You know you’re guilt of at least one of these…

Ever taken a group fitness class before? I’d be you were really nervous to step into the studio for the first time (we’ve all been there). Whether you’re a seasoned GroupXer or a complete newb, we asked a few fitness instructors to share the most common mistakes they see newbies make. 

1. Comparing yourself to others.

“New participants compare themselves with the people who’ve been coming to my class forever, and they get discouraged before they even start.” – Holly Van Hare, cardio and sculpting instructor (Northeastern)

So don’t let the others in the class get to you! Pay attention to your body. Plus, people only really are paying attention to themselves, anyway. So who cares if someone else seems to be doing “better” than you?

2. Thinking all eyes are on you.

“Going into class thinking that everyone is going to be watching you and therefore, feeling self conscious. I always tell people that everyone is there for their own personal benefit, not to look at you. Stop being so self-centered lol!! :P” – Sarah Gaines, founder of Fit University and Cycologist for Cyc Fitness

Just go in there, focus on YOU, yourself and oh yeah, you again. Pay attention to the instructor, the instructions given and look at yo’ fine self in the mirror. Look at you W-E-R-K-I-N I-T.

3. Trying to keep up with the person next to you.

“I sometimes see new people trying to work to the person next to them or trying to keep up, when this causes them to burn out before the class is done. I like to emphasize over and over again that my participants take the entire class to THEIR fitness level that day, modify as needed, and work with what thy need to do to get an effective workout for themselves, not the person next to them.” – Charlotte Kurz, cycle instructor (Binghamton)

After all, you can’t compare yourself with that person who’s been coming to the same class every week for a year. There’s no way you’ll be at the same level. In fact, doing exactly what the “fittest” person in the class is doing might actually do more harm than good.

4. Being scared to try something new.

There are SO many types of classes out there…spin, yoga, Zumba, BollyX, bootcamps, sculpting, pole dancing (to name just a few). Just because you don’t like one doesn’t mean you’ll hate all of them.

“I’m a huge advocate for trying different classes. Besides the differences between sculpting, cardio, and conditioning classes – each specific class has something unique to bring to the table, to push your body in a whole new way.” – Emily Lin; cardio, sculpting & kickboxing instructor

5. Giving up too soon.

You’ve seen those participants: they come once and you never see their faces again. And maybe they hated it, and it just isn’t for them. But maybe they just mistook the class being difficult for the class not being worthwhile.

“People don’t give the class at least a second chance! Rarely do you go to a class for the first time and pick up the counts, style, etc., right away… My general rule of thumb is to try a class at least twice before I decide that it isn’t for me. If after the second time, I’m still not feeling it, then I can say I tried and it just isn’t my thing.” – Amanda Gross (Northeastern)

And ps… just because a class is hard, doesn’t mean it’s bad! (or that you’re doing it wrong)

“I often hear comments from participants that because something is hard for them to do, they think they’re doing it wrong. It’s not going to be easy. If it were easy the first time, you wouldn’t be doing anything for your body! It’s pushing through the difficult parts that results in your improving your fitness.” – Holly Van Hare

6. Doing too much, too fast.

That’s why there’s a warm-up, people. “[People don’t take] the warm-up seriously! Although it may seem silly it’s really important to get the muscles moving — especially before the high intensity cardio classes.” – Aimee Fong, cardio & sculpting instructor (Northeastern)

And if you’ve never participated in group exercise before, maybe that “SUPER CARDIO BOOTCAMP BLAST” class isn’t for you.

“A big mistake that first time group fitness participants make is doing a super hard class. This can turn them off to group fit all together based on how sore they are. Remember, that’s a result of your body doing lots of work in a different way than you’re used to! “ – Emily Lin

About The Author

Holly is a senior at Northeastern University from Boca Raton, FL, where she is a double major in English and Mathematics. She loves books, math, and all things nerdy, as well as fitness. Holly is a group fitness instructor at her school's gym and at BURN Fitness Studios. Her favorite classes right now focus on HIIT training and cardio boxing.

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