Someone Doesn’t Like Your Group X Class? Here’s How to Handle It

Group X instructor coping with criticism

There will come a time — if it hasn’t already — where someone doesn’t like your group exercise (Group X) class. I know it can be disappointing and confusing that someone out there doesn’t like your class. They might poke their head into the group exercise studio, see you teaching and immediately turn around. They might make it through the warm-up, decide this isn’t for them and complain about your class in the locker room.

While it is important to be receptive to constructive feedback and open to evolving your teaching technique, the opinions of one person are usually not worth a complete overhaul of your style. Instead, there are a few ways to reshape your thinking in order to be okay with not pleasing everyone.

Here are some positive reminders that can help you come to terms with your critic.

  1. If you please all, you please none.

We’ve all heard this quote and it rings true in this scenario. Especially in Group X, where everyone is at a different fitness level and has a unique motivation for being there, it’s impossible to cater your class to every single person.

  1. That’s why they have a huge selection of Group X classes and instructors on the schedule.

If every single person liked Amanda’s spin class on Tuesdays, they wouldn’t need to have so many other options on the schedule. Most gyms offer a wide-range of classes with different instructors in order to cast a wider net. That way, members can find the classes that fit their schedule and needs without conforming to one fitness identity.

  1. If I have my favorite (and not-so-favorite) instructors, why can’t they?

I think it’s safe to say you and I have taken a lot of group exercise classes in order to be where we are now. I’ve been to exhilarating group fitness classes, dreadfully boring ones and so many others in between. I certainly have favorite instructors and classes that I like to take when I can, but I also have classes that I’d be perfectly content never doing again. If that’s the case for me, it’s hard to believe my participants don’t feel the same way.

  1. They probably still think I’m nice (or whatever quality you want people to think of you).

Some instructors want their classes to be challenging, while others want them to be relaxing. More than likely, members are having the experience you want them to have. But, there are some folks that might not want the experience you’re offering. For example, a boot camp style instructor isn’t for everyone. You can create an awesome boot camp experience and some members still won’t be interested.

  1. Focus on the people that do show up.

Hearing a negative comment in the locker room can throw you off your game before class. But, if you look around at the members that showed up, you’ll see people that enjoy coming to your class each and every week. So what if someone doesn’t like your class? You’re at least one person’s favorite instructor. Replace the negative thoughts about your critic with positive thoughts of you providing the best possible experience for your biggest fans.

Hearing that people don’t like your Group X class is never fun and it’s not something that’s easy to deal with. If you can reshape your thinking, you’ll be better equipped to take your critics in stride.

For more tips, check out the group exercise ideas page.