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8 traits of a bad fitness instructor is your instructor good or bad?
Posted 08 April 2011 - 03:28 PM
i strongly believe in one thing about fitness - it's all about motivation. you can succeed if you're motivated and you can fail if you lack the proper stimulus. a good fitness instructor means a lot when it comes to motivation - they can encourage you, motivate, support, and even inspire.
however, as my personal experience shows, not all fitness instructors are good. some are quite bad, to tell you the truth.
so i was wondering if there could be several things to make me understand if this or that instructor was a bad or good one. i found this short list compiled by a fitness instructor herself and that's what she says abour 8 main traits of a bad fitness instructor:
All of us can be forgetful at times, but if there is a pattern of forgetfullness on the part of your instructor, it is probably a clue that they aren't so great. Things that might show your instructor's mind might be somewhere else:
- Your instructor has problems remembering where they are in routines during classes
- You find that your instructor continually doesn't remember what they did the week before, even though they are 'adding' to last weeks's classes
If your instructor works your body assymetrically (doesn't work both sides of your body equally) it can lead to possible injury and/or lopsided muscle development, especially if it happens class after class. You want an instructor who works both sides of the body equally, and even more importantly, all muscle groups, ensuring that you don't over-develop any one muscle or muscle group.
If you are in a structured class that requires you to follow a routine to up-tempo music you should be able to literally 'feel the rhythm'. If routines don't flow well, or if you feel like they are awkward, there is a good chance your instructor just doesn't know how to choreograph routines properly. Moreover, if moves aren't choreographed well, you might trip, fall or even pull or sprain a muscle due to the fact that your inner rhythm wants to do something different than what your instructor has taught you. Rhythm and flow of classes are important in maximizing your 'feel good' endorphins and motivation, as well as keeping exercises safe.
4. Being a sergeant
Some people like to be told what to do or even like to be yelled at to do things, but in most cases, people want to be treated nicely. If your instructor has a drill sergeant mentality and doesn't treat you with respect, then you must choose another instructor. Find an instructor with the personality that is right for you. A little 'tough love' isn't bad, but if it is all you get, that can be demotivating.
5. Being basic
From the beginning of taking an exercise class, your instructor and class should challenge you. Sure, basic moves are good and safe for beginners, but as you get used to a class and as you become more and more comfortable with the different exercises, routines or moves, you should progress and move forward. If your class isn't a specific level (e.g., beginner, intermediate or advanced), your instructor should show you modifications that make the moves more challenging or less challenging, depending on your individual level.
6. Fast and Furious
The tempo of the music needs to be right for the class. For instance, if you are in a step class and the beats per minute are too fast, you will possibly injur yourself or fall. If you are in a class where the tempo is too slow for the exercises, you might not get an effective workout. Either way, there is a range of appropriate beats per minute for different types of classes. If you feel that the class is too fast or too slow, there is a good chance you are not alone. Politely ask your instructor to slow or speed up the music to meet your level of comfort.
For an instructor it can be difficult to constantly create new choreography or exercises. That said, instructors are paid to motivate people and to be creative. It is their duty to make the class fun and interesting. If it isn't, then they aren't doing their job.
When you take an exercise class, you should feel challenged. Different classes challenge you in different ways. For instance, if the class is meant to be a cardio or aerobic exercise class, your heart rate should fall within the target heart rate zone of exercise. If the class is more strength training oriented, you should feel 'the burn' in the muscles that you are working (it should 'hurt' a little to complete the set). And if the class is more flexibility training oriented, you should be able to stretch a little further every class. If within any of these class types you aren't working very hard or don't feel very challenged, you probably aren't. Find an instructor that makes you work for your money...that is what you are there for. You should feel that you have gotten something out of any and every class you go to.
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