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3 Ways to Have a Better Workout No Matter How Fit You Are -- Or Aren't

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By CeCe Olisa

On her blog, Plus Size Princess CeCe Olisa has detailed everything from what it's like to be the only big black girl in a yoga class (fine, thanks!), to her adventures in plus-size dating in the Big Apple. Now, the New York City transplant is lending her poignant, often-hilarious voice to R29.



Last week, I walked into a new dance class confident I was about to get a good workout -- and that I could keep up with the others.

Instead, the classed moved quickly with little instruction, and I saw my classmates expertly perform the routine while I flailed my arms and legs awkwardly. It was not what I was expecting.

Group fitness classes can be great, but taking an open level class often means there are some moves I'm not quite ready for. All of our bodies have limitations, no matter how athletic we are (or aren't) and we should never be ashamed -- or worse, stop going to fitness classes -- just because we need a modification or two. I love creating plus-size workout videos and I don't let my size keep me from doing high-level workouts, in spite of the challenge. Just last week, I tried a new dance class that moved quickly with little instruction, but I got through it.

If this sounds familiar, and you've been skipping classes because you're afraid of messing up in a group setting, follow these three tips and you'll have a great, heart-pumping workout


Get To Class Early
Arrive a few minutes early and let the instructor know of any injuries, limitations, or personal fitness challenges. If it's your first class with the instructor or your first class of this type, just let him or her know before the music starts and the routine begins. Introducing yourself is an easy way to ensure you get a little extra attention and the one-on-one interaction may make you more comfortable with the instructor throughout the duration of the class -- even if you can't do every single move he or she's demonstrating.

Speak Up
Fitness instructors are paid to teach and they love sharing their knowledge. If you are confused by a particular move, speak up. In a recent kettlebell class, I was instructed to "deadlift" and was totally confused. I raised my hand and simply said, "Sorry, I've never done that before."

My teacher was more than willing to help me out, and I got a quick private tutorial while everyone else did reps.