PDA

View Full Version : Checking out a competitor



rick316
07-23-2006, 04:39 AM
Ok,so I decided to take a couple of classes at a rival gym today.I took part in a class there just after certifying and was confused by the manic fast pace of the class with the mid-section done off the bike.This was where we did lunges and squats.

Nevertheless I figured that maybe it had changed - I was right,it has changed.

Here's a copy of the letter I'm sending to the studio co-ordinator.

==================================================

Attn: Studio Co-Ordinator



I do not believe what I have just witnessed. I have returned from what I can only call an abomination of a class ‘run’ by an ‘instructor’ named “David”. Is there any level of professionalism in that person?

I shall list the faults that annoyed me enough to walk out of the class.

1.He turned up 5 minutes late
2.No apology
3.No eye contact
4.No introduction
5.No injury checks
6.Made excuses for music not being his – why did he not have his own?
7.As he was fiddling with the ‘boom box’. He had his ass in the air directed right towards me, again no apology.
8.No bike check ups offered.
9.No mic and no apologies for a mic.
10.No volume check, just turned it up to 95% max
11.Unable to understand the words he was saying
12.His first instruction I could understand was pedal fast “as fast as me”
13.Then “point your toes down”,” point your toes up”
14.”Brake on” (!!?!) stretch the upper body (why? It hasn’t done anything, and it won’t do that much for the whole class anyway!)
15.”Get the speed going again”,” here’s a hill, apply your brake and stand up”(no resistance recommendations, no posture/positioning pointers)
16.”Fingertips on the handlebars”
17.”Reach up with one arm, now switch, back to the first, now the second again”
18.The music selection was totally wrong for the population.
19.Bouncing calf stretches on the pedals (both sides at once) after 1 minute of 'warm up'


It was after experiencing these “reaching skills to work ‘the core’” that I made the rare decision to get off my bike and walk out. I figured it was either this or have a very loud discussion as to the finer points of coaching a professionally structured and motivating indoor cycling class. I’m not sure what scares me the most, the fact that before the class I was happily informed that “David” was the best instructor you have or that it all happened within the first five minutes!

I would like a written reply please stating the certification that your instructors, in particular “David” have. A copy of this letter has been sent to The Register of Exercise Professionals and also DC Leisure. Should I fail to receive a written reply, I shall be forced to take this further.

As I take great pride in the work I do and the ongoing education I take part in, I take it as a personal insult the product that you sell in the form of exercise. It is the shortcut route to injury and a bad reputation. David and anyone else that teaches in the same ‘style’ that he does should not be allowed to lead a class of paying members who know no better.
=============================




P.s.After doing a search here I found the post I made 15 months ago about the same club although it was a different instructor.
http://www.pedal-on.com/showthread.php?t=801&highlight=precor

MattF
07-23-2006, 09:10 AM
Wow, I really feel your pain. Honestly, I do. I almost hurt inside when I take a class where an instructor does pushups on the handlebars or hovers or even popcorn jumps. It makes me cringe and wonder what certification they possess. I have instructors at my place do that all the time and even Keiser teaches that popcorn jumps and hovers are absolute no-no's in the cycling industry.

As for the letter, I think it was very professional except the word "ass" unless its more accepted in the UK, I think that could ruin the professionalism your trying to express in the letter. I'd change it to rear-end or backside or something. Other than that, I hope that this will at least get the "flywheel spinning" in terms of getting a change in motion at that place :(

More than anything, as you said in the letter, it's not fair to the members who don't know any better and just go along with this unsafe form of a cycling class.

Best of luck pursuing this, I'm very curious to know what comes out of it. :)

Matt

rick316
07-23-2006, 09:20 AM
Thanks Matt,yeah maybe in hindsight it wasn't the best choice of word there but I wrote it about 15 minutes after leaving the class so to say I was wound up would be the understatement. I will post the reply i get when it's available.

MattF
07-23-2006, 09:35 AM
It's way normal to be more fired up 15 minutes after a horrible class ;) My personal rule of thumb I've established: if I'm going to write a letter about something that upset me, I'll always wait 24 hours before writing it up, or at least waiting 24 hours before I send it so I have time to make revisions if I got rude ;) I've found you accomplish more with "honey" han you do with "vinegar" if you understand my pointless and retarded analogy :D

Matt

megale3
07-23-2006, 10:12 AM
You went to a competitiors gym and then didn't like it so you are going to write a letter to make the competitor better?:) Dude people will see the bull in that program and by osmosis that program will die a slow and arguous death;) - thus running to your gym where you give a fun and safe and effective work out that leaves them wanting more and not realing from the pain. All I am saying why worry about a competitors (Let the instructors there bury themselves) when you have so many of your own riders to take some pride in? Let the sales department worry about getting those people in to your classes and on your gym floor and you worry about that ride they are going to get that brings them back. I know you mean well.
Meg

Legspeed
07-23-2006, 10:49 AM
that program will die a slow and ar[d]uous death
I'd tend to disagree. Rick says he dropped a similar little love note on them a year or so ago. Nothing appears to have changed, so I can only assume the programme is popular and well attended.

I doubt Rick is trying to improve the competition, rather I think he's trying to get them to change their winning formula - a common tactic by those trailing in the marketplace.

Or perhaps it's just a case of his refined sensibilities being offended, in which case it looks like I need to update this list (http://www.pedal-on.com/showpost.php?p=25537&postcount=8).

raptor
07-23-2006, 10:49 AM
My reaction is largely the same Mike's, but...

Apparently England has a central regulatory body, The Register of Exercise Professionals. No such beast here, or rather about ten of them, in this country. So Rick's actions can actually accomplish something - make the competitor better. And that leads to the other complication...

Aren't we annoyed when some hack in some rag writes an article complaining about a ridiculous, pointless or unsafe class, thereby smearing us all? I've sure seen my share of complaints about such articles or worse, the "conventional wisdom."

Ideally, EVERYONE ELSE but me (you) is teaching a safe but otherwise crappy class. :)

Lynn

rick316
07-23-2006, 11:19 AM
If the competition gets "better" is not my concern here.What is,is simple.The members that spend their hard earned money go to these classes (at this club they are inclusive of membership fees) and becaue that is all they know,they think of as good.I spend alot of time,effort and money in the pursuit of bettering myself as a fitness profesisonal.Whereas,it would seem,this guy gets on a bike and doesn't know which way to point it,let alone how to ride it.

What concerns me is these classes we do get a bad rap because of people like him yet essentially,he is doing the same as I am.He gets on a bike and plays music loud.

I want his teaching to be improved or stopped - I really don't care which - because the participants health is not being improved and that is why I do this.No other reason.

Flowerchild
07-23-2006, 01:42 PM
I would probably do the same. I was head instructor for a womans club back in the 80's and taking other instructors classes was required of my job.

The only thing I'm a little confused about in the letter is was the instructor David or Gary?

I LOVE it when other instructors take my classes and have a great discussion afterwards. What was good and what can be done differently. If ever you're in the Chicago area, look me up!

chambergal
07-23-2006, 09:54 PM
I always feel bad when an instructor isn't perfect, but I have to ask were you asked to audit this class by the group coordinator and give feedback?

It's so easy as instructors to be overly critical of another instructor. Whether they're certified elsewhere or just someone else that teaches at your own club - we're all different.

Some of what you observed is just lack of plain old common sense. Some is bad "business management." Some of the poor cueing may (not will, but may) cause someone to get injured.

It's only my 2 cents - and I'm saying this as someone who runs a business - think carefully of what you write. Someone mentioned about people "seeing through" - it's not just that. First they're going to consider you're not a member of that club. Then they're going to consider you're another instructor from a competitor. You never know who you may end up working for - the coordinator could come to your club or who knows what paths you cross in the future of life.

Without being a member of the club, threatening them with a "higher authority" isn't going to get the results you wish to achieve.

You may want to still write the letter and say you were a guest in the club and you weren't happy with some of the things that were done by the instructor and say you'd be happy to discuss them.

I know some clubs do no supply microphones (ours does) and some instructors at those clubs find it very cost prohibitive to buy their own - esp. if they have a full time job and they teach on the side. Comment on what you know can be improved - showing up on time, checking for first timers, etc. If your objective is to have that instructor improve, your letter would not achieve that - it would just put everyone on the defensive.

Again, just my 2 cents.

Robert
07-24-2006, 05:12 AM
Rick,

You have defined true professionalism - seeking improvement in the sport and its participants, even if the competitor stands to gain.

If you haven't sent it off yet, I'd also add why some of the things you list are so dangerous, just in case the studio co-ordinator is just as idiotic. Bouncy calf stretches? :mad: No wonder people think you have to be Lance Armstrong to do spinning classes... :rolleyes:


If the competition gets "better" is not my concern here.What is,is simple.The members that spend their hard earned money go to these classes (at this club they are inclusive of membership fees) and becaue that is all they know,they think of as good.I spend alot of time,effort and money in the pursuit of bettering myself as a fitness profesisonal.Whereas,it would seem,this guy gets on a bike and doesn't know which way to point it,let alone how to ride it.

What concerns me is these classes we do get a bad rap because of people like him yet essentially,he is doing the same as I am.He gets on a bike and plays music loud.

I want his teaching to be improved or stopped - I really don't care which - because the participants health is not being improved and that is why I do this.No other reason.

megale3
07-24-2006, 10:52 AM
Rick,

You have defined true professionalism - seeking improvement in the sport and its participants, even if the competitor stands to gain.


Guys simply look at the necessity for the clubs to hire and fire there own individuals and the need for them to keep trained staff on there payroll that will not get them in trouble with lawsuits, lawyers and doctors. Its not the program's responsibility it doesn't have the resources to go out and police its programs in someone elseís gym where they don't pay the bills and may step on feet in tracking down a guy that teaches hovers. Seriously I am not condoning CI movements and you may start a rivalry between two clubs that will be the talk of locker rooms and someone is going to get professionally hurt you may even have a liable suit on your hands.
Robert this is not a sport and the real competition of it is in the sales offices trying to get those people in your room to teach that is the bottom line. What happens when they counter strike and come over and check out things at your club with all your instructors (not necessarily you) and some one does something that would be considered CI like you tighten your pop-pin on your handle bars without removing yourself from the bike and because the ground work has been laid they through a couple o bombs back? You guys run a tight ship!- lead by example and stay professional coach and leave the policing of others programs to the ones that sign the checks.
Megale
Thanks Leg for the spell check your cheaper than buying one :D

snowbunny
08-29-2006, 10:01 AM
Rick, I can feel your pain. It is ok to vent and write your letter. You may want to wait to mail it, incase you want to "rephrase" anything that you wrote in the "heat of the moment".

Yes, it too burn me up to see an instructor teaching this or that in cycling which I know are contra-indications, etc. And yes, members are paying good money for "bad" instruction. I feel for the members, but not for the competitor....bad instructors will be their downfall.

What is worst, I believe is when this occurs at your own facility. We have "so called" cycle instructors that are not cycle certified. And I am not intentionally putting anyone down....however, with your cycle certifications you learn alot of VALUABLE information...(blah, blah....)
There are times when I just want to scream when I take another instructor's class and encounter "bad stuff", especially safety issues. But unfortunately saying anything is like talking to a wall....so why waste your breath. The members unfortunately are like blind sheep and don't know any better unless they are taught correctly. They will do and say as the bad instructions are given to them. Eventually, the members will find out who are the "good" instructors by word of mouth. In my case, I go above and beyond with hand outs, and also don't just give verbal lip service, but explain why you don't do certain things...(safety, or whatever the case...). The members have responded they appreciate knowing and having the information....which helps them get the most bang for the buck as the saying goes. (And who in the heck wants to do something that would or could hurt them...dah!)

Sorry again about the eye opening experience...but know that you are a great instructor, and others aren't up to your level.

Todd S
08-29-2006, 10:28 AM
If the competition gets "better" is not my concern here.What is,is simple.The members that spend their hard earned money go to these classes (at this club they are inclusive of membership fees) and becaue that is all they know,they think of as good.I spend alot of time,effort and money in the pursuit of bettering myself as a fitness profesisonal.Whereas,it would seem,this guy gets on a bike and doesn't know which way to point it,let alone how to ride it.

What concerns me is these classes we do get a bad rap because of people like him yet essentially,he is doing the same as I am.He gets on a bike and plays music loud.

I want his teaching to be improved or stopped - I really don't care which - because the participants health is not being improved and that is why I do this.No other reason.

Unfortunately, I find I have enough to worry about keeping my own life in order. I simply don't have the time and energy to start worrying about things outside of my control.

I hope that if I ever start taking other instructors' or competitors' classes for the sole purpose of evaluating their quality, that somebody just slaps me upside the head.

EuroD
08-30-2006, 01:49 PM
Rick, you did the right thing. This is your industry and what you do. You have every right to protect it, and that sometimes means sending such letters. I would certainly do the same thing if I had a class from hell. If their management doesn't pay attention then at least the letter can be logged with official body - for all you know it's not the only one. Remember, we often get tarred with the same brush, and I for one wouldn't want to be associated with such an instructor.

jsejt
08-30-2006, 05:20 PM
Hey Rick next time I need a letter written, can you write it for me? Your the Bomb baby! Great letter. Cheers!

You did the right thing.

rick316
08-30-2006, 06:46 PM
Hey Rick next time I need a letter written, can you write it for me? Your the Bomb baby! Great letter. Cheers!

You did the right thing.


Thank you Shannon and you are really cool too!;)

Robert
08-31-2006, 04:58 AM
Rick, you did the right thing. This is your industry and what you do. You have every right to protect it, and that sometimes means sending such letters. I would certainly do the same thing if I had a class from hell. If their management doesn't pay attention then at least the letter can be logged with official body - for all you know it's not the only one. Remember, we often get tarred with the same brush, and I for one wouldn't want to be associated with such an instructor.

Exactly!

I wonder if this might be a difference of opinion divided into Europe-US camps but I really can't agree with those who say we should just concentrate on our classes and leave these morons to teach their awful (and dangerous) classes. I have met many many people who will never ever ever even think of getting onto a spin bike because they've seen such idiotic moves as standing "sprints" at 140rpm+, arm waving, etc, i.e., the class looked manic and all over the place. And these are dedicated cyclists and triathletes, not your average couch potato.

So, leave it alone and allow them to tarnish the idea of spinning and indoor cycling?

It's very tempting to just concentrate on what you're doing and never mind the rest. To take an extreme example, Britain's interests would have been better served if we had taken that option in 1939....

megale3
08-31-2006, 10:14 AM
Exactly!

I wonder if this might be a difference of opinion divided into Europe-US camps but I really can't agree with those who say we should just concentrate on our classes and leave these morons to teach their awful (and dangerous) classes. I have met many many people who will never ever ever even think of getting onto a spin bike because they've seen such idiotic moves as standing "sprints" at 140rpm+, arm waving, etc, i.e., the class looked manic and all over the place. And these are dedicated cyclists and triathletes, not your average couch potato.

So, leave it alone and allow them to tarnish the idea of spinning and indoor cycling?

It's very tempting to just concentrate on what you're doing and never mind the rest. To take an extreme example, Britain's interests would have been better served if we had taken that option in 1939....

Lets see world affairs and indoor cycling I see the similarities :p
Dude! like start a fight go ahead march right on in there and make it happen. Make everyone think that you are a "Cycling Nazi" and must conform (right or wrong) to your ways. Man that has always worked in world affairs too like occupational troops in foreign lands (sound familiar?). It just gets the reaction of "who is this guy?" and "why is he coming from a competitor all holy like?". Itís not a far fetched view on the subject. Unlike this forum where we come and give and get info and ask for it-These gyms that you walk into didn't and yet you have what to gain from this?- quite frankly, a fight because you took the first blind sided punch and wrote a possible tortious inflammatory hard copy with the intent to discredit another instructor- here in the states that is called liable/slander. What will the competitors members think ?that indoor cycling is bad? I don't think that they will do much more than stand by the instructor they know that teaches them and give you the bird. People go to an instructors class because they like them not wheather they are spinning schwinn reebok fitpro reaction and a plethera of other types. I again say you will either be ignored or told to go to and stay put. Court of human interaction.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/4/41/Scale_of_justice.png/100px-Scale_of_justice.png
Meg

Todd S
08-31-2006, 10:16 AM
So, leave it alone and allow them to tarnish the idea of spinning and indoor cycling?

It's very tempting to just concentrate on what you're doing and never mind the rest. To take an extreme example, Britain's interests would have been better served if we had taken that option in 1939....

You're right.

This is a matter that could probably be best addressed by the United Nations... Maybe sanctions are in order.

ACinNJ
08-31-2006, 10:33 AM
Perhaps it's time to check out Spinning in Iran and North Korea?

There may be a "Spinning Axis of Evil". We can't cut and run or we'll have to fight the evildoers at our own clubs.

megale3
08-31-2006, 10:40 AM
Perhaps it's time to check out Spinning in Iran and North Korea?

There may be a "Spinning Axis of Evil". We can't cut and run or we'll have to fight the evildoers at our own clubs.

Can't they just built a wall-

Todd S
08-31-2006, 10:44 AM
Perhaps it's time to check out Spinning in Iran and North Korea?

There may be a "Spinning Axis of Evil". We can't cut and run or we'll have to fight the evildoers at our own clubs.

And God forbid, if these other clubs develop kickboxing or high impact aerobics programs we may be forced to strike preemptively.

I sense diplomacy is not going to get us anywhere...

ACinNJ
08-31-2006, 10:53 AM
We need to spread democracy to as many gyms as possible. Perhaps if we drop bombs on them they will welcome us as liberating-instructors?

Todd S
08-31-2006, 10:59 AM
We need to spread democracy to as many gyms as possible. Perhaps if we drop bombs on them they will welcome us as liberating-instructors?

Most will, but it may take a generation or more to weed out the insurgency.

JoyofSpin
08-31-2006, 11:28 AM
You guys make me laugh! As for me I like htis whole dicatator stuff - think I might just invest in a black leather outfit for my next class and start it off with 'Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight' and 'Master and Servant' and of course 'Whip It'! Speaking of which where did I leave that darn whip????:rolleyes:

megale3
08-31-2006, 11:39 AM
You guys make me laugh! As for me I like htis whole dicatator stuff - think I might just invest in a black leather outfit for my next class and start it off with 'Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight' and 'Master and Servant' and of course 'Whip It'! Speaking of which where did I leave that darn whip????:rolleyes:

When and where will that class be held???:eek:

Legspeed
08-31-2006, 11:57 AM
I formally request a private review of that class, Joy.

ACinNJ
08-31-2006, 12:51 PM
You guys make me laugh! As for me I like htis whole dicatator stuff - think I might just invest in a black leather outfit for my next class and start it off with 'Dominatrix Sleeps Tonight' and 'Master and Servant' and of course 'Whip It'! Speaking of which where did I leave that darn whip????:rolleyes:

Is there a sign-up sheet. I knew there would be some perks to re-engaging in a forum.

JoyofSpin
08-31-2006, 03:09 PM
AC - come find me at LA Fitness - hey now I know which Halloween costume to purchase this year!

ACinNJ
08-31-2006, 04:06 PM
AC - come find me at LA Fitness - hey now I know which Halloween costume to purchase this year!

OOO...LA Fitness...whip your little slave boy, Keiser riding mistress. Make me do contra-indicated things. Make me suffer for the climb.

megale3
08-31-2006, 04:09 PM
OOO...LA Fitness...whip your little slave boy, Keiser riding mistress. Make me do contra-indicated things. Make me suffer for the climb.

OK this is a family forum guys take it to www.Spoon-on.com Forum:p
Meg

jsejt
08-31-2006, 04:30 PM
OK this is a family forum guys take it to www.Spoon-on.com (http://www.Spoon-on.com)Forum:p
Meg

awww come on-were a big family aren't we? Let's keep it in the family. :rolleyes:

raptor
08-31-2006, 09:15 PM
awww come on-were a big family aren't we? Let's keep it in the family. :rolleyes:

Eww. But this might go over well in Utah.

I may live in Utah, but I'm not FROM Utah.

Lynn

ACinNJ
08-31-2006, 09:16 PM
This is the "Advocacy and Safety" section, so lets agree that bondage and discipline be done in a safe and calm manner.

Now tie me up in HP2 and make me hover like a bad boy.

JoyofSpin
08-31-2006, 09:49 PM
I'm laughing so loud that the dog is starting to bark. Keep it clean! I do think it would be funny though if I showed up for class like that but I would never do anything contraindicated during class. AC - I'd need to give you a private class for those movements. OK enough said - back to the original topic. - Joy

jsejt
09-01-2006, 07:15 AM
This is the "Advocacy and Safety" section, so lets agree that bondage and discipline be done in a safe and calm manner.

Now tie me up in HP2 and make me hover like a bad boy.


Wow! You actually have a sense of humor. Yahoo!


j/k

ACinNJ
09-01-2006, 08:48 AM
Wow! You actually have a sense of humor. Yahoo!


j/k

No...I take my depravities quite seriously.....:D

jsejt
09-01-2006, 09:32 AM
No...I take my depravities quite seriously.....:D

he he-see there you go again.

raptor
09-01-2006, 04:59 PM
EXCUSE ME? Not very funny and I'm a little irritated by your comment.

I guess your so much better than someone from Utah, but you choose to continue to live in Utah :rolleyes:

Gotcha! :p I tell people I'm "from Utah." But I also have thick skin and don't mind the jokes, especially since every human population has its dirty laundry piled somewhere.

Lynn

ACinNJ
09-01-2006, 06:13 PM
Gotcha! :p I tell people I'm "from Utah." But I also have thick skin and don't mind the jokes, especially since every human population has its dirty laundry piled somewhere.

Lynn

Can't resist this....Which Mrs. Raptor can we ask about the dirty laundry?

raptor
09-03-2006, 11:03 AM
Can't resist this....Which Mrs. Raptor can we ask about the dirty laundry?

Fortunately, I seem to have picked my potential Mrs. Raptors with due attention to preservation of privacy.

Lynn

ACinNJ
09-08-2006, 09:44 AM
You know the only reason I got defensive is because I really have four husbands and am on the prowl for number FIVE! :p

It must be a Utah thing,I had no idea that wasn't normal!!:D

Looks like you should contact HBO for your own series. They already have a guy with 3 wives and about 9 kids (Big Love).

A hottie with 5 husbands might give that show a run for it's money.

JFK
09-08-2006, 04:26 PM
Man, I put my head down and focus on the biochem. and look what you all got up to! :rolleyes:

As Mike Meyers would say, "Behave!"

and I can be reasonably certain that you won't, so there'll be more fun threads to read next time I pop up for air.

raptor
09-08-2006, 10:27 PM
Nice to see you back, Moon. (Or is it just me who thinks you've been away?)

Lynn