Fitness Instructor Authenticity

Instructor voice. We all know what it is. It’s the idea of what an instructor is supposed to sound like. It’s the idea of motivation, the idea of leadership. But an idea is not the thing itself. There’s something missing: authenticity. 

We’ve taken thousands of fitness classes. We’ve watched thousands of hours of indoor cycling auditions, deconstructing them, analyzing each pedal stroke, each movement, each word. There’s a trend that we believe we need to reverse, a common disconnect between the human being on the bike and the instructor on the bike. Too often, the latter overwhelms the former. People don’t follow instructors; they follow human beings.

In drama, there is a term for this: qualitative. A qualitative performance is the scarlet letter of acting. It is forced, or “indicated.” Indicating is the actor acting out their own idea of a visual, as opposed to feeling first, then responding physically. That’s the exact thing a good instructor brings to his/her classes: feeling and physicality.

“Instructor voice” is common across industries. There’s “server voice,” that high-octave greeting you get at a restaurant that says, “This is what a nice person sounds like.” There’s “bank teller” voice, which is a spin on “server voice,” just a bit more corporate. There’s “accountant voice,” “real estate agent voice.” They are all equally misguided. The best of these professions are humans first, then professionals.

We understand “instructor voice.” We are believers in a “fake it ’til you make it” hustle. But only when you are putting in the work. Work and repetition is how you gain confidence and mastery of your craft. Only through repetition will you forget you are an instructor, and remember that you are a human being. 

And then they will listen to your voice.