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Fitness class anxiety!

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Old 01-17-2013, 01:32 PM   #1
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Red face Fitness class anxiety!

My husband and I have been desperate to try weight-lifting for about 4 months now. When we started doing our resistance band routine with really tough heavy bands, we fell in love with that feeling of really pushing our muscles. We don't have the space for more exercise equipment so we have been looking at going once a week to a drop-in fitness class at one of our local rec centres called "No Sweat". This is the description of the class:

"No sweat is a pre-choreographed weight resistance workout using the body bar and dumbbells. It helps tone the body while helping promote body fat loss. It is good for all ages, levels and for male or female."

It has taken us 4 months to get to the point of even considering going to a gym. This is all due to my anxiety disorders and social anxiety. I tend to get the "fight or flight" response as soon as I'm near a gym or pool. It's frustrating and I desperately want to get over it! One technique I have found to help make it easier to put myself in anxiety-inducing situations is to visualize it beforehand. I can't do that with this class though because I have never been to anything remotely close to a fitness class (other than Tae Kwon Do when I was about 11 years old).

We are going to the earliest class possible (7:30AM) on a weekend to hopefully miss the big rush of New-Years-Resolutioners (and frankly teenagers and mid-twenties people b/c I find them intimidating....I am 26 myself.)

I am wondering if anyone has any tips or advice about attending a fitness class? Have you been to a weight-lifting "class" before? What was your first time like? Hearing different stories would really help me calm down about all of this!
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:35 PM   #2
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Why not call up the gym and tell them your fears? See if they will walk you through what they do? Let you see the gym? Meet the instructor? Watch part of a class perhaps? All these are things they will probably work with you.

Now, I do lift weights and I love it. It really is changing my body and my husband's body. We do a similar course it sounds. Ours is called Body Pump and it's a Les Mills class. We love it and do it twice a week. If you love the bands, you'll love the next step up!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:33 PM   #3
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I'd go a few minutes early to get set up. You will most likely set up a station with possibly a step (for laying on), your plates, your barbell and clips. I wouldn't worry too much, people are generally very friendly.

Last month, I was doing an aerobic class and I fell in front of the entire class, almost had to go to the hospital (a couple doctors were in the class and checked me out and thought I was most likely ok) and I still went back
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:39 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by berryblondeboys View Post
Why not call up the gym and tell them your fears? See if they will walk you through what they do? Let you see the gym? Meet the instructor? Watch part of a class perhaps? All these are things they will probably work with you.
This is great advice!! I get so nervous and intimidated too but if I know the setup, the person teaching, etc. beforehand it takes away half the anxiety.

Good luck in going to the class, I wish I had a gym near me that I could go to classes like that. Sounds so fun!
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:48 PM   #5
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So many people are afraid to go to the gym for the first time or even a new class. The instructors and managers of the clubs are used to it. They want you to feel comfortable and to enjoy it because if you do, you'll come back and they'll make more money.

So a request to see part of the class or to ask for help before the class is not at all unusual.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skellig19 View Post
My husband and I have been desperate to try weight-lifting for about 4 months now. When we started doing our resistance band routine with really tough heavy bands, we fell in love with that feeling of really pushing our muscles. We don't have the space for more exercise equipment so we have been looking at going once a week to a drop-in fitness class at one of our local rec centres called "No Sweat". This is the description of the class:

"No sweat is a pre-choreographed weight resistance workout using the body bar and dumbbells. It helps tone the body while helping promote body fat loss. It is good for all ages, levels and for male or female."

It has taken us 4 months to get to the point of even considering going to a gym. This is all due to my anxiety disorders and social anxiety. I tend to get the "fight or flight" response as soon as I'm near a gym or pool. It's frustrating and I desperately want to get over it! One technique I have found to help make it easier to put myself in anxiety-inducing situations is to visualize it beforehand. I can't do that with this class though because I have never been to anything remotely close to a fitness class (other than Tae Kwon Do when I was about 11 years old).

We are going to the earliest class possible (7:30AM) on a weekend to hopefully miss the big rush of New-Years-Resolutioners (and frankly teenagers and mid-twenties people b/c I find them intimidating....I am 26 myself.)

I am wondering if anyone has any tips or advice about attending a fitness class? Have you been to a weight-lifting "class" before? What was your first time like? Hearing different stories would really help me calm down about all of this!
I've been doing the whole gym thing for over 11 years now...I lift weights with the boys and I also do lots of cardio, one of my cardio workouts is a step class called Turbo Sculpt. Do NOT worry about it! You and the hubby will be just fine, people are nice more often than not and instructors are usually very helpful. There are different sizes and weights of the body bars, which we use in the step class, and also many different dumbbell weights. Get there at least 10 minutes early to get a good floor spot, maybe near the back, and get your bar and weights. If you aren't sure what to use, start with the lightest weights they have. It's very simple, no need to worry Most likely there will be yoga mats for you to use, too. If there are, get one - they're good for ab work! Since it says good for all ages and levels, it won't be too hard. And in my opinion, cardio classes are the most fun! I LOVE my Turbo Sculpt class!

Relax and have FUN!
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Old 01-17-2013, 05:18 PM   #7
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Awww. Thanks for all the support guys! I am looking forward to punching this gym anxiety in the face with my massive muscles (that I will gain by going to this class!). It really helps to talk through the anxiety and I think even by posting here, I feel a little better about it all.

I will probably go early and make sure the instructor knows that we're new and nervous. Just knowing that the majority of people are nervous when they go has been helpful too. I tend to focus on how I will be perceived socially and am terrified of making an a$$ of myself in front of "everyone". It's nice to know that most instructors will expect this. The next class is Saturday so I hope I can get the courage to go and I will try to post here with a success story!

Thanks again! More stories and tips are appreciated too!!
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:14 PM   #8
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Aww Skellig. Just try and keep in mind that everyone in that class was new at some point.

I started my first strength-training class last April (still taking it) and I was a bit nervous too. I did a drop-in class before I signed up. Basically I paid for one class to see if I liked the instructor and flow of the class. I feel more comfortable knowing the setup of the class and where things are located before committing to it.

I was a bit bummed that many people didn't speak to me, but I liked the class so I signed up. I also reminded myself I was there to get strong and fit not necessarily make friends so that helped.

Now when I see a new face I always acknowledge them with either a smile and a hello or asked how they liked the class afterwards. From that simple gesture I've had so many people come up to me and say something like thank you, that was really kind what you did and it always make my day. Now I have a lot of fitness buddies from that class.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:20 PM   #9
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So I went! It wasn't what I thought it was, though so I don't think I'll be going back. Most of the people there completely ignored me and my husband which was a bit sad. We felt very alone but the workout itself was fun and slightly more challenging then what we do at home. I swear though, we were the only ones giggling and smiling through the pre-choreographed movements. Everyone else looked so angry! I was just shocked. Why are you there if you don't want to be? It didn't make sense.

Just want to say thanks for the encouragement everyone! It has made it easier to think about going to the gym more often. We're now contemplating getting a session with a personal trainer so they can show us the weight training techniques we are interested in.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
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They're just as afraid of you as you are of them.
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:08 PM   #11
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Oh I was totally afraid of the gym period, up until 8 weeks ago. Now everyone who works there knows me by name and I can recoginize the other regulars!

I love the gym now. I started by just doing weights with a trainer once a week. I'd go a couple times and just go on the elliptical since that's all I felt comfortable on solo.

Now I do weights with my trainer twice a week, 3 spin classes and 2 fitness bootcamps! Am I crazy fit? Not a chance! But I realized No-ones staring at me, and I can go at my own pace. If I can't do something in bootcamp, I do something else. (For example, pushups...can't do it, so i plank instead!)
Spin class, same thing...about 2/3 of the way through I'm pooped, so while they're still climbing their "hills" I lower the pressure and just cruise. At least I'm there.

Trust me, I totally had the social anxiety you've had. I said I needed to get pretty work out clothes before I went. Needed brand new shoes. Made every excuse. Now I feel soooooooooo guilty when I don't go!

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Old 12-13-2013, 05:37 PM   #12
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Yeah I wouldn't worry about it too much. Most others are feeling the same way you do!
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Old 12-13-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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Skellig19 - I do hope you will go back. That is fairly standard gym behavior. Those of us that go all the time see new folks come and go, and we don't invest much if any time at welcoming them. But - if we see them 6-7 times, then things really change. We see that they are going to stick around, and then folks start talking to each other. So, for example, I see a new lady come in, several times. At first, I don't want to bother her as she gets familiar with the gym. But once she's coming in a few times, I go over and chat, and find out she's coming to the gym to build a little muscle because she is a nursing aide and lifts heavy folks around. So, if you go a few more times, I think you'll find that fellow gym rats start talking. Just seems to be the way it is!

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Originally Posted by Skellig19 View Post
So I went! It wasn't what I thought it was, though so I don't think I'll be going back. Most of the people there completely ignored me and my husband which was a bit sad.
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Old 12-18-2013, 12:18 AM   #14
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People at the gym are there for a reason. To workout.

I've been going to the gym for a long time.

The people that are there, are on a mission, they have limited time, they want to get in their workout.

Just for myself, I don't give 2 hoots who is up there, or what they are doing. I don't pay any attention. I'm on my own mission to get MY WORKOUT done.
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