Getting certified as a WERQ instructor was the most recent addition to my resume. And it was certainly a new addition for my body--cycling and yoga instruction are not necessarily comparable in terms of body use and stamina. WERQ is a super fun, cardio dance workout and I snatched up the opportunity to get certified when I heard that our gym was hosting a certification class. Luckily, with a dance background and the added bonus of experience as a fitness instructor, memorizing dance routines and confidence in front of others come easy to me. However, the stamina required to teach a WERQ class is not at all like my class background. Several months ago, I could have taught an intense cycling class for hours, but tell me to teach a 1 hour WERQ class? Up on your feet dancing, changing levels, using your arms, and never stopping for an official recovery? On the floor for the count. It goes without saying that my first WERQ class as a teacher ended with my face as red as a tomato and my clothes sopped in sweat. I got through it and it was fun! But I. WAS. BEAT.
Now that I have several WERQ classes under my teacher belt and the 15 memorized routines are "in my body", I have some clear insight of what I could have done to better prepare myself to teach WERQ. If you are thinking about getting certified to teach WERQ, here is some advice of what you can do to prepare.
1. Attend WERQ classes well in advance. Not only do you get to have your fun workout for the day, but your body starts to get used to the type of cardio fitness that WERQ promotes. Also, see if you can up your energy level to that of the instructor's, safely of course. I would bet that 99% of fitness instructors will tell you that they work harder and more intensely when they teach in comparison to when they just participate. Get your body ready.
Take note of cueing styles and begin memorizing routines if you can. Once you start teaching, you'll need about 15 routines under your belt for an hour class. Start that list now!
And if WERQ is not yet in your area, attend whatever cardio, choreographed based, mic free classes that you can.
One last thing on this note... as much as I LOVE YouTube and all of the fitness videos available, for the purposes of prepping yourself for teaching, a live class will benefit you more. You and the instructor will respond/contribute more in a live class setting than that of a video.
2. Listen to music. Ok, I know this is a isn't-that-obvious tip, but trust me, it's worth noting. WERQ uses only top chart songs, so if you aren't up to date with that, then you might want to find some Spotify lists or something that will keep you posted on new music. I am only 31 and I feel so much older realizing that I don't know so many of the songs coming out right now. It's a "What are these kids listening to these days?", type of situation. Knowing the songs will make memorizing routines so much easier. Luckily, once certified, WERQ gives you access to all of their routines dating back several years ago, so you will most definitely find songs you know, but you'll want to stay fresh. Start listening now!
3. Get CPR/AED certified. And this does not just pertain to WERQ. Any place that you get hired to teach fitness will require you to be CPR/AED saver certified. Many places of employment will offer assistance in getting the certification, be it financially and/or resident classes, but I say get it out of the way so that's one less thing preventing you from starting to teach once you get hired. It only takes a few hours. Here are some resources to check for local classes:
4. Put your feelers out there for potential employers. Check out what gyms currently offer WERQ. Do they need more instructors? Do they need subs? If nowhere offers WERQ, make a list of gyms that might be a good match for WERQ. Ask them if they have gaps in their schedule where a WERQ class might fit. Find out who does the hiring and start making connections.
5. Get connected with the community now. Follow the WERQ social media accounts and hashtags. They often post certification courses (and discounts!), WERQ events, and more. Everyone in the WERQforce community is so positive and supportive, start feeling the love now!! We want more people to WERQout!
If you have any questions for me about being a WERQ instructor, comment below! I wish you all success in the certification journey!