1. Exercise at an off-peak time, especially if you’re new. Finding a class that’s not too full is important. A crowded room can make it hard for you to follow the instructor. Also, while you may like to blend into the crowd, if the room is very full, you’re probably not going to have the room to really get into your moves.
2. Don’t be afraid to up the intensity. As instructors, we’re trained to teach at a moderate level for the class and show both easier and harder modifications. That being said, most people in the class will follow the instructor, exactly, but you don’t have to. As an instructor, I love to see participants really get into class and push their limits. Remember, it may be my class, but it’s your workout.
3. Focus on the class. Hopefully you’re really able to get into what you’re doing and leave distractions at the door. It’s great to clear your head, but don’t let your mind wander too far from your workout.
4. Focus on the movements. Don’t just go through the motions or rely on momentum. Feel. Every. Move. Squat deeper, push harder, imagine the air as resistance and focus on the muscles you’re working to up the intensity.
5. Ask questions. If you’re really struggling, especially with equipment, don’t be shy. If the class is choreography-based and you can’t pick up a step, do what you can and make the most of it. Master the feet then add the arms, or step touch to the beat and get your upper body going. In time, it will all come together.