Thursday, September 8, 2011

Group Fitness Class Etiquette

Team - Here are your dos and don'ts for your first group fitness class.  I have been teaching fitness classes for over 7 years and believe me when I say, "I've seen it all!"  I've seen the smiles, the frowns and the talkative participants.

Being courteous and respectful to the instructor and other participants help you achieve the best possible experience in your group fitness class.

A picture of our group fitness staff at Eastern Kentucky University
What should you do?

Do - come prepared for class.  This means bringing a water bottle (if you don't want to leave class during your water break) and wear the appropriate attire.  Athletic shoes, top and shorts need to be appropriate for all fitness classes.

Do - be on time, which means be early!  If your class starts at 6:00 pm, please plan on arriving to the gym by 5:40 pm.  This gives you enough time to check in, put your stuff away and set up for class.  Setting up for class is crucial!  Setting up may involve adjusting the height of your bike, grabbing a bench and risers for a step class or asking other specific questions.

Do - talk to your instructor.  We're normal people, we promise! Say "hi" and let us know if you have any injuries we should consider.  Make sure the class format is right for you and your body.  If you've had a double knee replacement and you have strained your lower back, Spinning is probably not the right class for you.  Please do not get discouraged, most gyms will have another class on the schedule for you.

Do - be attentive in class.  The instructor will give you multiple modifications for each exercise.  For example, if you miss the modifications for a Plank, you could strain your back.  Don't talk, just listen and enjoy the class.

Do - give the instructor feedback.  As mentioned earlier, we're humans and we make mistakes too.  Let us know that the class was fun, but you would've liked have seen more kicks in kickboxing. We love feedback!

Do - the warmup.  Warming up prior to class is the most important part to a class.  Gradually warming up our muscles with dynamic exercises will help you not reduce the risk of injury.

What should you not do?

Don't - be late to class.  Everyone else made it on time, please try to do the same.  Be especially early for Mind and Body classes.  Silence is golden in a Yoga class.

Don't - just stop cause it's too hard. Modifications are given to you throughout class.  If class gets too hard, think about gradually bringing your HR back down by marching in place.  If you just stop, you might drop!

Don't - use a cell phone in class. Also, if you hear your ringer, politely step over and turn it to silent.  It will be much better than your roommate calling you ten more times to tell you that she forgot to DVR Jersey Shore.

Don't - forget to stay hydrated. Bring water or carefully step out to a water fountain if you need a drink.

Don't - leave early. The cool down is just as important as the warm up. And usually the best part of class.  At the end of the class you'll feel accomplished and ready to conquer the world or the next group fitness class.

Do you agree with list?  Please comment and let me know if you would add anything, exclude anything or if you have general feedback for my list.  Views from the participant and instructor side are welcomed.

Enjoy class and work hard!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, nice post and a good source of information. It really shows that you're an expert i this field. I'm looking for some tips on how effective a group fitness training in this site. Anyways, thanks for sharing and keep it up!


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