Getting The Most Out Of Your Fitness Class: 6 Tips for 60 Minutes

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Yoga, HIIT, Kickboxing.. What’ll it be?

Have you been wanting to join the group fitness craze but you’re unsure of what to expect? Well, for starters, group fitness classes are an awesome way to get your sweat on. They’re dynamic, they’re social, and they push you to the edge. With that said, sometimes it’s easy to take the easy road when you’re one of 40 people working out in the same room. To get the most out of the group environment, you’ve got to be willing to go the distance.

Here are 6 Easy tips to help maximize your time spent in an hour-long gym class:

1. Listen to the run down before you run down. 

Don’t zone out when the trainer or staffer is going over the format of the class (especially the treadmill portion). This pre-workout protocol will help you avoid getting totally lost in class. Sure, you could cheat off your neighbor, but with your luck they don’t know WTF they’re doing either and you’ll both be wrong, just like in school.

2. Start in the slow lane.

Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint (but oh, there will be sprinting). Start at a slower jog pace and with lighter weights and work your way up. This will help you nail the form and get the most out of each moment of class.

3. Pay attention to the forecast. 

When a psychic or a weather reporter gives a forecast, it can be hit or miss. But when the trainer tells you what’s coming up, there’s 100% chance of getting hot and sweaty.  Knowing what’s next on the floor and tread will help you to have course knowledge so you can pace yourself and keep the workout flowing.

4. Follow the course map. 

The trainer will go over basics of form correction: tighten your core, keep a proud chest, push your lower back down, etc. So even though you are in the zone/staring at your gorgeous reflection/praying for this sprint to end, try to listen and execute these tips for the best and most effective workout.

5. Adjust your speed. 

Even if you have to modify the speeds called out by your trainer, try to add at least a little (even a .1 bump totally counts) when the trainer says to run faster. This is necessary to achieve the proper heart rate levels for high intensity interval training (HIIT) and get the fitness benefits that come with it. HIIT gives you a higher calorie burn in a shorter time, and a faster metabolism that leads to calorie AND fat burn that continues for the 24 hours following the workout. Other side effects include: athletic endurance, increased awesomeness and sex appeal.

6. Dress for success.

That means come to work wearing comfortable workout attire and proper running shoes. Not flip flops (yes, that’s happened). Don’t forget to accessorize with a bottle of water so you stay hydrated during class. Wearing the right gear keeps you safe in a workout where there are lots of moving parts and weights.