When it comes to fitness, you’ve got to be your own worst critic

Being your own worst critic is a challenge for any athlete.

Whether you’re a professional athlete making millions of dollars or a group fitness instructor teaching a handful of classes a week in a small city, its easy to get caught up in the hype, and let your ego get the best of you.

If there’s one major thing I’ve learned in the five years since I’ve been teaching BodyPump, it’s that you have to be willing to criticize yourself a little bit, even when your peers give you the ultimate praises.

That is especially true when the camera is rolling and your filming for instructor certification or Elite certification.

Earlier this summer, I got a small dose of humble pie when my first AIM II taping was not good enough to make the jump to Elite. And while I was absolutely confident about the
class I had filmed, I knew what I needed to work out and had a feeling it was not going to be good enough.

At the same time, it was an exuberant feeling to get that first taping out of the way. The feedback was way more valuable than a piece of paper that read “you’ve been upgraded to Elite” could have read.

That’s where being your own worst critic comes into play while teaching Les Mills classes. Your coaching could be outstanding but there may have been a small technique mistake that needs to be fine-tuned. Or you have that feeling you could’ve put more weight on the bar in a certain track. Or maybe you could’ve done just one more push-up on your toes.

That’s what the first taping was all about for me. It was all about seeing where I was at, and what I needed to work on in order to get over the hump. But the finish line is drawing closer. I’ve got until mid-October to get over the hump. Two months goes by pretty damn fast. Hell, it seems like it was just yesterday I was finishing AIM II in Boston, and was given a year to submit as many videos as possible.

Now, with the first one out of the way, it’s time to take an all-or-nothing approach. At this point, I have everything to gain and nothing to lose. The worst case scenario is having to do another AIM II, and being that I’m only 30 years old, that’s not exactly a death sentence. I know exactly what I’m capable of doing, and how far I can go, and it’s just a matter of putting it all together.

Being my own worst critic has certainly helped me along the way. And it can help you as well. Remember, there’s always a way that you can improve as an instructor.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.