Intimidated By Exercise Classes? Don’t Be!
In a recent journey around the internet, I found what was supposed to be a humorous article from a group exercise instructor. It was a pet peeves sort of article, chiding class participants about everything from how they smell to them taking breaks or doing their own thing to what they wore. It left a sour taste in my mouth, and I hadn’t been eating anything sour.
As someone who has years of working out under my belt, I admit to still feeling a little uncomfortable about doing my own thing in the weight room. I’m getting better, but occasionally I still feel a bit self-conscious. But in all of the classes I’ve taken over the years, I’ve never felt uncomfortable or judged negatively by an instructor, even with a boot camp-like Pilates instructor and even when I took a class that was way over my head.
The article made me sad for the people who are already hesitant to try new group exercise classes at the gym—or those who have never tried a class to begin with. I’m sure many people already feel self-conscious about trying new things, particularly if you’re just starting out in the fitness world, have weight to lose and are strengthening your fitness mojo. I’m sure there are judgey instructors out there, but I find that most instructors appreciate you showing up and giving it your all, even if your all doesn’t quite match up to what they planned for the class. Good, professional instructors understand limitations from fitness levels and injuries, and should never make you feel uncomfortable for not being the best in the class. Even better, trainers should provide modifications for those who need them. It’s not a competition; they should be glad you’re showing up so that they have a job.
Trying a new class can push you out of your comfort zone in more ways than one. And if an instructor makes you uncomfortable for reasons other than pushing you to new fitness limits, try a different class. There are awesome ones out there who will welcome you with open arms, no matter your fitness level!
Have you ever come across a rude instructor? Are you intimidated by group exercise? —Erin