Create the workout with the class description in mind. The class I went to on Wednesday was called “Barbell Strength” and was described as a resistance training class. Instead, not only did we not use a barbell once, the majority of the class was cardio. I didn’t come for cardio. I get more than enough cardio action throughout the week. Not to mention, I’m very sensitive about my foot and try to avoid jumping exercises, especially on back-to-back days. To my surprise, this class included a lot of jumping and I was constantly worried/trying to modify.
Ask about injuries. And discuss individually, not in front of the class. Always. Always. Always.
Don’t touch anyone unless it’s absolutely necessary to fix their form. I am NOT okay with you grabbing my sides to move me out of the way so you can demonstrate something on my step.
Don’t try to justify yourself by constantly repeating that you’ve “done this for 30 years”. If we like the workout, we like it. You telling us you think you’re smart doesn’t help. And don’t stop to tell us to find you on Facebook, either. Just…why?!?
Actually come to class with a workout in mind. Amidst my “Barbell Strength” class, the instructor threw in a dance sequence. I AM NOT KIDDING. It was obvious he didn’t have anything else for us to do, so to fill the time, he did ran around doing seductive dance moves and encouraged us all to copy him. I’m all for having fun and being silly, but I did NOT come to class for that. Wrong place, wrong time. If I wanted that I would have gone to the Zumba class happening in the next studio.
Don’t tease someone about their fitness level. In the midst of the dance sequence, I sighed, very frustrated. This guy gets in my face and says SMILE!! BLAH BLAH! So I say “I’d like more weights please!” (Translation: What the F dude, seriously? Why are we dancing? I’m THISCLOSE to walking out.) He turns around and says, “Okay everyone! Her arms aren’t toned enough so she wants more weights! Pick up your weights!) Um…excuse me? Yes, he seriously said that. I don’t know how to react. Naturally everyone grumbles because now I’m THAT GIRL. It’s like I reminded the teacher about the homework he forgot to collect.
And the most important of all:
Know your stuff. Please don’t make things up. Stay educated. People really, truly listen and look up to you as fitness professionals. Some will believe every little thing you say. Make sure you’re saying the right things. Case in point, the biggest red flag of all: the instructor said that women shouldn’t lift heavy weights because they’ll get bulky. In my opinion, THIS IS THE BIGGEST MYTH IN THE HISTORY OF STRENGTH TRAINING. I hate hearing all the incorrect info going around about health and fitness because it creates obstacles for well-being. This statement just horrified me.
What did you just say?
(Isn’t that a GREAT picture of me?!)
So there you have it. Why didn’t I just walk out, you ask? Because I’m freaking stubborn. I couldn’t have him thinking I couldn’t handle it. Duh. Maybe someday I’ll learn.
What are some of your best and worst fitness class experiences? Let’s be positive: shout out an awesome teacher or studio you love!