Wow, the fitness industry is an explosion right now....and not of the good kind. I get all jazzed up when a fellow instructor, whether they work at that particular studio or not, comes to my class. It inspires me to watch their movements, but it is also an awesome opportunity for personal growth. "What did you think of class? What was good about it & what would be a tip that you could give to allow me to improve?" Yes I always invite the regulars of my classes to do the same, but there is something special about getting the information from a peer. Look at the popularity of sites like Rate Your Burn.
I had a student come up to me after lecture today and asked me if I had heard that the owner of Barry's Bootcamp, Joey Gonzalez, had received a phone call from Soul Cycle lawyers that he, or any instructors from outside boutique gyms, are not welcome to take classes at their facility. Wow! Then this popped into my inbox from my fav fitness newsletter Well + Good NYC. Its a hot topic and getting a lot of attention. The underbelly of the fitness world exposed that some instructors may not be welcome with open arms at other facilities...yet going so far as to involve lawyers and banning a large population of people from your facilities may be a bit much in the quest to be the best facility available. I love Flywheel's reaction with stating that everyone is welcome there!
I have had many influential mentors in my time in the fitness industry: my mum, Ellen Barrett, South Boston Yoga founders David Vendetti & Todd Skoglund, and Ame Wren...some very common themes emerge:
First, you are a better instructor when you take other people's classes (even outside your own discipline). Not only is it time to chill out and de-stress, it is a time to pick up new "tricks." I'm not saying teaching a copy cat class, I'm saying that you can pick up on some subtleties of the art of teaching. "Oh I liked how they cued that" or "I have never thought to use that style of song for a climb" or "I like how they approached that pose" or "hm they gave a similar cue that I give but I noticed confusion in the room, how can I avoid that," etc.
The more movement options are out there the better the fitness community is as a whole. We talk a lot about business competition: well that studio is better than that studio, or oh my goodness they are opening up another location not far from here that's so rude or maybe we should make our instructors sign a "non-compete agreement" so they are only allowed to teach at our location. More options should inject a stronger community. South Boston Yoga is huge with plugging studios and instructor's in the area and I love that. I know that my regulars are not going to flood to another class and leave me in the dust because I recommended another instructor that they might like. I have faith in what I provide in all the classes that I teach whether it is spin, yoga, or Pilates; if anything it broadens and improves their overall experience. If I am not confident in what I'm teaching then yeah, I am going to be really nervous when another instructor takes my class and I am never going to send my hard core regular off to another instructor for fear that they will not come back...banning certain people or banning a whole group of individuals, or trying to limit the growth of the fitness community as a whole is a scary thing. What are they hiding? What are they afraid of? We will have to see how this drama unfolds.
Speaking of sharing content and promoting places...the Spring edition of Asana Boston is out! Take a look and let me know what you think :) (I have a lil something on page 20!)