NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Okay, I’m going to vent a little…

Posted on: November 16, 2009

Update 24 hours after posting the below: Hmmm….I actually started writing this post on Saturday night, and completed it on Sunday. At the time I started it I was exhausted; I’d literally done about 6 hours of exercise that day, had driven for 2.5 hours, and had eaten the grand total of 2 muesli bars the entire day (I’m not exaggerating – literally that’s all I had time to eat). So yes, in hindsight I was very grumpy. I almost didn’t post this as a result, and actually, reading back over it perhaps I should’ve just trusted my instincts and held off. If you do read the below perhaps bear in mind my level of exhaustion when writing. Looking back over the day – the generic was fun, albeit exhausting and perhaps a tad OTT (over the top). I’ve had a couple messages from people who agree, and others who think I’ve painted the day a tad harshly. I think the latter is fair… and I apologise to anyone at Les Mills who I may have offended. (I love you guys honest!) Anyway, again, perhaps my tone is a bit on the rough side and if you could read the below taking into account I was a tired, starving, low blood sugared over-trained freak when I wrote it I’d appreciate it! ūüôā By the way, if you’ve yet to do your workshop DEFINITELY go! But just be prepared to work hard – and take some food! (something I should’ve done!) Okay – read on with caution….

This weekend just gone was the quarterly instructor workshop in Auckland, always a fantastic day, a chance to experience all the new releases, network with other instructors, and see the master trainers in action and pick up a few tips. It was always going to be a big day for me – I had to take my BODYCOMBAT class here locally which finished at 9:30am – then leap in my car and come screaming up in time to make the BODYATTACK class in Auckland at 12:10pm (for those that don’t know I live about 2.5 hours drive south of Auckland which didn’t leave me much margin for error!). Following BODYATTACK¬†was BODYBALANCE, BODYCOMBAT and finishing up with BODYPUMP at 5:10pm. So 5 classes all up – and in the middle of all that (and the reason for this blog post), was the Instructor Generic Workshop.

Now, “normally” the instructor generic is a 60 minute session covering all manner of specific subjects relevant to all instructors no matter what your programme (or programmes). Past generics have covered learning to use your voice properly in class, understanding and reading the music better, and my personal favourite – creating a club within a club (aka Make More FREAKS!!) – and, “normally” it is really helpful and one of the highlights of the day. Normally. Hmmm has the way I’ve intro’d this given you the impression that perhaps this session was different? Yep – darn right it was. Waaay¬†different…

Now, I’m not a negative kinda guy. I like to think of myself as a glass is half full kinda person… I can’t recall the last time I even wrote something negative in this blog. Even if there’s a track I don’t like, or heaven forbid an entire release I don’t like I always try to look at it from all angles and write about the positives. Choreography, Music, it’s all subjective – just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean many won’t love it… etc etc. I always try to put a positive spin on everything as I’m but a minor cog in a much larger wheel. However no matter which way I look at it I can’t do it this time; frankly, the generic this weekend PISSED ME OFF.

Warning rant follows:

We all grouped in the main studio as always and were proceeded to be yelled and screamed at for 60 minutes by an army bootcamp instructor. After running around the studio countless times and dozens of drills (burpees, pressups, star jumps, more burpees, more pressups, more pressups…) we were spilt into 8 groups – each one meant to represent a different LM programme. We then moved around each group doing a series of drills (apparently) related to that specific programme. I say “apparently” as it was really just an opportunity for the different group leaders to smash us one after the other.¬†In the “attack” group we did dozens of shuttle runs, burpees, pressups, more shuttle runs, drills of dropping completely to the floor then sprinting to the other end of the gym, dropping again and running back; combat was more pressups, more burpees, more pressups; over and over again. The vive session was spent walking back and forth from side to side the entire time with the bands around our legs. Jam was running from one side of the room spinning around and around and crawling on the floor. You get the idea. And this is my point – I mean – I’ve never done a burpee in combat – what was the relevance of all this?

Finally at the end when I was asking myself that very question again¬†(WHY??!) Mid came out (don’t get me wrong – I adore Mid) and told us that it¬†was a chance to experience each programme and learn something new from it. I¬†LOVE YOU Mid but pullllease. I learnt how to be yelled and how to do 7000¬†pressups. No one I spoke to learnt a thing – everyone was left standing at¬†the end questioning why, when we all have numerous classes to attend, and¬†why, when we’re meant to be experiencing and learning each release did we spend an hour being smashed in bootcamp style. I already had 5 hours of¬†classes to do – five hours of exercise already to do – I left that session¬†absolutely exhausted and if anything wasn’t able to fully appreciate each of ¬†remaining releases that day.

It’s no secret that many¬†instructors¬†don’t turn up to workshops. Many can’t¬†be bothered. In the last 18 months I’ve not missed one. But I really have to¬†question how worthwhile this workshop was. I watched instructors drop like¬†flies later that day. Balance (which was straight after the generic) started¬†packed and by half way was a third empty. Combat which came after that was¬†the same. I was towards the back of the class in both and could move up to¬†half way no problem mid way through. Les Mills, guys, I’ve always got your¬†back but you missed the mark here. Smashing your instructors on a day they¬†are meant to be taking the releases in, and learning from them, on a day¬†when most of us have many classes to do with no time in between to refuel or¬†rest… not cool.

Okay, rant over. I’m sorry you had to read all that but I just had to vent.¬†Be interested in how some others felt if you were there. I’ll go right back¬†into unber-Glen positive happy mode now… much love! ūüėÄ

11 Responses to "Okay, I’m going to vent a little…"

Whoa, that’s hardout – and really uncharacteristic of what I’d expect in a LM workshop (and I love Mid too, one of my favourite RPM and Attack instructors ever!); I’ve always thought that the ‘instructor’ side of the workshops (since at LM Auckland workshop classes are open to all) was about learning about the release, key features of each individual release, where the focus was, and suggestions on how to help your members experience those key features of the release.

What a shame ūüė¶

All the time I have read your blog I don’t think I have ever heard you rant. I read with interest your body combat posts and all seem very positive, keep it up ūüôā

It’s a shame that such time was used in an unproductive manner. Have they not got a forum for feedback that would give you instructors an opportunity to submit ideas for the next instructor generic?

Ooooh that is WAY not cool. I’m getting ready to go to our Quarterly workshop this Saturday. I’m bummed b/c the education sessions aren’t for the two formats I teach (Pump and Combat.) I swear, if they make us do this I’m sitting out!!!! Wasted energy and time. I’m saving all my energy for Combat 42, baby!

People tried to sit out and got pulled in – so if you are there and it looks like they’re gonna do it – run!!!!!!!!!!!

Was a shame as the hour could’ve been used so much more effectively – there was a reasonable turn out this workshop – that is until after the generic! What’s worse is that it was straight after attack, and I hadn’t had a chance to eat a thing all day (and had done 2 classes and driven 2.5 hours) you can imagine how grumpy I was starting to get…. and then some random *** starts screaming at me!

Yes I did think about a well placed roundhouse too…. ūüėČ

Wow – bummer that they took that “tack” with the instructor education. I don’t know too many instructors that need extra ass-kicking BEFORE doing 5 classes. I did two intensives (BC and BP) in Chicago, and we actually learned stuff (in BC we DID do some tough ESK drills, but we asked for them…). Hope you got a chance to recover before teaching again!

I attended generic too. I actually quite liked it, it was really fun but you’re right – I learnt zilch, and we could have saved energy!!!

I had done Attack intensive and Attack workshop beforehand and was meant to do Step, Balance and then Pump…..Step was just NOT going to happen for me so I hopped into Balance education for recovery!!!

Balance and Pump were tough (and the CD skipped in track one of Balance so we were doing this hand sweeping squatting thing for about five minutes, over and over……….gahhh!) but pulled through.

Butt still sore today!!!!!

Yeah I just don’t think it was necessary to smash us on a day when we’re all doing so much exercise. I mean Amy Styles really kicked my ass in the attack portion, and Hernan – grrr – the bugger held me down while I was doing pressups! (darn you Captain Colgate!! ūüėČ ). I was the same though – in the end I didn’t do pump. 5 hours straight exercise was enough and I wouldn’t have taken any of it in. Combat was hard enough….

Which was really where I was going – tonnes of people dropped out of the subsequent classes – but isn’t that why we were there in the first place?

Haha – oh and that hand thing in Balance! OMG – I don’t do that much balance (my partner instructs it though so I’m starting to – when I can’t wiggle my way out!) but I turned to her and gave her an “OMG this is going on foreeeever!” look – the way the track was skipping it honestly sounded like it was just going on and on and on. Dr Dave wasn’t too impressed having to restart the track!

I was lucky in that my group didn’t have to do the Attack or Step stations, and whenever Hernan wasn’t looking at me I’d stop jumping/pressing up/burping (?)……..haha, cheater! LOVED Jam though, I like to think I worked the tarantula…….I most likely didnt though.

You didn’t have to do the attack station??! OMG so lucky attack was the one that kicked my ass!

Gosh I never expected LM to come up with something silly as this….. cuious to see if you get any response form any of the trainers/ head honchos on this article! (note: 2 muesli bars, are you friggen crazy?)

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