raw veggies

When Good Classes Go Bad

I went to the gym on Wednesday, looking forward to returning to Spin class after a week off. After a lot of trial and error I’ve found a good teacher and a good class that I really enjoy. I was surprised when I went into the Spin room to find a substitute teacher. Boo. I tried not to be too negative about it, despite the fact that the sub looked like a Barbie doll and was wearing full makeup (even blush). My first thought was “dammit, I’m totally not going to get a good work out tonight.” This was not the case, as I soon realized.

Barbie (I have no idea what her name was) basically skipped the warm-up period and immediately instructed us to set the resistance at “8 out of 10.” Seriously? I did as instructed but it was probably more like a 7 out of 10 for me (I was worried about aggravating my knee). Barbie proceeded to bark at us to increase the resistance about every 20 seconds or so until we were essentially biking up a mountain.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to sweat and I love a challenge AND I place value on my workouts depending on how many calories I burn but……this chick was intense. Despite her wildly unrealistic expectations of our abilities, the workout itself was pretty good. We did a very fast interval routine of VERY challenging standing climbs then back in the saddle for about 30 seconds, then back up standing again. I LIKE those types of routines but this chick was nuts!

She said things like “Let’s get our heart rates to 205!” And then she went on a long rambling tangent about how if we were older than her  (“like over 40”) than we shouldn’t do 205 but that she “wasn’t 40.” Um, okay. Then she told us that we needed to challenge ourselves to do “15 out of 10” in resistance. Eventually I ignored her recommendations and just did the routine but at a resistance I knew would not cripple me the next day (it’s important to tailor your workouts to your own abilities and know your body). My heart rate was steady in the 160’s –which is pretty high for me.

Like I said, I liked part of the workout and I love being challenged. I feel like the instructor was a little….off. Her tone was super grating. I would use the word “shrill.” She reminded of me of Parker Posey’s character in the movie “Dazed and Confused.” Remember her yelling at the freshman in a shrill, shrieking voice? Yeah….

The sub instructor reminded me of her. Her tone was really off-putting and I found that it annoyed me as the class went on. She would bark things like:

“COME ON!” shrill

“GO! GO! GO!” shriek!

“You can go FASTER THAN THAT! PUSH IT!” meow!!

I don’t think I am adequately illustrating just how “whiney/nagging girlfriend” her tone of voice was. Instead of being encouraging or inspiring, I found that it was obnoxious and I was just begging for the class to be over with. I didn’t feel positive about her or my time spent there–even though I burned a crapload of calories.

After class I asked another gym-goer what she thought of the substitute. The girl was super nice and she just laughed and said, “Um…she’s not the worst I’ve ever had but….” Yeah….

Oh well. They can’t all be naturals, I guess. If I had any words of wisdom for Barbie, I’d say tone is everything. Less nagging/shrieking girlfriend and more cheerleader “you can do it!” She had a good base but needed to tweak the workout to fit the abilities of the people in the class. Oh, and warm-ups are nice. 😛

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:30
Calories Burned:  704

(Those numbers include about 100 calories from running 1 mile on the treadmill and doing ab workouts.) When I got home, sweaty and sore, Michael was preparing a feast for dinner! I don’t know what inspired him to do so, but dinner rocked. He made French Onion soup from scratch (healthified by skipping the bread and only using 1 slice of Swiss cheese for 70 calories).

And we split a cut of steak. I added some raw broccoli and Light Ranch dressing to mine because I was so hungry I felt like I could eat everything in sight.

I made it through the day without eating ANY candy from the Candy Room at work and was feeling really positive about breaking my habit. 3 days in a row, go me! For dessert at home I had one serving (200 calories) of chocolate. It was from the giant chocolate bar that Michael got me for my birthday. 🙂

It hit the spot and was the perfect amount of dessert. I savored every single bite and still had about 200 calories left for my day.

QUESTION: Have you had negative experiences with fitness instructors? Did you leave the class? Stay and suffer?