Let me preface this by stating the obvious! I know I’m going to state an unpopular opinion in this politically correct world, but let’s cut the shit and be honest here. It cannot be denied that some group fitness instructors just happen to suck. I’ve taken many classes over the years, at many gyms, in many different countries. It is a statement of fact that some instructors are really good and some of them just suck.
I have some friends who get mad at me for saying that. They say that those instructors work just as hard as any of the good ones, that they put in effort just the same and that no instructor ever sucks. Bless their soul, those kind, gentle, generous friends of mine. But no, that’s bullshit, some instructors suck. They may have good technique, but zero energy, passion, drive, or intensity. They may have great energy but not be technically sound. Whatever the reasons, some of y’all are wack. Sorry.
You have to find that perfect balance of knowledge and fun to be great at this. Some are better at it than others. Sometimes I am left in awe at how good some instructors are at teaching Zumba and other group fitness classes. When the class feels like it was only 5 minutes long, but an hour passed, you know you got it!
Anyway, having said all that bullshit, there are some people who just won’t like your class. No matter how good you are, no matter how well you’ve hit that aforementioned balance I spoke of, they just won’t like what you do. That’s also a statement of fact.
Group fitness is just like anything else in life. Think about it, sometimes you’ll meet a new person and for some reason they just rub you the wrong way. Maybe it’s their energy, the way they talk, or the way they look, etc. For whatever inexplicable reason you just don’t care for them at all. The same applies to group exercise as well. Sometimes a student just won’t vibe with you and that’s okay.
I’ve encountered people who told me that they don’t like a specific instructor but that they love my class. They said, “you are better than this instructor.” This kind of blew my mind because this instructor is phenomenal and I happen to love them. So to hear a person say that is mind boggling to me. But it just goes to show, that no matter how good someone is, there are people who will resist and not like them.
I didn’t know all this when I first started teaching group fitness. I wanted to make everyone love my class. I tried really hard to please everyone and listen to all the feedback I received. It was only to realize that no matter what I did, how I tried to make everyone happy, there was always going to be someone who didn’t like me or wasn’t happy. I learned that you simply have to do what YOU do, do your best, and those who don’t like you can simply take another class. That’s the beauty of this all, you have options. You not feeling me? That’s cool, go take someone else, but I ain’t going nowhere.
That’s my advice to all of you new and old group fitness instructors. No one is going to tell you this and you’ll only come to realize this with time and experience. However, if reading this helps you “get it” sooner, that will be a load off your shoulders. Like I said, don’t sweat it. The people who like you will come, and the ones who don’t, won’t. No matter what you do, that’s how its gonna be. So just do what you do and do your best to deliver a great class that will give the participants who do love you have a great time. Make them feel like only 5 minutes have passed by the end of that hour. Don’t worry about the others, really, don’t worry about them. They don’t give a damn about you, you won’t be able to please or change their minds. So why bother? Focus on the ones who are there and forget the ones who are not.