Last week, I attended "Body Pump," a barbell-based weight-lifting class at a very popular area fitness center. The class, which is quite crowded, is held in a large studio with mirrors on three walls. I was surprised that the instructor conducts the class standing on the non-mirrored side. We can't check our form in the mirrors without facing away from the instructor. I have always faced mirrors in weight-lifting classes in the past. I don't want to injure myself doing something improperly. Should I speak up? Or are my fears unfounded?

ask the trainer, jim beatty

Whether you speak to your instructor or not, is up to you. (I would do it in private though, if you do). Mirrors can be a great tool in helping to ensure good posture and proper form while exercising. They can allow us to really see those small, yet important details in our movements.


However, mirrors are often misused during exercise and can sometimes serve as a huge distraction. Just a thought, but your instructor may even be aware of how some people may misuse mirrors, and purposely turned the class away from them. Perhaps you can suggest a class where you use them a lot, and really talk about the purpose of mirrors, and their value when used correctly. Other class members may have not even thought about this, but will certainly benefit from being able to see and feel their exercises together.


It's also pretty difficult for instructors in a group setting to ensure proper form for everyone, all the time, so be super-aware of your own form, and aim to make each repetition look exactly the same. Perfect form will keep you injury free for life, and make your workouts effective and efficient… with or without mirrors.