Posts tagged exercising


Okay, so I think some things should be common sense in most fitness classes, but you've heard the saying, "Common sense isn't so common anymore." 

These rules don't necessarily have to be a Spin class per se as I use in these etiquette rules here, and it can certainly pertain to any group fitness class. 

For the bulk of my career (and enjoyment really) I spend a great deal of time teaching fitness classes.  I get that everyone couldn't possibly like me, but teaching group fitness classes, especially Spin classes is a true joy for me. 

Even with that in mind, there are a few things that still really get into my craw in the worst way as I am sure you have things in your profession that do the same for you. 

I've comprised a list of these things and if you spend, or have spent any amount of time as a student, you may have noticed these things too. 

Here goes:

1.  If you have to leave early, please let the instructor know.  I don't want to know why necessarily, but please say something BEFORE the class begins even if I'm harried and walk into the door right on the button. 

Here, maybe an explanation might help:

  • First and foremost, I worry about your safety.  If you hop off the bike in the middle of class, then you'd be surprised how much I worry about you having left so abruptly.  Many times I have chased someone down who've left unexpectedly to make sure they are ok.  I don't do this that much anymore b/c most people are regulars and say something before class even starts (which I sooooooooooo appreciate!).


  • In most Spin classes these days,  there is this thing we Spin in called darkness?  We have black lighting, mind you, but mostly it's pretty dark in there (& yes oddly, I can still see you).  When you open the door to the main floor, there is this other thing that seeps in called light?  Yeah, that!  It can be V-E-R-Y distracting to those other entities in the class we call people?  Oh, did you think you were the only one who was showing up that day?  If not, then please don't act like it. 


  • This is really NOT about me as hard as that seems to believe.  This is a genuine disruption to my other clients in the class and I promise you, they do say something to me about it.  Had you let me know ahead of time, I could have positioned you in the class where you can leave with barely anyone noticing. 

While I certainly empathize that your time is important TO YOU, the rest of us are pretty much in the same boat, so if you leave early for something as silly as wanting to get into the shower early..... I said, I don't really need to know why, but I would sure appreciate you saying something.

Please and Thank you! 


2.  I understand you wanting to come in and take a class with your friends (I really do), I do NOT appreciate you gabbing through the first song or any song for that matter...and neither does anyone else.  I assure you. 

Here's a few clues that it's time to shut up:

  • I inch up the volume on the music. 
  • I inch up the volume some more.  
  • I inch up the volume on my microphone. 
  • I get off my bike and approach you and ask, "Is there anything I can help you with?"
  • I blatantly tell you it's time to shut up and get connected. 

Look for these clues.

Please and Thank you. 

3.  You come to class and don't do a thing I tell you to do. 

I don't get this?  What are you doing?  Are you being rebellious?  Do you not like the songs?  Seriously, what's your point?  I am always truly baffled by this. 

I don't mean that you stay in the saddle the whole time while the rest of the class is going on around you- I get that if you're tired and need to go your own pace, I mean while we are doing jumps, you are in hand position 3 on a hill that looks as if you have your house dragging behind you.  

If my Spin class is in your way, then you need to find a time when that room is empty and Spin your little heart out to your own drummer, just don't do it in my class.  (I hope this goes without saying that going your own pace does NOT apply.  Keep in mind that Spinning is a self-paced activity...and I'm all about the modifications). 

4.  When asked to add resistance, you reach down and touch your resistance knob without adding any resistance.  Let me repeat that, because I think it bears repeating, you....reach down.....and.....just....touch the knob. 

What does this do exactly?  You're certainly not fooling me and it would be tragic if you think you're fooling yourself.  I will say this, as I say it allthe time, "You're only cheating yourself...".  Period.  So, hey, if that's how you wanna roll, (pun intended) then knock yourself out, but it is a waste of your precious time and makes that shower pretty useless that you're leaving us early for as you barely broke a sweat.  Just sayin'. You ain't foolin' nobody.

5.  You bring your cell phone in with you and text or look through it while I'm teaching.  *SIGH*  Ok, this is definitely one of those things about common sense that I just shouldn't have to explain to you.  It's just rude, rude, rude.  If you are so important that you could not sit in a class for 45 minutes to an hour without saving the world, then you probably should not be there to begin with.  If you're too important for a measly Spin class, then just don't come.  You're not hurting my feelings.

Please and Thank you.

Plus, you need some time for YOU.  Give at least that to yourself for unwinding.  You're so much better off for it.

The only exception I have ever made to this and certainly did not mind, was a wife who was stressed out because her husband was in Iraq and she knew about the time he was going to call, but wasn't sure, so she ASKED IF IT WAS OKAY, that she take her cell phone with her and leave it on, on her handlebars so she wouldn't miss his call.  She had heard about my class and had wanted to come and 'Spin her anxiety away because she felt like she was going to go cray cray, if she didn't' (her words not mine). 

                          Now THAT is a considerate person. 

6.  You come into class and wear your own headset!  I have to be honestand let you know that I will just come and ask that you leave. I don't think there's much more to say about that one. C'mon now.

I must say that most people take it off once the music starts, so it's very rare that I need to say anything.  

7.  You're a Spin instructor and you bring in your "crew"(of one) to take my class and you try to show your "crew" (of one) that, 'I ain't all that' by conducting your own private Spin class on the back 2 bikes! 

Hmmmmmm...  Is it just me, or does this seem really dumb?  Sometimes I wonder if I'm being too hard on people.  Ummmmm, no.  This is dumb.  Really dumb.  TAKE THEM TO YOUR OWN CLASS!  Go show off there. 

Please and Thank you.

Green stench

8.  You ate something that does not agree with you and you, along with the rest of us have to regret that thing you ate, that you know you shouldn't of eaten especially before a Spin class, and so during the stretch portion of the program, you let 'er rip and a green fog fills the Spin room that can annihilate a small country. 

While I don't want to discourage you from coming to my class for this reason, because we've all been there whether we admit to it or not, I do have an awesome suggestion: 

Hold off on your cheat day until AFTER my Spin class. 

Please and Thank you. 

9.  You yell out songs at me like I'm some DJ at a dance club in a booth,  with my DJ headphones on, living to fulfill your requests. Really?

The only suggestion I have for this is that you just wait to be invited for requests.  THEN, I don't mind it.  When I conduct a class, I most likely come with a set agenda.  I don't usually deviate too terribly unless it looks like mostly everyone is in a slump.

Don't get me wrong, I'm always open to suggestions if you'd like to discuss it with me after class for music you'd like to share with me that you would more than likely hear on my next playlist.  I'm all about the music.    

10.  You don't wipe your bike down and put it back the way you found it as if the club's cleaning crew is going to come and make it all go away.   

Let's walk you through it:

If you're leaving giant puddles underneath your bike, do you really think it's okay to leave it there?  Be honest.  You've sweat, slobbered, and grunted your way through my class on this bike, and you really don't have the decency to wipe up after yourself?  Is that okay in your world?    If it is, then never mind.  It's your world then, we're all just livin' in it. 

Take your sweat with you.

Please and Thank You. 

11.  Do not flip the light on or off unless invited to do so by the instructor. Like with everything I always have an agenda.  I like to do things gradually and let people settle in and gradually cool down.  Going and running to the light switches and flipping everything on just because you're ready to go like there's been a bomb threat is selfish and annoying.  There I said it.  Don't do this. 

Please and Thank you.  

12.  DO. NOT.  I repeat, DO. NOT..... go to the instructor's area and switch the song, turn down the volume, turn on the fans or any other asinine thing in this arena.  Who do you think you are anyway?

This would be the equivalent of me going up to you, taking your water bottle from the holder and taking a swig from it and handing it back to you.  DON'T DO IT!  It's NOT okay.  It is my property and my class.  I don't care how friendly and jovial I seem to you. 

13. You blow your nose into the hand towels.  First of all, this is just plain gross.  Don't blow your nose into any hand towels unless you bring your own and are responsible for washing it yourself.  It doesn't sound like such an appealing idea now does it?  If you don't want to take it all the way back to your house, knowing full well that it's full of your very own snot and boogeriness, then what makes you think that the cleaning crew wants to deal with that?   (Blecht.)

Ask me for some tissue please.  I always keep them handy on the instructor stand.  If they're not there, you know I don't mind making a special trip to get you something to blow your nose in that we can dispose of in the trash.  (Eeew.) 

Please and Thank You.

14.  Don't ask me to turn down my music.  Someone might get themselves hurt in this situation, and it won't be me.  I hate, hate, hate (and that's a strong word for me), this request.  Not only is it part of my agenda and atmosphere, but it just makes me think you have some sense of entitlement here.  My goodness.  Go to another class where you can hear a gnat fart because the music is so low, I will not be offended. 

...and before you think I don't care about your hearing, you need to know that I have ear plugs for this situation.  Everyone who knows me and has taken my class knows that by now.  Even if you didn't know, if you ask me to turn down my music (and you're new), I will just hand you some ear plugs.  It does not offend me to ask for them and I do my best to make you comfortable - within reason.  I have been told that you can actually hear me better with them in. 

...and cut the crappy sermon about loud music destroying your hearing. It's not the time and place for it.   You would have to be exposed to the loud source of 85 decibels* or higher for a period of 8 hours or more on a continual basis.   My spin classes are 45 minutes to 1 hour and I'm pretty sure you would not want to do 8 hours of Spin with me.

I do get my hearing checked every year (and it never changes), so if this is a concern of yours you should do the same.  Take the proper precautions that makes you happy (which can include you not showing up AT ALL), or just ask me for the ear plugs. 

Please and Thank you. 

There you have it, 14 of Velma's Spin Etiquette rules.  You've been fairly warned.

Please and Thank You!

*85 decibels is somewhere between the sound of a vacuum cleaner to the sound of a lawn mower