With Chicago reaching the saturation point of fitness studios, you’re bound to find a workout you enjoy doing. In order to do that, however, you’ll have to try new studios and new formats. Many locations around the city offer a free first class or first week, so it’s easy to take advantage of all the options the city has to offer.
You may be tempted to just show up, stay silent, and figure out the workout as you go, but you’ll get much more out of a new class if you follow some of the tips below.
1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF
Taking a new class can be intimidating and you may feel compelled to shrink into the background. DO NOT DO THIS. Find the instructor, introduce yourself, and let him or her know that this is your first time. The instructor’s job is to go into a little more detail with you about what will be going on and point you in the direction of any equipment you may need.
By introducing yourself, you give the instructor the ability to focus on you during class and let you know if anything needs correcting or just offer you extra encouragement during your first time.
2. ASK FOR MODIFICATIONS
Not all fitness classes are the same, but there will always be modifications to movements. If you see a movement that seems too difficult for you, ask the instructor for a modification. You may be tempted to push yourself past what you are capable of doing just to make it seem like it’s not your first time, but it’s far more important for you to get a proper workout for your fitness level than to potentially hurt yourself.
3. TELL YOUR INSTRUCTOR ABOUT ANY INJURIES
Just because you are injured doesn’t mean you can’t get your workout in (injury depending). The most successful workout you can have is one where you are realistic about your limitations and don’t push yourself to the point of further injury. Discussing this with your instructor beforehand allows the two of you to come up with alternative movements or modifications so that you can still get an effective workout.
4. ASK QUESTIONS
If something doesn’t make sense to you, ask questions! It sounds easier than it is when faced with a large group of people, but it’s crucial to you getting the best workout you can. Anything at all that you’re not clear about, just ask. Your instructor will not bite.
5. GO AT YOUR OWN PACE
If you are brand new to a certain workout, it is likely that some movements or formats may be more difficult for you than for someone who comes regularly. Don’t be afraid to slow down, take a quick break, or drop down in weight if you find yourself struggling. Always push yourself to do the best job you can, but be realistic about what that actually means.
What are some of your favorite classes in the city? Let us know in the comments!