As a Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor myself, I have found that when I attend classes I become very critical of the Instructor. I am also qualified to teach the Level 2 Fitness Instructor course as well as (not quite completing) the Assessors course so I am able to critique constructively!
I thought I’d share with you what I feel you should be seeing in your Instructor / PT …things they should do that you should love them for!
In no particular order…
Your Instructor should be warm, welcoming and friendly! They should introduce themselves by name at the start of the session and give you a little overview of what to expect. You should feel comfortable asking for help when you need it.
You should complete a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) when you join your gym / studio or start working with your PT. This is to check for medical conditions and ensure it is safe for you to exercise. Your instructor should always check for injuries at the start of the session too…
Alternatives. This is a little bug bear of mine. If you have an injury or are unable to do an exercise you should ALWAYS be offered an alternative. You shouldn’t be forced or feel obliged to do any exercise you don’t feel comfortable with as it will increase your chance of injury.
Your Instructor should walk around the class to ensure that everyone is executing the exercises correctly and safely. I always tell my participants that “quality is more important than quantity”.
It’s your workout, not your instructors. You have paid to be guided through your workout. You haven’t paid to watch your Instructor get a good workout! That’s great that their session plan even has them sweating but you want to find that out yourself, surely?!
When your Instructor gives you an exercise, they should also cover teaching points. For example, if you are doing a plank a couple of teaching points would be to “have your shoulders over your wrists” and “keep your eyes focused above your finger tips to keep your neck in alignment”. Teaching points are important to ensure good form and prevent injury.
Before these fabulous teaching points though your Instructor should demonstrate the exercise for you all once or twice *with good technique*.
The class structure should make sense. You should start with a warm up, a main workout and finish with a cool down. Your cool down shouldn’t include sprints…everything should be progressive in the right direction 🙂
You won’t like / love every Instructor / PT. You may not like their sense of humour…their style of teaching…just something about them. That’s fine! There are plenty of others out there so you keep searching till you meet ‘The One’! haha! …Your Instructor / PT shouldn’t take this personally though.
Now this one is debatable. What should your Instructor / PT look like?! Should they be super fit and ripped?! Should they be able to everything?! Should the BE a machine?!
I feel that knowledge is more important than looks. Your Instructor should know what they are talking about. As an Instructor myself, I have always worked on technique to ensure that I can show clients perfectly how to do exercises I set.
I’m not competitive and I love when clients become ‘fitter’ than me or can run faster than me! …None of us are the same and I feel proud when I see the progress in those I have trained! My knowledge has empowered them to reach their goals…and that’s what keep it simpElle is all about.
So what are your thoughts?! …Anything to add to the list?!