My First Time... At Circuit

Image with smiling woman. Arrow points to her with text saying 'Helaine, Circuit Instructor'. Text on top says 'My First Time At Circuit' and background is yellow, grey and blue stripesf

SPOTLIGHT: Helaine tells us about her first ever class

Welcome to the “My First Time…” series! I’m Ria and I cover all things social media at ANU Sport. Like you, I’m moving through my fitness journey, trying to find the work out that works out for me. Through this series, I’m hoping to share insights and learn about the classes we offer. We can get to know the group fitness instructors and learn about their first time attending the class they’re now teaching. Hopefully by the end of this, we’ll know what to expect so we can be prepared, comfy and excited for our first time!

It's time to meet Helaine!

I’ve seen Helaine around the gym and taken photos of her for previous campaigns, so I’m ready for a relaxed interview. Helaine has just come from teaching a Circuit class, and is absolutely glowing. She’s lovely, and is really good at what she does.

We jump into it: Who are you?

“I’m Helaine, I’m a personal trainer/group fitness instructor here at ANU Sport. I’ve been instructing for 2-3 years on and off, because I took last year off to work in my field in dietetics in Sydney.”

“Previously, I’ve coached Tactical Fitness, but lately I’ve been taking Monday and Wednesday Circuit”

As always, we go on to chat about rates and hates. Helaine rates, “Walking with my dog Mushu! He’s a golden retriever. I used to take him in on Saturday to meet the tactical group”. I’m already sold, and will be attending a circuit class immediately. I’ll also be writing a proposal about how we should have a dog come to every class.

We move onto hates, and Helaine tells me, “I don’t like awkward silence in the class”, which I can definitely agree with. She also hates celery, and I’m starting to think that Helaine and I are the same person.

I’m ready to get to the good stuff, so I ask about her first time.

Helaine explains that her first Circuit-style class was an outdoor bootcamp a few years ago. She laughs, “I get very competitive. I always think I have a certain level of fitness and I’m like ‘oh I should be better than these (people)’”

Entertainingly, it didn’t work out that way, “I think for the first two (exercises) I was like ‘yeah!!’ and then slowly in the third and fourth I was like ‘ohh I’m not good at this’. There were ladies slowly overtaking me and I was like ‘noooo!’. By the middle of the session I’m slowly dying.”

Helaine offers some advice, “Don’t be like me! If you go into a first class and you have a fitness background do it humbly.”

We move on to chatting about the classes Helaine runs, and the exercises you can expect.

“It’s a mixture of strength and conditioning work. I do put in burpees quite a lot in my class. Just now I did a shuttle run and a chunk of kettlebell movements too”

“Making the class fun is a big thing for me, so I try to incorporate more partner work or different formats,” she explains. “Because of COVID we can’t share equipment so it kind of limits things there”

Helaine also tells me that she’s trying to get to know her regular participants, “This is something I’ve started to do this year. In the last few years I’ve been coaching, I find there’s always (the same) people here and I don’t know their name.”

“If I keep asking your name or keep saying your name wrong please let me know so I can remember you!”, she laughs.

“It’s not just me asking for names. You can introduce yourself to other people, and meet friends with the same fitness goals”, she suggests.

To wrap up, I ask if she has any tips and tricks so you can have the best workout at Circuit.

“If you’re new to the gym or have any injuries, let the instructor know. If it’s your first time at Circuit let the instructor know as well, and we’ll give more attention to you, and give more instructions so you can do the exercise correctly.”

I’m definitely sold on the class, and if anyone needs me for the next hour I’ll be in Circuit.

Circuit runs on Monday at 12:15pm, Tuesday at 5:30pm, Wednesday at 12:30pm, Thursday at 5:30pm, and Friday at 12:15pm. You can find our full group fitness timetable here: