So remember back when I was excited about taking so many different fitness classes at my new gym and I said that I would share a post about it?
Probably not, because that was back in September. But hey, better late than never, right?
So when I joined my new gym, I was overwhelmed by all the different classes that it offered. So I made it my personal goal to try as many different ones as I could. While I had taken fitness classes before, I had only tried a handful of different ones and it had been at least a year or two since I had taken one, so I think we can say that I was officially in newbie status.
Well, over a few months, I managed to try 34 different workout classes (my gym offers over 50 different ones, not including the aqua classes). So, do you think I got enough variety in?
I definitely learned some things about how to best approach workout classes when you’re new. So I’ve put a little list together if you’re thinking about trying some fitness classes for the first time!
Probably a good gym rule in general.
1. Let the instructor know that you’re new.
This way, if the class requires a bit of a learning curve, the instructor can keep an eye on you to make sure you’re following along ok and break the steps down further if you need it. For example, boxing: if it’s someone’s first time, the instructor can break down combos step by step to make it easier to follow. I think most instructors will ask/know that you’re not a regular, but definitely something worth mentioning to them.
2. Show up a few minutes early.
Especially useful if you don’t know what equipment is involved. This gives you the chance to make sure you’re getting all the equipment you need.
3. If you don’t know or you need help, ask!
Up until a few months ago, I’m pretty sure that I had never been on a spin bike before in my life. So at my first spin class, the first thing I did was call over the instructor to show me how to set up the bike. Believe me, the class will go better if you’re not spending the first couple of minutes fiddling with your equipment because you’ve never set it up before. If you’re unsure about how to do a certain exercise, make sure you wave the instructor over to show you – better to avoid injury!
4. Make sure you can see the instructor clearly – don’t head for the back corner.
Whenever I’m trying a new class, I have to resist the temptation to head for the back corner where no one can see me if I screw up (like my first couple of Step classes…those were a mess). But being able to clearly see the instructor will make following along sooo much easier. If you’re not comfortable in the front, at least aim for the middle and slightly to the side of the instructor for the best view.
5. Remember that different instructors have different teaching styles.
If you try a class once and hate it, you don’t necessarily have to give up on it! Different teaching styles will mesh with different people. The first time I tried step, I HATED it. I couldn’t follow along, the instructor had no enthusiasm, I didn’t like the music…just a bad scene. A few weeks later I gave it another shot with an instructor that I knew I liked, and BOOM. Fell in love with it. And as for the first instructor…I actually really like her as a yoga teacher. So try different instructors out and figure out whose teaching style best meshes with how you like to workout.
6. Give everything a shot at least once.
You never know what you’re going to end up falling in love with. There were classes that I was positive I was going to absolutely love and ended kind of ‘meh’ about (like aerial yoga…sounds amazing, but I actually preferred hot yoga) and classes I thought that I would hate that I ended up really liking (basically anything dance-based). So try a variety of different things, and you may find yourself with a new love!
Except this is probably true.
7. Go easy on yourself.
Don’t worry if you’re a beginner and you struggle to follow along the first couple of times you try a class. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you keep at it you’ll pick it up! Don’t compare yourself to everyone around you.
And just for fun, my top five classes that I’ve taken:
- 5. Pop Dance. So, this one reaaaally surprises me. But it’s fun, and one of those ‘doesn’t-feel-like-a-workout’ workouts.
- 4. Extreme Circuit. Exactly how it sounds – extreme. An hour long circuit style workout with everything from TRX, kettlebells, box jumps and battle ropes. Pretty sure I sweat more in this class than I ever have before in my life.
- 3. Physique. Spending the last couple of years focusing more on heavy lifting than anything else, I’ve been surprised by how much I like this class. Light weights, lots of repetitions, and work on the ballet bar. Different than my normal routine, but a nice change!
- 2. Hot Yoga. While I’ve dabbled in yoga on and off for years, I’ve really been loving it lately! I’ve been noticing more improvements with my flexibility, and overall I’ve noticed that I leave the class feeling even calmer.
- 1. Interval Box. Basically, it moves between fast-paced boxing rounds and body strength intervals – pushups, squats, burpees, skaters, the like. It kills me every time, but I love it. And awesome if you’re feeling angry that day
So, hopefully you’re feeling inspired to try out some new things in the gym
Have a good one!
<— Are you a big fan of workout classes, or would you rather do your own thing?
<— What would be your #1 tip for someone trying a class for the first time?
<— Your favourite workout class?