Whether you don’t go anywhere without your yoga mat or take so much barre you’re convinced you’re a ballerina, there are certain instructor tropes to be found at every fitness class in New York. And as more people look to their fitness instructors for advice and even as therapists, they’re expected to do more than just prance around in front of their students.
They all must have distinct, intense personalities that must remain in-tact for an hour-long class, even when they’re mid-squat. If you’ve tried ClassPass, it’s more than likely that you’re familiar with the many different types of personalities in the wellness world. It could be a dance cardio session or a trampoline class, but it will be led by one of these types of instructors, no matter where you are.
The Alien: This fitness instructor has never encountered a carb before. She (or he, but usually it is a lady), will spend the entirety of class discussing their diet, which makes the daily consumption of a Victoria’s Secret model look downright filling. She will inspire you to work harder, forego that second (or okay, third) glass of wine, and simply glancing at her Instagram page will make you want to enroll in at least four classes a day. In fact, you might begin to consider quitting your day job, so you can spend all day working on developing similar abs. She is the human equivalent of the kale salad you wish you could convince yourself to eat for lunch every day. The alien never sweats during class–while you’re gasping for air, she’s just glowing.
The Boot Camp Instructor: For some people, like Anthony Weiner, public shame really gets them going. And this instructor knows it. Their M.O. is screaming, yelling, reminding their rapt (albeit upside down) audience that summer isn’t quite over. They’re generally more intimidating than your high school boyfriend’s father. There will be a lot of EDM–or silence. They will be wearing Nike and Adidas, with no new, athleisure brands because cut-outs are unacceptable when one is doing 100 jumping jacks. Mid-workout, you’ll ask yourself out loud, “Is this what hazing feels like?”
The Woo Girl: This can be a Woo Boy, too, of course. This instructor is fond of screaming, “Yas, queen!” even when nothing much is happening. They will inspire you to keep moving, but you will also leave class with a headache. Their classes always involve flashing lights, Rihanna and selfies that will be tagged on Instagram before class is officially over.
The Yogi: This instructor is most often found at an inspirational yoga studio, but they can also teach barre, dance or toning. They begin each class by over sharing, whether that means telling you about their significant other, brunch plans, or the ongoing divorce of their great aunt. The entire class is overly calm, and at the end you’re a little sore, but wonder if you should pay them for the workout or a therapy session. They use words like wellness without a hint of irony, spend time at sound baths and appreciate a good juice cleanse more than anybody you know.