My knuckles and my motto.
I took a boot camp class at the gym today that seriously kicked my ass. I don’t get many chances to take classes at my gym because I’m usually busy teaching my own or training clients. I am a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and manager at a gym. I have been there for 10 years and I have seen a lot of members and employees come and go…and then come back again. I spend a good part of my day listening to people bitch/gossip about instructors, trainers, music, somebody’s outfit, the quality of towels or somebody’s personal life…which seems to be the #1 topic. The list is exhausting and endless. I get an abundance of feedback about instructors that I’m happy to hear. I want to know when my instructors are doing a great job and when they are not. The member’s opinions about the quality of a class matter a great deal to me and I assure you, I’m taking notes.
As I crawled out of boot camp today completely wrecked, I wondered if the class was as hard for everybody else as it was for me. I know for some people it was brutal, for others it was easy and then there are the people in the middle. We all did the exact same workout, but the effort that each person put into it is what made the difference. You can blame and instructor for a bad class all you want, but at the end of the day, if you don’t get a good workout , the only person you have to blame is YOU!
YES, there are some instructors that are better than others, no doubt about it. But the reason they are better is subjective. There are instructors out there with an abundant knowledge of the human body and how it works and their programming of a class is down right scientific. But maybe their personality is flat and they don’t know how deliver the class in an inspiring way. And then there are the instructors that are the complete opposite. They clearly don’t know shit about programming and could care less about why you put certain exercises together. They just go on YouTube or Pinterest and cut and paste a bunch of random exercises together or make it up in the car on the way to the gym. These instructors survive and can be very popular because they have the charisma and the ability to inspire people to move. They flirt with every person in the room and make them feel special and because of this, can pack a room every time. The best instructors are the ones with the knowledge and the charisma. THEY are the holy grail of fitness!
Before I was a trainer, I was a tattoo artist. So when I joined the gym where I’m currently employed, I was a full on FREAK! I had pink dreadlocks, a bunch of metal in my face and was covered with tattoos. I have horrible social anxiety which makes me incredibly shy and when I’m not smiling, I look like I’m a complete bitch. So imagine my surprise when one of the managers offered me a job teaching a cycle class. I laugh about it all the time. They would get notes in the “suggestion” box that said. “We love her class and her music, but we can’t see or hear her.” And it was true…monotone mumbling was and is my first language. I always wore a hat and pulled down so low that the only thing was visible was my mouth. I never EVER looked up at the class and the floor was my best friend, so they couldn’t see my mouth either.
I have worked very hard to force myself out of my shell to become a better instructor and trainer and make people feel more comfortable around me. Don’t get me wrong, some days, I just don’t have it in me. It’s a lot of work for an introvert to be something that they are not. It would be like forcing a chatty extrovert to sit in a corner and tell them that they are not a loud to speak ever again. Good luck with that!
One thing I really love about my gym is the diversity of instructors and trainers. We all have something different to bring to the table. Each member is different, therefore they all need a little something different to motivate them. One size does not fit all and all goals are not the same.
At the end of the day, YOU need to be accountable for your overall experience. EVERY workout is what you make it. If you talk through an entire class, pick up light weights when you are capable of lifting more, do partial half assed reps instead of using a full range of motion with good form and don’t work hard, you will never reach your goals. If an instructor tells you that your entire workout consists of traveling 5 miles, and how you get there is up to you, then the difficulty of that task is solely on your shoulders. Will you walk, jog, run, crawl, lunge or carry the person next to you? It’s not about being the fastest or the strongest person in the room. It’s about working to the best of your potential and walking out with pride knowing you did you best regardless of your level.
Your new year’s resolution should have nothing to do with numbers on a scale. It should be about putting your best effort forward in everything you do. If you do THAT, those numbers on the scale will head in the right direction!