Rise Nation: Becoming an Instructor

My road to becoming an instructor at Rise Nation Colorado began several months ago. Back in April I stumbled upon a new gym being built in our neighborhood in the same location a little canvas and cocktails place used to be. It was conveniently located next to a Lululemon (which I have to walk past with blinders on), and just a few blocks from our house. I reached out to them and it turned out they were hiring instructors for not only that location but there were also two other locations in the works.

For those of you who don't know, Rise Nation is a company and fitness concept created on the versa climber. The versa climber is a machine developed in the early eighties and was designed as a full body cardio workout, as the machine stands at a 70 degree angle parallel to the body to allow for the entire upper body and posterior chain to be activated. Envision something harder than the stair master, like a constant ladder to climb but with resistance added. OUCH. I had tried a similar workout class at another gym in Denver and it was one of the hardest types of cardio I had ever done. Sprints and climbing intervals to the beat of the music for 30 minutes straight in a club like atmosphere? Think dark, slick, black machines, rainbow strobe lighting, a state of the art surround sound system and black walls with infinity mirrors (just trying to set the scene). It's intense. Not just the workout but the entire ambiance means serious business.


My training however was the opposite of these sexy, chic vibes. We practiced in a bright lit ballroom with purple walls and two versa climbers and one small portable speaker. So creating the atmosphere I described above was quite the challenge. Also, I had never taught to music before... (insert dramatic sounds affect here). I do not consider myself musically inclined and all of the tap and ballet dance classes I took as a 5 year old did not help me one bit during this training. I know, shocking. I had to learn what 'beats per minute' meant and how to count in and out of a chorus.

So I spent the next few months, for several hours a week putting together playlists, understanding how to move to the beat of the music and create climbing combinations that fit these guidelines. I had to work with a performance coach on my voice inflection and find my microphone voice because I had never coached on a microphone before. I had to create a persona that was outside of my comfort zone, and really push myself to become extraverted and animated to match the feel of the music and motivate the class. Learning all of this was very different from my previous coaching as a group fitness instructor and private personal training.

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Fast forward to the end of June and I am now finally on the schedule. But it took almost 100 hours of practice, and dedication to this machine and concept for me to get it. I knew from the beginning that teaching on this machine would not be easy, but that is the main reason I felt compelled to do it. I try to do things that scare me often, and the thought of teaching a 30 minute class on the versa climber to the beat of music terrified me. However, over time I accomplished this goal and it was defiantly worth it.

So if you are in the Denver area you should come take a class with me! I would love to see you there. If you aren't into it, that is totally cool. You do you. BUT I think it is worth a try because it is a very humbling experience to have this machine kick your ass. Every time I teach a class (or take one for that matter) it is still challenging and I am always learning something new. Thanks for reading guys!

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