How to get over the anxiety of going to group fitness classes

There’s a scene in the movie I Feel Pretty where Amy Schumer’s character walks into SoulCycle for the first time. The instructors are flawless, the other riders are gorgeous, everyone seems to know exactly what they’re doing, and she feels totally out of place. We’ve all been there.

Let’s admit it—group fitness classes can be really intimidating! It’s hard not to feel like the entire class is staring at you and that the instructor is totally judging you. So we asked a group fitness instructor first-hand what trainers really want us to know about our first time trying a new class. Read on for tips from NYC trainer Jess Sims to get over the fear and anxiety that comes with group fitness:

Just do it

The most important thing is just to start. Though it can be challenging to find the motivation to take that first leap, once you do it, you’ll feel so accomplished. “You gotta start somewhere and [remember that] every person you see, who might be where you want to be, had a first day, too.”

Bring a friend. Or make one there!

Having a gym buddy makes working out way more fun, but it can also help calm your nerves if you’re feeling insecure or uncomfortable. Can’t find a pal to bring with you? Make a new friend there! “Introduce yourself to someone! You’re definitely not the only new person in the class, and most people go to group classes for the sense of community and would love the camaraderie.”

Say hi to the instructor

A lot of people are afraid to talk to their fitness instructors. They may fear that the instructor is judging them, thinks they aren’t good enough, or doesn’t care to help them. But that isn’t the case at all! Most instructors want you to come up and say hello. “Introduce yourself to the instructor! It’s always helpful so that we can ask if you have any injuries or limitations, so that you have the best possible experience.”

Have fun

Try actually … enjoying it? There is a reason people who work out a lot are always so happy! “Turn your brain off, get out of your own way, and have fun! You won’t be perfect, you won’t see results right after [your first class], so fall in love with the process of being a work in progress.”

Well, that sounds like a good place to start. How do you find confidence in trying new things? Let us know!