What to Expect at your First Group Exercise Class

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Posted by: By Caitlin Cecil, Health & Fitness Coordinator

Prime Time FitnessOne of the best things about fitness classes is that you have an entire room of people in the same boat as you. It could be your first class ever, or the third this week, all of you are in it together.

When someone asks me where to begin when joining a gym, I always recommend checking out the class schedule. From dance, to cycle, there is something fun to do, the instructors know what they are talking about, and all eyes are not on you.

When you walk into the studio the very first time taking a class, introduce yourself to the instructor. They will be super happy to take you through the basics of the class and explain any need to knows. The instructors here at the J are friendly and helpful. Some of them have been here upwards of ten years!

I asked some of the instructors what they would like to share about going to a group fitness class for the first time; here are their responses:

“For someone coming to a class for the first time, I would ask them to be reminded of their own personal goals. Each class they attend gets them closer to that. Do not be shy; ask questions if something is unclear. I want them to know that I am truly glad that they are here. We are better together.”

- Traci Silverman (Pilates and Prime Time Fitness instructor)

Group Ex Class“My goal is that each person leaves my class feeling less stressed than when they began. In Cardio Dance we sweat, we work, we strengthen, and we have fun dancing. All fitness levels and ages are welcome.”

- Lindsey Sheinbein (Cardio Dance instructor)

“Be there a few minutes early so that you can introduce yourself to the instructor. Let the instructor know that it's your first group exercise class and express if you have any concerns. I ask my current students to welcome the new student to the class and introduce themselves. Be open and have fun. If you didn't enjoy that class, take another, you might find it takes a few classes to find the one you'll love.”

- Betsy Levinson (Water Fitness instructor)

“It is important to try different fitness instructors. Remember, someone may not connect to a teacher you love and vice-versa. Everyone has a different style, and it's a great feeling when your styles meet! If you have questions, approach the instructor at the end of class and share them. They'd be happy to answer!”

- Evan Silverman (Cycle and BodyPump™ instructor)

“Walking into a group exercise class for the first time can be intimidating. Classes look good on the schedule, but when it comes time to step in room, we start second guessing ourselves. Everyone looks like they know the steps and what to do, so maybe this class is not for me? Well, I’m here to tell you that everyone in the room was once a first timer too, even the instructor. Nobody had it together the first few times they tried a class. As an instructor of dance aerobics, I assure you it will get easier the more you go. The most important thing is to keep moving and have fun! The steps will come with time and consistency. Before long you will be looking like you’ve been doing the class for years!”

- Valerie Davis (Cardio Combo instructor)

Cycle“Adding variety in your workouts is important because it helps to reduce boredom, avoid plateaus and helps to reduce injuries due to overuse. One of the best ways to add variety is to try a class or workout that is completely different from what you normally do.”

- Robin Fortenberry (Fitness Director and cycle instructor)

The common thread is to try classes, see what you like, and don’t be afraid to speak up! The more classes you try, the more you might find a workout or format you enjoy that you may not have thought about.

If you feel silly, just remember you are in a room full of people who felt silly at their first class also! Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make friends.

Group fitness is a great workout, but also a great way to make friends in the community. I always tell people the hardest part is walking in the door. We are all here to see each other succeed and enjoy the J!