Constructive Criticism, does it work?

Bridget delves into what really makes us get better results

I recently joined a fitness club, and within my membership fees (cheap as chips I might add) is a 1-month programme where you get 1 to 1 time with a personal trainer, advice on nutrition, and free admittance to all classes.

Last week my personal trainer encouraged me to go to a spin-class as part of my cardio-vascular regime. I took his advice despite dreading being in a darkened room on an exercise bike on a very sunny Saturday morning. The room was lit with only ultra-violet lighting and had high energy music blasting out. I was sceptical, but I decided to give it a try and, apart from it being one of the weirdest forms of exercise I’ve ever done (all that sitting and standing whilst pedalling like fury and the instructor emitting the odd and enthusiastic ‘Woo!’) I found it pretty rewarding.

As ‘The Ace of Spades’ by Motorhead blasted out of the speakers, the order was to go faster, our leader making a whirling upwards motion with her hands, the endorphins kicked right in.  I must admit to feeling slightly hysterical at one point.

I wondered ‘can you release too many endorphins?’

Charlie the trainer is such a positive guy (I suspect all the trainers are, but I’ve only met Charlie so far).  After our last session which found him encouraging me to do a much harder ab exercise because, get this, he could already see I have abs and wanted me to work harder so that I can maybe get to see these ‘mythical’ abs in the mirror myself! The whole routine was stepped up a notch in an encouraging and positive way, which got me competing against myself to do better than my last session, which is the whole point of the one to one appointments. 

I believe the founder of this club, Paul Brown, an Australian guy who (along with his wife Jacqui) is taking his inspirational exercise-ethos around the world! He has a brilliant attitude to running a fitness company.  The plan is for you to use the first month of membership to establish new and better exercise and eating habits. Members are then encouraged to not only do better but believe they can do better.

This fitness club has some great advantages over some of their competitors in the market.  They not only provide top quality equipment, attractive surroundings and amazing sound systems, but they also have an ethos which shows they have a genuine concern for their customer’s fitness and health. They also aim to promote being the best version of yourself you can be with constructive and positive criticism, as well as pushing you harder than you would probably push yourself in a workout.

This is the first time I feel I’m making swift progress in an exercise regime (I need new jeans already, Woo!). It’s also the first time I’ve had this level of attention, focus and positive encouragement at a gym.  This has given me increased energy and a more positive attitude towards exercise.  The idea is you go for a minimum of three sessions per week for at least half an hour per visit and if you put in the work, you get great results.

Now my aim is to get the manager to advertise on the radio, so everyone can benefit from knowing which club I’m talking about!

Bridget Carter