This August, I presented workshops at the CanFitPro Conference in Toronto, Canada. This incredible conference commands an attendance of over 4,000 fitness professionals and nearly 5,000 consumers. I represented a number of companies, including my own, The willPower Method®, and Mad Dogg Athletics, and was honored to be speaking on some of my favorite topics: barefoot training and Peak Pilates MVe®. However, the classes that I was involved with for MDA were a much different format than I’ve given in the past. Instead of a mindful and focused MVe® workout, I was challenged to teach MVe® progressions as part of a much larger circuit; a class we developed in order to cater to nearly 100 fitness pros in one class!
The all-star circuit presenting team included Zoey Trap, Karthryn Coyle, Abbie Apple, Nadine Stewart, and newcomer Brendan Coso. In addition to the MVe® chair, the circuit included Resist-a-Ball, Bodyblade, CrossCore, tubing and small un-weighted balls.
Wow – what an incredible experience! With 6-rounds of workouts, the participants had the opportunity to sample new exercises on familiar equipment as well as familiar exercises on new equipment. The result? Sweaty inspiration!
My experience was full of reminders, recharging me on the very nature of circuit training.
- Students are highly motivated by an exciting and stimulating environment – the time flew by!
- Students are exposed to what’s new, hot and trending – with low commitment to any specific modality.
- Students work in groups – finding comfort and camaraderie with their new team.
- Circuits feel great while in action, but pre-planning is imperative! Be certain to organize timing (and timing methods). Allow for proper spacing between stations and equipment.
- Be certain to use music speed BPM that works well for all stations in the circuit (123-126 is a safe and motivating speed).
- The music choice should offer motivation and steady rhythm, without distracting lyrics. There is enough stimulation in the circuit already; the instructor should never be challenged to shout over the music. Try the willPower Season CDs – created for fitness pros by Power Music!
- Finding the balance between controlling the environment and “letting go” is key; we want students to get a safe, efficient workout – while also enjoying the experience enough to return for more.
If you are not teaching circuit classes on a regular basis, consider adding a special event to your docket every few weeks. Invite some of your favorite fitness instructors to join you, so that you can each facilitate one or two stations. Circuits are a great way to recharge your motivational battery – and give your students a change of workout flavor by adding samples of “what’s new” (and “who’s new”) as well as an un-paralleled fun factor!