Perhaps you've been thinking about taking your first group fitness class, but you have a few hesitations. This is perfectly normal, especially if you're not a particularly outgoing person. If you feel a little intimidated about the whole group class thing, don't let it stop you – just keep the following tips in mind to help you properly prepare for your first group fitness class.
1. You should consider doing a little "recon work" before attending the class.
If you're trying out a particular group class for the first time, there's nothing wrong with doing a little "recon work" first to see what it's all about. This could mean going to the studio and viewing the class through the window or maybe looking up a similar class on YouTube to get a "preview" of the workout in action. This will give you a good idea of what to expect, and it may even help you decide on what type of clothing or shoes you might need to wear for the class.
Arrive to the class about 5-10 minutes early to let the instructor know that you're new.
There's absolutely no shame in being a newcomer to whatever fitness class you're taking, so be sure to let the instructor know that you're a first-timer. A good instructor will make sure that you are informed about any set-up there might be for the class, and they will typically keep an eye on their new participants to ensure that everyone is doing okay. Don't worry about being singled out or embarrassed – a solid instructor knows better than to pull those kinds of stunts! They may, however, discreetly give you some assistance to help you get the most out of the class.
3. Do what you can, and take breaks as needed.
Nobody is grading you on your performance, and you will definitely not get in trouble with the law if you don't perform every move in the class. Do try to give it your best shot, however, and balance it out with small breaks if you feel like you're pushing it a little too hard at first. Resist the temptation to get frustrated if you can't perform all of the movements right off the bat; as your body gets adjusted to the new demands you're placing on it, your endurance will improve, and you will adjust to this new style of working out before long.
4. Bring a towel and some water.
Staying hydrated is essential, especially if you expect to "get your sweat on" in your new group fitness class. Be sure to bring your own water bottle and a towel so that you'll have minimal cause for
5. Listen closely to the instructor and avoid distractions.
It's relatively easy to get distracted in a group class, especially if you're a people-watcher by nature. Do your best to zero in on what the instructor is saying, and try to stay in step with their cues so that you don't miss anything. You should also avoid looking at yourself in the mirror too much for this same reason.
6. Check any comparisons at the door.
The average group class contains participants at every level of fitness, from the rock-hard superstars to the weekend warriors. Don't waste any of your valuable mental energy playing the comparison game, because all it does is distract you from the real reason why you're there, and that's to get (or stay) in shape. You will naturally do better than some people, and you will also do worse than others, so there's really no point in trying to compare yourself to anyone else in the class. Just be glad that you're taking the necessary steps to take care of your body, and appreciate the fact that you're in a roomful of people who are doing the same thing as well!
It's normal to feel some jitters about trying a group class for the first time but be willing to push past this initial nervousness in order to give it a shot. What often happens is that you become a part of a community of like-minded people who actually enjoy working out together, and who provide mutual support for one another. At Five Seasons Family Sports Club, we offer a variety of group fitness classes, from yoga to aerobics to spinning, so you're sure to find something that will fit your preference. Just keep the above tips in mind, and you can count on having a fun and enriching group fitness experience!