I thought I’d take a few minutes today to talk about something that drives me a bit bonkers from time to time and that is taking responsibility for your workout.
I think I’ve written about this before, but it is worth writing about again.
When you go to a fitness class there is the expectation that if you have a good instructor, one that can offer lots of options for different ability levels, you will always get a good workout. But that’s not always the case.
And it’s not your instructor’s fault.
At least not always.
We are quick to judge that if we are leaving a class not feeling like we had a great workout that it is obviously the instructor’s fault. Their class is too easy, they aren’t working people hard enough, or they just plainly stink. And sometimes that is true. But many times the instructor and the class are both just fine.
The problem might be you.
Yes, I’ve said it. I, as your instructor can only do so much. I can only explain how to increase/lower the intensity or offer so many different options. If you don’t take the responsibility to recognize you aren’t working hard enough because you are doing an exercise that is too easy for you, are using a weight that is too light for you, or are using a reduced range of motion because you can’t be bothered to listen and learn how to work more efficiently – it’s not my fault.
I do my best to go around and make corrections, to push those participants I know can handle a bit more, give tips and show people how to do thing a better way for them, but even then it doesn’t always work. easy.
Let me clarify and say that I’m not speaking about people who are having to reduce range of motion, intensity or use lighter weights because of an injury. I’m also not talking about the people who might not be pushing themselves are far as they can because they choose not too (and are happy with what they are getting out of their workouts).
I’m talking about the people who complain about their workouts being too easy, but who are ignoring their instructor’s advice on how to increase the difficulty or intensity.
Your instructor is only one person. He or she could have dozens of people to try and coach and provide advice and adjustments to in one class. It can be difficult to spend much time with any one individual, and yet we try our best. When we offer a suggestion or adjust your alignment in an exercise it’s not to be mean or single you out. We are there to help you get the most out of your workout and to help you avoid injuries but even still there is only so much we can do.
I’ve had people complain that Zumba isn’t a cardio workout, or that they never get their heart rate up during a class. Well, when you first start out that might be the case as you try to figure out what to do, but once you’ve been to a few classes, you should most definitely have a high heart rate and at least a little sweat happening. And if you don’t, and everyone around is dripping in sweat and gasping for air – the problem might just be you and not your instructor.
If you have been going to a strength training class and using the same weights for months or years (it happens!) and can’t understand why you’re not longer making improvements, it’s probably not because your instructor is crap – you need to move up to heavier weights.
And if you find yourself in a yoga class and are bored to death because you find Warrior II so easy and you’ve already done it 4 times in the class (yawn!), chances are you aren’t sinking your hips deeply enough, using dynamic tension/engaging your muscles, because done properly Warrior II is not all that easy. And your instructor has likely cued you to do that all four times but you were daydreaming and didn’t pay attention.
You need to be present. When you workout you can’t just check out and go on cruise control. If you want to get the most out of your workouts you have to be awake and participating.
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