Thoughts and tips from the friendly faces at the front of your workout class.

When it comes to fitness, one way to stay motivated is to work out in a group or class setting. You form a community that knows you and holds you accountable to your fitness goals.

But it’s easy to forget the people making that happen: the amazing instructors behind the microphone. They are planning, choreographing, demonstrating and teaching—and many of them have full-time jobs and teach classes on the side simply because they are passionate about fitness. They want to get to know each of their students, remember their names and make each and every class they teach the best one yet for their faithful attendees.

So we asked some 24 Hour Fitness group exercise instructors to share some things they wish their students and classes knew—things that might just get you a better workout.

Amiee McWilliams
Teaches: POP Pilates, Les Mills BODYPUMP
What I wish my students knew:
“That others in the room are feeling just as intimidated as they are, and if they just stick with coming consistently, they would see the fitness results they desire.”

Heather Smith
Teaches: Yoga, Les Mills BODYCOMBAT, Athletic Training Club, Cycle
What I wish my students knew: “I wish my class knew—or remembered—that we were all new at some point! Welcome the people around you that you don’t recognize. Ask them how long they’ve taken the class, and help set them up, or tell them about the class if they are new. GX24 is all about community, and we want to welcome new people into our community in every class.”

Carleen Dinh
Teaches: bbarreless, bootybarre, POP Pilates
What I wish my students knew: 
“I wish my class knew the amount of time and energy I put into the class at home—from selecting music, to reviewing videos, practicing physically and verbally, and reading up on educational material. I do it all with a smile on my face because I love my job and members; I take great pride in it.”

Justine Mercado
Teaches: Les Mills BODYPUMP, PiYo
What I wish my students knew: 
“I wish my class knew that asking me for advice before and/or after class is great, but we should chat outside so the next class can get in and set up. Also, thank you (times infinity) to members who help me set up or put away my equipment before/after class. This gives me enough time to get out of the room for the next class without having an anxiety attack!”

Patrick Loranger
Teaches: Zumba
What I wish my students knew: “If you’re new to a class format or taking a class with a new instructor, come introduce yourself and don’t be afraid to come stand near the front of the room. You might find that your technique or form might benefit from an up-close perspective.”

To find a group exercise class near you, visit

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Photo credit: macniak, Thinkstock