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Question about group classes

Old 07-28-2018, 08:36 AM
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Question about group classes

I've been taking new fitness and yoga classes and am beyond lost and frustrated. What's the point if the classes are no better than if I was watching a video at home. The instructors don't seem to actually watch people. They're just up there at the front of the class doing their thing and don't care how bad everyone's form is. It seems like a "workout at your own risk" mentality. The instructors don't really explain things well, either.

How do you all take group classes as a newbie without injuring yourself?

How do you learn the form and proper way to do the exercises if it's all new to you?

I also don't like how so many of the exercise classes are all lumped in with beginners/intermediate/advanced. It doesn't make sense. I need classes tailored to a beginner, as I'm sure an advanced person would be bored working out with beginners in a class.
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:03 PM
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That does sound like youre having a bad experience in there. Id be brand new to it as well. Maybe you could get there early and ask the instructor to give you some pointers during the class.
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Old 07-29-2018, 12:28 AM
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In the one class I do often (Body Pump), I have seen terrible instructors and great ones, and everything in between. I really empathise. If not for some excellent instructors early on, I would not have become a Pump devotee, now coming up on 10 years.

I'd suggest trying different instructors for the same activity and see if you get ones who are more attentive. Then stick with them.

I would also make a point, like Upstairs says, of getting in early and letting the instructor know you are a rookie. In Pump, it is standard procedure for the instructor to ask who is new. One of my favourite instructors encourages newbies to come closer to the front where he can coach them better.

I had one instructor aeons ago who took the time to show me proper squat technique after a class. If there isn't a class straight after, go up and have a chat to the instructor too and ask for some pointers. Thanks to that instructor, I've probably saved myself injury.

Finally, I think some classes are fine with all levels in one class. With yoga for example, my usual instructor will normally give us some options for how far to take a pose. I'm never afraid to take an easier pose in yoga...and I have a healthy ego! In Pump, the more advanced you are, the heavier you go with the weights, but everyone does the "same" workout.

Good luck. There have to be ways around it.
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:42 AM
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Congratulations, it is SO great that you are improving your health!! I agree with the previous responses; get there early or stay after class to get some tips. Instructors became instructors because they love what they do and want to share by helping people!! Don't be shy. Also, perhaps check out YouTube to see if they have demonstrations of certain moves you are having trouble with. And we are always here! Best of luck and Go You!!!
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Upstairs View Post
That does sound like youre having a bad experience in there. Id be brand new to it as well. Maybe you could get there early and ask the instructor to give you some pointers during the class.
Thanks, Upstairs. I've done that with two of the classes. I'll try to do that more.

I'm getting the feeling, however, that they want you to sign up for private lessons first, and then once you're comfortable, sign up for the group classes. That's expensive. Is this the norm??
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by MissPerfumado View Post
In the one class I do often (Body Pump), I have seen terrible instructors and great ones, and everything in between. I really empathise. If not for some excellent instructors early on, I would not have become a Pump devotee, now coming up on 10 years.
Thanks, MissP. That's great you've found a class you like so much. In your opinion and experience, what makes an excellent instructor and what makes a terrible instructor?

I'd suggest trying different instructors for the same activity and see if you get ones who are more attentive. Then stick with them.
This particular gym doesn't seem to have attentive instructors. I was trying to figure out if that was just the norm or not with group instructors. The classes here are so small, that you'd think they'd be attentive. During yoga, I saw some really poor form from the other women and the instructor didn't say a word. They just seem 100% focused on teaching the class and not paying attention to what the participants are actually doing.

I would also make a point, like Upstairs says, of getting in early and letting the instructor know you are a rookie. In Pump, it is standard procedure for the instructor to ask who is new. One of my favourite instructors encourages newbies to come closer to the front where he can coach them better.
Two instructors so far have been good about my being new. Two other instructors have said they would correct me, give me pointers, etc., during class, but neither did. One yoga instructor never once looked at us, yet kept telling us how great we were doing.

I had one instructor aeons ago who took the time to show me proper squat technique after a class. If there isn't a class straight after, go up and have a chat to the instructor too and ask for some pointers. Thanks to that instructor, I've probably saved myself injury.
That is fantastic!! And injury is exactly what I want to avoid. I admit that I am one who needs to be told things multiple times. I seem to have zero body awareness. But I am really trying my best. I wonder if exercise classes just come easier to other people.

Finally, I think some classes are fine with all levels in one class. With yoga for example, my usual instructor will normally give us some options for how far to take a pose.
I used to take a yoga class at another studio and the instructor there made sure to say "If that's too easy, do it this way. If that's too difficult, do it this way." She was wonderful. She also used to walk around class and gently fix people's form so we got more out of the postures. The yoga classes at my current place do not modify, but they say that they do. It just doesn't make any sense to me.

I'm never afraid to take an easier pose in yoga...and I have a healthy ego!
I'm not, either. I'm pretty good at telling when to push myself, and when to hold back.

In Pump, the more advanced you are, the heavier you go with the weights, but everyone does the "same" workout.
That must help a lot that everyone does the same moves. How long did it take you to get the exercises?

Good luck. There have to be ways around it.
Thank you.
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Old 07-30-2018, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Fridafan77 View Post
Congratulations, it is SO great that you are improving your health!! I agree with the previous responses; get there early or stay after class to get some tips. Instructors became instructors because they love what they do and want to share by helping people!! Don't be shy. Also, perhaps check out YouTube to see if they have demonstrations of certain moves you are having trouble with. And we are always here! Best of luck and Go You!!!
Thanks so much for the encouraging post, Fidafan! It's been a long time since I've been able to motivate myself to exercise again. And I love to exercise.

I will try to talk to the instructors before or after class.

I hadn't thought to check youtube. I will do that, too. I also ordered some "cards" online so I can look at proper form, etc. But I usually need someone to tell me if I'm doing it right or not.

I really appreciate your support!
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:29 AM
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I have very limited gym experience.

Can you try out some classes at other gyms?
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Mango212 View Post
I have very limited gym experience.

Can you try out some classes at other gyms?
Thanks Mango I'm planning on looking at another gym in the area.
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Old 08-01-2018, 06:19 PM
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Not sure where you are Path, but when I lived in Venice there were a TON of yoga studios, and I knew some women who were studying to be yoga instructors. So my intro was $15 private one-on-one with several of those.

If there is any private yoga instruction in your area you might start there, particularly if you have a friend with whom you could split it with. 1 teacher to 3 students at the same level would be fantastic.

Another beginner strategy would be to take some straight hatha yoga classes to really learn the poses. I found that vinyasa, which seems to be the most common style here, changed poses too fast in the beginning. Once you have a pretty solid foundation and know a number of the poses by themselves stringing them together isn't so daunting!
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by MindfulMan View Post
Not sure where you are Path, but when I lived in Venice there were a TON of yoga studios, and I knew some women who were studying to be yoga instructors. So my intro was $15 private one-on-one with several of those.
I've heard that about California, how there are a lot of opportunities for yoga, exercise, etc.

If there is any private yoga instruction in your area you might start there, particularly if you have a friend with whom you could split it with. 1 teacher to 3 students at the same level would be fantastic.
The charge around here is more than $15. But I like your idea about 3 students at the same level. I have a friend who teaches yoga. I could find out what her semi private fee would be.

Another beginner strategy would be to take some straight hatha yoga classes to really learn the poses. I found that vinyasa, which seems to be the most common style here, changed poses too fast in the beginning. Once you have a pretty solid foundation and know a number of the poses by themselves stringing them together isn't so daunting!
The class I took was Hatha. I've taken Hatha years before, and I'll just say this class was super advanced and not at all what I expected. I was thinking it'd be stuff like tree pose, warrior 1 and 2, downward dog, baby cobra, etc, and it was much more advanced.

I like vinyassa but yes I agree the changed poses are too fast. I found a yoga studio that does a "slow flow vinyassa" and I am going to give that a try to build a solid foundation.
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