In 2014, I had the wonderful advantages of working in downtown Chicago and having access to Class Pass, a combination which allowed me to try tons of different group exercise classes and diversify my cross training. This year, though, I have not had those same advantages - but that doesn't mean I haven't found ways to stay fit and grow stronger in 2015! The past twelve months have seen me blossom as a fitness instructor, as I've taken my Zumba Fitness classes to the next level and branched out to teach exciting new formats. I've also taken up a couple new fitness hobbies of my own, including boxing and honest-to-goodness weight training (yup with weights and machines and everything), to round out my exercise patterns and keep me on my toes!
New Group Ex Formats: Though I received my licensing for Zumba Step in the fall of 2014, I didn't have the opportunity to actually teach the class until early 2015. Once that class started, though, my fitness career really started to take off! I also was able to add some boot camp classes to my schedule, and learn more about constructing and executing a strength-based class. As my skills developed, I was asked to teach more strength classes, including Core Express (45 minutes of abs and core, yummy) and several variations on boot camps. I received a FitTour certification for yoga, and added beginner yoga classes to my calendar. In October, I was finally able to take a POUND licensing class, and immediately added it to my schedule! My classes enjoy my personality, and I frequently have a full room. I've found so much joy in teaching this year, and I'm so excited to be able to continue in some of the best gyms around in 2016!
Favorite Moment as an Instructor: There have been MANY incredibly gratifying moments this past year, but my constant favorite happens to be running out of equipment due to large class size! I'm so flattered that my classes see such high attendance rates, and though I'm sad I can't provide the same experience for the latecomers who didn't get a step or a set of Ripstix, I still get warm fuzzies every time I have a full house!
Favorite Class to Teach: At this point, it's gotta be POUND. The fusion of cardio and bodyweight strength building has challenged my body, and the music makes me want to keep rocking all night! Plus, let's be honest, any class in which I get to hit things is probably A+ in my book...
Favorite Weight Training Exercise: Now that I actually lift, I'm digging the leg press and skullcrushers. It's pretty cool to have arm strength for once, but it's probably time to start adding some extra weight and really making those gains...
Favorite New Cross Training Overall: Boxing! Though it's sometimes hard to fit a session into my schedule between job hunting, job working, teaching my own classes, and physical/emotional burnout from everything I'm trying to do lately, heading over to Title Boxing and throwing an hour or two's worth of punches is a fantastic way to end the day. It's a total body workout, and every trainer gives the session his own flavor that makes every day unique. Nowhere else do I sweat as much as I do at boxing, which tells me just how much of a challenge it really is!
What I'm Most Excited for in 2016: The next teaching opportunity! I've got a great gym with a big following right now, but there's always room for improvement. I know I can build my current class attendance as I continue to grow as an instructor, and who knows what exciting classes I'll start teaching in the next twelve months - maybe hula, or hula hoop, or kickboxing, or TRX, or who knows!
Primary Goal for Next Year: To hone my weight training to a regular, solid routine that helps me build an overall package. I'd especially like to see progress in my arms, but a few people have encouraged me to focus on my legs (which have a very solid foundation thanks to 25+ years of soccer) and consider competing in bodybuilding shows. I'll probably pass on the competition, but those rock hard legs are pretty awesome...
How did you cross train in 2015? Did you have an experience that
really made an impact on your training or even on your life? What's in
store for your 2016??