Okay, I’m going to vent a little…
Posted November 16, 2009on:
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! 🙂 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! 😀