Your favourite teacher is on the schedule at 6:30, so you leave work at 5:30, get to the studio, change, and get ready to start with at least 5-10 minutes to spare to get checked in and into your favourite spot…
OK, so meetings run late, the Tube is a mess, you can’t find your socks/bra/tank/shoes… we’ve all been there, and that’s fine if it happens once in a while. But should you rethink the timeline that leads to that “slip in at the very last second” routine if it’s happening on a regular basis?
DOSE talks to some of London’s top instructors about why getting to your class a few minutes early might actually create a better overall experience for your workout…
“I see my class as my home and my riders as my guests so I want to make sure they feel welcomed from the moment they check in in reception,” explains Paola Carreno, Master Trainer at DigMe and Keiser Master Trainer, UK. For Paola, the experience begins from the moment you walk in the door, so if you’re late, you have less time to relax into the experience, she concludes.
And of course, safety is a factor as well – particularly if you’ve got an injury. “The best reason to come early is to talk over injuries and get an intro as HIIT workouts can be quite complicated and very demanding,” said Nicky Lopez, trainer and instructor at Good Vibes and HIITGyms. “You want to get the information up front so you know how to work the equipment and remember how to stop it in case of emergency, particularly with treadmills. Come early.”
Remember, if you’re trying any workout for the first time, it’s even more critical to arrive with at least 15 minutes to spare, says Katie Carroll, co-founder of House Ride (Soho House). “It’s especially important for any first-timers to budget enough time to arrive onsite early. You may need to sign a waiver, and you’ll want to get acquainted with the layout and amenities of the changing rooms, maybe order a shake, get the right size shoes, learn how to set-up your bike or attend a pre-class induction. Save yourself the stress and always get there early. Plus, If you’re late, you run the risk of being denied entry,” she adds. (Several studios, including Psycle, also have “no entry after start time” policies that are strictly enforced).
Every instructor also inevitably points out the downsides of being late: you don’t get the spot you like, you miss warmup time, you disrupt the class. “You want to feel part of the class and starting together is a huge part of that,” explains AJ O’Neill, dance instructor at Pineapple, Danceworks and Equinox. “The beginning of the class separates what’s in the outside world from what you do in the room. It’s important and if you miss that, you miss more than just three minutes of stretching.”
Ultimately, it’s down to the discretion of the instructor and the studio policy as to whether or not you can slip in last minute, but it makes sense that the full class experience means getting to class before the instructor presses “play.”
And isn’t that full experience what we’re all after?