Why Joining a Fitness Class for the First Time Isn’t Actually All That Bad!!
I’ve just come back from a 3 week honeymoon (7lbs heavier but very happy and with an amazing tan – YAY!) and while I was away I took part in loads of classes at the hotel. As an instructor, you gotta keep working out while you’re away otherwise it kills you when you come back to teach your classes – it’s not good. It’s much easier to stay relatively fit so when you come home so you can teach without a strained look on your face that says “I’m dying” and the feeling that you really are dying!
Anyway, It was so good to take part in classes for a change. To just turn up at the last minute and follow the instructor and zone out while someone else tells you what to do rather than being the one at the front that everyone is staring at and hoping that what you’ve planned is going to be good enough, hard enough, interesting enough and on top of that you need to throw in a few jokes and make them laugh…… Instead I was the one laughing along with the instructor and loving her classes and telling her afterwards how great she was.
It’s so long since I took part in a class that I felt like the new girl again. Where shall I stand? Where is the front because I want to be at the back? I definitely want to be at the back. What if she turns the class and I end up at the front?? Arrrgh. I got a stark reminder of how it feels to be the new girl, just turning up to my first class again. And so I wanted to write this blog to tell you a few things that you should know which might just help you to join that class that you keep looking at and want to join so bad but are scared. Scared of what the other participants will think of you. Scared in case you get it wrong. Scared in case the instructor doesn’t like you. Scared in case you stand in someone else’s spot. Scared in case you are wearing the wrong things. So here goes –
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have top notch clothes on. As long as you are in something that moves with you, keeps you cool (as in cold, not hip!) and doesn’t restrict your movements and you have a pair of trainers on then you’re in! You don’t need to spend hundreds on brightly coloured leggings and the coolest new crop top. You can, but it won’t help your performance!
You are allowed to talk to your instructor! Ask them where the back of the class is if that’s where you want to stand at first. A good instructor will make you feel settled and help you to feel comfortable and will want you to stand where you want to be. BUT, a little tip – being at the front is much easier to see the instructor’s movements so if you’re not sure how to do things, being at the front is good – who knew!
Your instructor DOES like you. Firstly, you’re paying us right?? Then we like you. Secondly, we are very vulnerable people too. We want you to like the class that took us ages to plan. We want you to laugh at our jokes. We want you to come back!!! It makes us feel good and boosts our ego :-)
If you stand in someone else’s spot then they should’ve got there earlier! Simples. It true, all my regulars have THEIR spot on the studio floor but if someone gets in first and takes it, well, it’s tough. They’ll get over it and they’ll probably get there before you next week so you can't do it again!
If you do things wrong then it’s your instructor’s job to correct you in a way that makes you feel you’re being helped, not being made fun of. Everyone gets it wrong, I get it wrong all the time and I’m the one that makes the flipping moves up! I’ve fallen off stability balls, been hit in the head with medicine balls, fallen off my step and dropped weights on my feet more times than I like to think about. Laugh it off, take note of what the instructor says and hopefully you’ll do it better next time. We’re there to help you to execute your moves safely and that’s the only reason we correct you. We don’t want you to feel bad. If your instructor corrects you, it’s a GOOD thing. They are doing their job properly and you are going to get better results.
If you’re the last one to finish all of the tasks in class – 50 push ups, 50 squats, 50 burpees (I’m getting ideas for bootcamp this week now…) don’t worry!!! Do 20 or 30 instead of 50 – do what exerts you and no more. Please don’t compare yourself the person next to you that’s been taking that class for 2 years. The person who finishes first isn’t always the best –often their technique is wrong as they’re going so fast. Take your time, do what you can and if possible enjoy the exercise – except the burpees. No one enjoys them.
Speak to people and make some friends. I have seen so many friendships made from people meeting in my classes. People who have never laid eyes on each other before but get chatting in class and before you know it you see pictures of them on Facebook having nights out together or taking their kids out on trips together. It’s good to buddy up. You’ll look forward to coming to class, not just for the exercise but for the banter. My ladies have me howling with their stories and we all chip in with similar stories of things that happened to us. We’re a bunch of women with only an hour to get our 2pence worth in so it can be non-stop chat sometimes which is fine with me as long as they all work out at the same time ;-)
Enjoy it – You’re out of the bloody house and there’s no little people with you. Get in!! Also, if you time it well and do an evening class, you can get out of doing bathtime duties. I don’t even charge extra for this!
So, do you think joining a class full of strangers sounds scary? Maybe still a little, but God, you will get so much out of it. You’re doing something for yourself. For YOU. You don’t do enough for yourself. I know that because none of us do. The worst that can happen is you hate it and you don’t go back but you tried something knew. Yes!! You tried something new. The best thing that can happen is you love it, you make friends, you get fitter and healthier and you find something for you that you enjoy. Something for you!!
Go for it, take the challenge and let me know if this inspires you to try a new fitness class near you :-)
Jo Bond Xx
Check out some of my fab bootcampers working hard below xx