How to Prepare for Your First Fitness Class

Posted By on September 18, 2015

Anyone who’s ever attended a fitness class at a gym has been the new kid at one time or another. Whether it’s something as simple as beginner’s yoga or as difficult as a one-hour spinning session, being the newbie is nerve-wracking. Here’s how to get in a good workout and get through the fitness class unscathed.

1. Do some research before you go. What kind of yoga mat should you bring to class? Are there certain sneakers to wear for a spinning class? What’s the best workout outfit for kickboxing? The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you’ll feel.

2. Get to the class a little bit early. It’s better to have some time to kill than to walk in mid-class, when there may not be any spots left and when you’ll be behind on the workout before you even begin.

3. Introduce yourself to the instructor. Tell them that it’s your first class and give them your name. When instructors know you’re a beginner, they won’t call you out or make you feel like you’re falling behind. Instead, they’ll encourage you and check in to make sure you’re doing okay.

4. Not sure where to stand (or sit) in class? Women’s Health magazine suggests simply asking the instructor where the best place is for a newcomer. Odds are they’ll place you somewhere in the middle. The front row is usually reserved for fitness class VIPs, while the back row is too far away to hear the instructor’s directions.

5. Glamour suggests that you take breaks whenever you need to. Even if you’re in relatively good shape, a new type of workout can still be challenging. Don’t be embarrassed to take an extra few seconds in between sets or to get up to refill your water bottle. If you pay attention, at least one other person will be going at your pace too.

6. If you don’t know how to do something, don’t interrupt the class by shouting out, “How do I do that?” Instead, try to mimic what the instructor is doing or quietly ask the person next to you for some help. The first time in a new class, your goal should be to get through it as best you can. You can always ask questions later on, once the class is over.

Being the new person in an unfamiliar class is daunting, but remember that everyone is there to focus on their own workout, not yours. Draw enough attention to yourself so the instructor helps you, but not so much that everyone’s interested in what the new kid is doing. Also, remember that by the second class, you won’t be a newbie anymore!