In the past few days, I've done two spin classes - both with instructors I'd never taken before.
The first class rocked my world. It was challenging, I worked hard, and felt really satisfied at the end. It was a dynamic class that was totally worth the 5:55am wake up call. But honestly, I did not really care for the instructor himself. He was slightly obnoxious and really jittery, like he'd had too much coffee on his way to class or something. He kept lunging forward, like he was going to fall off the stage or something. It made me nervous. I tried not to focus on him, but this was also the class where I was next to The Moaner, so I wasn't quite sure where to look.
The second class was off to a good start when the super friendly instructor introduced herself to me before class. The room was largely empty - I'd say somewhere around 12 bikes out of 50 were filled - but she had a positive demeanor that sort of filled the room. Cool. But then the ride started, she told us to cycle at 60-65 RPM, and that we'd be staying at that pace for most of the ride.
Needless to say, the ride was kind of... boring. I worked hard but felt sort of blah. I was so uninspired that I even left a few minutes early, which I NEVER do. And when I got off the bike, she gave me a thumbs up and said "Great ride," which made me feel horrible. I should've stayed, but when I'm ready to go, I GO.
It got me thinking about fitness instructors. I largely depend on group fitness to keep me motivated, working hard, and in shape. I look for two things in instructors: 1) personality and 2) class structure. But you can't always have your cake and eat it too.
Even though I wasn't crazy about Instructor #1, I will definitely go back to his class because it was a great workout. And while I'd love to grab a smoothie and gab away with Instructor #2, I don't think I'll be trying her class again anytime soon.
My theory is the opposite at other workouts, however. If I take a barre or yoga class and don't care for the instructor's personality, I'm not going back. Period. Maybe it's because the personality shines through more in those types of classes? In spin class, the music tends to take center stage.
You can't always have it all, but it's nice when you do. I recently started taking a strength class on Sunday and I adore both the instructor and the structure of her class. It's nice to have something like that to look forward to on a regular basis.
When it comes to fitness classes, what's more important to you: personality or structure?