It’s a funny thing how some of us can become attached to our favorite fitness instructor. Whether it’s your Spin, Pilates or Cardio Dance instructor, the connection can be intense. I’ve seen this attachment firsthand with my own students. I’ve noticed how some of my students refuse to show up for class unless I’m teaching. For example, I have been told that some of my students have walked into the studio ready to get the workout of their life and have walked right out the moment they learned that I am not teaching that day. Believe me, I’m flattered, but the teacher subbing my class sure isn’t. On the other hand, I get it. I am also a student, and when I find out there’s a substitute instructor, I am not motivated to attend class. But why? Why do our instructors mean so much to us?
Besides thinking they’re hot (lol), it could be their dynamic personality, their enthusiasm or simply their magnetic smile. These types of traits usually boil down to a person’s charisma. The definition of charisma is: clear, compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others. Ding Ding Ding…Maybe it’s devotion that keeps people loyal? I recently read an article about the 3 pillars of charisma. What Makes People Charismatic, and How You Can Be, Too. Apparently this is something one can learn and practice. Couldn’t hurt, a little charisma could go a long way.
Reliability is Everything
Our time is precious and the last thing we want to do is waste it. To help you better understand how this pertains to your favorite fitness instructor, let me set the scene. It’s Tuesday night, your significant other is working late. You are rushing to feed your kids and to make sure their homework is complete. The babysitter is on his way. You have him arrive at 6:30pm, to give you just enough time to get to your 7pm Hip Hop class so that you are home by 8:30pm. This means you are only on the hook for two hours of babysitting time. You get to your class and you find out there’s a sub. Strike one. You stick around because the babysitter is already hired after all. However, the sub is ill prepared and starts the class 10 minutes late. Strike two. The class begins and instead of the sub teaching what you are used to (Hip Hop) they decide to give a lesson in belly dancing. Strike three.
By this point you are frustrated, so you decide after the class that you will complain to the studio owner. You not only feel that your time was wasted, but you’ve wasted your money. You are now late to get home and you owe the babysitter an extra hour of pay. What a mess! This scenario, which I’ve heard one too many times, may have zero to do with the sub himself, but everything to do with what you were counting on and being let down.
Finding the Comfort Zone
For some students, it took a lot of guts to get themselves to a fitness class. But after finding the bravery to do so, many students start to find their comfort zone. They know what to expect from the fitness instructor, they know what to expect from the workout, they know where they like to stand in class, and they no longer feel that nervous feeling. It’s kinda like a relationship…where you can finally let out a burp without feeling like your partner will jump ship. Now that’s comfort zone. And being comfortable with someone definitely leads to longevity.
Attention Fosters Loyalty
Whatever the reasoning is, being a dedicated and loyal student says a lot about the fitness instructor. Frankly, it’s the loyal students that often help the instructor gain popularity. The instructor is obviously doing a great job if he or she has fostered this connection with you. Perhaps you like how clear your instructor announces the next yoga pose, or they‘re just easy to follow. Or maybe it has nothing to do with the workout, but rather the attention you receive from your instructor. The acknowledgment you get when you complete a full set of pushups.
The thumbs up or name recognition you encounter when you walk into class. I would gather that many people lean towards the latter. It makes sense. Most people thrive on being noticed in all parts of life. Why should it be any different in this case? It’s difficult to stay devoted to a workout regimen so if you’ve found a fitness instructor to make that commitment to working out more achievable, that’s gold!
Are you loyal to a fitness instructor? If so, what motivates you to regularly attend class from that fitness instructor? What prevents you from taking class from other fitness instructors?