Whether it’s in-person or virtual, attending a group exercise class is a great way to motivate and enhance your workout routine. There are many variations of exercise classes, from yoga to strength to HIIT or cardio. Going to a new exercise class may feel intimidating, which is normal! Follow these tips to boost your confidence and inspire your fitness.
In-Person Class Tips:
Decide Which Class is Best for You
Find out which classes align with your fitness goals by reading the class descriptions. Most class descriptions can be found on the website of your fitness center/studio.
Do Your Research
Once you commit to the class, take some time to research the class before attending. You can view almost every type of class on YouTube. View some of the classes on Rutgers Recreation OnDemand page. Seeing the class format and flow will help answer your questions and boost your confidence in participating.
Review Policies and Procedures
Make sure you know what policies and procedures to follow before heading to the gym. Policies for fitness classes may include COVID-19 mitigation policies, reservation policies, gym access information, cleaning procedures, and needed equipment. You can view the Rutgers Recreation Fitness & Wellness Class Policy Here.
Arrive 5-10 minutes early
The warm-up is the most important part of the class! Ensure you arrive early to class to have ample time to set up your space and equipment.
Introduce yourself to the instructor
Fitness instructors LOVE to know their participants. Introduce yourself to the instructor before class. And if you are new, let them know. The instructor will make sure you have all the necessary equipment and answer any questions before starting.
Stay for the Entire Class
Even if those legs are burning… try to stay the entire class! Take breaks as needed but really try to remain in the class until the end to avoid any distractions for the other patrons and the instructor.
Go At Your Own Pace
Especially if you are new to the class format, take it easy for your first time. Go at your own pace and try not to compare to other participants. This workout is for you!
Virtual Fitness & Wellness Class Tips:
Attending virtual fitness classes can be a great introduction to classes in the comfort of your own home. Use all the tips from above (research the class, arrive early, introduce yourself to the instructor, go at your own pace) in addition to the below tips:
Set up your Space
Setting up your exercise space might be the most challenging piece of virtual classes, but once it’s set, you can go back to it at any time!
- Lay a mat or towel out with as much space as possible surrounding your mat
- Organize all the necessary equipment for your class (if applicable)
- Set up your streaming device at an elevated level so the instructor can see your body in both a standing and lying position
- Try to set up in a space with limited distractions (avoid spaces that have work, family/roommates, or to-do items visible)
Find the Link
When you register for a virtual fitness class, you should receive the link for your class. Ensure you retrieve this before the start of class to ensure your video platform is working correctly.
Test Your Internet
Make sure your internet is strong enough for video streaming. Set up your workout space as close to your router as possible and close down all other internet windows to enhance internet speed.
Camera On or Off?
We love to see you!!! But you need to do what you’re comfortable with. If you don’t want the camera on the entire class, turn it on in the beginning to give the instructor a wave, and at the end to show your sweaty smile!
Mic On or Off?
Your instructor will most likely mute everyone in the class to keep the camera focused on them and limit any outside noise.
Use the Chat function.
If you have questions throughout class, pop them into the chat. Your instructor might not see it immediately, but they should check it periodically.
Most importantly, for both in-person and virtual fitness classes, have fun! Enjoy the time you set aside for your wellness, and be proud that you completed the workout.
Written By: Bethann Wittig, MPH
Rutgers Recreation Fitness & Personal Training Coordinator
RRCA Running Coach; NASM-CPT