About Zara Kadir

Zara was singing and dancing from a young age and went on to do a degree in musical theatre at one of the UKs best drama schools. She then went on to qualify as a studio instructor and now teaches Body Pump, Body Combat, Body Balance and indoor cycle at gyms in and around London. She is passionate about helping people enjoy and understand exercise and is on a mission to get more men and women into that studio!

Tips For Your First Gym Class

So, you’ve joined the gym, you’ve had your free session and can now successfully locate the start button on a treadmill. You’ve been given a programme but still find yourself aimlessly wondering around, questioning the use of each piece of equipment.

I see you. I’m the lycrad up instructor screaming into my Britney mic, you’re there, nose pressed up against the glass of the door as I coach 25 eager participants to squat a little lower. Are you brave enough to come inside? Let me take the fear away.

The first assumption you’ll make is that everyone in the class knows exactly what they’re doing. If that were the case I’d be left with very little to say during that class. There is a reason instructors end up with husky voices. What’s that reason? It’s because participants constantly need guidance which is why I am there.

Secondly you may fear that everyone is going to be looking at you, you stepped on the wrong leg, your trainers aren’t brand new or your leggings don’t match your hairband. Once again you are misinformed. Having been a participant and having taught many a class, I can assure you that most people don’t have incredible co-ordination. If you’re thinking about your moves or concentrating on technique the odds are so is everyone else. To be honest, sometimes even I’m thinking about the moves!

Have I tempted you inside yet? I hope so! But let’s make sure that I give you the best possible chances of getting great results, having fun and most importantly, coming back!

Here’s what every instructor hopes a new participant will do:

1. Know What The Class Is

It’s amazing how often people wonder in to register complete surprise the body pump involves weights.

2. Be Early

I know you have a job and this isn’t always possible but if you tell me you’re new I can help you setup (if equipment is needed) or I can explain what you can expect. I almost always tell new people that in a class involving lost of choreography there will be times you’re a little lost but this is normal and over time it’ll get easier.

3. Talk To Me!

Any instructor will (or should) ask if anyone is injured, unwell or pregnant. If you’re asthmatic just tell me, id rather know than panic when I see you reach for your inhaler. Injured or pregnant? Maybe I can keep an eye on you to offer options that are more suited to you.

This also applies to the end of the class. If you want to ask me about something you struggled with then do, it is my job to teach and whilst I cannot speak for other instructors, I am always happy to give you a few minutes of my time.

4. Be Brave

This applies to stepping foot into the studio, lifting that leg a little higher in aerobics, pushing a little harder on those sprints in spin or adding a little weight to that bar in body pump. When you’re brave you face that feeling of real breathlessness, real burning in your muscles and that my friend, is where you get results. I will always commend you if you work hard.

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Do You Need to Take Vitamin Supplements?

Sadly our food is processed and not as well made as it was 50 years ago so even with the best diet it is quite likely that you may need some kind of supplement to…well, supplement your health.

Quality Not Quantity

You don’t need to spend a fortune on vitamins but equally you get what you pay for so find a middle ground. The reason the prices vary are two fold. Firstly there is always an element of branding so a supermarket own brand will inevitably be a little cheaper and may contain cheap fillers. Secondly while a supplement may claim to be 100% of your daily dosage it may not be in its most absorbable form so essentially it’ll end up going down the toilet!

Too Much of a Good Thing

Your body can only absorb a certain amount at any given time so if the dosage is 1 a day then adhere to those guidelines. Too much vitamin C can give you the trots. Whilst too much vitamin a could in fact contribute towards lung cancer.

My Essential List for Men

Sunny Delight

Living in the UK we don’t get quite as much sun as we often need. Did you know that if you’re fair skinned you produce vitamin D with a lot less sunlight than someone with darker skin. Therefore if you are very fair you may get all you need from a bright winter morning. However if you’re blessed with the bronze you may need a little help from some Vitamin D during the winter months.

Glucosamine Or Oils

You don’t have to stomach mouthfuls of cod liver oil. There are a lot less fragrant varieties out there including vegetarian ones. For those of you who like to hit the gym it is always advisable to take a little something to keep your joints healthy.

Roses Are Red And So Are Tomatoes

Lycopene is a pigment that gives fruit and vegetables their red colouring. Studies have shown that it contains powerful anti oxidants that protects you from prostate cancer so if you’re not managing a bowl of tomatos a day get yourself some in pill form!

Cross Your I’s And Dot Your T’s

The MultiVit is the one to invest in. I would advise to buy the most expensive one you can afford and ideally consult a nutritionist. This is the much needed icing on the cake.

Lastly, it you take supplements it doesn’t mean you can eat crap, they are exactly what they say on the tin. A supplement, they are not a cure.

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