We've added a new category (which are one of the ways we organize content) called Best Practices - clicking that link will display all posts and Podcasts that we feel are the Best Practices for that particular subject.
One of our objectives here at ICI/PRO is, with the guidance of our very knowledgeable ICI/PRO Team, is to sift through the mountains of information on the Internet tained by; Myths, Misinformation, Self-Promotion, Branding/Sales/Marketing Messages and just pure nonsense. The plan going forward to deliver to information that we feel are Best Practices that you can easily and effectively apply to improving your craft as a Fitness Professional.
But deciding what makes a Best Practice requires some specific guidelines or tests.
First on the list; a Best Practice must be Practical...
...contrasted with just Theoretical.
My first example of a Best Practice, defined by it's practicality, is the Three Heart Rate Training Zone system - 2T/3Z for short. Anchored by Two Thresholds (Lt1 Aerobic and Lt2 Anaerobic) and advocated by no less than; ACE The American Council on Exercise, Sally Edwards and Dr. Carl Foster, I firmly believe 2T/3Z to be the most practical Zone Based Heart Rate training system available for use in our classes. Here is a series where I lay out my original arguments, and supporting facts, for 2T/3T.
Five or Seven Heart Rate Zone systems, promoted by Endurance Coaches the likes of Joe Friel or Chris Carmichael, may "theoretically" be more accurate than a simpler Three Zone system, but be honest here. How many of your students, with a high degree of certainty, can tell you their Zone 5B Heart Rate? What's the number based on? An estimated Max HR or a field test they completed 4 months ago? If your entire teaching career has been in a little boutique studio, filled with committed athletes, then maybe you'll feel they could. If not, then I'll bet we can agree that cueing a 5 minute interval that starts at 5A and ladders up to 5C isn't very practical. You'll may also agree that a Five or Seven Heart Rate Zone systems fails the second test...
... a Best Practice must be Applicable.
Most of us are instructing a vast demographic of students, that range from; Cat 2 cyclists to four times a week Club Athletes to first-time-to-exercise newbies. I believe that what we do in our classes should be relevant and/or appropriate to the majority of our students.
I'd encourage you [wlm_firstname] to review some of the posts we've now categorized as Best Practices and let me know if you agree. Also feel free to suggest other Best Practices for consideration by our team.
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- Please come back to my class! - May 30, 2023
- My Life Time Instructor Teach Back - May 24, 2023
- I'm Fine, Thanks - May 21, 2023
A timely post topic John……just about a one year anniversary of me being introduced in a practical way to the 3 zone training system. Carl Foster’s demo video was even more educational than the ACE……that’s the beauty of live lectures, I guess. Been using this system ever since.
I’ll be getting my annual fix of sitting in heavy traffic on the way up to Danvers, mind. Boston Mania is being held there in a few weeks time. Hope we have an ICI confernce next year.
Still, thanks for 2 great ones and the rest of the work you put in.
Amen brother… I’m seeing colors here maybe, blue, yellow and red. 🙂
I would be interested int discussions and posts related to best practice regarding the content and delivery of information for people new to IC classes (or to OUR classes).
Chris….one of the problems I see with assessing and discussing “best practice” in this demographic is that it’s incredibly hard to get worthwhile feedback on what *newbies* felt was important to them given that a relative few of them come back on a consistent basis. Well, MY classes, that is.
I call myself a Beginner Instructor……seeing as, when I pitch up to a new class/workshop/fitness conference, I want to learn something *NEW*….and want to present my class members with the same experience.
I always offer up the info that I tend to teach in pretty much the same way as I train ….. i.e. whatever makes the best use of an hour’s time in the context of a group ex. class, with a nod to my very first impressions when I perched on a glorified log-splitter and listened to *Someone Else’s* music and motivational cues over 10 years ago!
I’d like a few opinions on how to include a new member to an established group whilst not ticking off the regulars.
Here’s another topic for discussion – I just posted a thread about this over at Pedal On — How to handle students who come into your class and do CRAZY stuff on the bike. I sat in on another instructors class a few days ago. The instructor lead a perfectly safe, well designed class. But there was a student in the class doing a crazy fast super exaggerated push up type move on the bike. It made me cringe to watch, and I could see the instructor giving her kind of a sideways glance like “What on Earth are you DOING?”, but she didn’t say anything. I’m not sure I would have either, but maybe we should speak out when someone does something like that in our classes?
I’m also curious what the liability might be for a club or instructor if someone gets injured doing something unsafe in class (even if it is not what the instructor is teaching and they are choosing to do it of their own accord).
I don’t think my request and the challenges you experience are exclusive of one another. I’m interested in best practice for what information someone new to y(our) classroom should receive from the instructor. How to fit it into an existing class format is just one of the challenges in delivering that info.
I have a short list of topics that I feel I must cover with each new person to ensure his/her safety and their enjoyment and effectiveness in subsequent classes. I would love to see if we could distill a list of topics and then we could move on to how to insert them.
It would be nice to discover from the newbie why they must always come slinking in one minute before class begins, kind of hide from the instructor and try not to look bewildered at how to set up the bike. Indeed when asked if they need help or if this is their first cycle class we often get,”no, I’m ok thanks”.
Many of the pedal-on posters have much to say, some of it informative… Anyway to cross pollinate?
I didn’t make my suggestion about best practice for “new” students in order to complain about the new riders. I just wondered about a checklist of material which we feel should be presented whenever there is a new person in the class.. As for bike set-up, I keep a card file of bike users. If you aren’t in the card file then I will help you set up your bike – there’s no discussion required. It’s awkward if the student is late but only once.
This may very well not be everyone’s idea of a “best practice” but every once in a while, it’s a good idea to try something brand new yourself.
I’m not a stick in the mud by any means…..I’ll try new formats at conferences and I’m now technically a “certified” BodyBump, TRX and kettlebell instructor. Those things came dead easy to me. I’ve just started an 8 week series of hoopdancing classes……just on a whim because I saw some fantastic demos on youtube. Apparently, it’s all the rage. Who knew?
Anyway I suck (can’t even do the dance steps without the hoop) I’m the worst in the class…….and getting left further behind by the week. I’ve never sucked at anything so badly since differential calculus back in high school.
I have to say that this experience has carried over to my IDC classes. I always tell new members that I can remember my first Spinning class quite acutely and I don’t want them feeling like I did and think they have to “keep up” straight out of the starting gate and buggering up their knees. I’ve started to emphasise this even more as, lo, in all of my classes since starting this hoop dancing lark there’s been a total newbie or someone back after a long lay-off. There’s no shame in being the worst……you’re helping the other person out who would’ve been the worst without you. I’m even getting a feel for a different way to cue from teacher and she’s got some cool music that I would never have thought of using.
I would’ve done the jewellery making, Chris, but I got to be pretty nifty at soldering back at dental school!!