Jamiah Bennett, A Black Spinning Instructor Making a Difference at the University of Connecticut

As a high school student, Bennett developed a great interest in running track. By the time she realized she loved the sport, it was too late in her high school years to join the team. So instead, she became a spinning instructor, which you could kind of say happened by accident.

It all started in the Spring 2017 semester of school. Bennett’s friend invited her to a spinning class and she instantly fell in love! For her, it was more than the physical change — it was mental stability, especially when dealing with the stress of school (on top of everything else).

As an instructor, Bennett says she wants to be the “motivator” in the college setting. Every week, she dedicates her time to personalizing unique workouts for three BoyWise spinning classes. As the participants make their way to class, “I play music and begin introducing myself. I check bikes, gets to know people” and overall make the environment pleasant. Before the workout (or even the warm up), Bennett talks safety and familiarizes each student with parts of the bike. “Warm up takes about ten minutes, “it really just depends on the workout.” For her, heavy strength or endurance workouts equals longer warmup to prepare the muscles.

So what exactly makes Jamiah Bennett so different? The care she takes in putting her students body needs first. She’s constantly alternating workout routines for those challenge ready individuals also dedicating themselves to the class every week.

During the cool down process of the workout, Bennett give participants a minute or two to relax. It later becomes more structured with arm stretches and leg resistance. Off the bike “they stretch their quads, hamstring, & glutes.” At the end, “I always end with three big breaths to help with reducing heart rate. I also give them high five and “great job!”

When Jamiah is not instructing — she’s either studying or taking on her resident assistant job responsibilities. In the future, she hopes to get “Small Group Certification”, which allows her to teach small fitness classes with cardio, strength, & high intensity strength training.

Shout out to Kaisa Keranen, who Bennett is heavenly influenced by. She enjoys watching her workout videos, which she also implements in her daily workouts and classes.

If you’re interested in becoming a certified spinning trainer or you’re one already, here are 5 tips you should consider.

Think About Why

Why do you you want to become an instructor? As an instructor, you’ll be working with a bunch of people — so it’s not wise to just think about doing it for yourself. Really and truly, it’s about the participates. Why is fitness & wellness important for you?

Be real

People tend to look at fitness instructors as these perfect people on a Pedestal. They are human! So don’t try to put on a ficade.

When You’re An Instructor…

When you actually become one. Think of the purpose of your workouts. Don’t just put it together because you like it. Think about why you’re doing that workout, and why you’re getting others to do it.

Get To Know Your Participants

Once you know your students, it’ll allow them to appreciate & encourages you as the instructor to remember the little things they tell you.

Have Fun With It

Don’t make it feel like a burden. Have fun doing the workouts, making the playlist, etc.

What motivates you to keep teaching when you don’t feel the greatest?

The participants. They make it enjoyable. I realize that they are coming to my class for a purpose, so I have to cater to accomplishing their goals.

How do you motivate yourself  to work out your own?

I know it’ll benefit me. Working & moving out. It’s hard to think of a reason not to go. I always keep in mind the quote, “Mind over matter” and think of the afterward feeling.

When you don’t have access to the gym, what do you do?

Body Weight workouts, go for a run. You do not need a gym to exercise, not at all. Those days that I don’t want to go to the gym, I use what I have around me. My fitness influencer shows herself using suitcases, or any other materials around her. Whatever she has to do to get that workout in.

I try to do the same thing.

A one hour workout is only 4% of your day.

Currently, Bennet is also a certified AFAA Small Group Fitness instructor.

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