Thursday, November 17, 2011

Experience: Teaching Turbo Kick for the First Time

This past week I got the opportunity to teach my very first Turbo Kick class. As you know, I adore Chalene Johnson. Her videos through Beachbody have helped me lose 50 lbs and keep it off. I've done TurboJam, ChaLEAN Extreme, Turbo Fire so the eventual evolution seemed to be "Teach Turbo Kick".

How is Turbo Kick Different from TurboJam/Turbo Fire?
As I discovered when I took my very first Turbo Kick class from Megan Elkus last year, Turbo Kick is MUCH more intense that TurboJam. It's not necessarily more intense or different than Turbo Fire, but it can be. The Instructor has complete control over their class. They control the intensity, the segments of the routine you do, how many "Turbos" they put into their class - everything but the music and the choreography, for the most part. And even music and choreography can be tweaked or mixed differently.

The basic format of the classes is the same: Warm Up, Punches, Kicks, Kicks & Punches, Turbo, Recovery, Finale, Cool Down. There are other pieces you can add: Abs, Legs, Finesse, change the type of cool down. But the moves are a bit different for each "Round" of Turbo Kick. To me, it's like having access to an infinite number of Turbo Fire workouts. Sweet!

Why Teach?
  • I might be able to bring Turbo to more people who would otherwise not get a chance to experience it.
  • I get to "Pay it Forward" a bit. 
  • It's great exercise while I continue to share. 
  • It's good "performance" experience. 
  • It gives me a chance to stretch my boundaries because believe me.... I am not comfortable in this role!
  • I have been unable to find a class within a reasonable driving distance to myself. 
Turbo Kick Certification
Obviously before I went to teach Turbo Kick, I had to get certified. The certification class lasted all day long. We went over basic moves, learned a choreography. Then went over how to "teach" briefly, before taking a practical test and a multiple choice test. I was convinced I had failed. But I didn't - I passed. Obviously I have things I still need to work on, but a "PASS" means that they think you're ok to start teaching if you want to do so. A "Fail" means that you can teach, but they recommend you practice more first before doing so (they give out very few of these). The rank of "Gold" Is coveted because not only did you "Pass" but you are a Rock Star! Maybe I'll try for that some day...

Preparing for Class
The Round I was taught during my Certification was Round 44, so it was natural to start with this Round for my first class. In retrospect, I wish I had learned one in which I enjoyed the music more than this one. Not liking the majority of the songs in Round 44 has made it difficult for me to learn the choreography.

Every day since I finished Insanity I practiced Round 44 in some manner. The round comes with two disks: A music disk, and a workout disk (this contains not only a break down but a full workout - there are many people who purchase rounds just for their own personal workout use). I began by listening to the music all the time. I then watched Chalene's breakdown of the round. I took notes.

Next, I just used Round 44 as my primary workout for a couple of weeks. It took me a week to get really used to the moves. I started phasing out the video in week two of practice, verbalizing cues when I could. I started to refine my notes so they would be easier to read. I occasionally rehearsed the same section over and over again to get it right. Before I knew it, my class day had arrived...

Teaching My First Class
Notes prepared, music in hand, I headed downstairs to the gym at my work on Tuesday, November 15th at 4:15 pm. It took me a good 15 minutes to figure out how to start the audio system. No mic, but at least there was a stereo system.

My attendees were co-workers and friends. Yes, multiple. Three to be exact. They all knew how nervous I was and were very supportive during my attempt to put this class together. I explained Turbo basic moves, the structure of the class, and began teaching the Warm Up with music.

30 seconds into the warm up one of my friends declared that this was "not her thing" and left. I expected this. I've known this person for YEARS and was surprised she was interested in attending in the first place. She is a very fit individual, but she gets her exercise in different ways. My other two friends stayed. After the warm up, the torture began...

Yes, I forgot the choreography. Yes, I ended up on the "wrong side" many times. Yes, I forgot to cue. Yes I forgot WHAT to cue. It was a NIGHTMARE!

You name it, I screwed it up! But you know what? I got through it. One of my friends had her FitBit on. It registered over 14000 steps, and told her she burned over 1000 calories in the hour we were together. I don't trust that device - it was probably more like 500-600 max. But we all did sweat. We did get a great workout. And my friends want me to do it again.

The only thing I can say is that I hope next week goes better. Yes, next week. I'll teach Round 44 again, and maybe do a better job. In the mean time, I've picked up a different Round, one with music more to my liking. I may start learning that too so that I can switch Rounds with the New Year.

Have you ever thought about teaching a fitness class? Do you teach a class? I'd love to know your experiences. Please tell me below or feel free to email me.