We’ve all had that horrible feeling. It’s the cold sweat or butterflies that start fluttering in our stomach as we walk through the door into a new workout class or studio. You have no idea what to expect, you become intimidated and suddenly forget everything you’ve learned during other workouts. You consider leaving or hiding in the back of the class during the 45-minute workout. You are miserable the entire class and regret the choice you made.
Last night as I walked through the doors of Title Boxing Club, I felt all of these emotions and more. The studio was larger than I expected, I was learning to wrap my hands for the first time and I was intimidated by the 60-minute class which was longer than other boxing classes I’ve taken.
Since moving back to New York City, it’s no secret that I love trying new classes and workouts. Thanks to ClassPass, I’ve had the opportunity to try over 65 classes in the past few months. But, trying new workouts and studios can come with a certain level of intimidation and fear. Trying something that you don’t know much about, especially if you’ve heard horror stories from other people about how hard and challenging the class is, can leave you wanting to stick with the studios that you know.
But, getting out side of your comfort zone can help you learn more about your workout style, improve your cross training, challenge your muscles and discover what could be your new favorite studio.
If you’re trying to step outside your comfort zone with a new class or studio, here are a few tips to help ensure you have the best workout possible even when you’re trying somewhere new.
- Do your research ahead of time. Spend at least a few minutes doing some research on the workout ahead of time. I recommend going to the studio’s website, if one exists, as well as a review site like Yelp or Rate Your Burn. Make sure you can answer these few questions before you leave your home or work for the studio. There is nothing worse than showing up at a studio late because you can’t find it or assuming you can rent a towel or buy a water only to find out that this studio is barebones and doesn’t offer anything other than a water fountain.
- What do I need to wear?
- What do I need to bring (mat, towel, water, boxing gloves, wraps, etc)?
- Do they have showers?
- Where is it located? Is it upstairs or on street level?
- What time do they close the doors or can I show up a few minutes late?
- Arrive five to ten minutes early. I know this can be difficult especially if it’s a before work class or directly after work but having time to get acclimated to your surroundings and speak with the instructor will help you feel more comfortable. I always recommend letting the instructor know it is your first time taking the class so they can keep an eye on you and provide you with a higher level of instruction or provide pointers.
- Be honest with the instructor. There is a time and place for the whole “fake it until you make it” mentality. A workout class that you’re taking for the first time is not that time. Be honest with the instructor when describing your fitness level, experience and any injuries you may have. The last thing you want to do is get injured.
- Convince a friend to join you! Walking into any new experience is more comfortable with a friend by your side. After signing up for the class, do your best to convince one of your friends or workout buddies to join you. Working out together is a great way to catch up and have new experiences together as well as providing you with someone to grimace or give the side eye to during the hard sets and laugh with during any awkward moments. You’ll set yourself up for even more success if you happen to find a friend who has taken the class or visited the studio before as they can provide you with first hand advice.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s okay to take a breather, laugh or even skip a move if you’re not comfortable. When last night’s boxing instructor told us to jump on the bags and hang for as long as we could, I looked at Jess and laughed out loud. Trust me, during a hard or intimidating class, laughter can infuse you with the energy you need to push through the rest of class!
Luckily, I ended up having a great first experience at Title Boxing last night due in part to the ClassPass friends who helped me push through the class, the instructor who gave me pointers during class and the research I did in advance which let me know that I’d need to buy wraps in advance.
What was the last class that left you feeling this way? Or, is there a class you’re thinking about trying but are too nervous to try? I’m definitely intimidated by the reviews I’ve read about Tone House but have promised myself that I’ll try it this month!