Key Point #5: Expand yourself.

A master trainer knows multiple ways to train. They also are open to new ways to teach. Expanding yourself as a master trainer means expanding your mind to new lessons that will make you more skilled at physical fitness training.

  • Music is the key.
  • Add more variations.
  • Stop, listen, and learn.
  • Turn off the lights.
  • Enter the "Struggle Zone"
  • Rest and recover.

Music is the key: music controls group exercise.

Music is the key to being a great group exercise instructor, from Body Pump to yoga. To master group exercise, you must understand music. The best way to understand music is to listen to various types of music. Step out of your comfort zone and focus on music to lead a class to their fitness goals, not just music you like. An excellent example of this is when I decided to design my cycling classes. I knew rap music didn't have the best bpm (beats per minute) to maintain a good class, so I had to open my mind to E.D.M. (Electronic Dance Music), rock, pop, and even techno. I delivered increasingly popular classes that appealed to all audiences by expanding my mind to these genres.

Add more variations: Every exercise needs a variation.

Either to make it harder or more comfortable. To be a master trainer, you must know multiple exercise variations. For example, if you know how to take a squat and advance it to fit an athlete like Lebron James or regress it to suit your grandmother, you will become a master trainer. This will separate you from the trainer who just gives out workouts and asks for money.

Stop, listen, and learn: This one is straightforward.

Stop doing what you're doing, so you can listen to the opportunity to learn something that will make you a master trainer. You need someone to listen to and learn from when you stop, listen, and learn. This is why it's so essential to keep master trainers around you.

Turn off the lights: Sometimes, you have to shut everything off.

You can feel your muscles more when you close your eyes during a workout. Use this trick with your clients. Have them close their eyes as they work out to feel their muscles working. This old yoga practice should be used with light weights or just body weight. This practice helps you become a master trainer by giving your clients a new way to validate what you say by feeling the exercises you give them.

Enter the struggle zone: What is the struggle zone?

The struggle zone is that portion of your workout where you don't know if you can physically complete it. Since most trainers were athletes, they understood this struggle zone and could coach clients through it. A master trainer knows how to create a struggle zone for a client and coach them.

Rest and Recover: A master trainer knows when to shut it down.

Master trainers understand when to shut it down and tell their clients to shut it down. You must invest more time in recovery than Training to be the best. You have more hours to recover than train, so if you spend 1-3 hours training daily, at least 4 hours should be dedicated to recovery afterward. This is what separates a master trainer from a regular trainer. In my years as a trainer, I would reschedule a session for a client who looked too tired to work out because their health was worth more than the cost of a session.