Guest Post by Head Coach, Doug Oberbeck. CrossFit COMO
This gives us a chance to organize the class and gives our clients a roadmap as to what is about to happen. Use this short time wisely! This is your chance to set the tone for the entire class and it can absolutely be the determining factor as to how smoothly your class runs.
1. Be welcoming, light-hearted and have fun!
Ask people how they are doing, how their weekend was, if there are any body parts that are sore. You can even use this time to build community – introduce a new athlete, congratulate someone on a personal achievement (recent engagement, graduation, etc, etc).
2. Explain the flow of the class.
Example: “today we´ll take 10 minutes to do a quick dynamic warm-up then move into a few minutes of technique. After that, I want to give you guys about 10 minutes to set-up your barbells and do some warm-up sets progressing up in weight. We´ll have 15 minutes to complete the strength today and I´ll stretch you guys out before we start the WOD.”
3. Explain the purpose of the workout.
…but remember who you are talking to. Most people don´t want to hear the science behind what we are doing. No need to explain energy systems and anatomy. Just give some clear recommendations on how to use that class – “go heavy on today´s squats, you are only doing 6 sets of 3 repetitions,” “today’s metcon should be light, you need to get through 200 repetitions and we expect this workout to take around 8-10 minutes, so pick a weight that you can keep moving!”
4. Give recommendations for modifications.
Provide a few recommendations and ask athletes to think about how they would like to modify during the warm-up time. This really helps later on in class as you are watching people prep for the workout, you can ask them WHY they chose that modification and give them more specific recommendations.
I always give myself 5 minutes to brief athletes at the whiteboard – but I rarely use all of this time unless I am keeping the athletes engaged. Remember that people are coming off a long day of work and just want to move and workout. A 5 minute lecture can zap the energy right out of your class. Engage athletes by asking them questions or having THEM do the demonstrations.
And of course, make sure to have fun.
Our classes are successful when our clients have fun. This will build community, build relationships and build our businesses.