Getting the jitters about trying a fitness class for the first time? These handy tips will help you get through the session with confidence.
To the homebodies who delight in living room workouts, and every solo gym goer out there, Team Shape challenges you to break out of that cloud of comfort. Sign up for your first group exercise class (check out our recommendations here) and experience for yourselves, the throng of mental and physical benefits that comes with.
After all, having a trainer plan your workout means you don’t have to. All you need to do is turn up for class and sweat it out – no time wasted. Plus, it’s a great way to avoid fitness boredom with a variety of exercises provided.
But first, we’re here to help. Any new group setting – like your first day at school or an office – can be sorely intimidating. Same goes for workout classes, especially when you’re among regulars who already know what they are doing. Before you decide you’re never coming back, heed these first-timer tips and you’ll never fear to be that new student in class again.
Give yourself enough buffer time to get lost and/or find a parking spot – especially if you’re unfamiliar with the area. It’s also a good idea to arrive at least 15 minutes earlier since new students are likely to get a tour of the studio facilities and be required to fill in a waiver form before the session.
Let the instructor know you’re new
Raise your hand prominently when the instructor asks to identify newcomers in class. (Don’t be shy!) This allows him/her to give you extra attention, help to set up your equipment or offer modifications along the way if necessary.
Do some research
Check the gym’s website for the class description and ensure that you’re signed up for a class of your current fitness ability, as well as any fitness gear you might need, such as grip socks for a pilates class. If you’re planning to freshen up after class, check that shower facilities are available and that bath towels are provided. Not all studios have a water dispenser, so it’s recommended that you bring a filled water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the class.
Focus on yourself – not others
The person beside you might be picking up a heavier weight or performing reps at lightning speed. But instead of making comparisons and feeling dejected, remind yourself of your own goals. Remember: slow progress is better than no progress. Listen carefully for instructions and position yourself in front of the mirror if possible. Focus on perfecting your form based on the instructor’s exercise cues.
Take breaks when you need to
Listen to your body and do what you can at your own pace to avoid any injuries. Don’t be afraid to stop for a breather or modify the move to your fitness ability. For example, if you can’t do squat jumps, dial it down to a normal squat. Check with the trainer if you are unsure.