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Whether you’re interested in studio, cycle, or yoga, group classes are a great addition to any fitness regimen: they provide a full, guided workout, are accessible to all fitness levels, and offer a sense of community. But if you’re new to this type of workout or branching out from your go-to class, you may be a little unsure about what to expect. These guidelines will help you feel comfortable no matter which class (or classes) you choose to try.

1. Be on time.

Our classes are designed to pack in a full workout from start to finish, so be ready to go when class starts so you get the most out of it. Plan to arrive a few minutes early to set up your space and check in with the instructor about any concerns questions you may have. If you need to leave early, give your instructor a heads up and position yourself near the door so you can make a quiet, disruption-free exit.

2. Gather what you need.

Before class begins, collect all of the equipment you’ll use, leaving enough for others. The instructor can guide you on what you’ll need, or you can find a list of the items by visiting the studiocycle, or yoga pages; click on “details” for the class you’re taking, then look under “equipment used.” After class, return all of the equipment to its designated storage area and if you used a mat, wipe it down with a towel and the provided wipes or spray.

3. Be mindful of your space.

Bring only what you need with you into the room, securing your other belongings in a locker prior to class. The space can get crowded, so this maximizes room for others, while minimizing the chance of someone tripping or another accident occurring. (You can find “what to bring” under the links provided above.)

4. Listen to your body.

All abilities are welcome in all classes, and instructors can offer a range of modifications to make movements more accessible for your body. If you have any injuries or restrictions, let the instructor know so they can best support you. Otherwise, only do what makes you feel comfortable. If a move is too difficult, feel free to sit it out or do a different movement instead.

5. Minimize distractions.

Some classes are set to a playlist that’s meant to hype you up, while others are designed to calm your body and mind. Whether your class is high or low energy, take the opportunity to unplug and invest in it fully. If you need to have your cell phone with you, place it on silent and in a location where it won’t distract others. If you’re in an upbeat class and the music is louder than your liking, ear plugs are available.

6. Dress to move.

Your choice in clothing can affect your experience, so think about the types of moves you’ll be doing and how your clothing might feel or shift as you do them. Choose activewear that’s comfortable, breathable, and easy to move in. Some classes, like yoga, are practiced barefoot, but for those where you’ll need shoes, bring ones that will keep the floor clean and dry.

7. Respect your fellow classmates.

Classes are great community builders, but try to save conversations for before or after class. And because many of our classes focus on breath — and we’re often in close proximity to one another — refrain from wearing perfume or other scents that may trigger sensitivities or distract your neighbors.

8. Try it all.

Life Time has a wide variety of class formats to experience as well as a diverse range of instructors. Each instructor will approach the class a little differently, bringing their own music and teaching style, so it may take a couple of tries to find the one that best matches your taste. Sample a few before you decide whether or not a class is for you.

Ready to try a group fitness class? You can view class schedules here, or use this guide to determine which one is right for you.

Molly Schelper
Molly Kopischke

Molly Kopischke is the director of content strategy at Life Time.

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