Many of you know me from a spin class I taught to you in years past. I hate to admit it, but I haven’t taught a cycle class in over two years now. I have really missed it, but I couldn’t find the right place for me. We have a gym less than a mile away, and I hated working there. I finally decided working for them and being a member could be a different experience, and I paid my membership dues…something I haven’t done in over 25 years since you get access from teaching.
I dusted off my spin shoes and put my cycle gear on. Ironically, I’m attending the slot I used to teach, and they can’t keep instructors for it. Anyway…besides having a sore butt, here’s what I learned: your safety is your own responsibility.
I’m enjoying being on a bike again and burning lots of calories, but I’ve been aghast at the lack of safety tips and actual instruction on proper form in the classes. The instructors barely say a word, and in some cases, they are doing very dangerous things on a bike that will cause long-term injuries. They either haven’t been certified in cycle like me and don’t know any better, or they don’t care about their members…or a little bit of both.
Certified instructors should be helping members remain safe as they engage in an effective, fun workout or class, but many gyms don’t even require basic training. This particular gym is more concerned about looks. One of the reasons I left was they required women to wear makeup to teach. Um, I’m going to sweat like a Banshee!
The lack of good instructors is why I got into teaching in the first place. I found myself complaining about the horrible classes and decided to do something about it. As I sit on the other side of the mic, I am grateful I can show up and do my thing. I cannot turn off my concern for others, though, as I watch them bounce their butts on their bikes because they have no resistance on. The one instructor considers warm-up a full-on sprint for ten minutes. It’s insane, but I’m focusing on getting out of the classes what I want and keeping myself safe.
If you attend any fitness classes, I hope you have well-trained, certified, caring instructors. They are out there! However, you must always look out for yourself. I remind my participants they know their own limitations, and they must adjust and adapt accordingly. If they don’t like something I’m doing, then don’t do it!
You are responsible for your own safety, and you are the one who will pay the price for incorrect form or overusing muscles. Be safe out there! Looking for an at-home option for when you can’t get to the gym? I have several workout DVD’s, and I offer safety tips, proper form and get you the results you seek. Check them out here.