Cue The Vocals.... And Your Story

Know my favorite type of non-technical cueing? The moments where I am just sharing my story.

I was coaching an aspiring fitness instructor recently and noticed she was having trouble with her non-technical cueing. She was able to share her technical cues perfectly, tell you exactly how to hold a weight and what set of muscles we were targeting with a particular move. But when it came to the non-technical cueing, the only thing she could come up with was “ You’re doing good, keep going!” I stopped the music and asked her what else she could she could say that would connect and engage her class. Her response told me she was stumped until I reminded her: tell them who you are. Tell them about YOU.

As Fitness Leaders, we can become so caught up in the logistics of our classes (Is the music ready, Is our choreography planned, Is the mic check done?) that we can lose our own purpose for teaching, our own reason as to why we show up and give our very best in every class. We forget to tell our classes about the song on our playlist that made us remember that promotion that changed our whole career trajectory, the first time we sat on a cycling bike and left thinking that our glutes would never recover, that we are hard on our students because we were taught that hard work doesn’t come easy and that we want to apply that philosophy in our classes too. We forget, and sadly in some cases, we purposely omit our own stories because they may not “fit” the class we are teaching. My challenge to each of you: What’s the class without you? And if you aren’t putting YOU in it, are you really bringing all of you to it?

I’m not saying that we should head into class and tell our classes everything going on in our lives (although now I may want to create a class that’s called Instructor Therapy where we can do just that!). Instead, take intentional steps to share pieces of your story in every class so that your students can connect with you beyond a bicep curl or crow position. It helps them remember that yes, you are human too, and have a story to tell...a story that deserves to be heard in all that you do..including teaching. Three things you can do tomorrow  to integrate your story into your cueing:

  • Share the Story Behind the Music: Share the story of why a particular song moved you, from a particular memory it surfaced for you to maybe it forced you to stop and dance in the middle of the Target store while listening. Listen, strange things can happen when a song moves you!

  • Share a Tough Hurdle You’ve Overcome: Ever been in the middle of a particularly hard climb on a bike and thought, I can’t turn up this resistance anymore! Yes, well, when your class is hitting those “climb the hill” moments that we all face in any class format you teach, share a story about a recent moment in which you overcame and pushed through a tough moment. It will keep them focused on your story...and allow them to get to know you better too.

  • Share Why You Teach:I love sharing every week in my classes why I teach and not just the surface level stuff like because I love working out (to clarify: I do not.) I teach because I want everyone who takes my class to know that they are amazing, strong, incredible whole beings who should not put limits on themselves because they can do ANYTHING. In classes, I tell my students to remind them of my Why so that they know I’m not there to torture them; I’m just there to make them even better.

This week, remember this: Sweat and Stories make for the perfect combination in your classes...and if you top it off with a Smile? Well, that’s just icing on that cake we are planning on treating ourselves post-class too.


Actions Speak Louder than Words: Ready to take your own teaching to the next level and would love to have a coach to help you build your fitness leadership strategy? Drop me a note and let’s chat!