Gym instructors – is shouting motivating?

On saturday mornings at 0915 I go to a Total Body Conditioning class where the trainer is reknowned for his, er, motivating shouts.

Each week he asks if it’s anyone’s first class, and pull them to one side to explain his techniques, the moves, and the fact that he shouts. In my first class, I took this with a pinch of salt, and now feel so sorry for other newbies when they do the same thing. “Oh, he shouts, sure, how bad can it be?” they all think. SO BAD. LIKE, SO BAD, GUYS. A friend of mine takes a circuits class at a sister gym, and I knew exactly who the trainer was after about 5 words of explanation.

He screams, he shouts, he yells, he tells us we’re lazy, we’re too slow, we’re not trying hard enough, and if we don’t like it, “there’s the door.” At the end of each class he even takes a minute to make sure everybody knows not to take any of it personally, and that’s just the way he motivates us.

One thing he never does, though, is swear at us, which is something that seems to be the thing to do at more boutique gyms. At 1Rebel, BOOMCycle and Kobox, the trainers I’ve had drop F&MF-bombs as if it’s nothing, and for some reason I find it so jarring in such an otherwise upmarket setting. If a brand has spent so much money making their gym as luxurious as possible, why taint that by lowering the tone with language and swearing?

I know lots of people find it motivating and it spurs them on to try harder, but for me it takes away from the experience because it cuts through the atmosphere like a knife. Maybe I’m too sensitive (although unlikely, as I live with a Scotsman who uses the C-word as a term of endearment) or maybe I’m just picking the wrong instructors?