Tips To Dealing With A Bad Fitness Instructor

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One of the many reasons why I go to the gym for its fitness classes. I much rather take a spin or kickboxing class than roam from machine to machine.

The good news is my gym offers lots of great classes with many great fitness instructors. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any who I’d much rather skip their class.

While I typically had avoided this particular instructor, I knew that eventually, we would cross paths again. Without any choice, I took the class led by them and find myself almost regretting it.

In the past, I would have stopped putting in so much effort since the instructor is bad at doing the same. But you get out of any class what you put into it. So I am proud that I continued to give it all I had.

Now, this doesn’t mean I didn’t debate walking out a few times. It also doesn’t mean I wasn’t constantly watching the clock out of boredom—despite jamming along to a great playlist.

But I did stick it through, worked up a sweat and felt great after.

Don’t let one bad instructor distract you from your fitness goals. Here are the tips for dealing with a bad fitness instructor.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Ask A Gym Member For Recommendations

Before even being stuck with a bad fitness instructor, ask around among other gym members and friends who they recommend.

New to a gym? Take advantage of that often free personal training session and see is that trainer is a good fit. Then see if they teach classes or continue with their one-on-one services.

Don’t know anyone at the gym? Do your routine then ask someone who was training with an instructor about their thoughts on that person.

Be mindful of classes that fill up quickly and are hard to get into. While this often has to do with having a good time slot, it can also mean that the instructor is in high-demand. That is a class to check out.

Skip Their Class And Find A New One

Unfortunately, one of the problems with my bad fitness instructor is that they teach really good time slots. And various classes.

To be fair, this is probably why they don’t give every class their all. But it just makes it hard to be motivated when the instructor isn’t motivating at all.

Avoid this by finding another class at that time. It might not be the exact class you wanted to take but think of it as trying something new. You might find another instructor you love or another type of workout that you wouldn’t have normally tried or liked.

If the “bad instructor” is the one and only one who does that specific type of class or teaches a majority of classes, try to find the earliest class when they might have more energy.

Worst case is that you have to just accept your fate and know that they are the instructor for that specific day and time that fits your schedule.


Photo by Rima Kruciene on Unsplash

Take The Class As A Challenge

If that is the case, make the best out of the class.

Think of it as a challenge on how to overcome obstacles and learn to self-motivate.

Focus on the good aspects of the class. This might include the amazing playlist that comes with it—often a fair trade for a less than the enthusiastic instructor.

Maybe it’s the activity that you enjoy, so focus on the movements and not on what the instructor is doing.

If you are left in the dark and have no instruction, don’t be afraid to speak up and ask them to show you or to explain. This is their job as an instructor, after all!

It could very well just be they assume everyone knows what they are doing and don’t need to be as hands-on as in a beginner’s class.

Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash


Of course, there is always the option to complain to the higher-ups about a bad instructor. However, I am not a fan of this unless they are really that bad or aren’t even teaching to even low standards.

If all else fails, maybe it’s time to explore options at other gyms if not in an annual contract.

It could just mean doing other workouts and avoid that particular bad instructor altogether.


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