Exercising in a group setting is an awesome way to boost energy, collaboration, and even a little friendly competition to push you even harder. But these classes also come with a code of etiquette that for some reason, sometimes, people seem to forget. Here, a few gentle reminders of what NOT to do in your next group workout session:
Wear the Wrong Gear
Don't forget, those super-cute leggings may be super-sheer in downward dog, so it's best to take them for a test drive before giving the rest of the class a show. Other clothing don'ts include anything too short or too low-cut—especially in a yoga class where you'll be stretching and bending all over the place.
Use the Mirror a Little Too Liberally
"The mirrors are for correcting form, not checking your makeup or seeing how good your triceps look," says Brian Weller, co-owner and instructor atBarry's Bootcamp Boston. He's seen everything from popping zits to fixing (than re-fixing, and re-fixing again) hair. Repeat after us: This is workout studio, not your bathroom vanity.
Glam it Up
Wearing some tinted moisturizer and subtle mascara is one thing, but coming to class in a full face of makeup is usually a don't. "While you may start off looking sexy, 15 minutes in you've morphed into Heath Ledger as the Joker," says Weller. Plus, you don't really want to worry about your eyeliner streaking while you're trying to hold a plank. Don't worry, we rounded up the 12 best post-workout beauty products so you can go back to looking amazing right after that intense boot camp class.
Create a Stink
You know to reapply deodorant before class (hopefully), but re-wearing the same workout clothes from earlier in the week can cause an even worse stench. That top/bra/pair of shorts may smell OK when you first pull it on, but once your body warms up… ripe city. (Not to mention the lovely bacteria that thrives on damp fabric.) Another culprit: bad breath—especially in the tight quarters of an indoor cycling class, says Cassie Piasecki, an instructor in Orange County, California. So don't forget to brush your teeth before class—chances are you'll be breathing pretty heavy during your workout.
Chat Too Much
Hold the gossip for the few minutes before and after class. It's not just rude—it could actually mess with your workout. "You are interrupting your own breathing patterns, your fellow classmates, and most importantly, the instructor," says Weller.
Become the Unofficial Teacher's Assistant
It's true that with classes of 30 or more, the instructor can't be everywhere at once. Still, unless you're actually employed by this gym, leave your neighbor be. "Unless somebody's form is so bad that injury is immediately forthcoming or she asks for help, you should mind your own beeswax," says LA-based fitness instructor Jeanette DePatie and founder of training program Every Body Can Exercise. "Don't assume you know why somebody is taking a class, and don't assume that they want commentary or even assistance."
Do Your Own Thing
If a move is no good for your body, your instructor will probably step in to provide an appropriate modification. But don't take that to mean you can make up a bunch of alternative exercises as you go—most fitness instructors don't want to compete with your own personal routine. "As in, when everyone else is doing bicep curls and you decide it's a great time to work on your squat form," Weller says. "Don't be that person." Not to mention, it's distracting to the other class-goers.