I am a HUGE advocate for everyone trying fitness classes! I actually prefer going to classes instead of doing my own routine at the gym because it’s the best of both worlds – I know I’m getting a good workout AND the classes are fun! Any university should offer fitness classes at their rec center and any city should have a SoulCycle or a Yoga Lounge tucked somewhere in it.
Although fitness classes are a blast-and-a-half, if you are new to the scene, mistakes can be made which can rob you of a great experience. To make sure you are getting the best experience, here are my top mistakes to avoid during your fitness classes.
1.) Not Bringing Water
The number one rule for ANY workout is to hydrate! I always feel bad for the people joining the class last minute and quitting half-way through because they didn’t bring any water. Not drinking any water during your workout will have you lose productivity as well as restrain you from replenishing the fluids that you lose during the exercise which is detrimental to your body! Do your body a favor, and always pack a bottle of water before heading to the gym.
2.) Pushing Yourself Too Hard Too Fast
We all want to get the most bang for our buck when it comes to fitness classes, but too many times have I seen people going way too hard during the first half of class, and then they don’t have the strength or the energy to finish strong. The thought to keep in mind is pace yourself- you will be much more efficient with your energy and ultimately get more results out of the workout!
Also, take your warm-ups as they should be taken: slow and steady! This is the best way to physically prepare your body for the endurance of the class ahead.
3.) Not Giving It Your All
On the other hand, not giving your workout your all during the class is almost as detrimental as wearing yourself out too early! You had the will-power to get yourself off the couch to come and workout, so why wouldn’t you give that one hour out of your day your all?
My Circuit Cycle instructor always drills us during class, “Are you pushing yourself? Are you giving it all you got? This is your workout, so make the best out of it!”
Yes, the workouts are long, your body is getting sore and you are constantly catching your breath, but you came here to better yourself. Take a breath, get a sip of water and power through!
4.) Not Trusting Your Instructor
Fitness instructors are superheroes tbh! They do the hard workouts with you while still maintaining the energy to smile and motivate you throughout the rest of the class. That being said, why wouldn’t you trust someone who was specifically trained on how to get you through this class?
Your instructor is NEVER going to make you do anything that isn’t possible for you to do, which might be hard to believe when you think you’re about to die after the two minute plank jacks they introduced to class, but it’s true! Their goal is to give you a great workout, so trust that that is their intention and follow their steps as they lead you through class.
5.) Not Wearing Appropriate Clothing
Even though that YouTube video of the guys in heels on treadmills is fabulous, I would not recommend that footwear for your classes! In fact, all gyms have a strict dress code that they enforce! Things like jeans, flip-flops and even not wearing a shirt are gym fashion no-no’s. Not only can you hurt yourself by wearing inappropriate workout attire, but your workout itself will suffer too! Workout clothing is specifically designed to allow your body to move freely throughout your exercises. Those new skinny jeans you just bought that don’t let you sit down, do not. Invest in some cute workout gear and save the heels for the weekend!
6.) Not Showing Up On Time
Being late to a fitness class is just the same as being late to any other obligation- you’re frazzled, everyone stares at you when you enter the room and you’re already behind! There is no way you can really focus and get into that workout mindset if all you can think about is “oh my god I’m late!”, “what did I miss?”, and other similar thoughts. Also, you might not even get into the class if you are late. Some classes that involve bikes or any other equipment similar have a strict cut-off number, and other classes simply close the door right when the class is starting. Don’t do the walk of shame after the fitness class shuts the door on you, and just get there early!
7.) Not Going In With A Positive Attitude
Even if this is the last place you want to be, even if you just had a really bad day, even if your friend stood you up from this class, going into the class with a bad attitude is basically a death sentence to a good workout. How can you give the class your all when you are preoccupied the whole time with your negative thoughts?
Working out should be a time of the day where you can forget the troubles of the outside world and really just focus on yourself! I get it, we all have stuff going on in our lives, but taking just an hour out of your day to forget the troubles and better your body will make those problems seem much less unfavorable when you emerge from your class.
With so many fitness classes out there, go out and find one that is your perfect match and rock it!