Taking part in group fitness classes can be a social, fun and motivating addition to your exercise regime. However, it can be tempting to slack off a bit when you’re working out as part of a crowd as you’re in charge of how hard you train.
Here’s how you can step up your game while you’re breaking a sweat during classes:
Introduce yourself to the instructor
If you’re trying out a class for the first time, arrive 5-10 minutes early and introduce yourself to the instructor. This is especially important if you have an injury, a medical condition or you’re pregnant.
If you have equipment (like a weights or spin class), this is the time you can ask them for help to make sure you set yourself up correctly at the beginning. Not only will you feel more comfortable, the instructor will be be able to give you any pointers or special exercise options to cater to make your exercise experience a better one.
Listen carefully to the instructions
The instructors aren’t just up there to look fit and happy! Listen to what they tell you and act on their instructions. If they tell you to put on heavier weights, do it. If they tell you to exhale and relax deeper into your downward dog, do it. You’ve managed to get to the class in the first place which is usually the hardest part, you don’t want to cheat yourself by not giving it 100%.
This is especially important if they are giving out instructions on how your body should line up or how to perform the exercise safely as the last thing you want is to get injured because you didn’t follow advice.
Take the hard road
Instructors will usually give different sets of instructions for beginner, intermediate or advanced options. Unless you have an injury or condition preventing you from doing the more difficult option, give it a go!
Challenging yourself during your exercise is how you get fitter and stronger, so don’t sell yourself short. You can always revert back to an easier option if it becomes too hard.
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