The morning routine of a fitness instructor

It’s 7am and I have woken up with the realization that I need another move to add to my already frankly impossible Step Aerobics routine that kicks off at 9.45am.

I have four Step classes a week and my clients devour routines like hungry carnivores. They relish the dawning of each new routine and strive to master it as soon as possible.


As an instructor I am amazed by their dedication, and stressed by the desire to continue to present them with challenging Step combinations!

Step class routine

As it stands we go from a step tap to a knee lift, a rocking horse, around the world with rocking horse straddle followed by a double knee repeater, then a reverse drop into another basic with two jacks on the board, another two off the board into a triple lunge knee lift straight into a travel step double stomp.

The current routine isn’t even half way through and after my morning decaff I’m trawling YouTube for inspiration.

By 9am I have the next add on, so head early to the Studio to get practicing. The Step class goes well- thankfully the add on worked.

The preparation for Zumba classes

Relieved I get to head back home to continue work, this time for my Zumba class. Once again I find myself charged with learning a new dance for my class later tonight.

The good thing about Zumba is the company sends us suggested routines and music to choose from every month. Usually around nine tracks come through a month and I’m hoping this month there will be a few I can relate to.

On the training DVDs there are often some dances I just can’t get my feet to remember. I launch the DVD and look at the live class first.

The training DVD verses reality

Zumba sends us a live class with the dances and a one-to-one class with the same tracks of music but different routines.

The live class this month is filled with bright shining class members and as usual they seem to be absolutely thrilled to be at the class – they shriek and cheer as the presenters gyrate their way through the session.

I often try to get my class to cheer like the Zumba DVD people.

Maybe it’s different in the UK, as I only ever manage to get them to emit an occasional “OOhhh” if I shake my booty in the right direction… oh well, I’m sure they are enjoying the class anyway.

Getting into the gear of a Zumba presenter

This months presenters are dressed head to toe in Zumba gear.

What do fitness instructors do_2

I tried that as well once. Bought the gear, t-shirt, trousers (one leg rolled up), trainers, but gave up when my trouser leg wouldn’t stay up and I got fed up changing the trainers every time I had to teach a different class. Taking two pairs of shoes to work every night became a struggle in itself.

Feeling ready to take on the Zumba class

Two hours later and I am reasonably comfortable with the new dance.

So off to the Golf and Leisure Club in the neighboring town to teach Zumba and Step back to back, Zumba first. The club is quite small and I am the only Zumba class on the schedule, but my loyal participants come along faithfully every week.

The rest of the schedule is filled with Metafit, Spin, Insanity and Bootcamps.

As we wait to enter the studio, the previous class departs, all sweaty and exhausted from doing burpees till they were sick. My Zumba class usually look the other way as they leave.

From one successful workout to the next

The new dance is a success! I even managed to get a few “wooos” during it. Happy dancers leave as my next class enters.

Step for the 2nd time that day and the class attack the routine with fervor. By the time we finish I am already starting to think about the ‘add on’ for next week.

I have very little time when I finish at the club to jump in the car and head to the local community center for my next two sessions.

As I leave the car park the club’s cycling group has congregated and is preparing to head out their nightly expedition. I hope to get out before they do or I will spend the next four miles stuck behind them at 15 miles an hour.

Thankfully I get away while they are still gearing up so I won’t be late for the next class.

Round 2 – Hoping for a similar reaction

It’s my second Zumba of the night- at the community center the class is relaxed and welcoming.

I need to set up my speakers at the center. I usually don’t have a stationary music system so while I’m doing that a trusty class member and friend signs the class in and takes the money.

The set goes well, though still no spontaneous cheering and I start thinking about recording some of my own and playing it through the speaker system.

Final class – Cardio40

A 40 minute high energy aerobic session. It’s the most difficult class of the evening and by this point I’m starting to think abut dinner and bedtime.

The great thing about this class is the 40 minutes pass really quickly and the music is very energising. 10 minutes in and I’ve found my second wind. The energy from the clients spurs me on towards the end of the night.

The class finishes well. So it’s time to pack up, pay the hall and head home.

They don’t understand – what do fitness instructors do?

I get home quickly, it’s now 9.30pm and I update my Twitter before checking my emails and planning tomorrow’s classes.

My phone rings: it’s a friend asking if I want to go over for a cuppa but I explain I’m a little tired after work.

“Really?”  he says incredulously “You should try doing a real 9-5 job.”

I sigh as I hang up.

Read more from Expert Louie Fecou.

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