13 Things Your Aerobics Instructor Won’t Tell You

Fitness instructors from across the country vent about what pushes their buttons, and reveal what you should know before arriving to the fitness studio.

By Amy Zerello
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    1. Follow my lead.

    I get aggravated when students do a different workout than the one I’m teaching -- and they're in the front row! You come to class but choose to do your own thing... really, what's the point?!

    2. It takes a lot to be entertaining, funny, and likeable

    all while trying to motivate people to do things that will cause them pain. I think the 80’s thong leotards and side-ponytails gave aerobics instructors a bad rap. We’re also not all super bubbly and rail-thin.

    3. Leave your cell at home.

    Can you not exercise for an hour without checking your text messages?

    4. Yes, I’ve embarrassed myself.

    I was chewing gum while teaching and it flew out and stuck onto the mirror in front of me during class. Oh, and it was bright green!

    5. Coffee's my friend.

    When I don’t feel like teaching I have a GIANT cup of coffee. I usually don't feel like teaching when I’m tired or run down, so caffeine usually does the trick. And if that fails, keep smiling. As the saying goes, fake it ‘til you make it!

    6. Preparing is a lot of work!

    Pre-choreographed classes, like BodyPump and Turbo Kickboxing, take hours of prep. We’re sent materials every 6 weeks and we have to review and learn all the music and choreography before we teach it to you.

    7. Stop weighing yourself constantly.

    Newbies expect miracles without realizing that while the added muscle may not make the scale drop, it will bring the pants' size down. But you can’t change your physique simply by working out; 80 percent of any change and fat loss is the result of a clean diet.

    8. I wish you’d be more vocal

    when you’ve had a great workout, but save the moaning, grunts, and other weird noises for home.

    9. Music matters.

    When I want you to work hard, I use really upbeat songs with pounding bass. If we’re doing something that requires a slower tempo, I turn it down. If the music sucks it doesn't matter how high energy or good the instructor is. It’s also about what I like. If it’s not something I’d work out to, it never makes it to the class playlist.

    10. Dress appropriately.

    Ladies, consider wearing a cami or additional liner under your low cut Lululemon or Lucy yoga tops. I get an eyeful I really don't wish to see when you're in downward dog. And guys, don’t forget your liner shorts! I don’t want to see anything poking through your gym shorts in class!

    11. We don’t all have perfect relationships with health and fitness.

    People assume we spend our days eating salad without dressing and train ALL the time. Sometimes I’m tired, cranky, hungry, or want a pizza but I have to put on the show. Sometimes I want to veg out and eat junk food, and sometimes I actually do!

    12. When you're sick, stay home.

    You may want to sweat out your cold or flu, but I don't want your germs, especially when you want a really good workout and position yourself in the front row and cough and sneeze your way through the class.

    13. It kills me when you come into the fitness studio without water!

    Proper hydration is just so important that I mandate a water break just after the turbo section of class. It’s my biggest pet peeve because I am going to make you sweat! See also: 13 More Things Your Group Fitness Instructor Won't Tell You Sources: AJ Pantoni (oxfordathleticclub.com), Sara Hauber (sarahauber.com), Sharyn Zerello Mastropaolo (teambeachbody.com), Keri Cawthorne (ironmountainmovement.com), Josh Guerrieri A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer (FitWit.com), Virginia Nicholas M.A., R.N. (Moving Breath Pilates), Jacky Burke (BodyDefinitions.com), Laura Dow, Charla McMillian, J.D., CSCS (FitBoot.com), Andrew Kalley (kalleyfitness.com), Cate Wade, Lauren Lorenzo MS, ACE-CPT (Fork in the Road Consulting, LLC), Cate Wade (fulcrumfitness.com), Mike Tubbs, personal trainer, nutritionist and martial arts instructor (exhalewellness.com)

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    Your Comments

    • http://classversussass.com Class Versus Sass

      Part of teaching a fitness class is high energy and a good attitude. Those are the things that motivate your students. Also I don’t think people teaching classes should be 80′s aerobics skinny but I do think they should be in shape. If you aren’t in shape, why would I take your class?

      The water deal, I admit I don’t drink water when I work out because it always makes me have to pee mid-workout. Every time. I hydrate after. This works for me.

      The rest, I am in agreement.