Annoying Things Fitness Instructors Say

August 24, 2017  |  
9 of 15 working out in exercise class

Fitness classes can become their own mini ecosystems. There are the teacher’s favorites who are always on time, sit in the very front, and work so hard they practically melt into their seats by the time they’re done. There are the less able-bodied individuals who the teacher takes pity on, and isn’t too hard on. There are the ones in the back who just aren’t trying, and are mostly there to chat with their friends. Whether you want to admit it or not, you fit into one of these categories (or maybe you have your own category.) The instructor plays a major role in the overall vibe of the ecosystem. Militant instructors can make you feel afraid to show up, but when you get their praise, it’s the greatest thing in the world. The instructors who baby you make you feel good in the moment, but may not help you get those abs. But no instructor is perfect. Here are annoying things fitness instructors say.

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Think about that cheesecake you ate

Or that burger, or those chips, or that bottle of wine. Wait a minute: should your fitness instructor be fat shaming you? You had enjoyed that cheesecake and moved on. You don’t see this workout as some sort of punishment for the cheesecake. That’s unhealthy—that’s verging on a binge and purge eating disorder mentality. The instructor should leave your cheesecake out of this.





Get the body you’d want to show your ex

I don’t love it when the instructor makes fitness about looking good for somebody else. Most women in there are just trying to do something they’re proud of. Maybe the instructor has some ex she is trying to get back, but she shouldn’t project that onto her students. And hey—some of these women are in happy, healthy relationships now. They want to look good for the person they love today and not the one they used to love.







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I want to hear you grunting/roaring!

Oh no. Please don’t force your students to grunt, roar or make any other animalistic sound. It really doesn’t improve their workout. It makes them feel like they’re at little kid summer camp again. It makes them feel like they’re in some amazon-in-training class they didn’t sign up for.










You should go until it hurts, and go some more

No, we shouldn’t. This is a dangerous piece of advice. The fitness instructor doesn’t know anything about each individual student’s pain threshold. Some students may be able to go far too long before feeling pain, but by that point, they’ve passed out or vomited. If you’re in pain during your workout, you’ve probably gone too far.









Get ready to be your best self today!

It’s a nice sentiment, but a lot more than our physical fitness goes into making us feel like our best selves. To think that your workout class alone will make me feel like my best self—and trumps doing well at work, being a good partner in my relationship, and being a good parent/friend—is to think pretty darn highly of your class.









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This model/athlete spins for three hours a day

Alright, well that’s also literally what that person does for a living. She gets paid to be a perfect physical specimen. As for the rest of us, we have to fit in a workout sometime between our other jobs, social life, family time and the little sleep we get. So please stop holding us up to the unrealistic standard of how much a swimsuit model exercises.








This class isn’t for the faint of heart

Yeah, yeah—the old intimidation tactic. This is when the teacher gives some spiel about how if you don’t really want to get in shape, if you’re not ready to push yourself harder than you’ve ever pushed yourself and if you scare easily, then you can just get out now. But nobody likes to feel like they were intimidated into staying in the class.









I’m going to transform you

Not everybody there wants to be transformed. Some people just want to pat themselves on the back for hitting a fitness class a couple times a week. As for the rest of the students, promising to transform them is a pretty big promise. Don’t make it unless you can keep it. And do you really think you can keep it, seeing as they only spend a tiny percentage of their days with you?










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Only 20 more minutes!

Any time a fitness instructor says “Only” the figure that comes after it is not a number anybody in that class associates with the word “Only.” Only twenty more minutes? That’s a long time, lady! Don’t say only until you’re ready to say “30 more seconds.” Otherwise, you just get our hopes up.









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Surprise! 10 more minutes!

Then there is the old bate and switch. Your teacher tells you to kick it up a gear, to spin faster, and to work harder because this is the end. You want to end with a bang, don’t you? But oh, wait, now that she has you working harder than ever, she’s going to tack on a surprise extra 10 minutes. That’s the worst surprise ever. Does she even know how surprises work?









Let me sell you on my other class

Just when you’re at your weakest and most vulnerable, your teacher tries to sell you on her other class, or private sessions. You’re about to collapse, chugging water and wondering if you’re seeing double when your teacher asks who wants to sign up for one-on-one training. This feels predatory.











I don’t think you really want it

Do not assume that because your students aren’t going as fast as you are that they don’t want it. You don’t know anything about the limitations of their bodies. And you also don’t know how much they actually really do want it. You insult them by implying they don’t want it. They’re here, aren’t they?








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“We” are going to do this

No, no, no. You are going to do that. I’m going to do it at half the pace. I’m going to sit and watch a lot of the time. I’ll join in when I am able to. “We” aren’t doing anything. How could “we” do the same thing? Since you’re a professional fitness instructor and I’m a mere civilian?










Don’t do what Lisa is doing

It’s just plain mean when the teacher puts the spotlight on a student, all to point out what she’s doing wrong. We’re full-grown adults now. This isn’t kindergarten anymore. We are well aware that we are paying you and we didn’t pay to be embarrassed. Be nice or we’ll leave.









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Nothing at all

For all the irritating things instructors can say, there’s nothing worse than the instructor who says nothing at all. She just puts on the music and starts doing the exercises, expecting you to follow. There’s no way you’ll get the most out of this class if the teacher doesn’t explain the moves in detail.

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