THE ETIQUETTE OF BACK-TO-BACK CLASSES
by Marie Anagnostis
DON’T storm the room
You’ve got your face squished against the studio window, one eye on the Instructor, the other eye on the clock. Before the previous Instructor can even finish the sentence, “Thank you for coming if you have any questi…” you and your class have barged through the door like it’s a Boxing Day sale.
At the very least, wait until the Instructor finishes their closing sentence before you (calmly) walk into the room.
DO wipe down the mic
Is there anything more gross than putting on a soggy, dank, moist (sorry), mic? If you are a bountiful sweater and you are handing the mic over to the next Instructor please, please, please give it a wipe-down.
DON’T have a full blown conversation with the next Instructor
The 5-second turnaround between classes is always super tight for Instructor #2 to get themselves, their equipment and the class set-up. As Instructor #1 don’t start a full-blown dialogue with Instructor #2.
DO finish on time
Seems like a no-brainer, but here is where the rule seemly gets murky: the class before you runs over. So why should you cut your class short because of the Instructor before you?
Well. Because you are a considerate person, that’s why.
When there are 4 or 5 classes back-to-back and every Instructor has the same attitude, poor Instructor #5 (and their members) are looking at starting 15 minute late. A-NNOY-ING.
Be that guy to get the classes back on track. Depending on your program: do half of a core track, or half a cool-down, do a couple of quicker transitions between tracks. If the problem persists, chat to the Instructor before you, or bring the issue to the attention of gym management to address all Instructors on starting and finishing classes on time.
DON’T freeze the next class
While your class may have been a sweaty extravaganza, the next Instructor and participants won’t appreciate walking into freezer-like conditions. Once your clammy class is finished, turn down the air-con and give the next class half a chance of warming up in track 1.
DO get out equipment
Particularly if you are the very first class of the day, put a hefty deposit in your Instructor karma account by grabbing the equipment of the next Instructor. They. Will. Love. You for having one less thing to worry about in the rush of transitions between classes.
While these aren’t back-to-back-class rules to live by (unlike the above… which are pretty ironclad), they are a nice touch to show what a good human you are:
Nice touch #1 – let Instructor 2 switch over the music
It’s a bit of a vibe-killer when Instructor #1 rips out their music leaving the next class in silence before Instructor #2 has had a chance to plug in their music. Be patient and wait until instructor #2 is ready to plug in. For bonus points, if you have just taught BODYATTACK™ and the next class is something more chilled like BODYBALANCE™, don’t leave track 9 music blaring. Read the room and perhaps repeat the cool-down track to transition the ambience.
Nice touch #2 – help new people
If you can (and it’s appropriate to do so), if you can see Instructor #2 feverishly setting up, stripping off, changing music and there are people in their class looking bewildered: be a team player and help them. Go up to the member and ask if they are new to the class. Perhaps help them set up. Do make sure you quickly go to instructor #2 and give them the heads up that there are new people to keep an eye on.
And if it’s YOU that is chronically late…
If no matter how hard you try you cannot get your classes to run on time, here are 3 ways you can save precious minutes/seconds in your class:
#1 Is your intro to class too long?
You don’t need to give a blow-by-blow life history of the program – keep it short and sweet and get moving!
#2 Are you pausing between tracks too long?
Firstly, are you meant to be stopping the music between tracks? Or is your program a “push-play-and-go” program? If it’s the latter, and you are stopping music, it’s a no-brainer that you are using up precious time. However if you are teaching a program that does require you to stop the music and set-up between tracks, be succinct. You don’t need to say everything prior to the track starting, remember you can coach during the track.
#3 Can you use the time before class more efficiently?
While you’re waiting to storm the studio for your class, do you see any unfamiliar faces around you? This is a good time to address new members and save plenty of time when you get in to the studio. While you’re at it, see if you can also address any injuries or illnesses.
Marie Anagnostis is Marketing Communications Manager (Australia) for Les Mills Asia Pacific. She first trained on BODYATTACK™ 52 and has since trained in 5 other programs. She now actively teaches BODYPUMP™, CXWORX™ and BODYBALANCE™.