Why Overcomplicated Choreography is Ruining Your Fitness Class

We’ve all been in them, right?? The class where you just couldn’t quite keep up, where in a span of less than 3 minutes, more than 15 moves were thrown at you and not in a progressive way either. I’m talking squat to plank to bicep curl to single leg deadlifts and you were wondering whether the sweat you were producing was from the really great workout…or simply just trying to keep up with the instructor.

Or maybe you were that instructor. You’ve built this routine that you know will crush your class and stop you from receiving that rather annoying feedback that says your class is just “ too easy” and “ not hard enough of a hard work”. 15+ moves in a 4-minutes song should change this perception right?


Ok, maybe that wrong was a little harsh, so let me try to say this in a softer tone: 15+moves will definitely make your class harder. The problem is that it will make your class harder for students to take because they can’t follow you as an instructor NOT because you are challenging them to harder levels in the workout.

As a Fitness Coach and Mentor, this is one of the most frequently cited things I see new instructors do in their classes: be so afraid that the choreography planned in the class planned is too simple and then overcomplicate it to the point that NO ONE (not even them) can actually follow along in the class.

3 reasons why this is a problem:

  • Your Class Can’t Deepen Their Workout: If your student is doing 4-6 reps of a move and then moving on to something else at the same rate, they can’t actually deepen their workout and allow for their to be some change in their muscle groups through a tiny amount of reps. In addition, if they need a moment to really understand the movement, what it should feel like, and how to properly do it…well, let’s just say, they are leaving the song frustrated and feeling like they never got one more right.

  • You Can’t Actually Coach Students: By continuously adding on movements, you can never take a break from the front of the room, the podium, to actually walk around and check on your students’ form, encourage them, and ensure they are pushing themselves in their workout. Instead, you are in the front of the room. showing moves for an entire class, instead of doing your actual job, which is to coach and motivate, not to be in front of the room, demonstrating new moves every 5 seconds.

  • You Can’t Remember What To Teach: Building and teaching classes is not easy and you don’t make it any easier on yourself when you add in a bunch of unnecessary moves. Someone has to remember all of those moves and yes, you guessed it: that someone is YOU. And when you can’t remember it all, it can throw off your class, throw off your students, and throw you off in terms of what’s next.

What Should You Do Instead?

  • Uncomplicate your Choreography.

Choose no more than 5 moves to teach in one song and then repeat those same 5 moves for a second and a third set (if applicable) in order to give the class time to push themselves in the workout because they know what’s coming, you a chance to coach because they know what’s coming, and you a chance to remember and teach a seamless class because….

You know what’s coming.

  • Build Progressive Moves.

Does it make sense to go from a bicep curl straight into a burpee? From tricep work straight into a sprint on the bike in the same song? From the floor to jumping up to the floor again? Probably not. Think about those 5 moves that build off of one another and if you can’t come up with 5 that do, that’s ok too! 3 is better than 17, keeps your clients safe, and allows for you to still challenge the class in a meaningful way.

Also be mindful of equipment overload, where you have your students to use weights for one move, drop the move for the next move, pick them back up for the next move…you get where I’m going with this. If you’re going to use a piece of additional equipment, plan to use if for the whole song and not for very random portions that ,again, don’t build upon the next.

  • Challenge Your Students to Level Up.

Instead of giving your students more moves, challenge your students to push themselves deeper within the movement. For example, if you see a student with a light set of weights and they are making curls looks too easy, challenge them to pick up something heavier. It will allow for them to test their own levels and allow for you to still push them without overwhelming them. I’ve created a methodology of how to plan for this in your classes, which I’ll be sharing soon!

Try these tips this week if you are guilty of overcomplicating your class and let me know what happens! I’d love to hear how it feels to simply your choreo as an instructor!

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