Fitness Class Try-Outs

Hey all,

Last week I wrote about forming new habits and routines. An important part of my weekly routine is attending Drop-In Fitness Classes on campus. I like the variety of the instructors, the community-building vibe, and the convenience of working out at UofT.

At the beginning of each semester, I post the fitness schedules for Hart House Gym, and the Athletic Centre and Goldring Centre in my room, and I highlight the classes that fit my availability. This works as a visual reminder everyday to stay active on campus!

Highlighting fitness classes on the Drop-In schedules helps me know my options all semester
Highlighting fitness classes on the Drop-In schedules helps me know my options all semester

Ready to give it a go?

Here are my suggestions for getting started with Drop-In Fitness Classes on campus:


Read the description of the class before attending it.

Would you ever attend a lecture without doing your readings first? (Offended stares, disgusted denial, “Are you kidding me, Madelin!?”) I didn’t think so. Then why ever attend a fitness class without knowing what’s in store?

Once you find a class and a time that fits your schedule and interest, commit to the class, and show up!

For me, something that totally ruins the experience of a fitness class is being late. I like to schedule classes into my phone’s calendar, and I receive a notice before the class that reminds me to get ready and to get to the gym.

My calendar helps me get to class on time
My calendar helps me get to class on time

Ask the instructor to help you set up equipment before class (safety first!)

Try to arrive early if possible, as you can get individual attention from your instructor to help you get ready for the class. This can make all the difference in a weight bearing or pool-based class (and you get first pick for the best spot in the space!)

Take breaks when you need them! Drink water and stay hydrated, and consider tweaking moves so that they feel good for you.

Case in point: the yoga class that I attended this past week. I was feeling strong and perhaps a bit too adventurous. The instructor offered a bridge pose upgrade from our backbend position, and I was there before I had a chance to consider the ramifications. I got in and out of the position safely, but I felt fizzy for the remainder of the class. After that, I decided to take it slow and recover. It was the right choice for my body in that moment.

POINT: Be patient with your body, and adapt movements to make your experience in class a positive one!

Smile! Your instructor will feed off of your energy as a participant. Have FUN!

Finding a class where you aren’t watching the clock every five minutes is invaluable. It’s also a good idea to give any new class multiple tries before making a decision about whether it’s the right one for you.

Ask the instructor questions after class– they are great resources.

Your instructor is there for YOU so don’t be shy to connect with them about tips, advice, strategies, and other resources in the facility or on campus!


Challenge yourself to attend a fitness class this coming week. Make it as non-negotiable in your calendar as attending a class tutorial which counts for your course mark. Prioritize it!

Grab your T-Card, a lock, some appropriate clothing, a reusable water bottle and give a Drop-In Fitness Class a try! 

Bring a lock if you intend to keep your things in the locker room during your workout
Bring a lock if you intend to keep your things in the locker room during your workout

What’s your favourite class on campus? Comment below!

Heads up, October is Mental Wellness Month on Campus. The Goldring Centre is offering additional MoveU programming every Saturday to celebrate– meet in the lobby of the Goldring Centre at 12pm to get moving!

Also, another great way to get active next week is to join us for the MindFest 2015 Walk on Wednesday October 7, 2015. We will be meeting at 4:30PM at Hart House Circle, and walking over to OCAD University and Ryerson University in support of student mental health! Get all the details at

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