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What Are The Fit People On The Front Row Really Thinking?You finally muster up the courage to enter a group exercise class after eyeing it through the glass doors for the last several weeks. Even though you have attended the gym for a while you have consistently relegated your new-found resolve to the treadmills and exercise bikes.

What Are The Fit People On The Front Row Really Thinking? fitness tips, group exercise

You’ve noticed the others milling outside the glass doors before each class. But today is the first day you have mustered the courage to sneak your way into the back left corner next to a rack of exercise balls.

Then, you see them…the fit people…all lined up on the front row and your resolve begins to melt away. I mean, look at them, they seem so comfortable up there. What are they going to think when they get a load of you stumbling there on the back row? It’s time to deal with some exercise insecurity.

What Are The Fit People Thinking?

Group exercise classes can be a little intimidating to the first-timer. There is often a natural insecurity when you start something new; especially when entering into an ongoing program that others are well-acquainted with. However, it’s important to keep one important thing in mind…gyms are for fitness, everybody’s fitness!

It doesn’t matter how fit or coordinated you are, the only requirement for membership is your money and your time. So, take a deep breath and try not to take yourself too seriously. After all, everyone was a beginner once, but what are the fit people on the front row really thinking?

Some Insights Into The Thoughts Of The Front Row

I am one of those front row people. I love group classes, so I tend to migrate to the front or get pushed up there so that others can follow from behind. So, I can honestly offer some insight into what the front row person is thinking…about the class and about you

Front Row People Efficiently Utilize Their Workout Time

These people are usually serious about their fitness goals, so they plan to make every minute of the class count. They are likely to jump a little higher, punch a little harder and cha-cha a little more than the rest. This means their attention is likely to be focused on putting their all into the routine, not on you.

Cardio Classes Are Designed To Give All Participants an Aerobic Workout

In a good cardio class, everyone sweats and everyone breathes heavy. While some may be more accustomed to the pain of it all, the point of cardio exercise is to push the body and increase the heart rate. So, some of those times when you think you can’t go on one more second, some of the fit people on the front row are thinking the exact same thing. The difference is, fit people are used to the sensation and their hearts work more efficiently, which helps them to recover faster. Trust me, they aren’t thinking about you.

Coordinated People Are Listening To The Musicsilhouette - moved by the music

Typically, coordinated (front row) people use the music to cue their choreography. A dancer is inspired by the music,Β so she is always listening for changes in the rhythm and beat. Since coordinated people pick up on the steps quickly, they can easily immerse themselves in the music, which means they are not paying the slightest attention to anyone else’s missteps.

Front Row People Are Usually Really Nice People

Haha, I usually stand in the front, but I’ve been told I’m a pretty likable girl πŸ˜‰ I have given more than a few impromptu lessons between songs and after class on a particular step or combination. If you are having trouble picking up the moves, ask one of the front row peeps to break it down for you. Who knows, she may be your next best gym friend in the making!

It’s your fitness we’re talking about, so don’t let anyone or your perceptions stand in your way. Just line up behind a front rower and hang on tight…before you know it you might find yourself right up there with them. Oh, and if you do…remember what it was like to be the newbie and say a little hello when you see one enter the class.

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Learning It, Shellie

photo credit: saggio_201215 via photopin (license)


  1. Shellie, thanks again for sharing this wonderful post on #TheLeisureLink!!

  2. I was a front row dancer on the floor. No distractions. Make sure I saw what I needed to learn. Didn’t want to compare myself to anyone else. Plus…it drives me nuts when almost everyone in the class tries to hang out in the back. Interesting topic to write about! #midlifeluv

  3. Paula R says:

    I have taken up both positions: the far back corner, and the front row. I usually always start out in the back so I can get an overview of what the class dynamic is like, and then I move to the front so I can get the most out of the workout, so your statement “Trust me, they aren’t thinking about you.” is spot on as far as I’m concerned. ~Paula:-) #MidLifeLuv

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      The biggest advice I can give beginning exercisers is to get out of their head and focus on their fitness!

  4. Debbie says:

    As a group ex instructor, I’ve found that most people are so caught up in their own deal they don’t pay attention to what others are doing right or wrong. Unless of course someone bumps into them going the wrong way. πŸ™‚ #FridayBlogBooster

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Exactly, and the instructors aren’t paying much attention either. I taught for 6 years and I was thinking about the routine, calling out next steps and keeping up the energy. Thanks for stopping by, Debbie…I hope you’ll be back.

  5. Wendy says:

    I am so not a front row person, but I am so thankful for those of you who are! If not being able to fix my eyes on your feet, I would never be able to do any of those moves! Haha! I haven’t done a fitness class in forever, but I did take Irish dance classes for a few years (since my daughter was there 20+ hours a week, I figured I should be getting some exercise, too!). If not for the “front row” peeps, it would have been hopeless!! #FridaysBlogBooster

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Haha Wendy, I guess we all have our part to play. At least you realized how you could benefit from the front-rowers instead of letting them psych you out of exercising at all! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Shellie – I could have guessed you would be a front row person! I would be on the second row right behind you so I could pick up the moves! Thanks again for sharing at the blog hop!

  7. Sandra says:

    First of all, I love your header! So vibrant! As for the topic of this post, I love being a front row person at a boot camp or a yoga session, but when it comes to step classes, I wish I could hide behind a screen! haha Nice to meet you!

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Thanks Sandra, it’s a new change for the site…it’s encouraging to see you noticed it! I am so glad you stopped by, I hope you’ll come back!

  8. How interesting! I am NOT a front row person, because of my two left feet if it’s step or other kind of dance cardio. I would be in front during a Body pump style of workout, because I am good at that. Back row for yoga, too πŸ™‚

  9. Nora Gouma says:

    Absolutely great post, I love to read it, truly inspiring, thank you for sharing!!!