Carpenters treasure their saws and chisels, plumbers look after their wrenches, fitness instructors know how to use and look after the microphones they teach with – isn’t that just as true? Well I wish it was and so do many club owners around the country I suspect. A fitness instructor needs to teach with a mic for two key reasons – firstly to communicate effectively with 20 to 80+ group exercise participants with and without music, and secondly to protect their own vocal chords so that they can have a longer career in fitness without vocal damage. So a “made for fitness users” mic system is their tool of trade and a must for every studio.
What makes for a good fitness microphone? Well it has to handle sweat well. Sweat is just not water – it is water coming through the pores of your skin carrying elements of your medications including vitamins, diet and last night’s alcohol out with it all of which which can corrode metals – lick your sweaty arm sometime – it tastes salty – salt water and salt air corrode as anyone who lives on the coast will tell you. The key points of a sweat resistant headmic are that it is sealed up wherever possible against sweat ingress and it uses a sweat resistant and protected mic capsule.
In an ideal fitness club world there will always be a second mic and transmitter set for each fitness studio so that mics get time to dry out between classes. And, when running consecutive classes, the next instructor always arrives at least 5 minutes early with a fresh mic on their head ready to start the next class as the last instructor turns off and hangs up their wet one to dry. Ok – so tell me I’m dreaming – but many clubs do have this 2 mics arrangement now and it’s a good one.
Vocal warm ups – do you prepare your voice for the work it has to do? In the privacy of your car driving to the club go through some of these exercises as used by choirs all over the world – it’s the same deal for fitness Instructors:
* stretch and yawn; hold the ending “ah” sound; relax your throat and jaws
* shake out your face and lips, high and low
* feel different parts of mouth and nasal passages vibrate with these different sounds:
MMMMMMMMMMMMMM… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ… EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE… NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN… VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV… ThThThThThThThThThThTh… Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum Mum
* open your mouth , eyes, and face as wide as you can on the last syllable of:
Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula Mumula
Normally it’s group fitness manager that chooses and purchases the mic systems, and they can be influenced by their key instructors whose opinions are respected. However, whatever the mic system supplied, it’s the instructors responsibility to be aware of how to correctly adjust, wear and use the headmic, to read through the manual or training manual and understand the manufacturer’s recommendations. Then all they have to do is to turn up with their own pouchbelt and deliver the best group fitness class experience they can and afterwards, hang up the mic to dry, remove the battery and maybe put it on charge. Sounds pretty straight forward to me and they don’t have to buy their own tools of trade!
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