Fitness classes are an amazing thing, really. Not only do they gather like-minded people, they instruct and inspire the fit you to become even, well… more fit. But they can be extremely intimidating to the newbie. And since you become one in the crowd, it can be really easy for the seasoned vet to blow right through a fitness class without getting a decent workout.
So let’s take a look at five tips for taking fitness classes.
1) Don’t show up late.
Ever… as in, never. Not even five minutes late because those first five minutes are often used for warming up. Also, your instructor hates when you walk in late. Trust me. So keep hustlin’ to the gym if you’re running late because you never know if the class might start late. But if it hasn’t, hustle right on by and start on a solo workout. Really, though. Let’s be honest—who likes to walk in late? Hello, all eyes on you. (Oh, and—if you have to leave early, do so. But please, please stretch on your own before you leave the gym.)
2) Ask for modifications. And help.
If you can’t do something, have an injury or just generally have no idea how to do something. Consult with the instructor. Stop by before class, or do as grade-schoolers do and raise your hand for help mid-class. Seriously. The instructor probably won’t mind. He/She is there to help. If you don’t ask for it, you run the risk of injury and you might not get the workout you want.
3) Make friends with your classmates.
It’s easy to become a wallflower when you’re one of many, but don’t hide in the corner. Get to know the people around you. They’ll motivate you to get there, to have fun while you’re there, and to return again and again.
4) Push yourself—within reason.
While it’s true that the instructor has more than one person to keep track of, odds are very good that he/she is still keeping track of you. So don’t slack, friend! Show him/her that you’re kicking’ it strong style, that you’re on par with him/her during every move. Really, though… do it to be honest with yourself. Honesty is the best policy, right? So if you really want to make advances in your fitness, you have to push yourself beyond Point A to Point B. But always do so within reason. No instructor ever wants to see any of his/her students get hurt. But they do want them to succeed.
5) Don’t worry about what others think of you.
The only person that’s truly watching you is the instructor. Everyone else is there to break their own sweat. Forgo comparisons, don’t feel stupid…just be confident in your skills and have fun—HAVE FUN! It was the first day at one point for everyone else in the room, too.
Drink water from start to finish. Seriously important.
Question: What is your go-to fitness class?
Tara Sabo is a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor. When she’s not training clients or teaching Circuit, TRX and Foam Roller classes, she can typically be found fighting her peanut butter and chocolate addictions. Or doing the wife/mom thing. She writes about this and more at www.adailydoseoffit.com, and can also be found on Facebook (ADailyDoseOfFit) and Twitter (@adailydoseoffit).