I know that I’ve written about this in the past, but it’s worth repeating when it comes to workouts: your intensity is your problem.
When you go to an exercise class, you get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t work very hard, you won’t get a great workout. And if you are there simply to enjoy some movement and aren’t looking to achieve any particular goals that might be just fine. But if you are there with some serious goals in mind, but plod along at a slower pace, lower intensity, or use lighter weights than you should – what you get (or don’t get) out of that class is on you – not your instructor.
We are there to provide a class for the average participant. When there are beginners or new participants, a good instructor will go back to basics to make sure everyone in the class knows how to execute the exercises, but they will focus on the beginner movements – not the more advanced. If you are a more advanced participant, it is up to you to work at the higher level in order to get the workout you want in.
For example, if your instructor is demo’ing a kneeling plank, but you want to do a full plank – go for it! And the opposite is true too if they are doing a full plank but you know you need to be in a kneeling plank – then do that.
We are there to guide you-you are there to figure out where you want or need to fall on the intensity level on any given day.
In the end, as long as you are in the right class (not at a seniors chair class expecting a CrossFit workout) your workout intensity is up to YOU.
P.S. If a program truly isn’t hard enough for you and you are already doing all the most difficult option of the exercises being offered by your instructor – tell them. They may have some ideas on ways you can make those exercises you are already doing harder (like focusing more on muscle engagement) or they may have another option for you to get what you want out of the program. We are usually pretty happy to make things harder 😉