Fitness Instructor Cliches

Hi guys! How’s your day going? So happy you liked the pizza/flatbread recipe! Let me know if you give it a try.

The past few days have been interesting. I’ve had to avoid the temptation to use my left hand in daily life (or face the stinging consequence). That means avoiding exercises that involve gripping anything (just about all chest, back and arm workouts) which is pretty lame since exercising is a big stress reliever for me. Oh well, I’m thankful that it wasn’t a more serious injury (although, the numb portions of my thumb are fairly disconcerting). Also, the pilot’s been helping out a little more with things like helping me get my shirt over my head or seperate the kombucha skoby baby from the mother. We will rebuild.  

I was really craving a salad today, but instead of taking an hour to try and dice everything, it all went in the blender for a lovely blended salad and homage to my raw-food-loving days. 

Miso  1 of 1

Blended salad  1 of 1

Good thing Liv had already had pizza and fruit for lunch because she was NOT a fan. Even though I told her it was salty like a soup, I don’t think she was expecting the taste. :/

Here’s what went in there:

1 zucchini

1/4 avocado

2 celery ribs

a red bell pepper

1 cup (maybe a little more) of water

lots of spinach

a heaping tablespoon of miso

-Just blend on high until smooth!

Blended salad  1 of 1 2

I taught a barre class this morning, which was a lot of fun. It got me thinking about fitness instructor cliches, because over time, I’ve become very aware of the things I say while teaching various classes. When I taught at the resort, it didn’t matter if I said the same things for the most part, because guests were always rotating and classes were almost entirely fresh faces. Now that I have *regulars* again, I really want to make sure they get something new/different out of every class. It’s been easier because even when the people are the same, the meat of the class, energy and vibe are always different. But, I really want to rely on form cues instead of cheesy instructor cliches to give an awesome class.

Are there any things you notice your instructors saying time after time?

Anything you particularly love or loathe?

I personally can’t stand it when instructors tell me to smile during a class. I can’t smile, I’M FOCUSING. And, if I were smiling the whole time it would look super creepy 😉

I LOVE when instructors give awesome form cues, remind me of correct positioning/posture, and make me want to work even harder. 

Excited to hear your thoughts!



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  1. Brittany on August 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    I might be alone in this, but I can’t stand the way a lot of teachers turn their voices into what I’ve dubbed as “yoga voices” during the cool-down/stretch portion of class. I ALWAYS think, “You were just so hyper, full of energy, etc., just because you’ve slowed down the music and maybe dimmed the lights doesn’t mean class is now a zen yoga class!” Like I said, I could definitely be alone in this pet peeve…

    • Andrea on August 5, 2014 at 8:12 pm

      I love the voice change :p

      • Fitnessista on August 5, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        i do the voice change, so it was interesting for me to learn that not everyone loves it. i switch from hyped up to airy fairy pretty fast 😉

    • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers on August 6, 2014 at 8:17 am

      I recently started going to Pure Barre classes and they ALL do the breathy voice change for the cool down!!! Ha! I actually find it relaxing, but the first time it totally caught me off-guard since it was like a complete 180!

      • Brittany on August 6, 2014 at 12:21 pm

        Julie, Pure Barre is the reason I thought of the comment! I don’t know why the breathiness of the voice bothers me so much during that portion of class! 🙂

  2. Jessie on August 5, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    Can never have too many reminders to pull in the core/belly button. I always seems to slip 🙂

    • Jennifer on August 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

      Same here!

    • Julie on August 6, 2014 at 11:31 am

      Ha ha it seems my Body Flow instructor reminds us 50 times during class & 49 of those times I catch my tummy all poofed out! 😛 (So, yes, I appreciate those reminders, too.)

  3. Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries on August 5, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Great discussion sparking post! As a BodyPump instructor, I’m interested to hear what others have to say! I’ve actually thought about this topic a lot lately. I’m totally guilty of saying, “Let’s see some smiles! Are you having fun yet?!” A smile never hurt anyone. 😉 But yeah, I don’t expect a bunch of cheesy smiles the for the entirety of the class. Haha. I have lots of regulars that come to my classes, so I have to be aware of not saying the same thing over and over and over again. I think it’s natural for me to want to fill in the quiet moments with “wooo!!!” or “you got this!”, so I’ve been trying to be more conscious of what I say and think of some new ideas. That is one thing I love about teaching BodyPump though — they really drill us instructors to have proper form and technique cues which are SO important.

    • Paige on August 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm

      I actually really love when my BP instructors bust out singing. Doesn’t have to be good, but it Always makes me smile. Nothing like working your butt off but still not being able to control the need to sing “DONT YOU WORRY CHILD. SEE HEAVEN’S GOT A PLAN FOR YOUUUUU”.

  4. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on August 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    Hi! I’ve been teaching group fitness classes for years (Les Mills), and I’m also a trainer. I definitely like a good class intro by the instructor, so I know what to expect from the class. In yoga, I like to be touched and corrected. And in other classes, I like to see good form modeled by the instructor, plenty of coaching and not too much talking. A while back I did a little write-up of the things I think group fitness instructors should do for a good class experience. Do you agree??

    • Jen on August 5, 2014 at 8:06 pm

      I agree! 🙂

  5. Jen on August 5, 2014 at 8:03 pm

    I really love it when instructors show modifications and give form cues. In general it doesn’t bother me if they say the same things over and over, as long as the tone is positive and upbeat. I like encouragement along the way (e.g., you got this good job, nice).

    One thing I hate, and I mean HATE is when instructors say “you’re not cheating anyone but yourself!” As someone who often has to modify moves, etc. it really makes me self conscious to hear that, like I’m not working hard enough or doing a good enough job.

    • Emily S. on August 5, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      I couldn’t agree more! I once had a cardio circuit instructor who wore her heart rate monitor and used to say things like “if you were working half as hard as me you’d have burned XX number of calories, so work harder!” HUGE turn off.

      On the flip side, positive encouragements and form corrections really get me through. I had another instructor who modified my shoulder alignment during a plank, whoa nelly, I couldn’t even see for myself how I had been cheating! She always ends the last 10 seconds of planks with “you can do anything for 10 seconds,” while not entirely true, I like looking forward to that same cue each class.

      • Fitnessista on August 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm

        love that saying, too! it’s so true; 10 seconds will be over before ya know it 🙂

  6. Heidi on August 5, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    One of my all-time fave instructor always told us we looked beautiful and that she was so proud of us for getting out there. I loved hearing that because I was self-conscious about trying out new moves. 😀

    • Fitnessista on August 5, 2014 at 8:45 pm

      love that so much!

  7. Michelle on August 5, 2014 at 8:30 pm

    I went to a body pump class the other day and the instructor barely gave any form cues, and really explained nothing at all. The class had a lot of regulars, but I felt really lost and was worried I was doing something wrong the entire time.

    I also cannot stand it when instructors say something to the effect of, oh we’re burning off that pie you ate earlier! It feels really unhealthy to me to put exercise in that mindset. The point is to feel strong and empowered while you there, not that you have to be there because you ate “badly” before coming to the class.

    • Fitnessista on August 5, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      form cues make a huge difference, and are so important for bodypump!
      that’s also a huge turnoff for me. post-thanksgiving classes made me roll my eyes so hard. you ate a lot of really unhealthy and delicious food; nbd, it was one day. i despise the idea of using exercise to “punish” for not-so-stellar eating

  8. mary on August 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    The only classes I did for long were Bikram yoga. I liked that there was a script, so no real surprises or cliches or annoying peppiness.

  9. Carrie on August 5, 2014 at 8:46 pm

    Love this topic, since just yesterday I went to a different barre class and found myself annoyed because the male instructor kept referring to us as “dancers.” I think this is because he was avoiding saying “ladies” which a female instructor can say without it sounding weird.

    I appreciate form corrections (verbal and hands on), especially as the class progresses and I get more tired and sloppy with form.

    I don’t mind the voice change…it would seem weird for an instructor to have a calm relaxing voice when we are in the middle of a cardio piece or a upbeat, chipper voice when we are supposed to be winding down. As long as the tone matches the instruction, it’s fine with me.

    Last week we had a sub for my usual barre class and the instructor sang a few bars along with the music a handful of times. I loved it. It made me giggle and was an excellent distraction. 🙂

    • Jen on August 5, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      I have a body pump instructor who sings along here and there…I agree, it’s a great distraction! Also good filler without cliche comments, yeah? 🙂

  10. Kara on August 5, 2014 at 8:54 pm

    I had an instructor for a strength class who would constantly shout things like “woo-hoo” throughout the class. And since she was miked, it was the highest pitched, most painful sound you could imagine. It would cause me to inadvertantly cringe every time she did it. If it were once it awhile, nbd but it was so often that I literally quit going! Ha!

    • Kara on August 5, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      *inadvertently* sp

  11. Heidi on August 5, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Oh, good topic! I hate when instructors tell a bunch of personal stories rather than focusing on leading the class. Fine if we were grabbing coffee but that is my only time of day to focus on exercise and work hard! I also hate when instructors expect vocal response. Like spin teachers who say “how are we doing?!” And then if people don’t respond, “I can’t hear you!” If I am getting a good workout I shouldn’t be able to smile and chit chat back to them.
    I am working, don’t make me talk to you!

    • Bethany on August 6, 2014 at 7:20 am

      These are my exact pet peeves!

    • Jamie on August 6, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Ha! was just talking about this one yesterday… I have a spin teacher who ALWAYS asks questions during class (Are we breathing?! Are you ready?! How are we doing!?) And then expects responses! And if people don’t answer she gets PISSED and stares you down! It’s superrrrrr uncomfortable and annoying!

  12. Hayley@healthyregardshayley on August 5, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    I like instructional form cues and for the instructor to have more energy then anyone else in the room without making the class about them (:

  13. Tory @ tory of my life on August 5, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I a huge fan of form cues, especially in yoga since proper alignment makes a huge difference in the poses. I hate when instructors tell you to countdown with them; I want to be like “Helloooo I’m too winded from pushing myself to yell!” I don’t mind the smile thing during certain yoga poses, because it helps remind me to relax my face… don’t like it during more bootcamp style classes though.

  14. Kady on August 5, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I love frequent form cues, it’s so easy to fall out of good form when I’m tired, and I sometimes notice people in classes doing some sketchy movements to compensate for their fatigue or too heavy of a weight. I also like any positive encouragement and updates on how much time is left doing the particular exercise. As for you, you could try some prone I’s, T’s, and Y’s for your back, they can be killer (even without resistance). You could also try isometric shoulder internal and external rotation at a doorway/wall. Hope you heal up quickly!

  15. Kathy on August 5, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    I don’t like when instructors use baby talk for body parts. I’ve heard abbie dabbles for abs and gushy for glutes. You don’t have to get all technical but I think part of teaching is using the correct terms.

    • Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers on August 6, 2014 at 8:22 am

      Oh my gosh, this made me laugh out loud!!! Abbie dabbles?!?!?! Are you serious? That is ridiculous and way too hilarious.

  16. Kathy on August 5, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    *tushy…not gushy

  17. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on August 5, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    One of my spin instructors always says “push n pull” She must say it at least 20 or more times. It’s spin of course we should push n pull. My other pet peeve is when instructors jump around with their music instead of having it organized and ready to at trough from the beginning.

  18. Jen on August 5, 2014 at 10:48 pm

    This may be because I work at a children’s hospital, but I always love a good reminder that it is a gift to have a healthy body and an even bigger gift to be able to use it! Sometimes I forgot that when my muscles are burning during a class 🙂
    I also really love it when instructors explain what muscle should be hurting/feeling the burn so that I can tell if I am doing the move correctly or not. It also helps me know where to focus my energy. Another thing I particularly appreciate is when the instructor reminds the class to think of our own personal goals we had when coming to class and focus on that. Always good reminders. Plus I am really competitive so any time in class we do something that we can have a goal i.e. “go as fast as you can for the last 20 seconds” is always very motivating!

  19. Jennifer on August 5, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    As a group fitness client, and now an instructor, I love the vibe a great teacher can bring to a workout, it might even change up my whole day. I recently read about a group instructor who asked each person in his class to think only positively about their bodies as they worked out, as in, “my body is doing ____ correctly right now, good work”, rather than, “@#$!, I don’t have great form, or I wish my body would do ____ better.” I passed it along to a clients in one of my classes the other day and everyone in the class told me afterward how much they needed to hear it. As an instructor, I could see a relaxation in the faces of the clients as they worked.

  20. Yaara Leve on August 5, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    I cannot stand when Yoga instructors get overly flowery! Yes it’s yoga and zen–but we are not 3-year olds. I remember one teacher talked about imagining yourself turning into a butterfly–I almost walked out–lol.
    I also don’t like when instructors talk too much! There are moments in the class-especially power vinyasa flow–when you really get into a zone and you’re flowing your body to the music and your breath–and it can be amazing! But it’s so obnoxious when teachers ruin it by mindless chatter. It takes you out of the moment. Sometimes actually silence is best. It allows students to find themselves and get in tune with their bodies more deeply.

    I do like in Savansana though when teachers read poetry–good poetry though–not cliched BS–lol 🙂

  21. Lizel on August 6, 2014 at 12:09 am

    I love group fitness classes! My biggest pet peeve is when the instructor says xx more seconds and then completely spaces watching the clock so it turns into twice as much time. Or they say one more set but trick you and do 2 or 3 more. I’m an engineer, my brain is obsessed with numbers, it makes me crazy when the amount announced in class is not the amount we do.

    • Jenna on August 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      Oh my gosh – me too! My math teacher mind is constantly counting, can’t stand the cue that they don’t follow through with 🙂

  22. Laura @FitMamaLove on August 6, 2014 at 12:14 am

    I’m always reminding my class to hold their abs in because it’s so important for Pilates form. It’s easy to forget to do it, so I’m constantly saying it and I feel like a broken record even though it needs to be said.

  23. Lizzie on August 6, 2014 at 12:18 am

    Umm…why do you need help getting shirts over your head for a bandaged thumb? :/

    • Fitnessista on August 6, 2014 at 12:28 am

      every time i try to open and close my hand, it pulls where the stitches are, and it hurts quite a bit. having a little help with a shirt reduces the chance of that pain

    • mary on August 6, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Ah, the condescending “Umm…” The universal sign of a person frantically reading blogs and forums just dying to find someone to ridicule so they’ll feel superior for 2 minutes of their sad little day.

      • Kristy on August 6, 2014 at 1:27 pm

        Wow, that was a bit much. I think Gina can fight her own battles without somebody jumping into tell somebody how “sad” their day is. Being rude is never ok.

  24. Erin on August 6, 2014 at 1:02 am

    I love when my instructors tell little jokes or personal anecdotes. I always say my favorite Pilates class is half Pilates half comedy hour. I like when the instructors tell us little anecdotes about their families. It makes the class seem more personal and breaks down the barrier or teacher/student. For me it creates that mind+body+spirit connection

  25. Jay on August 6, 2014 at 1:53 am

    Sorry to hear you’re still hurting! Speedy recovery.

    Honestly, I’m so happy to be in the exercise room that I pretty much put up with anything from the instructor. Maybe I haven’t had anyone awful, yet?

    On another note, I’m with your little one on that soup/smoothie! For some reason, when it comes to veggies, I need to chew! 🙂

  26. Pua on August 6, 2014 at 2:35 am

    One of my favorite instructors always ended her circuit/HIIT workouts with a few seconds of silence; she told us to breathe in the positive, breathe out the negative. Before leaving, she would give us a positive mantra to bring into our lives.

    I DON’T like when the instructor makes us count out loud. I know it’s silly, but my mind is trying to power through and counting is something I don’t want to focus on. 🙂

    • masala girl on August 6, 2014 at 9:33 am

      count out loud? never has that.. sounds awful haha. itd be so awkward…

  27. Liz on August 6, 2014 at 6:11 am

    I think it’s the WORST when instructors sing along to the music into their mic. And I’ve had instructors (who are otherwise great) who do it all class, every class. Super annoying and distracting.

    I also don’t love it when instructors tell an excessive number of personal stories. It usually happens in yoga. Your class is not a captive audience that’s just there to listen to you talk about yourself. A story every once in a while is nice, though.

  28. Charlsie N on August 6, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I think it’s really weird when during Zumba the instructor wants you to yell at a certain part of the song and if you don’t then they make you do it over and over again until they are happy. I don’t yell in real life so why force me in class… I just find it so awkward.

    • Charlsie N on August 7, 2014 at 7:44 am

      I just thought about this. I hate when you’re new to the class and the instructor doesn’t even acknowledge you. I went to a Zumba class and the instructor would have giggling fits with her friends during the middle of a routine. I ended up not going back to her class

  29. Livi @ Eat, Pray, Work It Out on August 6, 2014 at 7:47 am

    I love instructors who do most of the moves with us (I want to know they feel my pain haha!) but still take time to come around the room and correct my form!

  30. Jillian on August 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I really enjoy getting form cues! Especially when I first started taking barre classes it was really helpful when instructors would correct my form and encourage me with positive talk. I definitely look to instructors a lot for motivation. I love when they shout out motivational statements and push me to work harder. I also appreciate when they make jokes here and there to lighten the mood 🙂

    l did however take one class when I was new to barre and having difficulty with the under the bar work. I didn’t fully understand how to do everything and when my butt was too far out from the wall the teacher told everyone in the class that I was cheating and pushed my legs back. Even though she may have been joking this was really humiliating and I almost didn’t go back to barre. I felt nervous the rest of class to try anything.

    So overall I just really appreciate an encouraging teacher with a positive energy and attitude! It absolutely makes the class.

  31. Mila on August 6, 2014 at 8:30 am

    Good: I love during yoga when the instructor gives you breathing cues like, “focus on exhaling when [insert movement here]” it’s nice to remember to bring it back to your breathing 🙂

    Not so good: For some reason, I hate hearing “You can do it!!” in a group exercise class. Unless someone has literally said out loud, “I can’t do this!” I don’t want to hear it because it makes me feel like I’m NOT doing something (working as hard/fast/whatever) as I “should” be.

    “You can do it!!” makes me think the instructor is thinking “Oh man.. you are soooo not doing it… like, at all. Fail.”

    Hope your thumb heals up quickly, Gina! 🙂

  32. haley @Cupcakes and on August 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

    i am cracking up over all of these comments! i would also have to go with the “imaginative yoga talk” as well. hahaha!

  33. Jennifer on August 6, 2014 at 9:00 am

    Things I hate:
    –instructors trying to be very “drill sergeant” and threaten to make us do more/yelling/etc.
    –instructors seeming fake as they give compliments “you are doing great” as they walk around the class (not doing the workout themselves)

    Things I like:
    –instructors that workout hard doing all the moves and give encouraging words when they KNOW it is getting tough (like we are all in this together let’s get through it-type thing)
    –genuine comments like “good form Jennifer”, something specific to a specific person
    –instructors that have the attitude that we are there to have fun and it’s like a little 1 hour party just for us

  34. Alex @ Kenzie Life on August 6, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I too am not a fan of instructors telling me to smile. I just find it frustrating because I’m trying to work hard and not smiling isn’t on my list of priorities when I’m trying to find the right form and challenge myself!

  35. Michelle on August 6, 2014 at 9:21 am

    Funny you posted this! My kids were watching me do a Body Pump video yesterday (usually I go to my gym for Body Pump), and my 9 year old kept asking about all the smiling. “How can they smile for so long? Do they have to smile? Isn’t it hard to smile and lift those big weights?”

    I’ve stopped going to my favorite spin class for a couple weeks because it’s always the SAME music, which I like for the most part, but I really need some variety.

    Hope you heal soon!

  36. masala girl on August 6, 2014 at 9:29 am

    my yoga instructor, when we’re in the middle of a long hard pose, will say,
    “okay, now do….. and take the right corner of your mouth, and turn it up, and take the left corner of your mouth, and turn it up” and I really like her creative way to get us to relax into the pose.
    I understand where youre coming from with the smile, sometimes im just like, I need to focus! to distractions!

  37. Alexa @ on August 6, 2014 at 9:35 am

    I would love that smoothie…almost reminds me of gazpacho!

    I HATE when instructors point people out in class and are downright mean to them…who would want to come back?!

  38. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on August 6, 2014 at 9:47 am

    My favorite is my Zumba instructors motto to us when teaching us a new song. “When in doubt, shake it out!”

  39. Jane on August 6, 2014 at 9:53 am

    I totally agree with you Gina on the smiling! I also am not a fan when instructors say “feel the burn!” It just makes me want to yell I KNOW! IM FEELIN IT!

  40. Katy Widrick on August 6, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Since I’m a fairly new instructor, I’m bookmarking this so I can read through the comments and learn what to do/not to do!

  41. jen on August 6, 2014 at 9:58 am

    I have a great TRX instructor and CrossFit coach and I’m trying to think of what they do that’s so great but I think it’s more that…they are great for me and instruct the way I like to be instructed (reminders on form when needed, overall positive without being sugary or vague, offering lots of scaling options and explaining them beforehand). The only thing I don’t like is I don’t like when yoga instructors go too much into what I will term spirituality. It only seems to happen in yoga and I do understand that for many people yoga can be spiritual but I would think there are others like me who like yoga for stretching and mindfulness but don’t necessarily think every practice is a transcendent experience.

  42. Lori on August 6, 2014 at 10:12 am

    LOL @ “we will rebuild”. Hoping for a speedy recovery! The car door slammed on my hand last week and THAT hurt like a mofo, so I can’t even imagine your pain!

    I’m with you on the smiling!

  43. Sarah on August 6, 2014 at 11:06 am

    I have a spin instructor who calls the group “team” or “crew” and it really does make me feel like we are in this together. It’s a great change up from the standard “ladies”, “guys” or “everyone”.

  44. Jennifer on August 6, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I don’t think people like to be told to smile in ANY context, but especially while working out.

    Reminders to engage my core and keep my posture can’t come enough (especially towards the end)!

    Remind me sometimes that it isn’t supposed to hurt. Sometimes I try to do more than I’m capable of (like in yoga) and I need a reminder that there’s a difference between pushing yourself to do better and flat out overdoing it.

    Form corrections or tips on how to do something correctly or better are great.

    I hate when I’m singled out because I’m new, especially if the instructor wants me to move to see better. I get the instructor just wants me to feel welcome and included, but I’m just not the kind of person who enjoys that attention. Plus, I pick my spots out in the back or to the side on purpose. I can focus more when I feel a bit secluded. 😉

    Also, it’s really important to me that instructors recognize not everyone is at the same fitness level. This should be a given, but I’ve seen it plenty of times where instructors seem a bit snobby towards anyone with low fitness levels. Some people need modifications (easier and harder), and some people may not look like they’re full out balls to the wall but maybe they are for their fitness level. I like a helpful but judgmental free class!

    Overall, if you’re an authentic person that isn’t saying something just as filler, you’ll come off that way and people will enjoy your classes more, even if you do fall into a few cliches sometimes.

  45. Aundra @ Fit for Life on August 6, 2014 at 11:19 am

    As a group fitness instructor, I love reading these comments. I love using form cues, and have a habit of telling jokes. But students laugh, so I guess that’s good.

    I’ve been teaching 5 years now, and my number of regulars has grown and grown — that feels awesome!

  46. Julie on August 6, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I always appreciate form cues/reminders & really like when the instructor has little comments or stories to take my mind off the work. I guess the only thing that rubs me wrong a little bit is when they complain that “oh, I’m feeling it burn!” or something to that effect ‘cuz I’d prefer they take my mind OFF the pain, not point it out. I also like when they tell me that “we’re almost there” – it helps you to give another burst of energy to finish the song if you know the end is in sight. 😉 I also think when the instructor sings along, it’s awesome because it adds so much energy to the class.

  47. Stacey on August 6, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    The only real thing that bothers me is if instructors seem to use the workout class as their workout instead of showing us the moves and then stepping back to correct form, etc. Personally I really like the corrections because I have no idea what I look like and as someone who works out at home too I really enjoy learning how to improve myself. I have noticed a great change because of this. I also like when instructors emphasive it does not matter how quickly you do something – if you aren’t doing it correctly then there’s no point! 3 reps with perfect form is better than 15 sloppy ones.

  48. Allison on August 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    The comments section on this one is totally golden. I go to the barre studio you teach at and, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE it, but some of the girls there have some truly silly go-to phrases. One of them (hopefully accidentally) always says things like “and keep a bend in your standing legS” when referring to BOTH legs and we’re standing doing arms or something… probably force of habit from the times you’re balancing on one and she’s referring to the “standing leg.” Also one person there likes to count down from ten but in half time sometimes… so you get your hopes up that it’s just ten more seconds but she’s counting in half time so you immediately realize you’ve got 20 seconds left and are dying! If you’re going to count me down that slowly, please start from THREE or something manageable! 😛

    • Fitnessista on August 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      say hi if you ever see me!! i take class pretty often too 🙂
      that is awesome. learning how to count (which sounds so bizarre) was one of the toughest parts of my training there. i kept getting down to “1” and you’re supposed to stop at “2” and cue the next thing 🙂

  49. LJ on August 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    For background: I do Bodypump, yoga and spinning (in addition to running). I do not smile when I am working hard. I just can’t, it feels fake.

    What I love: form cues. Don’t care if you tell something I remembered to actually do. Even better: WHY should I do something this way. Encouragement (for instance “looking good” or “you can do this”) works for me. Simple stuff is good, no need to overdo it.

    What I dislike: babbling (no, I don’t really care for details on your vacation thankyouverymuch). Telling the people to sing along. I am too out of breath to SING, and I didn’t sign up for karaoke night for my workout. My pet peeve in Bodypump is one instructor saying “this is hard for me, too”. You can choose challenging weights or easy weights for you on this day and time and for each song as well. Sometimes you are feeling great, sometimes not so great. I thought you can and should use the weights accordingly. I don’t really care how much the instructor is challenging herself: she can’t go all out anyways, she has to talk us through it all.

    On correcting poses (in yoga), I generally dislike being touched by people I don’t know well. My previous yoga teacher would always ask: do yo mind if I correct your form. I usually did end up saying yes and got excellent guidance. A sub said she will correct “unless you give me the eye” and the entire class she stayed away from me. Either I did everything perfectly, or she took my concentrated look as “the eye”. Most likely the latter.

    And last, but not least: Gina, I hope your thumb heals soon.

  50. Jenna on August 6, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    This was so helpful! Although thanks to this post I’ve been over conscious of what I’m saying in my classes. One cliche that I think I need to get rid of is “you get out what you put in.” Typing that makes me cringe but during a 5:30 am spin class I think it sounds so motivating 🙂

    I encourage my classes to be thankful at least once in a class – I went to a class years ago where we ended with this. Always put things into perspective. Our bodies are so capable and such a gift – we are lucky to be able to work them as hard as we do.

    Thanks for this post Gina!

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