Group Fitness Instructor- Organizational Tips

I am a part-time group fitness instructor.  I thought I would share some of my organizational tips here.  By no means am I claiming to be the best organized person or to have the most efficient system.  This is simply how I keep up with my work schedules, choreography notes, music, etc. 

This is my file folder. It holds almost all of my printed materials including my certifications, pay stubs, and freestyle choreography notes. I organize my freestyle choreography by CD name, class name, or workout type.

I am also recently certified to teach Bodypump! I keep my Bodypump choreography notes in these simple three-prong folders and keep them on the shelf. I only have two releases so far- 89, the release I was certified on- and 90, the latest release.  These are so precious to me.  I spend a lot of time with them.  I actually enjoy studying them with my iphone and headphones whenever I have free time. 

This is my gym bag. I don't use it for anything else.  It holds everything I need to do my job- my music, my notes, my mic belt, mic covers, a towel, my heart rate monitor, extra batteries for the microphone, water bottles, floss, tissues, tampons, you name it!   I always decide what music I will use, what choreography I will use, etc. and pack up my bag the night before, so I am not stressing right before work.

I download most of my music.  I have some music stored on my iphone, my Bodypump releases are on my phone, for instance, but most of the time, I still like to use CDs that I burn myself. Old habits die hard.  I keep all my CDs in a big folder like this, arranged by beats per minute, CD type, or class type. For instance, all the songs I use for cool downs are on their own CD in the back of this folder.

I always try and keep track of the music I use every class on a word doc. on the computer. I create a class record for all of my regular classes. I don't worry about keeping track of anything for the classes I sub. By keeping a record, I don't use any CD too often and I rotate through my music well.

Note: I find that I spend a lot less money on music this way since I can make the most of one CD and I will know for sure that I haven't used that same CD in six to eight weeks, etc. because I am keeping a record of everything on the computer. When I get home from work and empty my gym bag, I just try and sit down and make a note of what all I used before I put everything away and forget.

I keep my freestyle choreography notes and my gym schedules in a pocket folder that is dedicated for this purpose and goes in my bag.  I sub a lot and at more than one gym so I am not always sure about start and end times for classes. I have found it is good to have all the current gym schedules on hand for reference.  

I know some people like to create and print their notes via computer.  But I actually prefer to write out my own freestyle choreography notes with black sharpie on basic printer paper. I will name my choreography notes (kickboxing 1 or step 5, etc.) and put the name on the bottom, right corner of the page in pencil so it doesn't show unless I look for it. In addition to the music I use, I keep track of the choreography I use as well, that way my classes stay fresh and I don't do any class plan too often.

I keep my freestyle notes on stage in front of my feet and glance at them. I don't do this with Bodypump since I memorize those classes by heart.  But with my freestyle classes, cardio and muscle alike, I don't take the time to learn the classes by heart before I deliver them.  I come up with the choreography myself, so I am already quite familiar with it, so I just glance down as needed. 

I store everything on one shelf.  You can see I have a clip board. I use that when I am writing out my new choreography. And I also have a basket that holds my clean towels.

Last but certainly not least, I have a calendar.  I know some people like electronic calendars because they can synch with your phone and give you reminders, etc.  But that wouldn't work as well for me since my phone doesn't stay in the same place all the time and it certainly isn't always on hand. But again, that's just me.  This written calendar sits in the same place on the desk near my door and as long as I look at it carefully every morning and evening and glance at it once or twice during the day, I know when I am supposed to work.

That's my system.  I definitely works for me!

If you are reading this and you teach fitness classes, too, I would love to hear how you manage everything.


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