The Life of a Fitness Instructor

Posted on August 25th

The Life of a Fitness Instructor

There is a lot of misconceptions around the Life of a Fitness/Class Instructor…..the majority of people think because you are a Fitness/Class Instructor then life is all rosy and that we are perfect and eat perfect and don’t need to worry about our weight and how we luck…….OMG how wrong is that! A lot of people also expect that all Fitness/Class Instructors should be size 8 skinny minnies wearing crop tops……oh please as if!

Yes I love my job, I love teaching but the Life of a Fitness Instructor isnt as glamourous as it seems…..I get a lot of “easy for you just teaching a few classes  day” or “You get to exercise and get paid…lucky you” or even better “ you must be able to eat what you want with all the classes you do” and the other hand when someone once said “GOD you should be skinny the amount of classes you do”….. The Life of a Fitness Instructor is full of fun. laughs, smiles, new challenges, confidence, happiness and the chance to meet people…and this is the side everyone see’s and admires (and the side we thrive off of course), when in truth the other side of the Life of a Fitness Instructor (the side no1 see’s and understands) is full of sweat, tears, nerves, injuries, mental and physical draining, self doubt, fatigue….carrying on when you are sick and having the balls and confidence to stand up infront of a room full of people and be the 1 everyone is concentrating on and looking at when inside you are falling apart….that is the hardest part ever! Its like show business…standing up and basically performing and for that hour (or whatever) putting a smile on your face and forgetting everything. Also Standing up infront of a room of women, who look up to you and feeling a like a big frump in your clothes and feeling like a fraud….even though no1 else in the room feels that way but YOU……thats a toughie too…..

Yes I eat “clean” I watch what I drink, but on the same note I am human and we all have slip ups, bad days and days when we are just NOT on track….YES I ADMIT IT IM NOT Superhuman!!!!  I make sure I have enough food to fuel my body for what I am doing throughout the day, but being a Fitness/Class Instructor also comes with working unsocialable hours….teaching classes morning, afternoon and evening….which you might be thinking “yeh but I work 9-5” well yes of course but you get structured lunches and breaks……I basically eat when I can! The majority of my classes/clients are morning, lunchtime, teatime….therefore I never eat at the “right” time (not that there is such thing) and sometimes I’ll even admit that I skip meals because of timing and tiredness some nights when I get home 8-9pm and I am physically and mentally too tired to eat or make food (lazy as it may sound, weve all been there) and of course by being this way, again it in no way helps the body. What I will say though it that 80=90% of the time I am spot on, always have snacks, protein shakes, fruit, nuts to hand and try and make food…no matter how tired I am.

I need to train myself (weights) and eat the right foods….otherwise, no matter how many classes I teach, I would balloon up…..but the more classes I teach, the more out of shape I get…honestly, no messing, take last night for example….I was squatting and lunging arounf my bedroom in pairs of demin shorts that I have bought for USA (size 14 should I add) to try and get them to somehow stretch and fit me, because half of them dont….do you know how sole destroying this is? YES I hear you saying….well there you know, we do understand (well I do) how YOU feel we YOU say you cant fit into something

Being a Fitness/Class Instructor does not make you super human…..we are actually just human like everyone else, and we battle with the same weight, self confidence and body image issues as everyone else…………its just we know how to hide it well 😉

Take myself for an example (well kinda seems right seens as I am the one who is writing this) I teach 19-20 classes a week, have 3-4 PT clients a week also…..on top of this actual Physical Work….I also train 3-4 times a week (weight training) and practice prancing around and making routines up, pretty physically demanding hey? So you would expect me (according to society and their views) for me to be a size 8 munching on lettuce and having a shake for lunch…and skipping brekkie…..yeh yeh right as if!!!!! If I was a size 8 Id be on a drip and if I didnt eat I would of killed someone by now, these are the misconceptions I mentioned earlier about us Fitness People.

On top of all the classes we teach, we spend hours and hours outside of class preparing routines, music and class lesson plans….they dont just miraculously come to us in class…..but again this is the side no1 ever sees

In truth….the more classes I teach, the more out of shape I get…YES you heard me right……Us “Aerobic” Instructors can suffer from what Charles Poliquin calls “Chunky Thigh Syndrome” …this is when your whole body has adapted itself to aerobic exercises (due to the enormity of classes taught) to the point where it stores more fat…which turns the body into a fat storing machine and this fat tends to be stored in the lower body..hence the term!!! Yes you may lose weight doing cardio…but you will be you but smaller….hardly any (if any at all) tone to the body…..So as yo can imagine because I teach about 19-20 classes a week, and the majority of them being aerobic based (Zumba, Aerobics, Aqua) and the odd LBT and Tone class, can you now see why the more I teach the more out of shape I get…..but this also applies to the general public who attend “too many” cardio/aerobic based classes a week.

I do what I do because I LOVE it, I get such a buzz off helping people, making a difference and getting people to achieve their goals…..but man is it hard going!

No matter how many years Ive been teaching, I still get nervous before every class…especially when starting a new class or if new people attend an existing class….but I suppose this shows I still care and I have passion for what I do. But 1 thing I want to say is (and I think as Instructors we have ALL experienced this at some point in our careers)…..the worst thing EVER is when people come to your class and look at you, talk about you and basically show no interest at all and when on water breaks the snigger with their friends and its so obvious its about YOU……No matter what class you go too…always show the Instructor some respect but YOU dont realise how hard it is to stand up infront of people and have their full attention and them watching and following every move, word and action you do…..Every Instructor has experienced this, all I will say is always put yourself in the instructors shoes…..BUT again this works both ways and Instructors should also welcome and embrace new people and new classes and make them feel comfortable in class, and I am a firm believer in that is what I do in every class I teach, I would hate for someone to ever feel out of place, uncomfortable in my presence

We are NOT superhuman.
We have the same body issues as everyone else.
We DONT eat lettuce and lick dust.

We are just like you

SO next time you go to class….think of this and give your instructor a smile

I LOVE my classes and my ladies…….

Jen x

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