Fitness Trail: Nine etiquette guidelines for group exercise classes |

Fitness Trail: Nine etiquette guidelines for group exercise classes

Jackie Wright
The Fitness Trail

Whether it is a small or large group exercise class setting, there are a number of suggested etiquette guidelines to follow. This week nine etiquette guidelines will be featured to ensure you and those around you enjoy every workout session to the fullest.

If you are a new participant, you should consider setting up an orientation with the program director prior to beginning your first class to share your personal expectations and any physical limitations so the directors may suggest the best class format for you.

1. 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 class that requires you to set up your own equipment, arriving early has a positive impact upon you and your classmates.

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

3. Turn off your cell phone completely.

4. 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.

5. In general, position yourself in the group exercise space so you can hear and see effectively. If you feel you will be obstructed, ask the instructor for relocation suggestions.

6. As with any public speaking/performance environment, complete attention should be paid to the speaker or instructor so that everyone is able to hear and understand the information and instructions.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. If you had difficulty with any aspect of the class, take a moment and chat with the instructor after 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 in Granby. She may be reached at her website at and her email at

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