Wacky Workouts: Summer's Hottest Ways to Get Fit

"Sometimes ... in this quest to make [a class] more creative ... the instructors don't always adhere to proper rates of progression. Something might be too challenging" for participants, he said. "Be smart enough to listen to your body if there's a movement that causes any joint discomfort or pain. Don't get caught up in the group mentality. ... If you're feeling discomfort ... it's probably not right."

Bryant said the instructor can make all the difference. A good instructor will move around the class, make corrections on incorrect movements and ensure that class members are having a safe experience, he said.

So was I having a safe experience in my Crunch Stunts class? Certainly no one was checking my technique as I tumbled on the ground wounded, "punched" my opponent in the face and shot at her with semi-automatic weapons. When I left I was convinced that I'd barely had a workout, but two days later my still-aching hamstrings told a different story.

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