5 gym instructors on why they are so excited for group indoor classes to return

Spin class
Spin class
7:15am, Mon 17 May 2021
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Some people really took to working out at home: relishing burpees in their bedroom and not having to travel to the gym.

Not everyone has been so lucky, and many of us have been counting down the days until indoor group classes are back in action. This is May 17 for people in England and Scotland, with Wales and Ireland hopefully following soon.

Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself, and you can’t quite beat the atmosphere of group exercise – whether you’re partial to an intense HIIT class or prefer hitting up your local yoga studio. We’re not the only ones chomping at the bit to get back to classes; instructors can’t wait, either…

1. Chatty Dobson, yoga teacher and owner of FLEX Chelsea

“I teach yoga so I’m all about imparting that energy and making it fun, and you can only do a certain amount on Zoom. You’re a bit like a performing monkey on Zoom – you can’t read the room in the same way, or get what people want from a class.

“Even as a person coming to a class, you get so much more out of it, because you don’t realise you’re competing with the person next to you – so if you’re in a HIIT class, you’ll try harder. The instructor can call you out more as well because you’re less likely to go and make yourself a tea halfway through – which we’ve all done!”

2. Steph Brand, general manager at UN1T Holborn

“It’s been a really tough year for everyone, fitness industry or not, and it has really made us appreciate being around other people. We’re starting to really have a good understanding of what it is to train with other people, and learning to take care of our health as well.

“We’ve all been stuck in the house and probably ordering too many takeaways, and it’s really difficult to have consistent motivation – even myself as a coach, home workouts were a real struggle. I’m so excited to be able to have people training together, a community, in a space where we’re all bettering ourselves.”

3. Vicky Sawyer, 1Rebel trainer and Nike Ambassador

“I’m just excited to see my clients’ faces in person, and not on a small Zoom where I can’t see anyone properly. I’m excited to create atmosphere with the lights and music and also not worrying about disturbing my neighbours on a Sunday morning. I’m excited to see my work friends and colleagues because I’ve not seen a lot of them since December. I’m excited to get paid, as the majority of us are self-employed.

“It’s impossible to get motivated to workout in the same space in which you’re supposed to relax. A lot of people – myself included – live in an extremely small space and can’t benefit from the workout properly. We’ll be able to correct people’s form and make sure they’re safe. The equipment is all prepared and cleaned for the clients so they don’t have to worry about that like they would at home. You can actually connect with people face to face and build a relationship with them, which is really hard to do over Zoom.”

4. Chloe Laureyns, cycle and HIIT instructor at Digme Fitness

“The whole vibe of the studios is really what it is all about for me. Training with other people not only makes me work harder – as I am a little competitive – but makes me enjoy my sessions so much more.

“One of the great things about classes is you don’t need to plan your own workout. I love going to classes with a friend; I find it so motivating and fun, we can hold each other accountable and we can give each other that extra push.

“It really is true that you never regret a workout. Even if you wake up, aren’t feeling too motivated or aren’t in a great headspace, the positive energy the instructor gives you and those post-workout endorphin highs can really transform your mood.”

5. Stuart Amory, studio manager at F45 Wimbledon

“It’s been a tough time for everyone and although Zoom has been great, there’s nothing better than experiencing that ‘Team Training, Life Changing’ vibe that F45 brings. Just seeing our members and communicating with them face to face is going to lift spirits and the mental and physical high they will feel before, during and at the end of the sessions, will be incredible.

“Some of our members will feel that they are not as fit as they used to be, however a lot of people are in the same boat so our instructors are ready to be supportive, but also to tell them to focus on where they want to be, rather than where they currently are. Group exercise will feel so much more exhilarating, and the endorphin rush will be huge as it’s been so long since we’ve experienced it.”

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