NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

The Deeper You Dig… The HIGHER the High

Posted on: February 15, 2010

This is going to be a bit of a random post so excuse the fact it’s a bit all over the show subject wise!

I’ve just spent 4 days out of town – had to travel to the South Island for a wedding and decided to make a long weekend of it. I won’t mention where I went as I don’t want people to put 2 and 2 together (you’ll see why in a minute). Anyway, of course I couldn’t take 4 full days off exercise (heaven forbid!) so we had to search out for Les Mills classes locally and luckily there was a couple of gyms to choose from so scheduled in a combat class one night and a pump the next morning – that also allowed me a chance to take two full days off training which is all good because I’ve not actually had a single day off teaching this year! I also relish the opportunity to learn off other instructors and was looking forward to picking up a few tips. The pump class was good – but it was the combat class that caused me to raise an eyebrow – the reason for which I’ve covered off a couple of times in previous posts (clearly the instructor doesn’t read this blog!)

I’ve posted before that combat tracks are getting longer – and they really are. For this reason I’ve also posted about The importance of planning your playlist – something that’s really imperative as you could VERY easily take a class well over an hour – or by the same token have another that was over in under 40 minutes if you didn’t choose your tracks wisely. Well that’s exactly what happened in this class. There were two instructors team teaching, they started with the warm up from 41 (10 minutes) – track 3 was Poison (closing in on 8 minutes), track 4 was Use Me (6 and a half), track 6 was a 6 minute track, track 7 was 7 minutes, track 8 – 6 and a half minutes (I think you can see where I’m going with this!) – all up including mic changes and switching from CD to iPod (I’m not too sure what that was about!) and the conditioning track started when the next class was meant to begin! To add insult to injury the conditioning track was a 4.5 minuter (there are 3 minutes or even under what were they thinking!) so they had to cut the cooldown short. Regardless of that the next class started over 10 minutes late – something that absolutely infuriates me personally (hmm… does that count as a pet hate or are others bothered by this as well?)

Before I went down the line I asked a question on facebook about what my friends felt was the correct procedure as an instructor; if you were popping along to another gym to do a class is it etiquette to tell the instructor beforehand that you’re an instructor? Is it best to tell them after? Did it matter at all? I honestly had no idea what was correct if anything… (if you’ve not added me on facebook please do as I’m always pitching strange questions like this and I’d love your feedback!)

Turns out it seems there’s no “correct” procedure as I got dozens and dozens of responses and all of them were different. Some felt it was rude NOT to tell the instructor before. Some felt it was rude TO tell the instructor before as it may put him or her off. Pretty much everyone agreed you always follow the instructors lead even when they make mistakes and all agreed that you never precue movements in advance (again I agree here and that does actually take a lot of concentration to do – especially if when on the floor like me you just go into auto mode!) What are your thoughts on the matter? Would love your feedback below.

As it happens because we went straight to the gym from the airport I didn’t get a chance to speak to the instructor before – and because the class ran so late I didn’t get a chance to speak to them after so the point was kinda moot in the end! Still makes for an interesting point of discussion though!

Finally I want to leave with you an image I took on my phone (apologies for the quality) (thanks Marcus for the MUCH better image!) of the poster that hangs directly above the stage at my main gym such that I see it every day. It really motivates me on two levels: One, I just love the phrase “The Deeper you dig the HIGHER the High“. That along with “When your body screams tell it to SHUT UP” just pushes me so hard and in turn I like to think I push my class even harder too! The other reason is that the poster features the lovely Mid… if you’ve not had a chance to experience one of Mid’s classes you’ve got to do it! She just epitomises energy and passion and I every time I’m in Auckland I try to get to one of her classes. In fact I’m in Auckland this Friday for the GFM module and I’m going to head along to her 6:30am attack class… if you’re in Auckland get your butt along to LM City and join me!

Motivation! Mid and "The Deeper you dig the HIGHER the High"

Motivation! Mid and "The Deeper you dig the HIGHER the High"

Once again apologies for the shotgun nature of the subjects in the post – but would love your feedback on any of it!


22 Responses to "The Deeper You Dig… The HIGHER the High"

Hi Glen,

I don’t know what the policy at other gyms, but here at both LM clubs the classes run back to back – e.g. on Saturday the timetable is 8:15am Attack (45mins) 9am Combat, 10am Step, 11am Attack, 12pm Pump, and if the attack class happens to be running 5 mins late then it is the next classes responsibility to make up the 5 mins – so if that was the case Combat would have to cut short the ab track / cooldown to make up the time…
I don’t know if this is ‘official’ LM policy, but an instructor told me this one day.
I think if you are an instructor and you do another instructors class as a participant, you don’t need to tell them you are there, unless you enjoyed the class then you can mention it to them afterwards.

Hey Glen! Once again, great post. Hope you had fun at the wedding? They’re always gorgeous yes?

Sucks about the length of the Combat class you attended – however hope you didn’t slack off since you weren’t on stage ;0)

I tend not to say that I’m an instructor when I attend classes outside of my gym. I think its pretty obvious anyway who is an instructor and who isn’t due to tell-tale factors such as armlines, hand placement, energy, and the fact that they sing along to every song and smile like an idiot (or is that just me?!).

I know that if someone came up to me before a class I taught and said they were an instructor I’d freak out and try to be perfect….and if they did it after I’d freak out as I would think they were judging me the whole time!

Love the image and love Mid – I wont be at her 630am Friday class this week (I really REALLY dont do mornings…..) but will you be at workshops on Saturday?


@Nick I just don’t think classes should run late. Personally I find it a slap in the face if the class before mine runs over. I know there’s always factors (sometimes in pump if there’s a lot of new people we may spend more time setting up or more time previewing moves etc) but if it just comes down to poor planning (like this one did) then I just wanna grab the instructor and shake them! But again maybe that’s just me… thankfully all my classes now don’t have another right before them so I haven’t had to evasive side kick anyone for some time πŸ˜‰

@Rach – no I won’t be! I fly out to Sydney Friday night for an Ultimate Fighting event – will be the first workshop I’ve missed in 2 years and I’m bummed!

Hey I’m not an early morning person either but it’s Mid!!! She’s actually taking the BA68 release on Saturday anyway so I’ll let you off πŸ˜‰

Yes it’s Mid, Im a huge fan, but 630am? Nup. Hehe! Yeah her, Mark and Grant team taught Attack last night as practice for workshop – Attack 68 doesnt get any easier!!!

Have fun in Sydney – are you competing? Or spectating? Dont forget the giant Toblerone and duty free booze either ;0)

Even if you had wanted to introduce yourself – both instructors had their backs to the class right up until it started – talk about body language and making your class feel welcome – personally I think that maybe they should have both been up at the Christchurch workshops that just happened over the weekend to maybe get some learning in?!?!

Actually thinking about it – perhaps that’s where the other instructors were???

@Rach – no DEFINITELY not competing! The UFC is madness – those guys are complete animals and would literally tear me apart. We do have front row seats though – so I’m almost in the cage!

Why do we buy Toblerone duty free? I’m sure it’s not that much cheaper – after all the duty on chocolate isn’t that high?? Very odd tradition but we all do it!

@Stace – yeah you’re right I never thought about that as I don’t think the instructors names matched those on the timetable… though wouldnt it make more sense that they went to the Dunedin one? That’s not till the 27th.

Ooh! Thats not good Stacey!

Rock on my friend, Glen!

This is an inspiring post by an inspiring man…

It’s a powerful path you are on and message your share with the world.

Stay strong!


Thanks Shawn!

The fitness industry is addictive – even though I had my noncompete with EAS when Abbott bought me out I still had to do something – group fitness was it. Absolutely love it!

Still miss the supplement industry though (was all I’ve known since the age of 18) – may get back into it one day!

Keep on rocking my friend!

Well having team taught for the last few weeks, I feel ya! At least the other instructor and I work our tracks out beforehand, so we don’t kill everybody with long tracks! Is it possible your instructors were last-minute ones? Still, they should have cut back tracks 9 & 10! >.<

Classes at our gym run back to back as well, i always make sure my classes fit in the alotted time and allow for some spare time especially in pump for setting up. For combat, 55mins is my aim and pump about 48mins of music. I’d feel bad if i ran my class in the time slot of next class, for both the instructor and the participants waiting to get in the room.

If i team teach for combat i make sure we have 2 mics set up so we don’t have to stop the music and mess around with pausing the songs and swapping mics.

Our pump and combat classes are back to back as well…sometimes the first class is running late but there seems to be no hassle as there is no class after the second one..

You didn’t mention how others responded to you in the class.. did they stare at you? (well you’re kinda gonna stand out a bit being so darn good at it)

Yepp… a class shouldn’t be finished that late.
Sometimes it happens to me, that I am 2 or 3 minutes too late,
but it relies on the “newbies” joining my class. I take much time for introducing myself and the class especially to new participants. I ask for injuries, previous knowledges in Tae-Bo or something, etc.

If there were some instructors visiting my class, I would have known. IMHO it’s very important to get some thoughts of colleagues. What were we told after our instructors training? “Kia Ora! Welcome to Les Mills FAMILY!” Family… it shouldn’t be a problem to say that you are a member of the family πŸ™‚

But I think it’s “hard” to participate a class of another instructor… I ALWAYS start with wrong side to the front… it sucks *hehe*

Yeah – I agree Glen, if you are an instructor and the class before you is running late, then that would kind of stuff your class up a bit,as you’d be worried about the time
We used to have a BB instructor who took the Monday 6:45pm class straight after the 5:45 combat and if the combat class was running even 10 seconds late she would complain about it – Even though there was not a class on after hers… I thought BB instructors knew how to chill out??
Luckily that doesn’t happen now as we have another BB instructor.

from a participants view however, it doesn’t bother me if the class runs a few mins late – but if the class finished 5-10 minutes early I’d probably feel short changed! LOL!

Hi Glen! Love all your posts.

Our classes have at least 5 minutes in between. Some classes have as much as 15 minutes between due to parking issues at our facility. I do feel it is rude to run long, especially in a Les Mills class. We do have freestyle classes as well, and if they run long it’s just poor planning on the instructor’s part. Instructors should always be aware of the clock and do their best to start and finish on time.

I’ve taken classes from other instructors before and I usually do not tell them who I am. I think it might put a bit more pressure on them. I know we experience that within our own club if an instructor takes another class.

Thanks for your amazing site! We’ve got lots of people at our gym following your site πŸ™‚

I like the quote, it’s motivating. πŸ™‚

And about the etiquette, when I read your story and the comments on it, it would seem that it wasn’t a good gym at all. Teaching a class with your back turned to the class? Like that is motivating the participants. 😐

Thanks for your feedback guys! I agree we’re all human and sometimes my pump class does run a little longer than I’d like and that can’t be helped, however there was no way this class could run anywhere close to on time due to track lengths.

I’m not actually sure the instructor even noticed that I was an instructor as I stayed right at the back… Mind you they made very little eye contact with me so perhaps they were nervous… Hard to tell!

Pretty much everyone agreed you always follow the instructors lead even when they make mistakes and all agreed that you never precue movements in advance

Bahahhaahha, I so do this, and I’m not even an instructor! (oops)

And I love Mid! I’ve gotten up at 6am to do her NL RPM class, so 6:30am gives me a sleep in πŸ˜‰ See you there!

Hey Marshmallow!
I don’t know about the other instructors,
but I love it when you guys pre-cue!!

You start giving soo much energy, and you really rev the class up!
It’s fantastic *smile*.
But, for us instructors – (I also like to attend other intructors classes too, keeps me honest πŸ™‚ – It’s courteous not to do it.

On our sat am classes at St Leo’s, we have an 8:45 – 9:45 pump, and a 9:45 – 10:45 combat. Pilates then doesn’t begin until 11am! *yay*, we have a 15 minute window to absorb over-runs and to allow our participants to whip out & pop a few more coins in the meters if they’d like to stay.

This Window has been a real life saver for many avoided parking tickets and class over-runs.
As Glen said, pump can sometimes run over, particularly when the instructor is doing a great job of introducing the next track, and coaching the weight changes.

Interesting couple of points……

I always try and make sure that my classes run on time – 45 minute ones can be a bit tricky to say the least. I’ve found pump in January a bit awkward at times too – it’s always nice to get some new people in there but why do some of them try turning up after the warm-up has started (studios are a lot smaller here than LM Auckland City so they can’t quietly sneak in down the back). I have a Sunday morning class where I have to finish on time as otherwise the freestyle instructor afterwards moans and even if I finish a fraction early she’ll often run over and blame me which does get a bit annoying (especially as the instructor with the class after me used to have a go at me about it until she found out what was going on). And just why is it that it’s usually the Yoga instrcutors who get the most aggressive if you run even a second or two over?

Next up, it’s been almost a year since I’ve tried sneaking in to a class where I didn’t know the instructor – it was a trip back to the home town in Australia and I didn’t want to go in acting all sh*thot (or even inadvertently giving the impression) because I teach a few classes in London – I just wanted to sneak a few classes in for the sheer pleasure of being a participant. Said thanks to the instructor on the way out and promptly got asked if I was an instructor (d’oh). In all fairness (and this is meant as no disrespect to participants) but there’s times where you just get that feeling that someone in your class is another instructor……

I just wanted to sneak a few classes in for the sheer pleasure of being a participant. Said thanks to the instructor on the way out and promptly got asked if I was an instructor (d’oh).

Should I then be taking it as a compliment whenever I do a Jam or RPM class outside of LM and get asked if I’m an instructor? :-O


Yep πŸ˜‰

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