Dear Students…Advice From Your Fitness Instructor

By Dana Auriemma of Free House Fitness

In my years of experience as a fitness instructor and studio owner, I’ve been blessed to work with hundreds of students from all walks of life. Their energy and dedication is inspiring and impressive! Yet I often see things that hold my students back or negatively affect their workout experience. Things they may not understand or things they do/don’t do that impacts their workout. So here is some advice I like to lovingly share with all of my clients and my community. 

Don’t judge an exercise program by one studio, class or instructor. 

Have you tried a new kind of workout program only to a disappointed in the experience? Don’t write it off just yet! For reasons both good and bad, studios and instructors are as unique as snowflakes. They have different levels of education, different teaching styles and approaches. One studio, class or instructor can almost never completely represent a given exercise program. So try a few different instructors, classes and/or studios before you decide against a program or method of exercise. You may find that the right instructor can be a good fit and make you a convert! 

Look for a workout and an education.  

We all want to feel-the-burn and target our least-loved body parts, but don’t only look for a workout that makes you feel sore. A good exercise program will have a well-rounded and educational approach to fitness, challenge your body and teach you good movement. Great instructors know anatomy, kinesiology and can tell by looking at you if you are initiating a movement from the wrong muscle. This is important to develop a balanced physique and avoid injury. So research your instructor or trainer’s background and education. Set your standards high and train with true professionals. 

Go private once in a while. 

Many fitness programs offer both group workouts and private ones. The price tag for private training can be intimidating. But know that you can often progress faster when you work one-on-one than you do in a group class because you get your instructor’s undivided attention in a private training session. The teacher or trainer will hardly let you do a single repetition wrong! Plus they help you tackle personal challenges and reset bad exercise habits in ways you can’t in class. Yes they cost more, but you get a lot more out of them. So if your budget can afford it, take private sessions at least once in a while. 

Have realistic expectations

Bad infomercials and fad fitness programs make unrealistic promises and misrepresent the reality of getting a ripped physique. A great instructor and/or workout program can help you burn calories, strengthen and tone, but exactly what your body will look like or how much you weigh come down to how often you exercise and what you eat. Focus on exercising to feel good, get strong and make your body happy. Exercise in some way almost every day. Keep your eating clean and the rest will follow. 

Check your attitude and clear your head. 

Starting your workout in a positive mood will really help you get the most out of your workout! You’ll put more energy and attention into each exercise, you’ll be more attentive to our instruction and more observant about your body. So if you find yourself stressed, distracted or upset before your workout, try to reset your mood a little before you begin. Play some of your favorite music, take some time to breathe and stretch or give yourself a little pep talk before the workout begins. Your body will thank you! 

Talk to us.  

We are here for YOU! So talk to us and tell us what you need or like. Tell us if you loved a class and why. Tell us if you want to do things differently, if you have issues or requests. Tell us if you don’t understand our instructions. Tell us ANYTHING that hurts or is injured. We need to know! If you’re unhappy with your class or the studio, please tell us and give us a chance to fix it. We can handle it. The more we know, the better we can be for you. 

Dana is the owner of Freehouse Fitness Studio located in Philadelphia. Clients say she is: Challenging, super helpful, attentive, on-point with form, passionate, knowledgeable, and an energizer bunny! You can find her on social media at @freehousefitness.