23 Ways to Win at Group Exercise

23 Ways to Win at Group Exercise

1. Sign up for class.
Our classes are popular and we save space for as many people as possible, but each class has a capacity limit so it is always a good idea to reserve your spot in advance (up to 24 hours).  Just call front desk (617) 269-4300, or book while you are at the club.

2. Check in for class.
Upon arrival, scan your BAC card at the Desk and let the Front Desk staff member know that you are here for class! If you have signed up in advance we will check your name off the list, and if you haven’t signed up in advance, we will add you to it, space permitting.  If you’re on the list and can’t make it, please be sure to give us a call so we can open up the spot for someone else.

robot3. Acknowledge the person up there.
…because your instructor is a human, not a fitness robot. Don’t be afraid to say hello and if you’re a newbie, definitely introduce yourself!

4. Put yourself together.
This goes for everyone, including the early birds. Brush your teeth, use deodorant, and wear clean workout clothes.

5. Leave the grime on the street!
Please bring a clean pair of shoes for the studios and exercise areas. Salt, dirt and debris are the enemies of equipment and keep the studios from being fresh.  Please don’t wear your street shoes into the studios or fitness areas.

6. You’re one person; take one spot and make room for others!
When setting up your spot in the studio, think of it like when you arrive to a crowded movie theatre, and every group has left one open seat between them and the next group…so frustrating! Try to set up your spot without any wasted space between you and your neighbor.

7. Don’t be a Tardy Marty.
Even better, come a bit early. Being on time shows that you respect not only the instructor and your fellow students. Sure, it’s better someone shows up late than not at all, but out of courtesy, don’t make it a habit.

8. Dish your injuries.
Yes, all instructors should ask, but at the end of the day, it’s your body, take care of it! Make sure the instructor knows what’s going on so they can help. Sometimes even great instructors forget to ask.

9. Help a newbie out.
Not that you should go so far as to correct their form (don’t do that please!) but if someone looks lost, help them. If their shoe slips out of the pedal or their treadmill stalls or their “upright V” is looking more like wide second, be a model citizen. It kind of feels great to help newbies, too – and sets a great tone for the camaraderie of the class.

10. When the instructor asks a question, respond.
“How we doing?” “Are you guys having fun?” “Are you feeling it in your quads?” These are not rhetorical questions! It can be brutal to speak to a silent room. And during the workout, if the time is right, feel free to let out a Whoop! There’s nothing better than an enthused “woo hoo” coming from the masses. Obviously this might not apply in say, a yoga class, but if it suits the occasion and you’re feeling great, vocalize it!

11. If you don’t get it, ask. And if it hurts, say something.
If you’re not feeling something in the right place, wave your hand. Instructors can’t mind-read. If something hurts, speak up – any good instructor will be able to give you a modification. And of course, if you think you’ve actually injured yourself, please stop and ask for help!

12. Other than the cases above, try not to disrupt the class.
Chatting loudly with your neighbor, texting on your phone, forgetting to put your phone on silent….distracting and rude. Please respect your instructor and the other participants in class.

13. Be gentle with the equipment.
Unless this is some crazy class where you are otherwise instructed, don’t go throwing your weights around, dropping them on the ground and acting like the dude who “lifts things up and puts them down” in the planet fitness commercials. It hurts the ears and the equipment!

14. Try not to look at the clock every five minutes.
You think you can be sly and sneak glances of the clock from the corner of your eye? We instructors notice every time!…and it’s a bit of a downer for us to think that you just want class to be over already!  Try to make the most of your time in the studio!

15. Tune in to the class.
Make a big effort to open your ears for directions, cues, and suggested form adjustments. You may not realize this, but it can be positively thrilling for an instructor to give a verbal command and notice someone self-adjusting perfectly. Not to mention – staying mentally engaged will most certainly result in a better workout.

16. BYOF (bring your own friends).
If you love the BAC and our instructors, the best gift you can give is to spread the word… by bringing your posse! Have you ever brought a friend to class and seen the instructor’s face light up? It’s the absolute best. It’s like saying “you make my day so much better that I couldn’t keep you to myself.”

17. Chum it up with your neighbor.
If you guys just rocked a seated hill climb or busted out a ridiculous number of pushups, congratulate yourself (and one another!) by showing a little neighbor love. High five? “Nice work?” Or maybe just a knowing smirk. A little camaraderie goes a long way.

18. WERQ.
There’s nothing an instructor loves more than the site of someone giving 100%. Don’t worry about the “face of pain” you’re making, or involuntary squeak/grunt you let out when experiencing a new level of self-induced fitness pain. Those noises are sweet music to your instructor’s ears.

19. Forgive the accidents.
Whether you did it or your neighbor did it, don’t freak out. Sweat-spraying, accidental contact, toe-stepping, kicks, falls, they all happen. Don’t make it more awkward than it needs to be. Smile, laugh it off, and keep on with your business!

20. Stay for the whole class.
Unless you specifically tell the instructor before class starts, don’t be ‘that guy’ who leaves during sivasana; or else risk getting the stink-eye from both your teacher and classmates. If it’s yoga, and you have to leave early, peace out before corpse pose, not in the middle of it.

21. Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere.
Place your weights back on the appropriate racks, roll up your yoga mats, wipe down your bikes, and take out whatever you personally brought in. Instructors are the ones responsible for these sorts of things if you don’t take care of them…nothing says “thanks for the awesome class” like a pile of equipment you didn’t feel like putting away.

22. Get social (media).
If you love your instructor, follow them on Twitter and “like” their Facebook page. It feels great to be supported outside of the studio, and many instructors are constantly posting inspirational stuff (who doesn’t want a reminder to get to the gym in their newsfeed?) Plus, their Facebook pages can be a great resource for playlists and schedule changes.

23. Smitten with the class? Spread the love!  Didn’t love the class? Keep your feedback constructive.
Write your instructor a review on RateYourBurn.com – share your stamp of approval. It will make their day! Or drop a comment card in our suggestion box located outside of the locker rooms. Even if you didn’t enjoy the class, try to think about what worked, what didn’t, and what could be done to improve. Give instructors something to work with so we can provide the best experience possible!