6-Cueing techniques combined with instruction.



9-Eye Contact

10-Stage Presence

11-Ability to adjust to class’s ability

The other 10 values that makes you Greater

1-Team Work.


3-Change in routine/class format frequently.

4-Inspire your members – supply the energy.

5-Take feedback, embrace feedback, look for feedback, and improve.

6-Research your outlines/routines/KNOW YOUR MUSIC.

7-Hands on methods of corrections, and have several levels of progressions. (Instruction instruction, instruction!!!!)

8-Dress Professional/Be Professional.

9-It is not your workout.

10-Do not cater to the front row members.

So as you can see, with all these ideas in place you will be awesome. However, can you put them in place?  It takes time, and a lot of work, and this is where it separates the old school from the new school. This where the members start comparing, and knowing there is a difference with the new comers, and a more seasoned instructor.

Not because you have a packed class means you are great? Or, not because the class has low attendance means the instructor is horrible. Actually, it can be the reverse.  Packed classes can just mean the instructors are teaching an easy to follow choreography/routine or, that they have been teaching the same routines for months, and the members have memorized the choreography?  A low attendance class can mean that the instructor is providing a really hard workout, and the members may not want to be challenged.

So we the Dinosaurs find it hard these days when we have put hard work, effort and passion into our class routines, and it goes unnoticed. So for the new fitness professionals, we Welcome You!  However, remember to respect us, and represent us well, because we have set the bar, the trend, and high expectations for you to meet.

Suggestions to be the best you can be: “The key to success in life is using the good thoughts of wise people.

Find a Mentor

  • Nothing Boosts your self-confidence or nurtures your positives attitude than a mentor.
  • You are never to old, or to young to have a mentor.
  • Great mentors will not only lead you on your future professional path but also help you to realize your full potential-spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
  • Ask yourself who could make a positive difference in your life towards your goals?  The answer may not come to you immediately.
  • Go through your rolodex of colleagues, and make a list of potential mentors.
  • List the strengths, and weaknesses of each potential person.
  • Have conversations with your top 3 candidates, you will be surprised on how flattered some will respond.
  • Trust your instincts and you will be soon be on the path to a brighter learning experience.

Good Luck!

“Change the way you look at things,and things will change”

The Bannister Works/The Bannister Method

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