Not used to working out in numbers? Here’s how to make each class count
Going to your first group exercise class – Barre, Yoga, Boxing – whatever it might be, can often be a bit like your first day at a new job, nerve-wracking. And while we can’t tell you how to move those hips during a Zumba routine, we can make you feel a little less awkward on your first time working out in a group setting.
TURN UP EARLY
Whether it’s your first time or not, don’t sneak in late. Many classes require equipment setup, and if you haven’t allowed time for that you’ll find yourself quickly behind the rest. Arriving early (5-10 minutes) allows time to go and introduce yourself to the instructor. Your teacher will then know your face and be happy to offer up modifications for injuries and trickier exercises if needed.
BRING A FRIEND
Pairing up for a class with your buddy is a great way to help keep motivated and stay on-track with fitness goals, it will also help with those first-time jitters. Just don’t get too cliquey. Look at your class as an opportunity to build new relationships and connect with other people around you.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
If you find yourself fumbling through a BodyAttack routine unsure of where to put your feet, just flag down the instructor. In order to make the most out of any class, you need to know what you’re doing – and how to do it properly. If there’s a certain exercise you’re struggling with, don’t just admit defeat. Ask for help and get tips to work your way up to it.
With 10 or more humans in one room it can be easy to get distracted by chatting away to your new friend. But when the instructor is dishing out the details of what’s up next, take care and listen up.
DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
As intimidating as it might seem, group fitness is a space where you can all sweat it out red-faced together, no judgement. Do yourself a favour and don’t compare your form to the regulars up the front. Everyone works at their own level and so should you. Try and focus on your individual progress and achievements, challenging yourself a little more each class. When you can do this, you’ll be able to get more out of each session.
DON’T STAND IN THE BACK
Heading straight to the back row to hide might seem like the easiest choice for a newcomer, but doing so will not only make it hard for you to see the instructor, it will make it hard for them to see you. Position yourself so you’re able to check your form in the mirror and have good visibility of the teacher.
TRY NOT TO FOLLOW EVERYONE ELSE
It can be real tempting to follow cues from the seasoned “groupies” around you, but doing this might mean you end up going too fast or load-up too heavy, which can lead to a very unsuccessful class. Instead, look to the instructor for guidance and modifications and you’ll be on your way to pro status in no time.
DON’T GIVE UP
Above all, don’t throw in the towel after one class. Keep an open mind that this is a new experience and you’re bound to feel all the feels in the beginning. Whether you felt awkward or felt it was too hard, just give it a chance to all fall into place. Give a class 2-3 attempts before making a firm decision on whether to continue or not. That said, not every class will be right for you. But there’s plenty to try.