How To Make The Most Of Group Exercise Classes
Taking part in a group fitness class like spin, Insanity, or Body Pump is a great way to get fit. However, it can be easy to get lost in a big class, especially if it's your first time, and you won't have the full attention of the instructor like you would with a personal training session. Follow our guide to make the most of your classes so that you can get fit, make friends, and create memories!
Don't hide at the back if it's your first class
This is one that happens all the time, so you're not alone if you've done this! It's a common scenario: your friend talks you into doing a class, you're nervous, you're worried about how you'll look or making a fool of yourself, so you hide at the back and kind of do what you think the instructor is doing. But here's the problem: you can't see the instructor properly and they can't see you. What this means is that you won't make the most of the class because you won't be able to follow the movements and exercises properly and the instructor won't be able to correct you if you're doing it wrong.
For your first class, it's best to head for the second row. This means you won't feel like you're exposed at the front, but the instructor will still be able to see you and help you, as well as you being able to follow the movements better. Once you've been a few times, you'll learn the routine, so it won't matter as much if you can see the instructor or not.
Be honest with the instructor as much as possible
It can feel so intimidating going to a new class for the first time, especially on your own. Especially for high intensity classes like circuit training or HIIT, it's vital you tell the instructor that it's your first time so that they can give you any advice you may need to know and can keep an eye on you.
Additionally, it's crucial that you tell the instructor if you have any underlying injuries or anything that might affect your ability in the class. Be completely honest with the instructor so that they can make adjustments for you if necessary. As well as this, take breaks if you need and don't over-exert yourself just because everyone else in the class is bouncing off the walls and jumping like crazy! Don't be embarrassed or ashamed if you can't do all the moves perfectly the first time. It'll take time, and a lot of the other people in the class probably do it every single week so know the routine inside-out and have built up their stamina over time.
Don't try to show off
When working out with others, it can be easy to want to show off and go over the top. However, this is how injuries happen! Every group exercise class is very different and instructors will also be putting their own spin on the routine, too. Strength from powerlifting or CrossFit won't translate to a Body Pump class, and cycling fitness as a triathlete or duathlete won't translate to a spin class. Even if you feel like you're a pro or have good fitness, go into a new class with the view that you're still a beginner and take your time. You might be surprised!
Have fun and don't take it too seriously!
The whole point of group fitness is to make exercise fun. This is an opportunity to meet new friends who are like-minded individuals all doing the same thing. These people are all here for the same reason as you and you're all about to do the same class. If you can't master the dance routine in Zumba or the boxing combos in Body Combat, don't worry about it! Just have fun, follow the routines as much as possible, but most of all just enjoy yourself.