So can I say this out loud?
I will NEVER be the type of fitness instructor who shouts out motivational cues or uses sports metaphors to take you through a boot camp class. If I did, you might laugh because I still get confused about if it’s a quarter, a half, or a period.
I am also NOT the girl to push you through a gritty lifting session or make you feel like you’re in a rave with my music. (but…don’t think for a second that I haven’t worried that maybe I should be…)
I have seen these approaches work spectacularly for some instructors. I’ve done programs with Amoila Cesar who has a background training athletes and gives that vibe of pushing your limits and motivating with the language of sport. I’ve done a spin class that felt like a dramatic performance of highs and lows. There are SO many instructors who inspire me and who I root for unconditionally…but it doesn’t mean that I never turn the gaze back on my own style and think maybe what I’m doing isn’t good enough.
As fitness instructors, we can fall into this trap of thinking we need to constantly be innovative and “the best of the best” to be successful. It’s hard not to compare class sizes at the gym, Instagram followers, and even what we are offering with others.
Have YOU ever felt you needed to change to be more “successful”?
Have you questioned your approach to things and wondered if you should be more like [insert popular personality]?
This is part of the reason why I pulled back from social media over the last week or so. It honestly felt really good to be away from the ups and downs. In the midst of emotions, I tend to forget why I wanted to post in the first place (to encourage others to see that movement can be challenging AND still graceful).
With time away from social media I had the chance to reflect on some of the unique things I have to offer. There can be so much pressure to do what everyone else is doing online and try to be all things to all people. I have definitely fallen into the trap of trying to do a ton of things in order to do the things I think a fitness instructor “should” do and ending up feeling exhausted and overwhelmed.
Shay Kostabi (listen to her podcast if you get the chance – she and her husband give great advice!), encourages fitness instructors to embrace their own style. That style will definitely not appeal to everyone but you will attract those people who resonate with your vibe. I may never draw in those participants who LOVE to lift heavy or who don’t like the whole ballet vibe, but that is okay.
When I teach a class or post on social media about fitness, my underlying goal is to show how exercise can be challenging AND graceful. I’ve always been so inspired by the strength and grace of ballet.
In recent years it almost seems sacrilege, as a fitness instructor, to say that I don’t want to lift heavy weights all the time and that I don’t believe you need to. It goes against the grain and I’m sure many people will disagree with me!
But the science is far from settled (please see my reference list below) and I believe that everyone needs a healthy variety in their exercise routine and people will exercise MORE if they love what they are doing.
I just can’t agree when I listen to fitness people say that you must do certain things in order to be successful, whether it’s HIIT or heavy lifting. Exercise is an ever-evolving science so I feel there is a lot of room for experimentation and personal preference.
All this to say that I’m trying to embrace pink fitness apparel-wearing / Justin Bieber obsessed / ballet-themed approach to teaching fitness. For those who are curious about building more grace, balance and softness into their fitness routine, I may be your girl! If I can share ideas for making life less stressful and reconnect you with style and fitness ideas from a more glamorous age, then my work feels most authentic.
Morton, Robert W et al. “Neither Load nor Systemic Hormones Determine Resistance Training-Mediated Hypertrophy or Strength Gains in Resistance-Trained Young Men.” Journal of applied physiology (1985)121.1 (2016): 129–138. Web.
Suchomel, Timothy J et al. “The Importance of Muscular Strength: Training Considerations.” Sports medicine (Auckland)48.4 (2018): 765–785. Web.