True Life: I'm a Fitness Instructor


Do you remember the hit single “Bounce with Me” by Lil' Bow Wow (these days you better call him Shad Moss, or whatever)? Anyway, that song has become my permanent mood. I will be teaching a class called “studioBounce” at Memphis’ newest boutique fitness studio, ZenStudio. 

More on the class shortly, let’s first talk about how I got to this point. Last spring, I started feeling burned out at work and wanted to “do more with my life.” I began to think about the things outside of work that I enjoyed most. I was often happiest after a fitness class. Yes, endorphins and stuff. But, stepping into a room with people I would not typically be connected, to share in and succeed at a challenging experience was empowering to me. I decided I wanted to help others share in that feeling and began to study for a group training certification.

A few months later, things began to shift. Long story much shorter, I moved from Los Angeles to Memphis for a new job. I wanted to ensure through the move that my fitness routine stayed on point and began to try local studios. While asking around for recommendations, I was told to check out Zen. I went to check out the website and learned the studio was hosting instructor auditions. I immediately emailed the owner (hey, Camden) and…here we are! 


Before the tryout, I’d never actually led a fitness class. On top of that, I’m teaching a class that is still fairly new to the industry. studioBounce is a low-impact, high-intensity workout that alternates choreographed cardio and strength intervals, on and off a mini-trampoline. From tryout, to training, and now soft-opening, I’ve learned quite a bit. Here are a few early lessons:

  • Instructors are as much performers as they are teachers. Leading a fitness class is a balancing act between endurance and performance. An instructor’s job is to keep the energy up and establish a fun, safe environment that helps participants grow, reach their personal goals, or even just forget about their worries. I have 60 minutes, or roughly 4% of a person's day. During that time, you have to keep an "always on" personality, as you want them to enjoy that time. Not think of it as a burden.
  • Learning never stops. Every class brings a new lesson. I thought simply learning the basic moves and laddering up to choreography was going to be the most daunting part. From learning modifications, ensuring safety, getting over the nerves of new faces, and staying up on industry trends, there is continuous room for growth and improvement.
  • You are your own brand. When I lived in Los Angeles, there were instructors I literally followed around the city. We all know traipsing from neighborhood to neighborhood in LA is not an easy thing. Once I found an instructor I liked, I typically stuck with them. Each instructor has to bring their own unique style, energy and finesse to their class in order to keep clients coming back.

I hope you will stay with me through this journey as I grow and share more of what I'm learning. Also, if you are in the Memphis area and would like to give Zen Studio a try, follow me on Instagram (@fitfabelle) for upcoming classes, our opening schedule and fun pop-ups along the way.

#FinesseTip: Classes like Bounce are a great addition to your fitness routine. It's a unique option that will challenge you to work different muscles. The cardio can be a great alternative to a run, as the movements and pace will definitely help build stamina. As most important, you can't help but laugh when the music is blasting and you are releiving stress in a fun environment.