Raise your hand if you’re busy. Raise your hand if you’re tired. Raise your hand if you wish you could hire your clone. Raise your hand if you raised your hands to all of these questions. Luckily, you’re probably an instructor or studio owner, so having your hands up in the air at the same time is most likely a common sight. Where am I going with this, you ask?
You can’t operate a studio and instruct all of your classes. You need help, you need people, more specifically, instructors.
When operating a studio you can have the most aesthetically pleasing space, newest and greatest equipment, eucalyptus scented air filters, but if you don’t have quality, powerfully motivating, positive people helping you, well, you’re about to hit the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. Being a firm believer in the notion that ‘like attracts like’, you have to manifest your vision, and put out all of the good energy, because you are what you attract.
So, what are the things you should be looking for? Here are my top five characteristics to look for when hiring instructors. On top of that, I asked our community leaders and studio owners what they look for when hiring a group fitness instructor. Here is what I found...
These people talk the talk, and walk the walk. They encourage and inspire people to embrace the change, the shake, the sweat, and the tears. After all, your body shaking is just your muscle and fat cells having a dance party (I swear I have a B.S. in Exercise Physiology). They are able to support people in being comfortable while being totally uncomfortable. They also share their own stories and experiences, and aren’t afraid to do so.
Personality and passion are the most important aspects that I look for when hiring instructors. Everything else can be taught by our extensive training program! But those personality traits are non-negotiable. - Jeannette Augustyniak, Owner, The Bar Method, Tampa, FL
They’re educated in their field and they know what they’re talking about! These people have the degrees, certifications, and experience to support you, your business, and your clients. They are skilled at cueing, whether verbally orvisually. They are always wanting to learn new things, and are constantly asking for feedback. They want to grow as instructors and they want to keep everyone safe.
Becoming a ‘FHITpro’ requires much more than demonstrating performance attributes or acquiring trainer credentials. Fhitting Room looks for trainers who have talent programming effective, challenging but achievable workouts, who are motivating, who are technically skilled in demonstrating and explaining exercises, who can properly correct clients’ form and offer modifications for movements if needed, who care about results and help clients progress and, of course, who have the personality and presence to keep classes super fun!" - Liz Benjamin, Studio Ops, The Fhitting Room, New York, NY
They care about your clients, students, and athletes. They want others to be their best selves, and are conscious that progress is more important than perfection. They always come from a place of love when helping others, and are understanding (you can be compassionate and effective). Yes, you can still motivate people and not yell so close to their face that your saliva lands on their forehead.
The most important thing to me when hiring a group fitness instructor is to find someone who is genuinely loving, compassionate, and adaptable. An instructor can be taught how to teach more efficiently but it is so much harder to teach someone how to truly care for someone else. When a client walks in, whether they have been working out their whole lives or not, should feel not only challenged but understood and taken care of, so my main priority is to find trainers who can do that." - Kate Miclean, Owner, Bold, San Francisco, CA
They care about what they’re doing, what they’re saying, and how they’re coming across to everyone around them. They are true to themselves and aren’t trying to be copycats. You want to look for someone who is genuine and can relate to your clients.
When hiring instructors I look for genuine, positive people who are motivated, self-sufficient and most importantly, responsible! I want to be able to trust that each person I hire gives our clients the safest, most effective workouts in a truly caring way.” - Lily Collins, The Daily, Atlanta, GA
They can engage a room full of people. They believe in what they do, have personality (maybe a dash of pizzaz) and PRESENCE. You know when they are in the room, they are going to demand not only attention, but effort, and respect. They actively engage others and want everyone to walk away with a great experience.
At SOHO Cycling we believe in freedom with structure. We look for elite instructors with authentic, charismatic, unique personalities that are able to ride to the rhythm of the beat, choreograph and structure an amazing playlist, and actively engage each rider to help them experience the RIDE OF THEIR LIFE." - Jaime Lathrop, Head Instructor, SOHO Cycling, Tampa, FL
Finding outstanding fitness instructors is not an easy feat. These people are more than the freshest threads, fancy playlists, and someone who yells at you to do better. They are skilled, passionate, motivating individuals. They can exhilarate and uplift you on even your worst day. Realize that the energy that they are constantly putting out is sometimes draining, so when you do find them, remind them of how great they are, because they’re worth it.