Devotee or Willing to Spread the Love?

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You know them, maybe you even are one, a die-hard trainer/coach/instructor X fan. Wherever in your city, whatever time of day, you will be there to take his/her class. Confession: I used to be this person, minus the traveling bit. When I was a new wearer of cycling shoes, there was only one instructor whose classes I would take. Ironically, she no longer teaches at any of the locations nearest to me and I haven’t been to her class in months (I should get my bottom uptown and change that STAT). After having broken out of my “hopelessly devoted to you” stage, I now have several instructors whose classes I enjoy, and this is true not just of cycling, but barre, and other workouts that I have dabbled in as well.

I completely understand the gravitation to one person, particularly if your first experience is a positive one. Perhaps, as it was for me, this is your first foray into group exercise. Or maybe this is the first time you’ve tried X class. Or you could be new to the area and the instructor and people who showed up to that class seemed like a nice bunch and you think there might be friendship potential there. Whatever the reason, a baseline of familiarity, especially in something that is going to challenge you, can be comforting and just the security blanket you need to ensure you keep coming back.

On the other hand, having long ago crossed over to the “I’m not a player I just crush a lot,” side, I definitely prefer things on this side of the road. For me, once I know an instructor’s style, I will start to anticipate aspects of the class, from the sequencing, to when pushes will come, when a rest may be thrown in, in some cases I’ll even become so familiar with a particular song that the instructor uses often that I more or less know exactly how much is left which can be a blessing or a curse, usually both. I also get different things from different people, and the crowds that they attract. Some classes are super high energy, some are more silent and serious, some instructors will be relentless the entire time, some will throw in lots of humor, some will change my entire outlook on the day, and some will leave me feeling like I need a nap ASAP. Not to mention that everyone’s musical selection also differs. I like having an assortment. Aside from the practical aspects of not always being able to go to the same person’s class at a given time and location because of well life, it allows me to always keep the workout fresh for myself and get what I need on that day- whether it be having my behind handed to me or having my spirit lifted, coming away feeling like the world is made of rainbows and unicorns.

This isn’t to say that because I prefer rotating between many instructors that it’s the “right” way to do it and from what I understand, I’m actually in the minority with most being devoted to one, maybe two instructors for a given exercise method. Ultimately, it’s about finding what works for you and if you haven’t found that yet, maybe it’s time to switch it up.

Do you take class from only one instructor or a few? Have you ever travelled around your city to take a certain instructor?