How Not to Be a Dick in a Group Fitness Class

Basically just don’t bother me.
Publish date:
September 2, 2013
fitness, how not to be a dick, working out, dancing, gym class, M

I go to group fitness classes at my gym a lot. It’s basically the only reason I pay too much money each month for a membership. I never do weights or the treadmill or that machine where you sit down and push your legs out into a straddle and show the whole gym your vagina because I just can’t do that.

See, when I’m working out alone, like on an elliptical, it’s so easy for me to say, “Oh I’ve done five minutes! Time to go get fries!”

But when I’m in a group fitness class, there are 30 other people in there, and I can’t just bail because THEY WILL ALL LOOK AT ME AND JUDGE ME. Insecurity: Keeping me somewhat fit since 2007. I go to classes three or more days a week, and I go to a variety. I go to a lot of dance classes (the reggae one at my gym is SO fun), strength classes, and Pilates classes.

When you go to these classes often like I do, you start to realize that people forget their manners in them and somehow think they are the only ones in the class. I go to the gym to de-stress and move around after sitting in a chair for nine hours a day, but sometimes I leave feeling more furious and stressed than when I came in because of these RUDE PEOPLE. Please don’t be one of them. The people at your gym just want to come in, have an okay enough workout to justify eating two or three cupcakes for dessert and then go home. No need to piss them off.

If you are going to a class where you will be taking your shoes off, please don’t have the worst-smelling feet ever.

Look, you guys. In New York City, they cram a bunch of people into these classes because there’s, like, 5 bajillion of us in the city. So chances are that when you lay out a mat in Pilates and stretch out your hands and feet, your feet are going to be about five inches from somebody’s face. If they smell terrible, that’s quite rude.

A few weeks ago, I was right near this guy in hot Pilates, and his feet smelled like he found them in a dumpster. And it was hot Pilates! His stench was cooking in the hot air and making what was supposed to be a relaxing experience a very miserable one. Your gym has a shower right? Of course it does. If you know your feet smell bad for whatever reason before your class, just go clean them. It takes five seconds, and your classmates will be much happier.

If you are in a dance class and are not dancing/doing the turns/doing jumps, please do not get mad if people are running into you because you are STANDING STILL.

A few weeks ago, I was in the MIDDLE of the room during a group fitness class. I was doing my best Beyonce impression during a dance that required us to move A LOT when the old lady behind me asked if I could stop moving so much because I was getting too close to her.

I would have been fine with it if she was moving too, but she wasn’t. She wasn’t doing any of the walks or turns or anything. So if I awkwardly/seductively walked three steps back, I would get close to her, but that wouldn’t be a problem if she did the same move and was also three steps further back. I totally get that some people have bad hips/knees/backs and can’t do all of the moves in a class. Not a problem, but don’t stand in the MIDDLE of the room where you’re surrounded by the entire class.

But on the other hand, don’t Tasmanian Devil all over the room when the dance requires you to stay in the same place.

I was in a hip-hop dance class last week, and this particular dance we were learning didn’t require us to move around the room at all. But one girl’s legs had a mind of their own or something because she kept getting SO close to me and wasn’t realizing that she was just an inch away from me, or she did realize it and didn’t care. What frustrates me is that I’m way too nice about this, like with this situation, I started doing all my moves half-assed because I didn’t want to stretch my arms out and hit this girl that kept getting too close. I could have easily asked her to move, but I didn’t want to be that person and I don’t understand why she wasn’t realizing that she was extremely close to running into me. Spread out in your classes, people! And stay that way!

Don’t bring a bunch of your friends to a class and then stand to the side and not participate.

In my favorite dance class, the instructor splits the class into two groups after teaching us the dance and we all perform for each other multiple times. A girl came one week by herself and during this part she just went to the side, didn’t join either group, and just fidgeted the whole time. I felt SO bad for her because I used to be so intimidated by these classes. I never wanted people watching me dance because I move awkwardly, but I eventually got over it.

However, the next week, she brought a gaggle of blondies to the class with her and during the split-up part, they ALL stood to the side and talked/laughed while other people were dancing. I doubt they were laughing at us, but it is hard for people who feel like they are the worst dancers ever (me), to have people laughing on the sidelines. Plus, what’s the point of coming to the class if you aren’t going to participate?

Keep your phone in your locker.

It’s really distracting when I’m laying there trying to relax or find my chi or whatever and I see the light of someone’s phone or hear their stupid fingers texting away. If something is that important, go deal with it. Why did you come to Pilates if you have a pressing matter that you can’t not text about for just one hour? I’m trying to concentrate on not screaming profanities because my abs are hurting so bad and can’t deal with your Candy Crushing or whatever the eff you’re doing.