Thursday, July 22, 2010

At the gym: Signs of an Awesome Class Instructor

Great feedback, everyone! Looks like everyone has their own reason for getting hot and sweaty ;)
  • To be able to eat and drink guilt-free
  • Maintain sanity / therapy
  • Stay healthy
  • Setting a good example for daughter (very admirable!)
  • Just in general feel good and avoid the crappy feeling
I lied, I do have other reasons for working out again besides improving my ability to run...
  • Get my $$$'s worth out of my gym membership (I will no longer be a sucker!)
  • Justify new cute workout clothes
  • Not feeling guilty for watching trashy TV on the cardio machines
  • My gym is located next to Kara's Cupcakes and Starbucks... muah-ha-ha-ha!

So I headed back to the gym today. I cheated and only did 2 miles again. It's OK - my heart rate was still pretty high so I felt like it was a good workout. This time I watched Independence Day. Great movie, right? I love Judd Hirsch's character. And dude, I also loved the size of their cell phones in that movie - they're like a brick! Who's walking around with that?

I got overzealous for a second and almost headed to a spinning class afterward. But when I glanced in the window and saw someone other than my favorite spinning teacher leading the class, I walked away.

I'll admit it, I'm picky when it comes to instructors! I definitely have my favorites. I need someone that can make the class enjoyable and challenging so that I don't even think about sneaking out.

I really recognized the value of a good instructor recently when I dropped into a kickboxing class at my cousin's gym. I used to take kickboxing all the time at my gym so I'm not completely clueless (but no expert either). Well I definitely felt clueless at this class! I was literally in "Huh?" mode the entire time. I just couldn't follow her.

So here is my wish list in a gym class instructor:
  1. Must play Audrey-friendly music, i.e. anything that would make me want to shake my booty. I once had a sub for spinning class that kept playing this mellow country music - it was not motivating me to push it all! So I did something I almost never do - I walked out halfway through class. I just couldn't deal with it anymore so I headed to a cardio machine where I could do my own thing.
  2. Must be able to cater to both newbie students and the regulars. My problem with my cousin's instructor was that she wasn't breaking down anything! Just calling out terms that I didn't recognize but everyone else did. Plus she kept disappearing into the equipment room for some reason so I couldn't even look at her to see what I was supposed to be doing.
  3. Must keep routines fun and interesting - mix it up! I like how my spin teacher is always breaking up the class with different drills - whether it's endurance, sprint, etc. Don't just tell me to put it on a hard level and we're gonna stay there for 10 minutes. Boring! I also like my step teacher - she does fun choreography. And I love the strength training classes where we use different "props" each time - feels like gym class from elementary school days! But I never like seeing those purple slider discs. Ugh...
  4. A little barking is OK. I like passionate teachers. I don't mind when we're in an intense part of the class and they start barking at us - it definitely pushes me more!
  5. Set clear expectations. I like when they give clear instructions on how long we'll be doing something. For example, 2 reps of 12, 30 sec in a sprint drill, or a certain combo 4 times. I hate when you're doing bicep curls and you have no idea how many we have to do. Or I hate when they tell you 2 sets of 12 and you do them and then they say, I lied, one more! Grrr... that makes me cranky.
  6. Get into it! I like when teachers give their 100% because it makes me want to follow their lead. If you look wishy washy, I probably will be, too.
That's all I can think of for now... what do you like about your gym class instructors?


Jo Lynn said...

My husband and I go to classes at the gym, Monday through Thursday nights (of course, I can't go if I'm scheduled to work, but..). We used to go Friday nights too but both of us HATE the instructor. She plays Abba and she's always off beat with the music. And she seems to "wing it" with her routine and try new stuff "just because." We always left feeling like that was a waste of an hour.

Anonymous said...

I hate when instructors are not prepared and they just seem to be winging it! I used to be a TKB addict and would only go to 3 instructors since the others didn't really have any passion for the class...grrrr

Also country for spin class?? wtf!?!?

teacherwoman said...

I am picky when it comes to spin instructors too. You see, the first time I went to Spin, that was my favorite instructor and the reason why I fell in love with it. Now, all other instructors just aren't the same! said...

ive only been to a few classes... and i had a good experience.. i cant imagine having someone instructing that had no idea what they were doing!

Sarah said...

I went to an awful spin class where the instructor played all this 70s Woodstock music - like Jimi Hendrix and stuff. Everyone else seemed to love it but I spent the whole time wondering how rude it would be if I got up and left!

Jamie said...

I rarely attend classes. Really b/c I don't like being on my own. But when I did attend those were all reasons to keep going back. I really hated when I had no idea what the heck was going on!

joyRuN said...

There are 2 out of 5 spin instructors around here that I like. I give them all just one shot. Good music & challenging variety is a MUST!

RoadBunner said...

I have never taken any gym class before so no instructor input. BUT I did JUST watch Independence Day, too! It made me feel really old because it seems like just yesterday I saw it in the movie theater on July 4 but I think I was 16 or something. :P

Lara said...

I stopped going to classes when I started working and couldn't justify going in when the kids were in homework mode in the evening. That being said, I agree with your list on Instructors. I've dropped out of classes when I just didn't click with the instructors, and stayed with certain teachers even when they changed time slots, just so I would have the person that motivated me the most. Hmmm, now I'm feeling motivated to get back into a good class. A class is a great way to push further than you'd push yourself!

Celia Maciomhair said...

I've been working with my Instructor for half a year now, and what I like about him is that he pushes me to the limit. He pushes me so hard that sometimes he almost forgets I'm a girl, lol. Anyways, I hope you found a gym class instructor who keeps you motivated to work out and stop cheating when you do your running, haha, jk.

Celia Maciomhair

Nicolas Ervin said...

If you ask me, I want my gym instructor to be tied to a goal too, like me. Like if the goal is by the end of the year, I should’ve lost this many pounds, she should also make an effort to do her part to help me achieve that goal. That way, we have both succeeded as student and instructor. Anyway, your gym being close to a coffee shop can be difficult since it will be really tempting to buy some delicious pastries. It’s ok to eat stuff like that as long as you know when to stop, hehe! =)

Nicolas Ervin

Sara Dismuke said...

I suggest you look for a different instructor if you're not getting motivated with the type of training and personality the instructor has. Well, you should be motivated and inspired to benefit from the training. You can ask around from other gyms about the instructors there, so that you can find out the ones that may be suitable for you and be enthusiastic while attending fitness classes there.

Sara Dismuke

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