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View Full Version : Should Instructor Correct Class



lovelylibrarian
06-25-2008, 10:39 AM
I know I'm far from perfect with my posture and pedal stroke in my spinning class but I really do make an effort to follow the instructions of the instructor.

I saw so many people in my class yesterday doing weird things and was wondering if instructors ever come around and correct people in class if they see something really off. I woulud appreciate the help if I was the one corrected but I never see it happen in any of my classes.

One guy was just pedaling with his toes down the entire time...never a flat pedal stroke. Another girl bobs back and forth the whole time. Maybe she has too much resistance. Some are in position 2 when they are supposed to be in position 3. There are some hunched over people, people spinning with no resistance and leaning all of their weight on the handle bars, etc.
I'm not saying I'm perfect but I'm thinking it would be helpful to have the occassional "you might want to try this" comment directed at a person rather than a general... "remember to do this" to the entire class.

Maybe I should just worry about myself and ignore the others in class.

What do you all think?

OakLeaf
06-25-2008, 12:02 PM
In my aerobics classes, I'm often uncomfortable singling someone out. I'll look straight at them, give a general correction to the class a couple of times. If they're not listening, well... maybe I should be more direct. The higher the chance of injury, the more direct I usually am. When it's just a matter of getting the benefit of the class, I can't spend all my time focusing on one person who doesn't want to pay attention.

It depends on the student, too. If it's someone I've already corrected a million times and seen other instructors correct, and they still ignore the instructions, I'll just give a pro forma instruction so the rest of the class doesn't imitate them.

coyote
06-25-2008, 03:26 PM
I just go to the one spin class. She does the same thing that OakLeaf does....just throws out corrections to the general group. I like it that way, otherwise I start to get too self conscious.

Miranda
06-27-2008, 03:37 AM
I was a spinner first before I starting road riding and mtb-ing. I'm also certified to teach spin, but just not doing so yet.

I personally hate that "teaching off the bike". This is part of the training as an instructor. But, I will not be doing it unless requested or I need to intervene for a true safety issue. It's not my style, and goes against the thing I love the most about spinning.

One of GFs at the gym that I love dearly as a friend is the one instructor I want to choke while taking her class. Actually I avoid her class if possible. She goes OTT teaching off the bike, has adjusted my tension knob while riding with my eyes closed unexpectdly (and aided to an injury I was nursing--huge 'no no'), checks the monitors and announces it to the entire class, too much nutrition info (she's a die hard vegan--imposes her values on others), etc.

Personal training is just that: "personal" one on one instruction you pay for privately in a private conversation situation. I think people are adults and capable of taking or leaving advice to their own training goals. *as long as it does not impeed on others around you*

I'm not in kindergarten class. If I'm having a bad asthma day, I modify. It is no one's business in the class of my medical history. That is the top thing I love about spin class... it's your ride.

I think if something concerns you, tell the teacher after class. If that doesn't work, tell the management. Teachers are under the gym's insurance and shouldn't be a liability if things are not safe. If you don't want to look at the people in class: close your eyes. Great time to focus on your pedal stroke, breathing technique etc. Can't close those eyes on the road. Take advantage of the mind body connection opportunity. Something Jonny G. strongly believed in (roadie who founded Spinning).

You can wear decible lowering ear plugs too. This might drown out some of the heavy breathers for you, but still hear the mic cues.

Sorry about the long rant... ick, I just hate that "in your face" ott stuff. So, as far as the teacher saying something... it depends, IMO. Good Luck!

lph
06-27-2008, 04:22 AM
I used to love aerobics (well, still do, I just never go to classes anymore), especially the classes led by this one, very fit, very energetic, bouncy woman with terrific dance moves and a great sense of humour. But she'd walk around and SCREEEEAM at us to get us to work harder, and she'd "cheat" on the counting when we were doing say, sit-ups (i.e. "Eight to go! Six! Four! Four! Four! etc.). I'd be going 110 % all the time anyway, and pacing myself carefully to last for those final counts and I swear, at times I just wanted to reach up and smack her :p

But I digress. I'd prefer being told why doing x is wrong, and then being allowed to choose for myself. Unless I'm doing something harmful, of course, or truly don't notice what I'm doing wrong.

Crankin
06-27-2008, 04:46 AM
Well, there are two sides to this issue and it's a sticky point for a lot of instructors. I don't teach spin classes, but I did teach regular aerobics for 10 years. When I went through training, we were taught to do the general correction first to the whole group, but if someone was continually doing something incorrectly we should do a more "personal" correction. I would always ask someone permission to correct them, "Do you mind if I touch you?" or "Do you mind if I show you a way to do this that won't hurt you?" I would do it softly and as inconspicuously as I could as I was circulating around the room. People were used to this.
Now, I am not talking about jumping off the bike and grabbing someone's tension knob! That is awful!! But it is an instructor's job to TEACH and sometimes you have to get off the bike to do this. Instructors are not there for their own workouts and sometimes people forget this. When I go to spin class there are always people who are bouncing and bobbing, in the wrong position, etc. and they are rarely corrected. These are things that I would attempt to correct. On the other hand, there are many classes when I am doing something different from the instructor; I don't do jumps and I don't spin at high cadence with no resistance. Sometimes I do a seated climb when others are standing. But, I am not doing something unsafe... I think that's the difference.
Maybe it's because I was a teacher in real life that I had no trouble doing corrections at the gym!

han-grrl
07-01-2008, 05:40 AM
But it is an instructor's job to TEACH and sometimes you have to get off the bike to do this. Instructors are not there for their own workouts and sometimes people forget this


Ditto!

I get into a lot of heated debates on this. It is the instructors job to ensure form is correct. Some people develop bad habits, maybe because the bike isn't set up right, or for what ever reason. I always asked, why they would be riding a certain way, does it feel ok, and CAN i make a suggestion. They can take it or leave it.

FLRider
07-02-2008, 03:49 AM
I feel very strong on this point. I have been teaching for ten years about three classes a week. ONLY if a rider is doing something really stupid do I say something during the class to that person directly. Otherwise, it becomes a "general" running comment to the whole group about some corrective posture thing. I have to tell you though . . . ususally the person I am targeting . . . does not get the message.

Raindrop
07-10-2008, 09:30 PM
I've been teaching this format since 1997 and after being extremely hard-nosed as a new instructor (regimented form corrections...never varying from what my certifications said), I've come to realise that general instructions work to a certain extent. I try to meet all my participants, which can be difficult when you teach classes that have 34 participants, but I will make a point to talk with some of the people that have very obvious form issues.

The best way, as others have mentioned, is to just suggest that they would feel better, or stronger, or more in-control if they just did "this" (and I make the suggestion). Often, that's all it takes. Still, some participants that I've had for over a decade persist in their bad form. I shrug it off. It works for them...isn't causing them pain and doesn't hold them back in their personal fitness regime (which often means that they use my class as an aerobics class, not a cycling training class). My facilities have hired me to do a fitness class. If it was supposed to be a cycling training class it would be booked as such.


So...even though I'm a cyclist, when I'm doing my classes I know that many of my participants rarely get on a bike. They aren't worried if their toes are pointed down, or if they're even using a pedal stroke that helps them to be more efficient. They want to get a workout and burn calories. I do that and also provide a training arena for the cyclists that take my class. The trick is to do it in such a way that the non-cyclists enjoy the ride. That's the magic.

It's taken me a long time and a few different certifications and a whole lot more education to get me there.

P.S. I'm also a personal trainer that has had to learn what motivates people to get to their individual potential. That has probably been the best tool in my toolbox.;)

lovelylibrarian
07-11-2008, 11:17 AM
Raindrop, you have very valid points. Since I bike outside of class and just use spinning for exercise during the week, I really do look to the instructor for techniques for actual biking.

There was some 4 hour spinning special class on the roof of my gym on a Saturday and I couldn't understand why people would take this class rather than go out and bike in the outdoors. One guy was telling me it's better because of the music and the showers at the gym. I realized we were interested in different things.

I chatted with a friendly instructor yesterday and she told me that she only corrects someone if they are doing something that may injure themselves. I can understand that.

Basically, I can only control my own actions and I'll listen to the suggestions from the instructor and try to improve my biking position, etc.

I've really appreciated the opinions from everyone here.

KerryCrow
07-12-2008, 02:06 PM
Just my experience on spinning...my favorite instructors are the ones that teach part of the class off the bike. They will walk around and make suggestions or encouragements to the group in general and people specific...I think it is the way you do it. The thing I DO hate is if they change my tension without asking....NOT ACCEPTABLE. But checking cadence, form etc is great. Just a quiet "good job" when you are working really hard is nice.

I have found the instructors who don't get off the bike seem to be more interested in making the class their own workout and the class is along for the ride so to speak.

Not saying that any intructors on this thread are like that, just the ones at my gym, a couple of them in particular.....

Resi
07-14-2008, 05:49 AM
Hi,

I am a retired ballerina and now a mountain- road biker, I always like when an instructor corrects me, then I don't want to train wrong and get injured and hey I am not perfect, so I am happy if they see that I do something not so good. So other people don't like this, well get over it, then it is only good for you...I see may spinning students they don't improve at all over the years. But yes there is a but...ha ha ha... many instructor I know, don't have the education and or they just teach and train in the same time, which I think is wrong, then if you want to train, you are better off to train not teaching, then your workout will be harder and they would get more out of it...
And again, this is my opinion, to many spin instructor get released per year, which just don't have a clue...
Sorry, this topic just get's me on a roll ha ha ha

Have a nice day and be careful on the road

Resi