Things that drive me crazy in a group fitness class

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I’m a group fitness junkie. I would much rather take a group class than spend 20 minutes in the gym by myself. I take a big variety of classes–yoga, strength, hip hop, spinning. I also teach spinning 1-2 times a week, so as an instructor, I know it’s impossible to please everyone. That said, there are a few things that both the instructor and the attendees do that drive me up the wall.

1. Starting a class late/students coming late to class. This is obvious, but man it is so annoying–and it happens all the time. I know I’m guilty of this in spinning sometimes…but it’s usually not my fault. Someone will walk in late and be a first-timer, so I have to spend the next 5 minutes getting their bikes set up and explaining the different hand positions. I’ve also been to yoga classes where 5-10 minutes in someone will walk in the room and make everyone shift their mats over in the already crowded class and just interrupt the entire flow that we just started.

2. Music being too loud/too quiet. There is nothing worse than being in an extremely crowded room, unable to see the instructor, and not be able to hear what they are saying either. On the flip side, I can’t get into the groove with super quiet music. I need some noise! This balance is sometimes hard to find, but it is so important.

3. Instructors that don’t do the work too. I get it…lots of classes require the instructor to walk around to encourage and correct form, but I also think it’s important for the instructor to participate in what she is teaching. How can someone tell you that you can do 15 more burpees when they haven’t done one? It’s good to have a model up front doing the moves correctly and with you so they can also feel your pain.

4. Students that half-ass the moves. Trust me, I’ve been there. There have been many times in yoga where I just say, “not today,” and sit in down dog for a few minutes. It’s okay and I always encourage people to listen to their bodies. But, when other students who are just plain lazy decide not to participate and then interfere with my space/energy, I want to yell at them. Why are you here if you aren’t going to move your body? Don’t half ass a class. You won’t get your money’s worth.

5. Instructors that don’t cool you down or stretch you out when class is over. I know instructors want to squeeze as much in to the class as possible, and I also know all the arguments about stretching…but I think this is so important. If you are doing a high-intensity workout and end class with your heart rate at 90%, chances are you’re going to be leaving that class in the next 3-5 minutes and that can be dangerous. You really need to let your body come back down to a normal level before you go on about your day. I personally also think stretching after a workout is just as important, and if the class time is already over, we all know you’re not going to stay any longer to stretch by yourself.

I do love my group classes..the ones I teach and the ones I attend. But, if you’re guilty of any of the above items, cut it out!

What bothers you in group fitness classes?

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