I should preface this post by saying that I think fitness trainers are wonderful. I’m a big fan, really. You guys are super motivating, very knowledgable and help us reach goals we might not otherwise be able to tackle, whether that’s being able to run to work or being able to confidently rock a Kardashian-esque glitter one-piece. (Hey, do you.)
With that being said, my dear fitness trainers, there are a few rules we wish you would follow in group fitness classes, some to keep us from cringing, and some to simply make sure that we are, in fact, getting closer to those bodysuit goals when we shell out $35 for a fitness class. Below, the eight rules we wish all fitness trainers would follow.
1. Don’t make a group fitness class feel like a middle-school dodgeball game.
There is no need to pick your “favorites” to demonstrate the moves for the rest of the entirety of class, when you could easily take a moment or two to demonstrate the move yourself. In fact, we’d prefer it that way — you’re why we’re here, show us your skills!
2. Don’t forget that I might not know what I’m doing. Like … at all.
There are few things worse than being in a yoga class billed as “all-levels” only to have the instructor speak to the entire class as though yoga were their first language. Badakonasa-huh? Recently, I went to a yoga class where the teacher asked the folks new to yoga to raise their hands and told them to call the teacher over if they were confused or needed help with anything at all, which was super welcoming and showed that they truly cared about the beginner’s introduction to their practice. A lot of the time, people work out with trainers or in group fitness classes because they don’t really know what they’re doing on their own. So please, if the class isn’t explicitly advanced and you know there may be new people in the class, break it down for the newbies.
3. Don’t make me touch sweaty strangers … PLEASE!
There’s really no moment that I can think of in which I want to touch a stranger, let alone a sweaty one. This is our editor Adjua’s biggest pet peeve in the workout world, and rightfully so. Because really, who wants to do partner exercises with someone they don’t know, whose body is literally glistening (and maybe emitting an odor)? No one. So, please — PLEASE! — don’t make us do this.
4. Don’t shame me for struggling.
Sometimes, your workout session in the epitome of a struggle bus — whether you’re tired, not feeling it or maybe working through some mental stuff, it ain’t always easy. And because you, the trainer, are likely in amazing physical condition, it may be hard for you to understand folks really dragging on those jump squats or struggling with the arm-extended side plank (does anyone else’s arm shake like there isn’t a bone in it on that one?). So, I know it’s part of your job to push me (and please do!), but think before you berate.
5. Don’t show off your abs more than three time during class (and even that is pushing it).
We get it: You’re ripped. Your body is basically a selling point for your brand, so it makes sense. But there’s NO need to give us a peek while we’re over here, red-faced and drenched in sweat, trying to work on our not-nearly-as-ripped selves. So please, stop flashing your abs. It’s just … weird.
6. Don’t ban me from leaving the classroom — whether I’m peeing, getting my inhaler or actually trying to escape.
I recently went to a class where I didn’t dig the vibe at all and literally wanted to leave before class even started, but the trainer seemed like the type who would totally call you out for doing so, and I wanted to avoid that more than I wanted to avoid the class so, I stayed. Adjua dared to try to leave her first Bikram class — to get her inhaler — and the instructor literally screamed at her to stay put. And we get it: You don’t want people disrupting your class. But still, you can’t hold people hostage — it’s just not cool.
7. Don’t give me a 20-minute pitch about your upcoming events at the end of class.
We totally understand you wanting to spread the word about your new and exciting events coming up — and we likely want to go to them — but when you keep us there with a grocery list-length lineup of upcoming activities that takes 16 minutes to spout off, we lose all interest. We’re tired! And sweaty! And hungry! So please, do have a spiel — but keep it short and sweet.
8. Don’t pack us in like sardines.
In some cases, this may fall more on the studio than the trainer, but there is nothing worse than trying to do a jumping jack (or something of the sort) with someone literally two-inches away from you, compromising your form, and potentially causing you to smack a stranger with a flailing extremity. Know what the classroom can realistically handle, and cap it there, please.
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