So, I thought I’d try and alleviate the worries and woes with my top tips for your first fitness class…
1️⃣ Don’t chicken out:
This has to be number 1, ultimate, top of the list…and for good reason. Once you have made a commitment to your class, actually turning up is the biggest hurdle. Avoid letting the nerves or the ‘can’t be bothered’ feeling take over so that you end up cancelling last minute, or delivering your excuses by message for your non-existence later that night. This ultimately makes these feelings 100 x worse for when you do attempt to go again. If you can face that 5-minute sick-feeling, you’re on to a winner, and a new habit for a healthier life is about to form!
2️⃣ Wear appropriate clothing:
First-time nerves are rife enough, without then feeling self-conscious or irritated by the fact that your bum keeps showing or your belly keeps popping out. You’ll (eventually) become comfortable with the fact that nobody ever notices or cares anyway, but to avoid the anxiety of your new class snowballing, wear something you’ll be comfortable to exercise in and something that is appropriate for the program. If you’re partaking in mat based classes (Pilates, Yoga etc) avoid wearing hipster style leggings – I’ve made this mistake before, and I spent the whole of my training day trying to point my ass to the wall!
3️⃣ Arrive a little earlier:
I’d always advise going to your first fitness class a little earlier than recommended. You can familiarise yourself with the venue, settle into your spot in the room, have a chat with the Instructor, and just work out the dynamics of the class. Reduce the stress of coming in late, not knowing what to do, and disrupting the class once it’s started because you got lost, by simply leaving 10-minutes earlier.
4️⃣ Eliminate all expectations:
Come to class with a clear mind. Forget what you may know. All Instructors do things differently and one class is not like any other. Attending Pilates with Faye? Don’t expect it to be anything like that Pilates class with Barbara you took back in 1986!
5️⃣ Remember, everyone was a beginner once:
It can be so daunting walking into your first fitness class to the fight of a bunch of regulars, who bring their own mats and banter with everyone as soon as they walk in the door, but it always helps to remember that they too were once a newbie! Don’t compare the very start of your fitness journey to the middle of theirs. Forget that Doris can touch her toes, or that Susan can make it through the ab track without puking, they’ve been coming for longer than you! Track your own progress and use that to better yourself next week.
6️⃣ Don’t do too much:
It can be easy to get carried away in class trying to compete with everybody else and going beyond your capabilities, but your first class is really about getting to grips with the program and understanding what it’s all about. Relish in the fact that you can take it a bit easier! Overdoing it on your first class can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth. It can actually make you hate it or thinking that it was too hard. Be more of an observer who’s trying the class out rather than the teachers double.
7️⃣ Expect to hurt:
Well, expect your muscles to ache I suppose. Your first class will always be the worst. Your muscles have basically gone into shock. They’re not expecting to move this way, and no doubt you’ll be using muscles that haven’t been used for a while! It may hurt at the time, but it’s short-lived. By the time the class finishes you may be feeling like jelly, but the pain has disappeared. That is until 24-48 hours later! DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) should be expected after your first fitness class. It’s nothing to worry about, perfectly normal.
8️⃣ Put your phone on silent:
There’s nothing more embarrassing for a newcomer than one your phone starts piping up with Ed Sheeran’s latest cheese in front of the entire class. I’ve seen it time and time again! And it’s always the newbie’s who end up scrambling around looking to shut their device up and profusely apologising for the disruption! Fast forward 6-months, the phone goes off, no shits given! Avoid red faces all-round by switching your phone to silent.
And there you have it, my ultimate top 8 tips for your first class! There’s nothing to worry about. Go ahead, sign up for that class you’ve been wanting to try…
Been to your first class recently? Let me know how it went in the comments below ??