Whether it is a small or large group exercise class setting, there are a number of standard suggested etiquette guidelines to follow when attending these classes.   This week nine etiquette guidelines will be featured which may ensure you and those around you, enjoy every workout session to the fullest.  As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

*Note:  If you are a new participant, set up an orientation with the program director prior to beginning your first class.  Share your personal expectations and any physical limitations (i.e. you should have completed a health history questionnaire prior to attending) with the director so that they may suggest the best class format fit for you.

9 Group Exercise Class Etiquette Guidelines

-Arrive Early!  Depending upon the format of the class, you may need to arrive anywhere from 10-20 minutes early.  Especially when attending indoor group cycling class formats or any format which requires you to set up your own equipment, arriving early has a positive impact upon you and your class mates’ exercise experience.  So, if the class start time is 5:45AM, you will want to arrive by 5:30AM to be ready to work promptly at 5:45AM. 

-Additionally, if this is a well-attended class, you may need to arrive early just to secure a spot in class.  For indoor group cycling classes, there may be a sign-in sheet, or a first come, first serve basis procedure.  Depending upon the facility, reservations may be strongly suggested for those formats, so make sure you are aware of these program requirements ahead of time.

-Turn off your cell phone completely.

If you are new, most instructors will welcome you to class.  However, if they are occupied providing pre-class set-up, introduce yourself.  This allows them to meet you, find out a little bit about you and your capability level so they may safely and effectively address your needs during class.  They may suggest a specific location for you to be positioned within the room so they may keep an eye on you ensuring your safety, fun and success during class. 

-In general, position yourself in the group exercise space so that you are able to hear and see effectively. If you feel you will be obstructed, ask the instructor for relocation suggestions.

-As with any public speaking/performance environment, complete attention should be paid to the speaker/instructor so that everyone is able to hear and understand the information and instructions throughout the class.  If you are chatting excessively, this may be distracting to those around you.  So, a great suggestion is to wait until after class and share a healthy shake at the juice bar where you may chat comfortably.

-And, to that end also pay attention to the instructor’s pre-class introduction and class format descriptions for that day.  This is the ideal time to ask any pertinent questions.

-With the exception of cycling classes, place your water and towel around the perimeter of the room so that you have access when needed, but no one will trip or fall accidentally.

-If you had difficulty with any aspect of the class, take a moment and chat with the instructor following class.  Let them provide you with their valuable direction and suggestions so that future class experiences may be positive and successful.

Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby, Colorado.  She may be reached at her website at www.mtnlifefitness.com and her email at jackie@mtnlifefitness.flywheelsites.com

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