Friday, November 16, 2012

I hate my spin class trainer

Yes I know hate is a strong word. Yes I know I shouldn’t hate anyone BUT I hate my spin class instructor. Let me explain.
Spin class or any exercise class is designed to be challenging and certainly the point of spin is to burn calories and tone your body. So I’m definitely on board with an instructor pushing the class. I didn’t hand you my hard-earned cash so I could take it easy. People go to group exercise classes because they could never exercise at that level of intensity on their own. Setting up the spin bike in front of the TV and watching re-runs of 'Friends' does not a hot body make. So instructors, by all means get hot, get sweaty and get vocal, BUT there is a line and I’m afraid this instructor crossed it.
Miss I-like-to-ruin-your-day (yes that is her name) entered the room without a word to anyone. She left the lights off and this was a 6pm class so it was kinda dark. Not scary- I-can’t-see-my-hand-in-front-of-my-face dark but sort of movie-theatre dark. She had an accent (maybe Russian?) so it was difficult to understand her commands which may or may not be why she began the pointing. Oh yes the pointing. As we got started she would extend one long bony finger that ended with an equally long fake nail (so ok it wasn’t that dark) and jab it the direction of whoever wasn’t following her inaudible instructions. Her shrill screams would accompany the pointing and the poor recipient of the extended finger would scramble to work out what they were doing wrong. By the way it was usually nothing.
It went on. She never told us when to add resistance or take it off. She never asked if anyone needed help with their bikes. If you haven’t been to a spin class read about one here. She just screamed. Nothing was good enough. No words of encouragement came. No time checks. I was certain that at this point most of us wished those bikes were not steadfast so we could ride the hell out of there. I will show you just how fast I can go lady.
The reason her display bothered me so much was there were several new people in the class. Not just new to this particular gym but new to spin and quite possibly new to exercise. As I left that night I heard a few of them talking. They were never coming back.
Shame on you Miss I like-to-ruin-your-day. Sometimes it takes courage to come along to group fitness. Hell for some people it takes courage to participate in any form of fitness. It can be intimidating so if you had worked up the courage and you were confronted with some drill sergeant pointing at you and screaming that you are not good enough how would you feel? An instructor or a trainer has a special opportunity to make someone feel secure enough to make the changes they long to make. You should have encouraged and inspired us Miss I-like-to-ruin-your-day instead you humiliated. This woman is what is wrong with the fitness industry. If you ever come into contact with her or trainers like her just remember the rest of us were thinking good on you for coming. Well done for being brave and trying something new to help improve your health and your life. YOU did a fantastic job!

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