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Old 19.07.2011, 15:45
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Gym classes - level of language skills required?

Hello EFers

So my move to Zurich is finally complete and having obtained a healthy (!) supply of cheese from Grumpygrapefruit on Saturday, I now feel that the time has come to join a gym!

I was planning to join the Migros gym, as the one in Puls 5 is fairly close to me and was planning on getting the full bells and whistles membership. Back in the UK I took part in some gym classes (mainly yoga, pilates and step aerobics) and was hoping to continue to do so here. However, my German is far from being fluent and I have to stop and think about what someone says before it sinks in enough for me to understand. Does anyone know how the classes work at the Migros gyms? Are they ok to have people in the class without a full working knowledge of German? I would obviously understand if not as it's important for the instructors to feel comfortable that they're in control of the class, but it would be good to know what the situation is before I sign up for the full membership with classes. I do have some experience with these classes so am not a complete beginner.

Apologies if the question has been asked before - I had a search on the wider forum and on the gyms in Zurich thread and couldn't find any answers!

Thanks

Louisa
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Old 19.07.2011, 15:49
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

You know what? I wouldn't worry about the language issue at all. I have a similar situation here in Budapest, I don't speak Hungarian - well I can order a beer but that's about it. I recently joined a gym to learn Thai Kick Boxing. My instructor only speaks Hungarian and yet we manage to communicate pretty well with sign language and following demonstrations.
The Language really isn't an issue at all. In your situation with some German knowledge and not being a beginner in the gym I really don't think you'd have any difficulties. I realise this doesn't directly answer your question regarding the Migros classes but I thought I'd share my experience on the language question anyway. I'm sure there will be someone else along shortly that will be able to help you with more information about the Migros gym.
Good luck
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Old 19.07.2011, 16:00
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

if you tell the instructor before the classes start, I m sure s/he will try to accomodate. For step in any case, the words are the same all in English, so that shouldnt be a problem.
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Old 19.07.2011, 18:08
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

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Hello EFers

So my move to Zurich is finally complete and having obtained a healthy (!) supply of cheese from Grumpygrapefruit on Saturday, I now feel that the time has come to join a gym!

I was planning to join the Migros gym, as the one in Puls 5 is fairly close to me and was planning on getting the full bells and whistles membership. Back in the UK I took part in some gym classes (mainly yoga, pilates and step aerobics) and was hoping to continue to do so here. However, my German is far from being fluent and I have to stop and think about what someone says before it sinks in enough for me to understand. Does anyone know how the classes work at the Migros gyms? Are they ok to have people in the class without a full working knowledge of German? I would obviously understand if not as it's important for the instructors to feel comfortable that they're in control of the class, but it would be good to know what the situation is before I sign up for the full membership with classes. I do have some experience with these classes so am not a complete beginner.

Apologies if the question has been asked before - I had a search on the wider forum and on the gyms in Zurich thread and couldn't find any answers!

Thanks

Louisa
Alternatively you might want to wait till the fall to join the gym and opt for just riding the bike all summer to enjoy the weather!!!!! Oh wait, its been raining all summer hasnt it...? Carry on then....!
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Old 19.07.2011, 18:23
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

We've joined a gym in Basel and don't speak any German. We do the spin and Zumba classes. I've learned to count in german (only to 8 )!!! But the instructors all happened to speak a little english and know that the class is mixed nationalilties. I've also found that most 'fitness crazes' have started in America so they often use American terms that there may not be a German equivalent to. Its also just as easy to follow by watching than be listening so again, no problems there.

If you're not sure - see if they will let you take a free class before signing a contract.
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Old 19.07.2011, 18:27
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

I was in the same situation (basic German, couldn't understand much - still can't ), I think you'll be fine especially since you're not a newbie. It'll help alot if you revise the German words for the various body parts, and since you've done the class before then you'll probably have a good idea what's going on.

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Old 19.07.2011, 18:33
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

Thanks everyone for your feedback! It's good to know that there's others in the same boat! I'll head along and sign up tonight and then see if I'm brave enough to go to some classes at the weekend/next week

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Alternatively you might want to wait till the fall to join the gym and opt for just riding the bike all summer to enjoy the weather!!!!! Oh wait, its been raining all summer hasnt it...? Carry on then....!
Indeed - on a day like today (and having checked the forecast for the next week...) the thought of a nice cosy gym is v appealing! My only comfort is that the weather is worse in Edinburgh. Though I'm not sure I'm doing the British stereotypes any favours by whittering on about the weather
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Old 19.07.2011, 18:38
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

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Indeed - on a day like today (and having checked the forecast for the next week...) the thought of a nice cosy gym is v appealing! My only comfort is that the weather is worse in Edinburgh. Though I'm not sure I'm doing the British stereotypes any favours by whittering on about the weather
When I was a young aspiring lad I left San Francisco for Switzerland to escape the rainy summers...... I seem to be cursed!
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Old 19.07.2011, 18:43
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

i go to a few classes at pulse 5 (zumba and yoga). i also understand very little german, told the class leaders when i first started and they were more than happy for me to join in. a lot is in english anyway. so definitely go along, just introduce yourself at the start of the class and i am sure you will be fine. enjoy!
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Old 19.07.2011, 18:56
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

Unless it's "conversational yoga"...

Not sure where you see a potential problem, but in the classes I follow in my gym are loads of non-German speakers. I do mainly "hot iron" and I guess the same is true for step aerobics: You simply watch the teacher and do the same - it's not exactly rocket science.

No more excuses not to train , go for it!
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Old 19.07.2011, 19:03
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

But yes, please tell the instructor that you don't always understand him or her. I teach some classes as a hobby and it's very confusing when you correct or instruct someone and they seem to ignore you - how would i know they simply didn't understand?
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Old 19.07.2011, 19:46
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

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Not sure where you see a potential problem, but in the classes I follow in my gym are loads of non-German speakers. I do mainly "hot iron" and I guess the same is true for step aerobics: You simply watch the teacher and do the same - it's not exactly rocket science.
Thanks - you definitely have a point there, but I was more thinking about the yoga/pilates where a slight alignment difference can make all the difference between doing it right (working hard and not hurting yourself) and doing it wrong (not really getting any benefit and potentially hurting you back etc). For Step I should be ok....though I get confused enough in the UK class...nice to have an excuse for it

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No more excuses not to train , go for it!
Aha.....there you are wrong! Just went to sign up and apparently it's closed until 31st July - d'oh! Maybe I'll sign up at the one in town tomorrow.....!!!
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Old 26.07.2011, 09:26
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Re: Gym classes - level of language skills required?

Wow....talk about someone up there not wanting me to go gymming.

After my failed visit to the Puls5 Fitness Park last Tuesday, I decided to go to the on in Stockerhof to give myself a kick start. After registering myself (in German....), I spent an hour working out before heading back to the changing rooms for a shower. HOWEVER, the magic electrical locker device would not open my door. After several efforts by the staff to open the lock ("this is the first time this has ever happened...!"), the technician was called and arrived at 22.15 (1.5hrs after I'd finished at the gym!) and took about a second to drill into the locker and release all my worldy goods.

To make matters worse, I then got on a tram going in the wrong direction, before switching to one going in the right direction which then broke down.

Off to a flying start

On the plus side...I got to practice lots of German yesterday
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