An important thing to remember about exercise

As a fitness instructor you spend a lot of time thinking about the words you use to motivate people. When I’m teaching a group fitness class the right words at the right time have the ability to take people to places that they couldn’t get to by themselves. While there are different types of group fitness workouts, like Pump, Step, and Core conditioning classes, the best classes that I find have the biggest impact with the words the instructors uses are the cycling classes. The cycle class is an amazing workout which has the benefit of not being complicated in it’s movement. Due to it’s simplicity the instructor has a much higher ability to get inside the head of the participant with their words. 

When I’m teaching an RPM class, the Les Mills cycle programme, I’m always trying to get inside peoples heads as a way to motivate them to a higher place in their workout. I always know when I have used a set of words that captures the people in front of me. It’s like a switch goes off in their head and they have found their focus, their eyes change, they become serious, they know they are about to face a challenge. Then off they go and destroy themselves within the next set of their workout. I love getting people to this place. 

The other night I was teaching a class and I was playing music that had an amazing drop where it went calm and then start to build in a way that subconsciously told the riders that they were about to face a challenge. In a calm, controlled voice I said ‘Do you know what I love?…’, I paused. To be honest I didn’t even have the answer preloaded in my head but out of nowhere I said ‘I love being fit’. These simple words seemed to grab everyone in the room, they looked at me with a knowing look which told me that they understood my message and what they were meant to do with it. Over the next few minutes I watched as 50 people absolutely destroyed themselves. It was one of those moments as an instructor where you don’t even need to motivate as your people are already there. 

When you ask people what they think about exercise a lot of them will use words like ‘hurts’, ‘hard’, and they’ll tell you that they don’t like it. In all fairness to the newer exerciser exercise can be hard for them and it’s understandable that they determine that they don’t like it. The unfortunate thing for them is that they can miss out of the amazing feeling of being fit. 

If we think about the general benefits that get promoted around exercise we can identify the typical answers, these include: weight loss/control, physical health, mental wellbeing, and achieving a desired image. We all know being fit is so good for us but the one area that doesn’t get promoted about being fit is that you have the ability to live a experience rich life. When you are fit a friend can may suggest that you go for a run up the hill and you don’t think twice about it, you can just get out and do it. You don’t question your physical ability and then doubt if you are up to it. Being unfit can lead to you turning down many fun experiences that involve your physical self.  

As we are heading into the summer season, the one season where people tend to think about their health and fitness a bit more, maybe you could make it your aim to be a fit person. To get to that place where you have no doubt about your ability to get out the door and get physical with some fun life experiences. When your friend rings you and asks if you want to go for a bike ride you can say ‘what time are we meeting?’. You won’t be worrying if you can make it or if you will be to slow, you can just get out and do it. By getting to this place you will have a zest for life which you will value so much. 

The great thing about making being fit your goal is that you end up getting all of the other benefits that get promoted around exercise. It ends up being win win for your physical and mental self while providing you with many fun life experiences. Now this is a goal worth chasing. 


This piece orginally appeared in The Press


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Bevan Eyles