Jim”™s been writing weekly posts for ICI-Pro recently, and John asked me to answer that question from my perspective.  This post is based on a letter I wrote last year when a group of instructors and students nominated Jim for IDEA Instructor of the Year.

In my 20-plus years in the industry, I”™ve never known a more dedicated or talented instructor than Jim Karanas.  Jim”™s classes are always full and recognized as the best that Club One and the California Bay Area offer.  His workshops -- national and international -- are similarly regarded.  As one of his local subs, I can tell you that Jim”™s an impossible act to follow.  Yet his students are so disciplined, focused and hard-working that subbing for him is the easiest job in fitness. That”™s due entirely to Jim”™s expertise.  Everyone leaves his classes knowing they”™ve had a superior experience.

Many instructors look for ways to spice up their classes (Show music!  Summer oldies on the first day of summer!), but Jim”™s teaching never relies on gimmicks.  Instead, he develops excellent athletic trainings and teaches them without acting perky, exaggeratedly energetic, or relentlessly humorous.  He simply talks “normally” to make his training points.  And he has valuable points to make, from the distinction between training and working out, to turning any class into a mind/body training, to using voice, music, and word cues to create mood, tone, and focus.

Jim”™s athletic experience is vast, and he brings that knowledge to his trainings.  He”™s run cross-country, marathons, and double marathons.  He”™s done triathlons, including many Ironman races.  He”™s done every type of cycling:  criteriums, cyclocross, ultra-endurance (qualifying for RAAM), and adventure cycling, along with more standard types and distances.  He”™s done ultra-endurance rowing (100K; 24-hour rows; a million meters), as well as the infamous 2K time trial countless times.  Jim has even performed with a modern dance repertory company, which gives him knowledge and awareness of movement that few endurance athletes have.  Space limits a fuller list.

Out of this vast background came the programs Jim created:  Performance Max (revolutionary endurance training with rowing and indoor cycling); Competitive Aerobics Camp (his contestants garnered a total of 78 medals, including national and world championships); Spinning® Camp; and The Johnny G Kranking® College of Knowledge to educate instructors on teaching Kranking®.  He was the first (and best) instructor in the country to incorporate Kranking in his cycling classes.  Currently Managing Director of ICG North America, Jim is involved in education and training, as well as sales support.  Best of all, he”™s supportive of other instructors.

There is no doubt that Jim Karanas embodies what Oliver Wendell Holmes meant when he said, “Every calling is great when greatly pursued.”


Joan Kent

Add Your Thoughts...