New Fitness Class Newbies
- By Fly Fitness
- January 21, 2023
If you are intimidated about starting a new fitness routine or class, or joining a gym where you feel like everyone knows what to do and expect except you, you aren’t alone. Starting something new—especially when it comes to a fitness class or physical fitness routine can be intimidating. Dr. Jenni Bruning Brown, Founder of Fly Fitness Franchise and group exercise instructor for over 20 years, says that pushing yourself to try new types of exercise or to test the waters if you’ve not done much in the workout world, has more benefits than you might think. She encourages every one of us to try a new workout, even if we love the ones we are currently doing or haven’t quite committed to one yet.
The Benefits of a New Fitness Routine
Dr. Bruning Brown says that the effects of trying a new fitness class aren’t just the obvious, physical benefits. Those are important, she says, and doing different workouts helps prevent overuse injuries, and helps you avoid plateaus both physical and mental. So after doing a certain workout for a long period of time, in order to see a forward progression in your fitness level, you’ll need to level up or change your approach to what you’re doing. If you love a certain style of weightlifting class, that might mean increasing the weights you use, or changing the time, intensity or amount of repetitions.
But in addition to the physical benefits of changing up your routine, Dr. Bruning Brown says that the mental and emotional benefits are often even more beneficial. Not only is it important to create variety in our lives, it’s the trying new things that actually strengthens us from the inside out. When we try something new, outside our usual comfort zone, we build internal confidence. Avoiding boredom also helps build confidence, because we tend to stick with it longer and feel good about the commitment.
Dr. Bruning Brown Offers These Four Tips for Starting a New Class or Fitness Routine
Make it fun. Try classes that actually sound interesting to you and don’t stick yourself into a workout just because it’s trending on social media or because your bestie is a devotee. Just because heavy weight lifting is all the rage doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. If you’re looking for a cardio class to build endurance, “you don’t have to only run on a treadmill, but instead can try an interval HIIT class, cycling or cardio barre,” Bruning Brown suggests. You should focus on what makes you feel good, what works for your body, and your goals. Try new classes until you like one, and once you find something you like, stick with it.
Love your fit. This is not about getting glammed up to hit the gym. Instead, Dr. Bruning Brown says that making sure you are wearing the right gear for a new class helps you feel as comfortable as possible in a new situation. Taking away any of the potentially anxiety provoking situations (controlling the controllable) is something you can do to limit your nerves. Think about it: there is nothing worse than showing up to a class where you realize your pants are see through during a squat, or you have shorts that are chafing within 3 minutes of the warmup. When you’re not worried constantly about what you’re wearing, you are more inclined to try something new, push yourself, and work hard.
Get the deets beforehand. Dr. Bruning Brown says that you should read the class description or talk to a staff member beforehand so that you have an idea to expect. Asking someone at the front desk or even the instructor can help you feel more comfortable—and that’s what they are there for.
We were all beginners once. When it comes to group fitness classes, it’s especially intimidating. If you’re new, it can seem like everyone else already has their “spot” picked out in the room, or that they all know one another and exactly what to do. Coming into a room where you feel like the only newbie because others are chatting or grabbing their equipment is not an easy task. But Dr. Bruning Brown says that if you can remember that “everyone in the class was a beginner at some time” it will reassure you that we all know how it feels to be new. Thinking that way can help you take some pressure off yourself, and realize that it’s ok to be a beginner and ok to ask questions.