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What Techniques Can Be Used to Motivate People in an Exercise Class?

author image Craig Smith
Craig Smith covers weight loss and exercise programming for various online publications. He has been a personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise since 2001. Smith also holds a diploma in exercise physiology and kinesiology from the National Personal Training Institute.
What Techniques Can Be Used to Motivate People in an Exercise Class?
Exercise instructors are responsible for maintaining motivation.

If you think that all exercise-class participants remain motivated throughout their workouts, you may be in for a surprise. The mark of a good exercise instructor involves providing constant positive feedback, preparing energy-filled classes and planning ahead for future classes. Learning these motivational tactics can assist you in creating motivated participants that stick to your program for the long term.

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Creating enthusiasm and supportive energy starts with the instructor. Remaining upbeat during an exercise class poses many challenges. Instructors compete with loud music while staying on pace with the beat. If your participants fail to hear your exercise cues, they may become frustrated and not return. Class members watch an instructor's every move and feed off their energy. Exercise class leaders must remain energetic throughout the entire class.

Keep It Fresh

Planning ahead for your exercise classes is another technique for keeping motivation levels high. Instructors are compensated for creating high-energy classes. Constantly teaching the same routine creates boredom for participants and drains the motivating energy from your class. Take the time to plan new moves for an entire month by creating a schedule. Keeping your class members guessing keeps them excited to attend your class and motivates them to work harder.


The selection of music you use during your exercise class plays a vital role in member motivation. According to the American Council on Exercise, people who listen to music during exercise are more aroused and get distracted from discomforts they may feel. Select high-energy songs that correspond to the exercises you use.

Positive Feedback

Periodically provide positive feedback for your class members after the workout. Mentioning the progress or visible weight loss motivates a person more than you may realize. Mention the hard work of one or two class members each week. Having one-on-one conversations with participants enables you to understand their personal challenges, which can help you provide suggestions for their progress.

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