Why we count during exercise classes

It may seem silly or even arbitrary when a personal trainer or the instructor of a class asks you to count out loud while you’re exercising. Or maybe, with all of the other effort you are putting in, mentally and physically, you never even thought about the fact that you were counting.

However, encouraging you to count is something your trainer or instructor does to ensure that you are doing two very important things: breathing and focusing.

Don’t laugh – breathing is important!

It is extremely important to remember to breathe during a workout. If you hold your breath or become short of breath while exercising, you may pass out or feel nauseated. Not only will this take away from the effectiveness of a given workout, it can even be dangerous!

When you count out loud during a certain exercise, you are exhaling as you say each number, allowing your trainer or instructor to ensure not only that you are actually breathing but that you are exhaling at the appropriate point of the exercise.

Better focus = better results

Another advantage to counting while exercising is that it maintains your focus. Some people like to “zone out” during their workout, but this often results in poor form or other errors that take away from the quality of your workout.

As you announce each number, your attention is completely on the task at hand. This focus will result in better repetitions and the best results from the time and energy you put into your workout.

So next time your trainer asks you to count, don’t roll your eyes! Or, at least if you do roll them, do so knowing that counting out loud is helping you get fit and stay healthy.