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How to Navigate the Gym

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Updated June 19, 2014

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Group Fitness Classes

Another section that may scare a new gym member is the group fitness area. Most clubs will have at least one studio for classes and, often, this studio will have glass doors and windows so that everyone can see in. That alone is enough to scare some people away, but don't run off just yet. If you scroll through the classes your gym offers, you may find something you've always wanted to try...and now is your chance.

Just a few classes your gym might offer include:

  • Step aerobics
  • Kickboxing
  • Group strength training
  • Dancy classes like hip-hop or salsa
  • Yoga
  • Pilates
  • Spinning (on a stationary-type bike)

Your club might also have specialty classes (core workouts, BOSU Balance Trainer classes, boot camp) and they may even have weight loss programs that you can sign up for with a separate fee. And don't forget, if your club has a pool, they might offer water aerobics as well.

If you're shy, these ideas might help:

  • Watch the class from a distance to get a feel for it.
  • Get a friend to try the class with you.
  • Get there early and spend a few minutes on a cardio machine to calm your nerves.
  • Make friends with someone in the class. Approach someone who looks friendly and ask if he has taken the class before. If he has, admit you're new and ask for details. Many times, that person will take you under his wing and walk you through the basics.
  • Talk to the instructor. Get to class early and introduce yourself to the instructor. He or she will know exactly how to make you feel more comfortable.
  • Remind yourself you can always leave if you don't like the class or it's a disaster.

Don't be afraid to try something new. Just make sure you read the class descriptions and choose workouts that fit your fitness level and goals.

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