On Tuesday I'll begin teaching the 5:30am intervals class at Phoenix Fitness in Dover, New Hampshire. I LOVE early morning workouts. I live for the internal transformation that happens when the workout starts and the music's going and I forget how tired I was just a half hour before.
Here's also where I get to implement my ideas about inclusive, joyous, and accessible fitness. When I started working out, I worried about being the weakest and the slowest. (Sidenote: I got over that real quick and now I take great pride in bringing up the rear!) As an instructor, I want to make sure that my class is welcoming. Not just because I declare it so, but because I've put in the time to think about what might make a newer exerciser feel welcome.
Here's what that looks like for this class.
- There will be different exercises choices for different fitness levels. For example, if push ups are in the workout, I'll tell the beginners to do push ups on the wall or on their knees, intermediate folks can do them on their toes, and advanced peeps can do hand release push ups or one-armed push ups if they're feeling it. When beginners do side planks with hip dips, intermediate folks can do alternating side planks with hip dips, and folks who want to can do side plank reach arounds.
- Instead of adjusting each exercise, I can also adjust the number of repetitions for each exercise. Here's what that looks like. If I take those same movements (push ups and side planks) and for funnsies add walking lunges, I could have beginners do 10 push ups and 10 side planks followed by lunging halfway down the turf. The intermediate group can do 15 reps of each movement and lunge the entire way. The advanced group can do 20 push ups, 20 side planks, and mosey all the way down and back before getting back to push ups. This way everyone gets a chance to experience all the exercises.
- Let people decide what fitness level they are and encourage the entire group to congratulate hard work and effort, not just fast running times or high burpee numbers.
- Plan partner and team workouts that get people of different fitness levels working together.
- Keep the atmosphere fun with happy music! I have to remember that it's still 5:30am.
This class starts on Tuesday, so if you're feeling the urge to get an early morning workout, come play with me! It's only $99 for 12 workouts. That's a pretty sweet deal. I take music requests too!