I’ve worked in the fitness industry long enough to know that some aspect of a workout must resonate with people in order for them to WANT to keep doing that workout over and over.
It might be a favourite fitness format (Zumba, CrossFit) or a beloved piece of fitness equipment (TRX, BOSU). But most often, it’s a person: An inspiring fitness instructor, a take-no-excuses bootcamp leader or a caring personal trainer.
Finding the right fitness instructor or personal trainer isn’t all that simple – it must be someone who drives you to do your best during the workout and inspires you to keep your eye on your fitness goals between each class or session.
As a fitness instructor myself, I’m pretty choosy about the fitness classes I attend as a participant. I’ve come to realize that my favourite instructors are those who don’t make me aware of the fact that they’re doing the same job I do.
In other words, I’m fully engrossed in the group workout. I’m putting my trust in the instructor to be my guide for that hour.
I have a hunch that this feeling is the same for participants who don’t teach fitness classes. Am I right? Bottom line: It’s hard to get swept up in a mediocre class taught by an instructor you don’t connect with.
Still, some participants – like the ones described in this article – could maybe stand to be more open-minded. Self-described “fitness monogamists” who only go to one instructor’s classes all week long might want to consider a backup plan. What if your one-and-only instructor gets injured and needs a month’s worth of subs? You’ll have to keep your own workouts afloat somehow …
It’s natural to have a few – or even just one – absolute-favourite instructor. But it helps to know WHY that person is your favourite. This way, you get the most out of your workouts with him or her and also arm yourself with an awareness of what keeps your fitness routine rolling in the right direction.
Here’s the truth: A lot of instructors are on par when it comes to fitness knowledge and the technical skill of teaching.
Some instructors stand apart because of what they bring to the workout apart from the basic skill set of managing a group workout. This “special something” is what I call “teaching persona.”
Every accomplished instructor knows on some level what his or her “teaching persona” is and how that persona attracts and benefits participants.
For example, they might be the “brainiac” that guides their classes along with careful, technical instruction.
Or they’re the “drill sergeant” who challenges you beyond what you thought was possible.
Or they’re the motivating instructor who feels like your best friend and #1 fan.
Once you figure out what you need to succeed with your group workouts, you’ll know why your favourite instructors are in fact your favourite.
An instructor’s personality doesn’t necessarily need to be the same as yours. It’s the experience they’re able to deliver in group fitness that makes the difference.
In my next blog post, I’ll discuss how to find a personal trainer that’s the right fit for you.