I’m just going to say it. I pretend to finish group exercise classes at the same time as everyone else.
After a recent research effort disguised as chatting with friends (enter: wine and cheese), it has come to my attention that we’re all cutting corners in group exercise classes to avoid being “the last to finish”.
In other triggering group exercise experiences, I once set up camp at what I thought was the back of my first ever yoga class, only to be told to turn around by the instructor who was teaching right in front of me.
Traumatic group exercise experiences aside, here’s the real kicker: no one is actually talking about this feeling so many of us experience. So, instead of doing that (nothing!), let’s normalise being the last to finish in a group exercise class. Together, we are the fitness movement that needs to happen.
Here are some ways we can work together and normalise being last to finish in a group exercise class.
Change the Narrative
It’s important to celebrate the fact that you’re putting yourself first and working on being the healthiest version of you.
Whether you just missed out on completing the entire workout before the class finished, or you mostly reverted to child’s pose, you showed up for your health and that deserves a small celebratory happy dance.
Changing the narrative involves some work though, so here’s a post-workout affirmation to get you started:
“I put in 100% of the energy I had at the time and I’m feeling stronger and healthier for it.”
Know, Understand, and Respect Your Limits
So, you did eight burpees during that rep instead of 12? Well, guess what? Eight burpees is still a lot of burpees. I’m really proud of you and you should be proud too.
Understanding your mental limits is probably easier said than done, so let’s start with this. It’s always nice to have a gym instructor who encourages you to sprint that extra 100m or push the limit in some way. However, little do they know that you just had the day from hell. Mentally, if you need to walk rather than run, that’s okay — it’s pretty likely that someone else in the class will be right there walking right beside you too.
Taking your time and sticking to your own physical and mental limits is actually a very healthy approach to exercise. Let’s bring back being in tune with our bodies and setting our own PB’s.
Find the Right Fitness Community
You might be doing everything you can to inspire a supportive, feel-good group fitness vibe where everybody is celebrated. But, if you’re among the wrong community, your efforts might go unnoticed, which means it’s probably best to find a fitness community that is better aligned with you and your goals.
Before you make your way to the back of the class, remember that the confidence to work out on your terms is making anyone behind you feel comfortable and empowered to exercise within their limits too (and voila, the movement has begun). Help me start the movement by trying a 5 Day Free Pass at Fitness First and experience what it feels like to be part of a like-minded fitness community.