How often when you go to a fitness class do you think about the etiquette standards? Following these unwritten rules demonstrates respect for your instructor and your fellow classmates. Your behavior can impact their experience in class and after, as well as your own. Whether you’re a group class veteran or a complete novice, you might find the following list helpful.
Be early: This rule is even more critical if it’s your first time at a particular studio, as you may need time for a walkthrough introduction and paperwork. Showing up just as class begins is rude to your instructor, who may have to scramble to make adjustments, to the front desk staff who may get in trouble for letting you in late, and to your fellow classmates, whose schedules all get delayed if the class has to wait for you. Not only are you potentially delaying the people in your class, you may even be delaying the people in every class that follows for the rest of the day — 20-30 people times eight or so classes. Now that’s something to think twice about.
Be nice to everyone: Being nice seems obvious, but it really adds to the experience if you’re willing to open yourself up to being part of the community. Additionally, many of the staff at these studios, particularly at the front desk, are simply working there for extra cash before or after their full-time job. Many of them just simply work there because they love the environment. These are generally spaces of positivity, so try to keep negativity out of it.
Limit chatter: Many people go to fitness classes for as much of a mental release as a physical one. So do your best to limit the crosstalk with your friends. Many people need to be able to hear the instructor, want to hear the music or simply don’t want to be distracted.
Pay attention during demonstrations: A coach demonstrates technique and movement patterns to enable you to get the best workout possible. If you’re unclear on something after the demo, don’t worry, most coaches are happy to help you figure it out. But less likely if you weren’t paying attention the first time. Remember, focus makes it look like you’re putting in effort. A lack of focus says otherwise. Coaches love effort.
Don’t mess with your phone: Treat your time in the studio as a period of separation from your phone. The world isn’t going to end in an hour (as much as it feels like it can). Try to ignore the phone for the duration of class. Your brain will get a much-needed moment of refreshment and you won’t get dirty looks from everyone else in the room.
Only sign up for a class you plan to attend: Many classes can be difficult to get into, prime time classes in particular. Some studios have classes that sell out a week or two in advance. If you’re one of those people who gets in a week or two beforehand, you’d better be taking that class, because you can bet plenty of other people would jump at the chance to be there. At the very least, if you realize you can’t make it, notify the studio as quickly as possible so they can find someone to take your place.
Wipe up your mess: If you spill something (or just sweat a lot), take the 10 seconds necessary to wipe up the mess. Or at least notify a member of the staff. It’s the polite thing to do. Plus, it can be a slip hazard, so do your part to help keep people safe.
There are countless other unwritten rules that vary studio to studio. So take the time to get to know your home studio. Talk to the staff. Find out how the dos and don’ts of your studio vary and adopt them. If everyone adopts this mentality, the entire class benefits.