Where: Equinox, 2465 Broadway, New York, NY
Douglas Johnson: Cool as a Cucumber... Or is He?
Douglas Johnson pedaling on his bike is a vision of stoic cool. His big eyes, smooth voice and smooth chest skin...(what? He was wearing a V neck). When class started, he didn't say much other than to direct us and to count (warm up had a lot of 8 count jumps). He looked serious on his bike, but he wasn't looking directly at us. His eyes were staring at a mysterious point above us that only he could see. There was something modest and shy about him and I almost couldn't help imagining him as a boy, day dreaming in the corner of his classroom.... BOY, was I wrong.
[Click here to review Douglas' class yourself, or check out his RateYourBurn profile here.]
Douglas Johnson is a really funny guy. It seems that Mr. Johnson was merely warming up. As soon as the warm up was over, Douglas was ON.
I shall now share all of his comments I can remember. Why? Because I can...
- "Keep pedaling. I can see some of you are still carrying leftovers. Mmm-hhhhm. Mac & cheese leftovers. That's right. I know."
- To a girl at the back - "What? You're hot? Damn right you're hot! And that's what you're going to want to be, by summer"
- Motioning another girl - "See her? Look at her. Oh yea. She's working. Work that bike, girl. Ya'll need to work like that"
- "I can see you there in the back raw looking at me. I know that look. You're like - really? (hands on waist, cocks head) REALLY?"
- "Last part of the class is going to be a 10 minute hill. Are you asking yourself, did he find a 10 minute song? Well, yes. He did"
And now, business.
- Despite the funnies, very professional in his directions and instructions.
- We weren't using our panels at all. Douglas wasn't giving any RPM values or levels of difficulty but did put an emphasis on the pace and commented when we weren't all pedaling with the music. He seems very rhythmic, his entire pronunciation matched the cadence.
- Douglas doesn't raise his voice. All encouragement are given in the same cool "work it" tone.
- Walks around and notices people in the back.
- Gives individual attention - mostly if he has something funny to say to that person.
- Did a pretty lengthy stretch for a cycling class that included upper and lower body.
The bottom line:
For me the biggest motivation is when someone stands in my face and demands that I push harder. It leaves me no choice but to prove I can do it. Doug doesn't do this, But there's a lot to be said for the power of a smile. It makes you work and it makes the time fly by. If an instructor is demanding and professional, I'm delighted. If an instructor is funny as well, it's a goddamn love story. Cue the violins now, please.
From the Equinox website: Douglas once weighed 336 pounds! He transformed his body through consistent diet and exercise. Now lighter (171 pounds), his fast paced, intense ride will coax you out of your comfort level. Douglas believes in pedalling with a purpose for an exhilarating, high energy workout.
Find out more about Equinox at www.equinox.com
Read more about Douglas on Kiwi Sweat Pop-Up Fitness website