At one point or another, we’ve all experienced the jitters — you walk into a new class or fitness studio, excited but nervous to try something new + unfamiliar. But as you get into class, the nerves pick up: everyone here knows what they’re doing [+ if they don’t, they sure look like they do]. You quietly duck to the back of the class in hopes that you can blend in + won’t look *too* out of place.
Whether you’re just beginning your fitness journey or are further along, it’s completely normal to experience a bit of nerves when you’re trying something completely new, but don’t let this fear prevent you from breaking the routine + trying a new class! ++ who knows, you could end up falling in love with it!
Next time you’re ready to try out a new fitness class, keep these tips in mind : )
1] COME PREPARED
Do your research! While most gyms or studios will provide you with necessary gear [mats, weights, special props, etc], you may find that yours doesn’t provide *everything* — for example, my college’s fitness centers required towels for cycling classes but didn’t make them available. At the very least, you should come ready with a cold bottle of water to keep you hydrated.
Also, make sure to consider what type of fit gear is best for the workout you’ll be doing. You may prefer tight-fitting versus loose clothing depending on the style of workout, or certain classes may require you perform exercises in socks + it might help to wear a pair that isn’t too slippery. Gyms + studios typically make this information available on their schedules, but if you’re unsure don’t be afraid to call + ask.
2] GET THERE EARLY
In some cases, the time that you get there might be the deciding factor as to whether or not you get into the class. Most classes recommend that you get there at least 15 minutes early to get acclimated + settled in, + honoring this request is very helpful.
Arriving early allows you to enter + warm up at your own pace. Rushing in when class begins [or late!] can make you stressed out to start, which is not the best frame of mind when you’re trying to learn something new. As a good guide: If you’re early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late, + if you’re late, it’s probably best to stay home.
In addition to coming into the class with a more relaxed frame of mind, arriving a bit early gives you the chance to introduce yourself to the instructor + explain that you’re new to that specific class. They’ll probably have a few tips to help you get acclimated.
3] PAY ATTENTION TO THE INSTRUCTOR
As class begins, it’s easy to let your eyes wander + get distracted by what’s happening around you. No matter how experienced [or inexperienced] those around you may seem, it’s *crucial* that you focus on what the instructor is doing + how they are doing it. Even someone in class who appears to know what they’re doing might not be maintaining proper form.
4] TALK WITH THE INSTRUCTOR AFTER
Don’t be afraid to debrief with your instructor after. They might have advice for what you did well + what you can improve, + make sure to give them feedback too, especially if you enjoyed a particular exercise or sequence.
Do you have tips for how to stay #inCHAARG of a new + unfamiliar fitness class? Share them with us on Insta [+ tag @chaarg + #inCHAARG!].
+ Ali [ali.inchaarg], virtCHAARG girl from Philly