The Top Ten Signs That You Have Run Into a Bad Group Fitness Instructor

fitness instructor

Does your Fitness Instructor have your best interest in mind, or is she a "Susie Selfish" with only one reason to teach an exercise class: to give HERSELF a good workout?

If you have decided to start the new year by finally making good on your resolution to start going to a group exercise class- congratulations! You will find that a great group fitness class will motivate you to work harder than you ever would on your own and that the ever-changing nature of the classes will keep exercise fresh and interesting all year long.

Just remember, everyone was “the new kid” at one time or another. Just put one foot in front of the other, keep moving and do it. You will be one of the “old pros” in no time.

While most group exercise instructors are wonderful, knowledgeable motivators, every once in awhile you run into an instructor who can actually turn you off from the group exercise experience. Just for fun, I have created the list below of the top ten fitness instructor types that you will want to avoid like the plague.

If you go to a class and your fitness instructor matches any of the following descriptions, don’t give up. Try another class with another teacher until you find a good fit. The benefits to your health make it worth the effort!

1. Susie Selfish: Your group fitness instructor runs into class, barely throws a glance to her students then proceeds to turns the music on at a such a quick tempo that you practically trip over your own feet trying to keep up with her.  Susie Selfish is there for one reason and one reason only: to give herself a good workout, oblivious of the students and the varying fitness levels present in her class.

 2. Critical Chris: He cannot tolerate mistakes or bad form, so Critical Chris will make sure that he singles you out by name so that he can point out the flaws in your technique to the whole class.

3. Jealous Jamie: After a few routines Jealous Jamie has figured out that there is a student in class who is potentially more fit than she is. So J.J. pulls all the most complicated routines from her arsenal to try to trip up the student that they now consider to be an adversary.

4. Shirley Shshsh: Shirley has a quiet, soft personality and that’s the way she plays her music during a group fitness class, as well. Trying to do aerobics to the sound of near silence is about as motivating as watching paint dry.

5.  Chatty Cathy:  She spends so much time talking about her ever burgeoning social agenda that Chatty Cathy doesn’t even bother to cue the routines leaving her students lost and confused.

6. Absent Allen:  He puts such a low priority on teaching his scheduled class that he constantly has to call in other instructor to sub for him. When you show up to Allen’s class, it’s like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.

7. Winded Wendy: She’s out of shape so she takes long breaks in between cardio routines to make music changes and let the class “catch their breath”.

8. Arnie Anonymous: Arnie never bothers to learn any of his students names and addresses them with cute made-up names like, “Hey you in the hat”, or “Our friend in the corner in the orange shirt”.

9. Lazy Leticia:  She has a busy life outside the gym so Lazy Leticia just keeps doing the same routines week after week until her classes become so boring that they are making an hour jog on the treadmill start to look interesting.

10. Dark Darla: She comes into class with a scowl on her face, teaches the class while barking out the cues and glares at any student who tries to come too close into her circle of trust. Dark Darla needs to go back to making her day job a full-time endeavor.

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About the Author: Michelle Pearl

Michelle Pearl "Before" and Michelle Pearl Today

Michelle Pearl, is an actual patient of CosMed Clinic who had a thigh lift and reconstructive surgery with Dr. Quiroz  after her weight loss. She is also a CPT, GFI, LWMC  fitness expert, entrepreneur, former award-winning newspaper columnist and the author of Wake Up, You Are Probably Never Going to Look Like That; How to be Happier, Healthier and Imperfectly Fit. For more information visit: www.ImperfectFitness.com or visit her blog at www.FedUpFemale.com

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  1. #1 by Cat on May 27, 2012 - 12:50 am

    As a group ex instructor, I have met some people like these mentioned. However, I kind of disagree with “Critical Chris” being bad… Although it can be counterproductive to be harsh with your participants, it is important to correct technique. Bad technique, especially in strength training classes, can lead to serious injury eventually. Usually general technique cues to the whole class are better, but sometimes if one person is moving unsafely and doesn’t respond to general cues, it is necessary to correct him or her individually. As an instructor, I do this occasionally because I care about the safety of my participants.

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