Testing. Testing 123? I’ve got the POWER! You’ve got WATT? I’ve got the COLOUR POWER!

This is a post relating to the last one from earlier this week: http://spinbella.com/2015/07/28/empower-your-spin-class-training-may-the-force-be-with-you/.

I wrote the last one as I had just tweaked my two existing class profiles to turn the focus in them onto power. I simply adapted them to Coach by Colour on MatrixIC7. Did it mean changing the music or what I was going to do with each of the songs? Not at all. It was about deciding what to say and what NOT to say so as to get the participants concentrate on how HARD they were actually working.

It can be a bit tricky if you are used to teaching using RPMs and RPE scale or even gears estimation, to suddenly have this EXTRA thing to talk about. It can throw you off as an instructor. Why? Because you have your way of saying things, directing people so the workout is still a group exercise class rather than each to their own. And now the bikes have consoles with all those numbers, percentages, zones, symbols like >, <, % and your head starts spinning (no pun intended).

First time I tried to integrate teaching with colours in my usual class I felt it was a mess. The feedback wasn't bad at all but I felt like the class was not up to my usual standards. I felt I didn't have enough time to explain about power enough for it to make sense, and adding just extra information on top of all I normally say was just information overload.

So I decided to take a break. I allowed people to get used to the consoles and setting the colours up if they wished but I wasn't coaching by colour. I would still use only RPMs and resistance. Then I did all the reading and training I mentioned in my last post. And a couple months later – last Tuesday to be exact – I felt ready.

And boy did it work!!! I lead from the colours and kept people focused on the WATTS and how that number was changing and why. I asked them to try and beat their highest number in each consecutive interval (before you bash me there were only 3 in each sequence). The feedback was overwhelming! I loved teaching it and people really worked their butts off. Numbers were reached which I would have never expected to see:

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11822814_477481169097835_2786048814718784313_n[1]

The main Takeway Golden Tip for instructors: in power focused training RPMs are/can be of less importance. Someone can be riding fast at 90 RPMs while someone else is on 68RPMs and they will both be in the same power zone depending on the resistance. It may look less “synchronised” but if you use Coach by Colour as long as the bikes light up in the colour you asked for, you know people are working as hard as you want them to (yes, you can train certain RPM brackets too but that’s another class).

Don’t get me wrong: I have loads to learn and knowledge is POWER ๐Ÿ™‚ but a couple of months ago I simply didn’t know enough about this concept, didn’t understand it well enough to teach with it. But I am on my way. Onwards and upwards.

Now the ball is in your court as training with power only makes sense if you have a benchmark. What am I getting at? YOU NEED TO DO A POWER TEST. You need to know where you are currently at, to set yourself a target you want to head towards so you will know at any point in time where you are on that journey.

If you train on MatrixIC7 ask at your gym when the next ramp test is coming. If you work on any other bikes ask whether any kind of power tests are organised: FTP, PST, ramp tests, anything. If your gym doesn’t run any testing – suggest it. If enough people do, they may put something on.

You need a test to have the starting point and then retest every 3 months.

What if testing is not available? The next “best thing” on MatrixIC7 bikes would be experimenting over the next few classes with your colour zones. If you hit red in the warm up when your breathing doesn’t even change, your FTW number is way too low. If you hit red every time as soon as you stand up, your number is still too low – adjust it. But if you are giving it your 100%, feel like your heart is going to explode and you are panting like a steam train and you are still in yellow – your FTW number estimation was too high.

If you work on other bikes you can still have a go at doing an FTP20 test on a Wattbike.

Work with your instructor. Or even contact me here or via my FB page: Smart Fitness Izabela Ruprik if you want advice.

I am looking forward to my own testing at Cadence which has been put off due to me being ill for the past week. But I will share my experiences when I have done it. The 60s was Flower Power. It’s 2015 and we’re into Colour Power!

Empower your spin class training. May the force be with you!

I first heard the word POWER used in relation to indoor cycling when I had my basic instructor training on Wattbikes. Well, I have heard about power being used on Keiser bikes but I was not taught about how to use it, let alone teach with it.

So I learnt a bit about the concept of using power in your training on a Wattbike but there was an issue here – these bikes are fantastic for training but not so much for exercising. It’s like using an Aston Martin to nip up for milk to the corner shop. I ended up teaching the “old school” way on them: using the RPMs and resistance.

But then a gym where I have regular classes brought in those new shiny bikes that light up in different colours and have the most futuristic name to go with it: Matrix IC7. And the concept of POWER in cycling came up again. Like it or no Izabela – Welcome to Coaching with Colour.

I was a bit sceptical to begin with. There is loads of data that the bike feeds back to you but why would an average Joe be bothered with it? However since the bikes came in a couple of months ago I have done loads of reading, online research, online training and actual 2 day course on training with power in indoor cycling or cycling in general. There is still loads for me to learn but I feel ready to write this little guide directed as much at an average spin class attendee and someone who wants to take their fitness to another level. Or even an outdoor cyclist who may be a bit doubtful how sitting indoors can make them any stronger or better outside.

WHAT IS POWER? In simplest terms related to cycling: it’s your speed/cadence x your resistance/gear. It is measured in WATTS. The number of watts you produce is a MEASURE of how hard you are working. With no consoles you can only guess your speed and resistance. Do you want to see it?

I DON’T EVEN OWN A REAL BIKE SO WHAT DO I CARE ABOUT POWER?
I spoke to Ruth, one of my regulars and now more like a friend, last week in the changing rooms: “Hey Ruth, I haven’t seen you in the class today?”. “No, I had to change my gym routine. You see I started putting on weight again. I can see the change in my body. Cycling doesn’t seem to do it for me anymore. I am doing weight training now”. So Ruth used to do about 5 indoor cycling classes a week. On Tuesdays she would do both mine back to back. What happened then? Has she reached the level of too-fit-for-cycling? No but it is quite simple: we do not appreciate how clever our bodies are.

If from nothing you go to 2 classes a week with the intent of losing weight, you will lose it. To a point. Until your body gets used to your gym timetable. When I kept teaching more and more classes a week: 3-4-5-6 I was constantly hungry but I seemed to be able to eat loads and still lose weight. Now I am on 10 a week and I don’t anymore. Why? Because this is now a regular number. The body knows what is coming and it found a coping strategy. I hit the dreaded plateau. I can see you screaming: WHAT?! 10?! AND NOT LOSING WEIGHT!? I CAN’T DO MORE THEN 10?! And that’s not the way forward. You change the WHAT or HOW and you don’t have to change the HOW MUCH.

Yes, you can change your routine completely and move into weight training but what if you really, really like indoor cycling? You re-focus your training. Do you actually know how hard you are working? Do you know if you are any stronger on the bike than you were 3 months ago? Do you know what your strong and week points are?

NO STRESS – NO ADAPTATION.
Until the bikes with power meters came around we had really no way of measuring any of this. Now we can. Now you can test yourself and retest 3 or 6 months later and see if you got fitter. And by watching the numbers on the consoles and working towards your goals you can still keep the same number of classes a week and if your goal was to do with losing weight – you will keep losing it. I kid you not!

Don’t worry though: this does not only apply to HIIT classes. It doesn’t have to be all out effort each time.

WHAT DOES POWER TRAINING DO FOR ME?
It will increase your muscular strength. It will improve the toning of your legs (hello!). It will improve your cardiovascular fitness overall. It will add variety and motivation to your training: you will know what you are working towards and you will know when you get there. Hell, it will make you a better runner too! I can put you in touch with Russ who takes my classes twice a week and over the last 12 months his half marathon times improved significantly since he added indoor cycling to his fitness routine.

MAKE IT PERSONAL – SPECIFIC
Do you want to get stronger? On the Matrix bikes you keep to your colour zones and pay attention where you are in the zone: lower end or higher end. Maybe you want to get faster? When given an RPM bracket stick to the higher end – you can see your speed in a number format so you can monitor it.

IT ALL SOUNDS LOVELY. IT SOUNDS LIKE LOADS OF FUN. YAY!
DISCLAIMER: NO. IT CAN REALLY, REALLY SUCK. You know me. I tell it as it is. But it will get unpleasant. It will get uncomfortable. You will be panting and sweating more than what you are used to. Exercise can be fun. Training is great fun when you put it into use on a race day or when you achieve your goal in the class by hitting that RPM or that WATT number you were aiming for. A wide grin and a fist pump will come. Later. But not during. It is hard. Your brain will tell you: “Stop now, I don’t like it. Why? WHY? You could have been in a pub right now!” You will leave a puddle of sweat underneath your bike. When given a 2 min recovery song in an exercise class you go: “Oh God, 2min!? Boring! Let me check the view outside…” When you train you go: “Oh, God! 2min?! I need 4. Please, please can I have 2.5?!”.

Now in a group class environment you will always have yourself as the worst enemy. You will have that little devil on your left shoulder saying: “She can’t see you now… She doesn’t know what your goal is anyway… Take a bit of the resistance down… You know you can push 200 WATTS, you KNOW it. You don’t actually have to DO it now… Just scrunch your face so it looks like you are pushing it…” But at the end of the class when you press your SUMMARY button and see those numbers and actually see whether you have achieved your targets you will KNOW you won’t have to GUESS. I don’t need to see it. But YOU will.

WHY THEN? WHY?!
The key is knowing why you are training. You hear me ask this question at the start of many of my classes: “Why are you here? Why are you in an (often) hot studio, willing to sweat next to other 20 people instead of being somewhere nice, relaxing?”. “Why are you training?” is a bit of a broader question that will focus not on that one class but a few weeks or months. In simple terms in any sport you train to be faster or stronger while suffering less in the process. This will not apply if your goal is workout pain: unless you are sliding off the bike after every single class and have to be reminded where the changing rooms are you don’t consider the class good.

But if you want to know where you are at with your fitness, where you can or should take it to become better and you want to see in black and white (or colour) the journey and the results – welcome to the world of training with power.

Are you willing to take on the challenge? I am actually getting a coach myself and will be embarking on this fitness road with you so watch this space. Starting in a couple of weeks!

Meanwhile keep an eye on the next post coming: the importance of fitness testing when training with power.

From cover to cover

Every new instructor has to start somewhere. Nobody is going to give you a permanent class a day after you get you indoor cycling qualification. This is how most of us began their careers as instructors: taking on a cover or as American like to call it “subbing” a class.

I will never forget mine. I just gained my YMCA Keiser certificate and was about to volunteer for YMCA as a gym instructor and an occasional indoor cycling cover. Then I went to visit Inka, my instructor friend at my own gym, who says: “I am going home for Christmas. I need my classes covered. I will put your name down. You will be fine!”. God Almighty! I could not sleep between that conversation and the date of the class. Which was a fair few days.

The class was on Boxing Day if I remember correctly so the gym was quite empty. Which was great as I thought that if I failed there would be not too many witnesses. The night before I was waking up every hour… I was a nervous wreck! Only 3 people turned up but it was good. It gave me the confidence.

Then I got onto a FB cover page for London instructors and agreed to cover a class at 7am in Canary Wharf… Very wise Izabela as it meant getting up at 4:30am to make my way across town…

Anyway, with time you get more picky about what covers you accept – mainly depending on transport connections and time constraints but it is an invaluable part of becoming a good instructor whatever you teach, for a few reasons.

1. You become a sound engineer.
From technical point of view you get to teach on various kinds of bikes so you become familiar with their set up and quirks. But the main point is the SOUND SYSTEM! iPod only here, CD only there, finding magic buttons in dark corners of the room which finally make the sound come to life after turning hundreds of dials in various combinations for 10th time. You also learn about existence of battery sizes you have never heard of and you start carrying a bagful of them everywhere you go. Just in case.

2. Turn up really EARLY.
Due to the very reason described above you learn that turning up 30min before the class is not crazy at all. especially if it’s for a 7:15am class, fully booked, and the sound system is DOA and NOBODY from the gym management can revive it. Thanks to a MacGyver though they put your back up CD into the DVD slot so you play your music via TV screen which makes it crap sound quality but beats you having to sing.

3. Back up music.
I use iPad since my iPod died due to sweat damage and overuse ๐Ÿ™‚ I have a couple of playlists on my iPhone but also carry back up CDs. NOTE: make sure the CDs are not from 2005 and you actually remember what is on them! And yes, get two: 45min, 60min and a just-in-case-the-other-ones-skip one.

4. Riding gear.
Covering classes especially last minute puts you in good books of gym managers or fellow instructors and you can be sure you will need them to return the favour sooner or later. So be ready! Have a spare kit in your office. I have in the past nipped to my local Sweatshop next to the office to buy a new kit so I could take a class. And on two occasions GymBox have been so desperate for cover that hearing that my only obstacle was lack of kit, they gave me their branded top, leggings and socks ๐Ÿ™‚

5. Challenge for every instructor.
You have been teaching your regular classes for a while. They know you and like you. You have your loyal followers. Then you turn up in a new place to cover a class with a smug smile on your face and… they don’t get you. It is a fantastic way of keeping you on your toes. You learn the importance of different types of motivation, how to explain the same thing in a different way. Sometimes it’s the opposite: you know you have a good class but the reaction at the end is a raucous applause as if you just won an Oscar because suddenly your usual jokes are new and so are your catchphrases. It’s a great feel. But the main lesson is that different gyms attract different crowds and your teaching approach needs to be flexible.

6. Ask the right questions.
To minimise any unnecessary stress when getting to a class make sure you don’t only ask where they gym is, how long the class is and what the sound system is like, but also what bikes there are, what type of workout people are used to. Are there towels? You may be like: what? towels? Yes! I sweat. OK. A lot. I have to have a towel across my handlebars. Now you’d think it’s a standard that every gym gives you a towel. Some actually would give you two if you are an instructor so I assumed that was a standard across the board. Until I accepted a cover in Brixton and once in Angel. Believe me, here is when coming early comes into play again as I had to rush out and look for an M&S or TKMaxx. I found them on both occasions but have you ever tried to use a NEW towel that has never been washed to dry yourself? Mission Impossible.

I am sure there are a few more points you could add here – feel free to put them in the comments. I like covers to keep it fresh and interesting. And it’s a great way of building a reputation of being a reliable and solid instructor.

Oh, and one more thing: please do not think that every time you cover you have to deliver HIIT class so they all crawl out of the room. Leave an impression of an instructor who “knows their shit”, cares about the participants. Chat to them after the class, get their feedback. They may be instrumental in you being asked back.

Top Tip for instructors: Never Stop Learning

It’s late. It has been a long weekend. The weather was stunning. Not that I could make any good use of it as I was stuck inside a meeting room most of those two days with the exception of getting into the spin studio a few times. Yes, this weekend I attended a @Spinning training called SpinPower so I really wish it could be Sunday again tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

But let’s get to the point: was the training any good? Why did I do it? Wouldn’t I benefit more from resting or maybe cycling outside topping up my fading Croatian suntan? I have done enough training with well recognised bodies to teach in most places. There are people who have been teaching indoor cycling for much longer than I have and they only have their original training to their name. Surely it would be enough?

The answer is quite simple: as a fitness instructor, indoor cycling instructor or PT you should always try and stay on top of your game. Sports science has made incredible progress in the last 10 years. High end technology and testing that used to be reserved for top end athletes are now available to anyone who wants to try it as long as they can afford it. The bikes that you end up teaching on introduce new concepts and new technology which gets upgraded on a regular basis.

As an instructor I find myself embarrassed if I turn up to cover a class and cannot set up the console on the bike or people expect me to use the software provided and hear me say: “Sorry, I have never used that before. I don’t know how it works”. Yes, you may not always have the opportunity to get proper training on all bike types and visual display systems but I would advise you before accepting a cover to always ask what type of bike and technology the studio uses and what software system you would be expected to operate. This way even if you have never used it before and you have not been trained, you avoid the “WTF” expression when you face the group who are probably already not happy as they wanted their usual instructor.

The course I attended this weekend was very informative and opened my eyes to what else I can do in 3 of my regular weekly classes which are taught on this specific bike Spinner Blade Ion with power consoles. Does that mean that what I have been teaching in these classes for the past year was wrong? No. It’s just that there is so much more in terms of actual training rather than just making people exercise and monitoring their results that can be done.

Since my initial qualification almost 3 years ago I have done 4 additional courses plus various workshops both live and online to help me practice my skills and gain new ones.

I constantly find there is so much to learn about indoor cycling. Now I just have to work on learning how to convey more of that knowledge into meaningful and simple to understand messages that would help my participants to learn something new about their body, energy systems used and simply how to get better, stronger and fitter and be able to measure it.

It is a challenge to pass important and relevant information without breaking into a 10 minute lecture. As Sandro the instructor today said: “You have to know your shit”. And you have to know it well so you can explain it in a few ways so that various people will get it: some like numbers and formulae, some just need and explanation. But to do it while teaching an indoor cycling class is a skill that comes with loads of practice.

It is always so frustrating when a great piece of technology is made available to the instructors but due to lack of training it is all abandoned and forgotten and a state of the art bike console with all various useful numbers that can help you monitor your fitness levels, is used purely for RPM tracking.

I am aware of how much there is still for me to learn and I wish I could devote all my time to learning and teaching without spending 8 hours Monday to Friday in an office. Oh well, that just means I need to be patient.

Have I learnt anything new? I sure have: training (as in proper training with power when you work hard and you actually know what number HARD represents so it is no longer a guesstimate) is bloody exhausting. But it is also rewarding. And knowing what number you have to aim for to become better is a great motivator. I also happened to benefit from the years and years’ of Sandro’s experience as a coach and a former athlete and got a great tip about my own riding technique. And just this golden nugget was worth spending today indoors. And being on the receiving end of an indoor cycling class helps you to understand what it feels like to people who come to take their first class, it helps you remember that what feels natural to you is very overwhelming to beginners.

What is more, talking to someone and learning from someone who clearly is so much more knowledgeable than you is a good reminder how far you still have to go.

You never stop learning, that’s for sure.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means to me

We are all guilty of that. We are all busy trying to fit a workout around the busy lifestyle so if we spend 45min in a class all we want is to be out of the door ASAP, 30sec shower and we want to be on our way.

We don’t think it’s that important. I am fine I don’t have any aches or pains. I don’t need it. What am I talking about? The ugly sisters of a workout: COOLDOWN & STRETCH.

I started using a phrase from Cuez at the end of my classes: “Now is the time to say THANK YOU to your legs for doing such a great job. Respect your body. Allow it to go back to the resting mode. Don’t just jump off the bike and go.”

Some will say that the 2 min after the class is not enough anyway. Well, maybe not but in 90% of the cases this is all stretching the people will do, so it’s better than nothing.

I used to think that I had to pack my class with the workout itself and people would be getting impatient if the warm up or cool down were too long. Now I know these two elements are so important for the quality of the class and the experience overall that I don’t compromise on these. Well sometimes. In 1% of the cases. If for some reason I get delayed.

My warm up is at least 2 songs. One sitting with increasing resistance, one with a slight incline where we practice standing up. Nice and easy hill 64-66RPM. That’s for a mixed class. If we are going into long climbs – as in over 20 min uphill – I will use at least 4 songs to gradually prepare the participants.

The cool down is usually 2 songs as well: easy ride to get the HR down in first and get off the bike in the second. Yes, there will always be those running or walking out as soon as you mention easing off. I stopped worrying about them and instead focus on the ones who do stay behind. I also recommend stretching outside of the studio using the foam rollers etc.

From time to time I mention that getting a sports massage as a great way of rewarding yourself. And I find it really strange when people think this is a waste of money or when they give me the impression that they are too tough for that with a dismissive: “Naah!”

I have a regular who is around mid 40s and plays any sport imaginable: squash, tennis, he runs, takes about 8 spin classes a week and then jumps on the trampoline with the kids. Yeah, I know. No, he works full time. He has a few bad habits when it comes to indoor cycling like freezing his upper body and sprinting with not enough resistance, that I have been trying to correct for months. I warned him that these might cause him lower back issues in the long run. And about 2 months ago the “I told you so” moment arrived. I advised him to see a physio or at least get a sports massage. Every week I would ask him how he was and every week I would hear: “No change” yet he wouldn’t go to get help.

Why is that? Maybe because he was worried he would be told to slow down? Or maybe he was worried he was going to be told: “Well, you are not exactly a spring chicken…” I also blame the culture that plagues the fitness industry of all or nothing workout: you have to be nearly sick every time the 45min is up! You gotta man up! No pain no game!

We had an interesting discussion with two of my regulars today about different instructors and the different types of classes we teach. I teach interval/all out classes once every few weeks but they are not my favourite to teach. I always feel like unless I have a group at the same experience level (not fitness, just technique, ability to stand up, understanding what a sprint is), such a class may be great for regulars but a car crash for newbies. Hence if I do it every so often and then make other classes focus on other elements giving people a chance to learn how to do it safely and efficiently, they will get better next time. If I did all out class EVERY time, when would I teach? This is again about respecting your body and conditioning it for a HIIT class.

I am currently running a TDF challenge where people earn points for the cycling classes they attend. But they get extra points for attending as many Pilates, Yoga or Bodybalance classes too. When I ran my 4 months challenge at the end of last year, the mission was to complete 50 classes in 120 days. One of the options was to do 25 cycling classes and 25 any other classes on the timetable. Many people tried yoga and Pilates and actually stuck with these after the challenge was over. They quickly realise the benefits.

I created a Cycling Clinic workshops which I delivered last year too. These included a section of stretching for cyclists. I wish we could all go out after each class and do 15 min stretch. But if you lack ideas, there is a great book out there called Yoga for Cyclists by Lexie Williamson. I took a workshop with this lady before the book was released. I really enjoyed it and the book is a great resource.

So guys, please listen to the Queen of Soul. She may not have had cycling (definitely not Soul Cycle) in mind when she was singing this but it’s a fitting closing to this post ๐Ÿ™‚

Blowing my own trumpet – can’t help I am fabulous

You know I like to experiment. With music, class format, type of workouts etc. I spend hours scouring YouTube and Googling stuff that would shake things up in my indoor cycling class a bit. I have talked about music in one of my previous posts. Today I would like to talk about class format and workout types.

I read this article today and I couldn’t agree more: http://greatist.com/connect/militarization-fitness.
People feel that if they don’t get a whole body workout or all-out-gonna-puke indoor cycling session, they wasted 45 minutes. In indoor cycling it basically translates into HIIT interval session. What’s my take on it?

Personally I am not the biggest fan of HIIT as an instructor. I mean don’t get me wrong: this type of session has its place. It’s a great workout. From the instructor’s point of view though, taking into consideration my passion for teaching and helping people to gain new skills I find them somewhat tedious to teach. Oh my, I hope I won’t face a backlash here from both fellow instructors and participants ๐Ÿ™‚

What I mean exactly is I would prepare the playlist and tell the riders: up, down, fast, recover, slow, run up this hill, recover etc. But my view is that for a really good and powerful interval session you need to be conditioned. Going all gung-ho with poor form and technique will just tire you out but you won’t gain half as much as from a more “boring” endurance session which will allow you to practice riding efficiently. Or a proper sprint training session. Or long hills.

If you take 3 or more classes a week and try to make them all HIIT sessions you face fatigue and possibly an injury.

A friend who teaches Pilates told me once she could never teach indoor cycling as there was nothing to teach. She couldn’t be more wrong, believe me.

I remember creating my first DIFFERENT session: warm-up, then 3 fast pace 80-90RPM songs followed by 15min hill climb. I was worried people will be bored with the first 20 minutes in the saddle but I was so wrong. The feedback was so positive. Or after the first class with a 30 min climb.

Which brings me to the main point. The feedback. You have no idea how important it is for an instructor. Now sometimes the energy is so high in the studio you don’t need any words. At other times you think throughout the class: “This is not working, they are looking bored. Why? It worked in the other group…” And one of the two things follow: despite your reservations people come to you after the class saying they thoroughly enjoyed it DESPITE looking like zombies ๐Ÿ™‚ or this class just wasn’t right for this group. It may be the music, their fitness level, whether they are used to using their intrinsic motivation or maybe your own energy wasn’t there?

I always ask people for feedback. I say: “I am here for YOU not the other way round so if this is not what you want to do, please let me know”. Now mostly people who loved the class will come and speak to you. The ones who didn’t enjoy it just leave quickly. I make a point of trying to talk to these guys after the class, even in the changing rooms. I also give out my cards so they can FB me or e-mail me and I do give out questionnaires once or twice a year. These are anonymous and very helpful.

We as instructors need particularly the constructive criticism. We know we won’t be able to please everyone. I always make it clear at the start of the class what we will be doing and why. If this is not your favourite type of training just remember that by doing the things we don’t like doing we get better at them.

But if you didn’t enjoy the class because you found it boring as we did the same thing for 30min and I didn’t motivate you enough to keep focus, I talk too much, my instructions were not clear, you find using a video distracting etc I need to know so I can improve your experience and improve as an instructor. Maybe get some extra training.

I love positive feedback – let’s be honest, we all do! It’s great to hear my classes are different and that you love coming to them. This definitely tickles my ego and puts a smug smile on my face. But I know how to blow my own trumpet – I know I am fabulous. Runs in the family. What I need is for people to tell me the bad and the ugly. So please don’t be afraid to speak up. Bother me anytime.