Denman Masthead

Five tips for enjoying a new fitness class

Ashleigh Went

Sometimes, fitness can seem scary.

That’s why we launched ACTIVE Week earlier this month – with over 60 free activities on offer, our hope was that the women of Canberra would come together to sweat, laugh and connect.

By all accounts, that’s exactly what happened.

However, if you missed out on ACTIVE Week, or it left you inspired to try even more new and exciting fitness and sport activities, consider us your personal cheer squad. We’re here to support you, encourage you and even provide you with all the details you need to get involved in a new activity – check out our ACTIVE Directory.

Even with support though, trying new things can by scary.

Part of my job as Editor or ACTIVE is trying out new fitness classes. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t sometimes experience a little fear before turning up for a new class.

I get it. It’s a new environment, you might not know anyone there, you’re not yet confident in your ability… but here’s the thing: some of the best things in life are scary (travel, love, hot wings…) and if you don’t put yourself out there you’ll never get to experience them. Truth.

Keeping that in mind, here are five tips for conquering that annoying, niggling fear and get the most out of a new fitness class, PT session or activity.

Look the part

Before you get all preachy with the ‘it’s what’s on the inside that counts’, hear me out.

I can tell you from personal experience that turning up to a new class feeling frumpy and unattractive in your ex boyfriends’s baggy t-shirt and a pair of see through, pilling tights is not the best start to your new fitness regime (unless that makes you feel like a babe, in which case go for it).

If you wear something that is comfortable and makes you feel confident, then you’re a whole lot more likely to feel that way within yourself.

Remember to choose something that’s appropriate for your body and the activity that you’re doing – there’s nothing worse than spending a whole Body Pump class trying to unpick the inevitable wedgie from wearing teeny tiny short shorts.

Bring a plus one

If you want to go along to a class by yourself then I fully support that, you independent woman, you!

If, however, you feel a little more confident with a plus one then drag along your girlfriends or significant other. Not only will you be taking the nervous edge off doing the class alone, but you’re also getting their butt of the couch – wins all around!

Get your head right

Take a deep breath and play a little game with me: Envision yourself turning up at the gym/studio and picturing the very worst that can happen.

Is it falling over? People laughing at you? Failing? Now I want you to imagine how you would react to that, in the immensely unlikely  chance that that event would unfold.

Here’s the thing (say it with me): it’s not that bad.

Fall over? Laugh it off (unless you’re hurt). Feel humiliated? Turn around, walk out, and find somewhere else to workout. You never have to see those people again.

Now that that’s out of the way, you can focus on the best case scenario and visualise yourself having fun and kicking butt. Doesn’t that feel better?

Fake it ’til you make it

So cliche, but so effective. Confidence is the real issue here, so put on your best smile, raise your head high and walk in like you’re going to own this class.

Just the act of smiling is going to put you in a better mood, and acting confident will help your performance.

Channel Nike and ‘just do it’!

Be brave. You’ve got this.

Remember, everyone in this class was a beginner once and felt exactly the way you do now. In my own experience, nine times out of 10 even the super fit people are supportive and welcoming, so you have nothing to worry about.

Breathe, relax and enjoy. You’ve got so little to lose and so very much to gain.

Image of ‘young people…‘ via Shutterstock


Ashleigh Went

Ashleigh Went has a passion for all things health and wellness. She’s currently furthering her studies in nutrition, but also has a Bachelor of Communication and is a qualified fitness instructor with over five years experience working in a gym. Among other things, she’s a lover of great food, coffee and fashion. She can usually be found shopping for activewear, in the gym or updating her Instagram @wentworthavenue More about the Author