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Fitness Instructors: Ripped or Average?

If you like to take fitness classes like Pilates, aerobics, or kickboxing, I'm sure you've had your fair share of instructors. Does it matter to you what they look like? I have to say that although it's inspirational to see a strong and muscular instructor, it's a little intimidating. Sometimes I just feel much more comfortable taking a class from someone who's softer and more normal looking, you know, someone who looks like she takes care of herself but doesn't obsess about it.

When it comes to fitness instructors, what do you prefer?


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Mmmarshmallow Mmmarshmallow 9 years
[and I totally meant "who are you to assess their fitness based on their appearance?!", not experience!]
Mmmarshmallow Mmmarshmallow 9 years
To all those people who have said that 'if the trainer is overweight, then they're not fit and there's no way that they can inspire me', who are you to assess their fitness based on their experience?! Punkingirl is a great example of this, and there are many other people who are overweight who are very very fit people. You should read Fat Girl On A Bike [] - a fantastic fitness blog about a girl who has in no way let her physical shape affect her training for intense fitness events that most thin people would cower and whimper at the thought of. I've had people tell me that I should 'consider exercising' based on my physical appearance. Hah. If they'd known that I'd just competed in a triathlon, have enrolled in several running races and am training towards a marathon in November, would they say the same thing?
erinlikestoplay erinlikestoplay 9 years
If my trainer is overweight, how am I supposed to believe they can train me to be fit? I like when they are toned and lean.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
I HATE when trainers look FAT....or worse, they're so buff they're gonna BURST right outa their clothes. LEAN, that's what I like. LEAN, with TONE throughout the body cuz you know that's REAL.
Punkingirl Punkingirl 9 years
I teach yoga at a gym. I am fit and work out an average of six days per week. I'm also overweight. I occassionally have moments when I worry about what new students will think of me given that I'm not stick thin. However, inevitably by the end of the class that worry has disappeared because I know I teach one hell of a class. It's a fitness style of yoga so it's a great workout. This is why my classes are packed and people come out in -10 degree weather on Sunday mornings at 7:50 am!
bealotus bealotus 9 years
My trainer is a girl and she used to compete so I know how hard she worked and how her body looked like. She doesn't compete anymore but her body is amazing, toned but still with lean curves. I've seen other trainers that are stick-thin or chubby (not toned) and that doesn't inspire me,but it doesn't need to be a body builder either.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I could care less what my trainer looks like, as long as they know what they're doing. My old personal trainer was kind of average looking, definitely not ripped, but he really knew what exercises I should be doing to build muscle and strength. He also freely admitted to me that he wasn't doing a lot of cardio in his routine and that was why he was pretty normal-looking. I would be a little leery of a trainer that was REALLY overweight because I wouldn't think they were actually doing the exercises they were showing me how to do. Although, I did take a yoga class from a woman who was pretty plump, but she was so freaking flexible that it was AMAZING. She really knew her body and how to move it...she was so much more flexible and graceful than I was!
maya622 maya622 9 years
I don't necessarily need to have a ripped instructor either, but they definitely need to be healthy and fit. It seems to me if you really love your job and are passionate about what you do, you would be fit and toned because health and exercise would just be a part of your life. So, when I see trainers or group ex instructors who aren't in shape, it makes me wonder where there head is at and if they are for real. Like, are they leaving the gym and eating fast food? It also makes me worry that if they aren't in shape then they aren't really concerned about form and functional training during their classes. If I'm forking over my hard earned cash, I want you to walk the walk and talk the talk, which means you need to be fit and toned.
Novaraen Novaraen 9 years
I say ripped!! I want someone who looks like they know what they are doing and can help me achieve it too! No...i dont want to be totally ripped..but i want to be FIT! I am sick of seeing these skinny teenagers at my gym giving training sessions to people...i mean, seriously?? I'm supposed to stare at his pimply face and thin lanky limbs and believe that he knows how to do lunges and basically any kind of rep/exercise properly?? Pah!
javsmav javsmav 9 years
There are some instructors at my gym who look like they workout 24/7, but then there are the people who have desk jobs and teach before or after work for fun. All of them are in shape, but some of them aren't stick thin. I've been skinnier than some of the instructors, but they still kick my ass in class and that's what matters to me. I really don't care if the instructor has 5 pounds to lose and is trying to get a good spin workout in--chances are she's going to make it that much harder because she wants to lose weight, too!
GreenSkittlesGal GreenSkittlesGal 9 years
I actually won't go to a class again if the instructor didn't have a body that I aspire to have. I need some visual encouragement!
Leilanic1 Leilanic1 9 years
i think they should be in great shape with excellent muscle tone..not necessarily bodybuilderish but toned and fit. when i go to a class and the instructor is out of shape looking and overweight, it makes me wonder what this class will do for me...if they aren't fit and they teach the class how can i get fit taking it? martini rossi - i agree, i don't understand at all how an instructor who is supposed to be teaching a healthy fit lifestyle be overweight and expect to be a role model.
jill37 jill37 9 years
My pilates teacher is a little overweight, which struck me as unusual in the beginning. But then she told me that she used to weigh 300lbs and lost almost half her starting weight through a mix of pilates and cardio. Even though she's still working toward her ideal weight, I find her incredibly inspiring and motivating. Besides, she has way more core strength and flexibility than any of the skinny girls in our class!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I have 2 trainers, both were men in REALLY good shape. Very ripped and had great bodies. Both were total sweethearts too that we joke around and laugh. If I can't laugh with my trainer, it's not a fit. I have to be having a good time or it doesn't work. My current trainer is Russian and I love hearing him say things with his accent. Cracks me up every time!!
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
As long as they keep me motivated, I really don't care about their appearance.
chasgwen chasgwen 9 years
Not ripped, but definatly toned. I have taken several different spinning classes over the years, and I've never had an instructor that really appears to be very fit! It's really slightly discouraging, especially since spinning is supposed to be such a great cardio workout.
HipMom HipMom 9 years
I voted ripped, but what I really mean is very fit and healthy-looking, definitely more than average! Gotta keep a gal motivated!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I could really care less!!!
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
Ripped - not really. I know myself and if my instructor is ripped I will feel a lil intimidated. Average - to me that means in really good shape, which is great. I want my insructor to be fit, a way I can I feel like I can look like that too. Ive seen overweight trainers at my gym - something I will NEVER understand.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
One of my instructors is a 50s-ish woman. She is just as cute as a button, and in GREAT shape, especially for her age! She's not super-ripped like a body builder, just in really good shape. She's been teaching aerobics since at least the 80s! She, to me, is SUCH an inspiration, to be so active & in shape.
Pistil Pistil 9 years
Average doesn't necessarily equal overweight... I don't think it matters as long as they can motivate me.
marygrace marygrace 9 years
I want to see someone who looks like they really know what they are doing, and a muscular body would more likely reflect that than an overweight body. They should already have the results I'm after. I mean, you wouldn't take advice from a fat nutritionist, would you?
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I'd like to be a little more tone than average. I mean I'm average and I'm trying to IMPROVE on how I look.
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