by Daniel Lucas

Listen, as one of the founders of Nimble Fitness, and as a coach for 20 years, I can tell you that I love most fitness classes. The energy of having other people in the room, being led by a knowledgeable and motivational instructor, makes for an unbeatable experience. We offer a range of high-intensity and functional strength classes at both of our New York City studios, and our clients work hard get a lot out of them. As everyone starts to ramp up their fitness going into spring and summer, classes are a popular choice.

But here’s a quick shout-out to all you class lovers: You simply can’t just walk in to any class and mindlessly start jumping around or flipping tires! What you can actually accomplish in a class, and what level class you should be in, all depends on your fitness level and your program. If you step into the wrong class, you can double or even triple the workload that your body is ready for. You may get pushed far beyond your threshold. If you do that, you are setting yourself up for misalignment issues, severe muscle fatigue and injury. And if you don’t have the hip flexibility and core strength to get down and flip a tire, you could blow out a disc.

Training smart in a class environment starts with your mindset. I encourage you to start developing a mental approach that will prepare you for success. That approach should include at least a basic understanding of your individual intensity level; knowledge of how to warm-up properly; and having the ability to manage your effort, your form and your recovery during a class. Some classes are structured for timed intervals, others for reps. And some classes don’t even give you rest!

If you don’t prepare for each class, then you’re just exercising instead of training. Short term, that’s probably fine, but in the longer term you will eventually have to deal with setbacks. My suggestion is to do a little homework. Research your classes. Hire a professional personal trainer or coach for at least a few sessions to get some quality pointers specific to your training program.
Here are Nimble Fitness’s basic tips to train smart in classes (and in your own workouts!)
  1. Be FUELED up and hydrated! Walking in to a tough training class with limited fuel will only make everything you do harder. Ultimately your blood sugar will drop and you’ll start to feel dizzy and have to stop.
  2. Be RESTED. Getting quality sleep will help you bring good energy and focus to your next session. At Nimble Fitness, we always say, “recovery is where the magic happens!”
  3. Pick an appropriate LEVEL class and test it out. Be ok with only doing half the class if it’s crushing you and you can’t hold your form together. If that happens, take a day or two to recover and try a lower level class so you can work your way up.
  4. MANAGE your fitness sessions! Whether you’re with a trainer or in a class, you have to be present with your body. Even if you are with a trainer, you can’t just mindlessly do something that feels dangerous or stupid. Train smart!
  5. Finally, go ahead and CHALLENGE yourself! Yep, I saved this for last. First, I urge caution and preparation. But if you work hard and stay diligent you can get great results! Just be prepared to rock it.

If you haven’t already jumped on the opportunity to be assessed by one of the Nimble Fitness owners, all of whom have twenty years of experience, you are missing out! Sign up today for your complimentary assessment and take your training to the next level.

And feel free to contact us with any questions about your fitness program at!