It dawned on me that after twenty years in the fitness industry I don’t think there has ever been a workshop or article that has addressed the topic of how to successfully attend a fitness workshop and I knew I just had to write one. But first before I share my tips on how to get the most out of your workshop experience let me recount the typical workshop experience for most of us.
We sign up for a workshop where the speaker goes through a series of exercises. They demonstrate exercises and then participants get all excited, get up and try it. They often don’t pay close attention to form or technique and if they are in partners might not correct, coach or cue their partners to perform the exercise properly. It’s all fun and games but what might be forgotten is that there is more we can do to maximize our learning experience.
I never thought about how we attend workshops and how we integrate and use the information we learn while we are learning it. Master classes are typically just that. Classes that are taught by a master trainer who shows the latest and greatest of what they have to offer. Most of the time workshops are so jammed packed with exercises that there is little to any time left to break down exercises and teach trainers how to actually teach them to their clients.
So how do you get the most out of your workshop experience? Here are a few suggestions you can use the next time you attend a workshop.
1) Ask questions. Most people don’t like to ask questions in a group mostly due to fear that they will show what they don’t know. Workshops are the perfect place to ask questions and participate. New concepts are constantly being introduced in the fitness industry and many are based in science so when you don’t understand something, put your hand up and ask a question. I guarantee someone else has the same question and is too afraid to stand out and ask.
2) Do less and watch more. It’s exciting to learn new exercises and as fitness professionals we love to move our bodies but sitting down and taking notes has tremendous value. You can do a few exercises then take some notes so you remember what you saw. You can also watch other participants and analyze their form and technique and think about what you would say and do to correct it. Even better walk over and lend a hand by pointing out alignment issues and step into your trainers shoes.
3) Review your notes and teach someone else right away. If you really want to remember what you’ve learned then after the workshop review your handout and notes. Then within twenty four hours of the workshop teach what you’ve learned to as many people as you can. Teaching is the highest form of learning because you have to repeat back what you’ve learned. If you can’t articulate what you’ve learned then you’ve only learned it at a superficial level and will have to go back and review.
I hope these tips help you enjoy your workshops and get the most out of them.