Wednesday, August 24, 2011

If you lead, they will follow

I have diligently been preparing for teaching fitness in the fall and have been attending a variety of classes to get a better idea of expectations. I will be teaching a workout mix, spin, bodybalance (combo yoga/pilates) , bodyshape (strength training for age 50+), pilates and yoga. I have observed some pretty outrageous things in the classes I've taken. Don't get me wrong there have been some really great moments as well but the pulsing, oh the pulsing...and the leg lifts :( I have been doing the strangest moves in these classes, contorting my body, bending and turning and lifting and pushing and standing on my head... It begs the question, Will people do whatever you tell them to? I was watching Dr Phil...that's right Dr Phil in the middle of the judgement, and he had on a Psychologist who does research in human behaviour specifically looking at the influence of a perceived authority figure, mob mentality, and bullying. The Psychologist spoke about the riots in England and the holocaust as examples of genuinely good people doing horrific things due to the power of persuasion. He even conducted an experiment where he had a regular "joe" dress in a uniform and pretend to be guarding someone who broke the law. He asked a passer by to hold a tazzer while he went to use the phone. He instructed them to taze the person with 40 thousand volts, enough to kill, if they moved. Seven out of ten people actually tazzed the person when they moved...INSANE! They didn't know what crime the person had committed and did not ask any questions. The power of a uniform and perceived authority was really surprising to me. This doesn't mean that as a fitness instructor I will have participants tazzing one another in class but I think with this perceived power or leader role comes great responsibility. People are trusting you with their bodies and it is important that you provide the best instruction possible. Fitness classes should be safe, effective and balanced. Stop it with the 50 reps of bicep curls and leg lifts already and the pulsing, oh the pulsing :(
Speaking of mob part of the welcome week (INKOM) for the University students UM sport prepares a flash dance mob. It's a random surprise event in the middle of the city square that brings awareness to the UM sport program. In order for everyone in the deparment to prepare the fitness instructors create a teaching video. So I volunteered to be part of the video. Check it out! I warn you we made the dance and the video in less then an hour but it was a neat idea and I had a blast :) This is definitely something I would like to do at Mac


  1. Nice dance moves! If the link doesn't work, you have to copy and paste it ;)

  2. Nice, Harri!! You worked it like Jagger for sure!! :) Here's a permalink to the video: