One of the nicest compliments I get from students is when they tell me and others that they love my class. Sometimes, they expound a bit further and tell me “so-and-so isn’t good.” To be honest, it’s a great compliment for me and I’m essentially a narcissist at heart so I love to hear how Jillian Michaels’ classes pale in comparison to mine, but I feel bad for the other instructor. For one thing, I do have people who come to my classes and never come back! Are they off telling Jillian Michaels how awful my classes are? And for another thing, the other instructor may not know what he or she is doing wrong! Do this poor instructor a favor and let them know how they can improve! I’ve seen people on Facebook talking about how they avoid so-and-so’s Turbo class because she can’t find the beat with a flashlight and both hands. For pete’s sake, help a sister out!
People, let me tell ya: If you are taking fitness classes, you are the customer. You deserve to enjoy your class. Obviously, there are limits. Don’t think you can harass your instructor into incorporating a step into high-low aerobics because just because you love step. Changing the entire nature of the class for one person is a bit much to expect.
But if you find your instructor doesn’t speak loud enough or doesn’t cue very much, it is not a bad idea to nicely (nicely nicely nicely! please!) mention that you have a hard time hearing him or her. If you’re too nervous to approach your instructor directly for fear she will retaliate by making you do burpees until you barf, then find out how to contact the group ex director and send a nice (nice! please!) email complimenting your instructor’s strengths and mentioning you are having a hard time following her cues or perhaps she needs to use the mic in class. Often, the director will send out a very general reminder to all the instructors and your instructor need never know she’s being criticized. By the way, if you love and adore someone’s class, why not drop an email to your club making sure they know it?
One thing that is difficult is if you dislike an instructor because of his or her personality. Personality is kind of hard to change. From what I gather, I’m a pretty peppy, energetic person. I don’t feel particularly energetic, I guess because I’m used to it. But I guess for some people I am a bit too damn happy. I remember one early morning on a camping trip with friends someone saying, “Okay Elizabeth… that’s just… too much this early.” I had no clue I was being too much! It isn’t really something I can change partly because I’m not trying to be happy or energetic, it just sorta happens. So if someone is so freakin’ perky you want to lob a dumbbell at their head, that’s a reason to go to a different class. If everyone finds the instructor annoying, eventually he or she will be replaced.
One exception to the personality thing would be if an instructor is downright mean or unpleasant. Folks, you are choosing to spend your most precious asset, your time, with your fitness instructor. If you feel like someone is being mean to you or others, that’s not something that you should tolerate. Mentioning the situation to the group ex director is so important not just for your enjoyment, but for others’ too.