Confessions of a Group Fitness Instructor

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Besides teaching two great cycle classes, I was able to spend time at the pool, packing and getting plenty of errands done. Although it will be another busy week, I am ready to tackle the week head on. Before I take on the week, I wanted to share a little incident that happened last week before one of my classes.

Last week I got out of work late which resulted in me racing home to take care of Emma, changing my clothes and speeding way above the limit to get to the gym. I hit some horrible traffic that resulted in me muttering many curse words and calling my gym to tell them I would definitely be 10 minutes late. When I finally made it to the gym, I walked into class with a huge smile, apologized to the class and let them know I would make up the 10 minutes at the end of class. After class I realized not a single one of my students knew how the drive over was for me because I went in to “instructor mode” the second I walked in that room. So I thought I would share some of the other thoughts I have had as a group fitness instructor that may or may not surprise you.

Confessions of a Group Fitness Instructor

1. I HATE Burpees– No matter how many times I talk up their calorie burning potential and/or put them in workouts, I despise them. I think they are the worst exercise to do yet I know they are the best to add into bootcamp. So sadly for my students they are here to stay.

2. I worry someone will actually take me up on my offer to add their favorite song to a playlist– I worry more about someone asking for a song that I cannot make work in a class or a song that I hate. I have only had 2 students ever ask for a song request and luckily they just asked for a specific artist. I am very open when it comes to music but I am sorry, you just cannot spin to “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.

3. I love getting to boss people around– My husband and mother would not be shocked by this confession at all. Bossy should be my middle name and getting paid to boss people around with fitness? Even better.

4. I have favorites– Although I make sure to never play on my feelings, I definitely have favorite classes and favorite people in classes. Usually it is with students who  regularly attend classes. If I see a student attend a class at least two times I will start mentally remembering the weight they are lifting/speed they are performing at/what exercises they struggle with so I can help them improve as much as possible.

5. Although I have favorites, I have only ever had one person in my class I did not like– This person was rude, made obnoxious comments to me and yelled at other students during class. I tried for weeks to try to ignore the student’s behavior. Then I reminded myself for teaching 5 classes a week, not liking one student can slide.

6. I love when people holler, yell, sing along to the music, cheer or react to class– Especially when I ask a question to the class. As an instructor it pains me when I ask questions to my students and hear crickets. It makes me thinks that my students are either dead or hate the class. I would rather a grunt to know you are out there and working hard then get no reaction. I tell my classes they can roll their eyes at me or talk back.. it is better than no reaction!

7. I pride myself on being a tough instructor- I would rather have students say the class was too hard then too easy. I always give modifications to make an exercise easier and harder. My philosophy is “It is a called a workout which means there is work involved.” If I see students are not breaking a sweat within the first 15 minutes of class, I will add extra resistance to every exercise planned for class. This does go the opposite way in that I will tone down the resistance if I see students really struggling in the start of class.

8. When I receive positive feedback for a class, new move or playlist, my day is made– When a student or my boss give me praise, I smile and say thank you. Inside I am beaming and run home to tell my husband. Yep. Every single time. (poor guy) If you liked a class or an instructor, make sure you tell them on your way out. I am sure you will make their day.

9. I have only attended a handful of group fitness classes since I started teaching- I got certified to be a group fitness instructor because I loved the classes and instructors I took myself. Since I have started teaching, I find my own workouts being solo sessions. Maybe it is because I am in the group fitness room 5 days a week or maybe it is because my gym time is at the same time as my husband’s. Whatever the reason, it is definitely something I want to improve on.

10. Sometimes I am just not in the mood– Just like everyone, I have days where I am not in the mood, had a bad day, work sucked or am just plain tired. I do know that if I am feeling this way before a class I need to get my endorphins going. My go to method is to run a few laps around the gym with one of Power Songs. This allows works to get my heart rate up and ready to do the same for my students.

Of course, everything I mention here are just my thoughts and opinions. I love what I do and am very lucky I get to share my love of fitness with some amazing students. As an instructor all I want is for my students to excel as I truly care about their success in fitness. This week remember to thank an instructor whose class you have enjoyed or helped you in some way. It will be very appreciated by the group fitness instructor. At least give them a holler back in class 😉

Tell me in the comments: Do you usually tell an instructor if you liked or did not like their class?

6 thoughts on “Confessions of a Group Fitness Instructor

  1. Hi Samantha! I agree with so many of these, as an instructor myself. I would definitely say you need to get to other instructors’ classes more often! And so glad you’re a pro who can “switch on” in an instant. I do that too. And YES I have favorites. Shhhh, don’t tell!

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