How to conquer your fear of group exercise classes
By Brittany Anas
Ever step into the gym ready to try a group fitness class and then back out at the last second and retreat to your comfort zone on the elliptical? Maybe it was the 360 mirrors? Or — whoa — the lights are brighter than expected, exposing your not-so-perfect form. Or that mean girl in your mind convinced you that you were out of your league because — um — the other women in the class had more athletic-looking ponytails?
We’re here to bust all of your excuses and fears that have kept you from joining in on the fun that is group fitness.
Ease into it: Get a taste of what a group fitness class we’ll be with some workout videos from BeachBody. There’s a little something for everybody: From the “Brazil Butt Lift,” to “Hip Hop Abs,” to “Les Mills Combat.” Gyms like 24 Hour Fitness have similar group exercise classes — including many of the Les Mills workouts. Considering doing some videos at home your “homework.” You’ll come to class more prepared and you’ll be able to work on your technique in between workouts. (Get up to 5 percent Cash Back on Beach Body workouts when you order through ShopAtHome.com)
Ain’t nobody lookin’ at you, girlfriend. Let’s get this out of the way first: You’re not going to look like you are in a J.Lo music video or a Jackie Chan movie during your first class. And, yes, you’ll look (and feel) a little awkward at first. But no one else is looking. Everybody in the class is focused on their own movements — whether it’s a an uppercut and side-hook combo in a kickboxing class or a hip-swiveling cha-cha movement in a zumba class. It’s just you and the mirror. There are no Simon Cowells in the room. In fact, you’re not the only person in the room who feels a little self-conscious. Promise.
You’ll get better. Muscle memory is working in your favor and the workouts will start to click. During your first few classes, you might be staring at the instructor at the front of the class and feel super uncoordinated following his steps. Give it a few classes and we guarantee your mind and body will sync up and it will get easy to listen to the voice commands. And you can supplement what you do in the gym with workouts at home.
Time will fly by. When you’re on the treadmill, it’s hard to not stare at the time. Each minute feels like it’s slogging by. Because you’re concentrating on learning new workout techniques, your mind will play a nice little trick on you while you’re in a class: Time will speed up and as soon as you know it you’re doing cool-down stretches. Your instructor might even give you some motivating tidbits. I.e. The core strengthening moves in a Les Mill Combat class — which combines martial arts and cardio — equate to 1,700 crunches.
And … last but not least. Workout instructors have a good taste in music. It’s just a fact. They are like fitness DJ’s, tailoring soundtracks that coordinate perfectly to your workout.
Read more articles about BeachBody here.
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