We love you guys a lot.... a lot a lot a lot.... you enable us to have the BEST job in the WORLD! We stand up there in front of you all, watching you smash your fitness goals and we feel truly lucky. I think most people agree that the joys of group exercise come from the quantity of lovely humans in the same space at the same time.... it brings a buzz that cannot be rivalled, both for the instructor and the participants. That said just occasionally it can go pretty wrong! Here are the top 9 things that make a fitness instructor internally weep into their protein shakes!
1. WHEN YOUR LEGGINGS ARE A LITTLE MORE REVEALING THAN YOU INTENDED
It's happened to the best of us..... you're arse up rocking our your best pike jump and the lad behind you gets a lot more than he bargained for! Save the poor chap his blushes and make sure you do the squat test before you wear them..... every fit pro round the country bends over to the mirror in the H&M changing room. It's a rite of passage and it'll make sure you keep your beautiful underwear as covered as you intended it to be.... if you even wore underwear.... just saying!!!
2. GETTING TERRITORIAL OVER 'YOUR' SPACE LIKE A WOLF WITH PENT UP RAGE
We get it - you like to stand in the same place every week - you get used to looking out of a certain side of your eyeballs and it feels weird to move! However, as with most things it's a first come first served type of scenario ...... and if someone stands there first then it's kinda tough frigging doobries. Instructors want everyone to feel comfortable and we love it when people shuffle forward from the back row, so for us it's always helpful if you can rock a little flexibility when it comes to where you stand. Plus it keeps us on our toes too.... we get used to seeing the same faces in the same places and sometimes it's good for us to see the room laid out a little differently too!
3. NOT BEING HONEST IF YOU DIDN'T LIKE A CLASS
We can take it - we like feedback! It is in our nature to want to give as many people the workout they want..... obviously if you come and tell us we are total shite we may cry all the way home, but letting us know what you did and didn't like about a new concept or a new style of class is good for us - then we can make adjustments wherever we can. Or alternatively we can add in different classes to appeal to different people! We especially need to know if it was too hard or too easy - when we ask you how hard you are working during the class, that's your opportunity to let us know we need to up the intensity or take it back for a bit. Honesty is the best policy!
4. WHEN YOU COME TO CLASS IN HEELS AND A SKIRT (AND IT WASN'T A MISTAKE!)
Yeah this has happened. Enough said.
5. TELLING US AT THE END OF THE CLASS YOU HAVE AN INJURY/ARE PREGNANT
Well we've just had you waving a kettlebell around in the air when you are recovering from a dislocated shoulder.... we would definitely like to have had that information first and foremost. The same goes for aches and pains during class - yes we want you to feel it working, no we don't want you to be about to shed physical tears as you feel like you are being torn limb from limb.... let us know! We can find you alternative moves. And NO it's not embarrassing.... everyone needs alternatives at some point. The only thing we care about is the fact that you are there and training! We are trained to be able to cater for MOST people - very occasionally you may find that an instructor is referring you to a different class/trainer and that is OK. It's because we know they are more equipped to handle certain injuries/conditions or because we would prefer that someone more experienced in that field gives you the training advice that you need.
6. CHOOSING THE WRONG CLASS FOR YOU JUST BECAUSE YOUR MATE IS DOING IT
Like I said before we like people to feel comfortable. And we want you to come back! Doing Zumba dragged along by your friend who is a secret dance floor diva whilst you cannot think of anything worse that dancing infront of other people doesn't necessarily bode that well for your enjoyment of the class. Likewise if your friend likes someone screaming in his/her face military bootcamp stylee but you've never done an exercise class in your life and you are feeling a little nervous, probably isn't going to be a match made in heaven! Talk to us - that's what we are there for. We will help to advise you and find something that matches your aims, goals and personal preferences. That being said, we truly do not care if you are 'good' at dancing/a secret ninja - we pride ourselves on catering for all fitness levels and we want EVERYONE to have access to good quality and effective classes. However, we do want you to have fun and enjoy your sessions - if you don't, then come and talk to us and maybe we can recommend something you will LOVE instead of just tolerate!
7. TELLING US YOU WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT AND TONE UP BUT YOU'RE NOT PREPARED TO CHANGE YOUR DIET, ALCOHOL INTAKE OR EXERCISE REGIME
OK. Ummmmmmm...... we can't change the maths.... although we wish we could because we love having naughty stuff now and again too. It's simple, to gain muscle you need to be in a calorie surplus, and to lose weight you need to be in a calorie deficit. We are sorry that that doesn't sound like a whole lot of fun, but unfortunately we didn't make the rules dammit! If you don't want to do any of these things, then that's fine, we are happy if you are happy. However if you really want to see some results, then you are going to have to make some lifestyle changes. But that's what we are here for, so make the mental commitment and we will help to get you to where you want to be!
8. WRITING OFF A WHOLE FITNESS PROGRAM BECAUSE YOU WENT TO ONE 'BAD' CLASS
A class is delivered by the instructor. If you don't like them you are probably not going to like the class. This doesn't mean the class concept or the program is shit. It's just that you didn't like that one person. And that doesn't mean they are shit either. It's just a case of personal preferences. Classes & instructors are like bras. Once you find one that fits and delivers the right amount of support for you then you buy it in 8 different colours. You don't stop wearing a bra just because the underwire of the first one you ever bought came out in the wash. You try a different brand and a different shop until you find the perfect match. And it's the same with fitness, don't let one experience dissuade you from starting a journey you were so excited to be on.
9. BYPASSING THE FITNESS MAGIC
We need you guys! We can't keep the energy up all on our own..... we try.... VERY HARD.... but to leap around on your own like you are having the best time of your life when everyone in the room is looking at you like they would rather stick pins through their nail beds is a VERY tough task! We know you are probably tired/stressed/over it and that is COOL it happens to us all, but if it happens to everyone all on the same day then pretty please someone take pity on us and join in with the whooping and hollering. We know it's part of our job, but we feel like a full on numpty having our own little solo rave!
We also love it when you guys look after our newbies! Instructors LOVE our core gang and you guys are what keep the banter up and the energy high.... but we LOVE you more when you stroke a newbie. They have plucked up the courage to try something different, whether it's their first ever class or trying a new instructor/facility, it's still a little nerve wracking. So when you are nice to them it rocks our world.... even a friendly smile or just a kind word can go a long way when attending a class solo for the first ever time. That can be enough for the newbie to return.... and that could all be down to you. We do whatever we can to talk to people, but sometimes a conversation with the instructor when other people are around is the worst situation a nervous newbie can be in. We are often teaching back to back classes so we can't take a lot of time out, so it's you guys that build our community vibe and make people feel welcome, and for that we are ALWAYS grateful!
So in summary, there isn't a single fitness instructor in the land that doesn't LOVE this job. We don't get benefits of any kind, we are unlikely to ever be millionaires and we haven't had a pay rise in over 20 years (that's not even a joke!) so we are DEFINITELY not in it for the money. We do it because it makes us happy in our hearts - and that is because of you wonderful humans making us smile every day..... even if you do occasionally turn up in an entirely see-through outfit ha ha!
Big up to the group exercise massive! Brap brap!!!
For more info on Anna's classes in Feltham & Teddington go to www.annamartinfitness.co.uk
For more info on Anna's home workout program '14 Day Fix' go to www.always-moving-forward.com
Anna is a qualified Personal Trainer, experienced Group Exercise instructor and a Master-Trainer for an international fitness brand. Owner of Vital Signz Dance. Creator of 14 Day Fix home workout program.