Recently, I have taken up kickboxing, and if you've spoken to me in the last month you will know that I am absolutely in love with it and probably will never set foot in a gym again. It is the best workout I have ever had, it doesn't make me feel weak or slow (unlike some ballet barre classes where the instructor asks you to put one leg on the bar, an arm holding a ball and another arm in the air. Sorry, you lost me at leg.) and I love that there are girls of all different body sizes/types doing the same workout and making it work out for them (see what I did there?). I've really come to love the idea of a group class. It holds you accountable because, unlike the gym, you can't cancel the day of and if you walk out in the middle of your workout everyone will notice and your teacher will probably chase you to find out what's up. It also isn't a meat market, which I find to be the case at the gym, especially when I catch girls in full-faced makeup, an arm full of bangles, and a push-up bra. This isn't the club, slow down and wash your face.
Group workouts are great, until they're not. What I mean is, I have some serious pet peeves when it comes to being in a workout class. Take note, because I know I'm not the only person who is secretly hating you in their heads if you do any of these things:
1. Don't talk during class. An occasional (and I use this word very strongly) "Woo!" is fine, but if you are having a full on conversation with your friend on the mat next to you, it's time to take your ass to the juice bar downstairs, because I can't hear the instructor screaming my next move while you talk about what you're doing later. This also applies for conversations had in languages other than English, because then I can only assume you're talking about how awful all of us look as we sweat in the ultrasexy position of bicycle kicks.
2. Pop a mint. I can't tell you how many times in the last few weeks alone I will be holding punching pads for a classmate and that first jab hits my pad with the same intensity that her gnarly breath hits my nostrils. A simple Altoid will do wonders. You're body looks great, and I would love to talk about what you eat to stay in impeccable shape, but I don't want to smell it because at this point I'm just going to assume you're eating Indian Food with kimchi for every meal.
3. Wear a sports bra. If it has lace, it's not a sports bra. You may think you look sexy with your Agent Provocateur bra peeking through your Lulu Lemon, but you look tacky. And bras are expensive. Don't demean them by sweating all over your pretty underthings! This also goes for girls who don't wear a bra at all because they think they're small enough to go without one. I have news for you, I can see your nipples and they look miserable from the chafing.
4. Keep grunting to a minimum. And by minimum I mean 0-1 times during class. The most distracting thing is to have a girl in class who grunts with the frequency and volume of Maria Sherpova. They're jumping jacks, they're not murder (nor sex for that matter). I'm going to have to side with Larry David on this one and just tell you to stfu.
5. Wipe off the equipment you use. I could care less if you don't wipe your face when you're sweating like Patrick Ewing, but clean off your mat and weights you animal!
If you follow these rules the only thing people will be able to hate you for is how effortless you look during a side plank. Please and thank you from any one with manners and human decency.
image credit: Paris Vogue