August 12, 2015


We're talking fitness today, but instead of activewear I wanted to focus on my favorite kind of workout -- group classes. One of the best things about living in a big city is that there is a huge array of small studios that offer classes from circus acrobatics to trx to Beyonce dance classes. I've tried quite a few studios in SF, so I am used to being a newbie in classes. I have definitely pushed out of my comfort zone and from that found some of my favorite workouts. I really enjoy the energy of a group class, the encouragement from the instructor, and the being held accountable. It's a lot easier to cut a workout short (or not do one at all!) when you are working out on your own.

So, if you are scared to take a new class (like that Beyonce dance class...) don't be! Below are a few tips for you to make the most of your class.
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1. Wear the right gear - Before trying a new type of group class, I look into what clothing is most appropriate. For example, in spin class it's really best to wear leggings to avoid chafing and shorts riding up. For a pilates class or yoga class, form fitting clothing is necessary so the instructor can see your form.

2. Get there early! - You likely need some time get set up and get familiar with the class layout, so be sure to give yourself around 10 minutes before the class start time. Plus, you don't want to be the person running into the class after it has started -- it's rude.

3. Tell the instructor you are new - This bit is especially important if you are using any equipment. I was too scared in my first spin class to ask how to clip in and adjust my bike, so I rode the entire time with my shoes not properly clipped in (not really sure how I managed that) and with my seat too far down. The instructor will likely pay more attention to your form and how you are doing during class if they know you are a beginner.

4. Keep up with counting - If you can catch on to the counts and sequences in a class, you will feel far less lost. Pay attention to the instructors count and when the choreography repeats. It will help your confidence and performance when you know what is coming.

5. Don't be scared to modify movements or take a rest - It's your first class, so don't put pressure on yourself to perform advanced moves or push yourself too hard.  In my opinion, it's better to do 10 reps of the modified exercise than 1 rep of an advanced moved.

6. Try out a few instructors - Classes can be vastly different just depending on who is teaching. Whether you like the first instructor or not, be sure to try out a few others for comparison.

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