Group exercise is one of the best ways to get fit while having a great time. Well, as good a time as you can have in the gym. For me that equates to an ecstatic post-sweat high. For you it may merely mean lightening the weight of the guilt hanging over you after a particularly big meal or night on the vino.
But whatever your motivations for showing up to your favourite fitness class, we’ve all experienced the bad etiquette that can turn a good workout into an internal battle not to ‘accidentally’ deck your neighbour with a barbell or knock out your nemesis during shuttle runs.
In the spirit of harmonious fitness studios the world over, let us all pledge an oath never to…
1. Neglect the course of daily dental hygiene. Even if your spin class is at 7am, a brief liaison with your toothbrush will prevent your interval-induced gasps from setting your neighbour’s day off to a ghastly start. It’ll also spare you the humiliation of spotting their telling facial expressions in the mirror.
2. Assume the instructor would like to extend their workout by picking up your weights. They’re paid to help you make your fitness goals a reality. Thank them with a smile, handshake, word of gratitude or referral. Not with a tedious collection of dumbbells.
3. Dominate an unnecessarily sizeable share of the studio floorspace just because you got their first. Let’s support everyone on their journey to better fitness – it doesn’t have the be a ruthless battle for the best position in the mirror. And if you’re too busy checking your hair, you’re definitely not busy enough getting a workout.
4. Turn yoga class into an X-rated affair. There’s a time and a place for butt crack, and I can assure you the unfortunate person getting a face full of your barely-there thong during downward dog feels the same. Invest in a good pair of opaque leggings. Your dignity depends on it.
5. Channel your inner Sharapova in Body Pump – or any other weight class, for that matter. Yes we’re all there to get a body that rivals the tennis star’s dynamite curves, but upping your squat bar to 30kg is so much more impressive when you’re not shrieking the roof off.
5.5. This is especially frustrating when your shrieks are paired with terrible form! High quality, manageable improvements = better fitness, faster.