Self Conscious In Classes

I joined ClassPass because I enjoy having different kinds of work outs to mix in with my normal at-home gym routine. I find ClassPass keeps me accountable because I feel like it's a waste of money to not use all 10 of my classes per month, and they will charge you if you sign up for a class and cancel within 12 hours.

While I've taken many fitness classes before, and I'm not a complete newbie, I find that I need to do modified movements or take breaks because I'm not in shape. I know that this is silly, but I feel self conscious when everyone around me is keeping pace. Does anyone else experience this self conscious feeling and how do you get over it?

Replies

  • Stella3838
    Stella3838 Posts: 439 Member
    I've been here. The thing I keep in mind is that everyone at some point was there. They didn't know, they couldn't do all the moves, they couldn't keep up. Gotta start somewhere. Just strut your stuff, own it, and know you are getting healthy. And fake it until you are actually confident. You got this!!
  • prettygirlstorm1
    prettygirlstorm1 Posts: 722 Member
    All exercise classes should encourage you to go at your own pace. When you are working hard someone else is probably on a break but you wouldn't notice. The fact that you are going and trying means you rock!!!! good for you! don't give up. I heard someone say "what you consider hard work now, will be your warm up soon!!" Keep up the good work!
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    Focus on yourself, not what others are doing. Many of us have to modify exercises, even after years of class. Everyone has limitations. The important thing is that you're taking yourself out of your comfort zone and striving for new goals!
  • Stella3838
    Stella3838 Posts: 439 Member
    vada44 wrote: »
    I heard someone say "what you consider hard work now, will be your warm up soon!!"

    Oooooooo, I LIKE that!!
  • kathyrunsfast
    kathyrunsfast Posts: 5,773 Member
    That ClassPass sounds great!! I think that doing varied workouts is so much fun. I always try and get a spot in the back, BUT everyone I know who is in those classes is mostly supportive and proud of anyone who tries or is starting out or putting in the time! Modify and change....keep it up! Trust me you'll feel like you fit in sooner than you think!! It took me a little over a month till I just went in and didn't overthink it. You'll get there. :)
  • amers271
    amers271 Posts: 17 Member
    Everyone feels that! When you see someone struggling or trying to learn the moves in a class, do you think bad thoughts about them or do you think "Wow - look at him/her. That's really awesome that they're pushing so hard/trying to make a healthy life choice/etc"? I bet you think the second one! Most all of us do. :smile:

    Try to remember that we all started out at the beginning and that the only person you should be looking at results for is yourself. Each day, just try to do a little better than you did in the previous class.
  • TR0berts
    TR0berts Posts: 7,739 Member
    edited January 2017
    While I've taken many fitness classes before, and I'm not a complete newbie, I find that I need to do modified movements or take breaks because I'm not in shape. I know that this is silly, but I feel self conscious when everyone around me is keeping pace. Does anyone else experience this self conscious feeling and how do you get over it?

    I don't take classes, but I lift weights. I see others lifting quite a bit more than I. I used to get a little - not sure what the "right" word is, but I think you'll understand - "embarassed" a little about it. I just told myself that they were once where I was, and it eased things. After a while, I advanced enough so that I now lift more than some others.

    Just keep working hard - and smart - and I'm sure your fitness will improve such that some new person will sign up down the line and will be nervous because you are doing everything well. If/when that happens, just remember that you were there and encourage him/her.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    i imagine taking a variety of different classes feeds into that. you're at several different kinds of square one all the time.

    idk, i have other reasons why classes always make me cranky and frustrated and sweaty, emotionally. but if you're the kind of person who loves range and variety, maybe give yourself credit for that. not everyone's capable of dealing with new stuff every couple sessions.
  • WayTooHonest
    WayTooHonest Posts: 144 Member
    I have been where you are. I used to hide in the back and pray no one saw me. 3 years later? I showed up for class late (what gym schedules 5pm classes anyway?!?!) and happily took my spot front and center. My knees are going bad, so modifications? Yes ma'am. You will never see me do a lunge because it hurts. I do squats instead (I KNOW that makes no sense.) I am currently (STILL) recovering from a lumbar injury, so jumping? Nope. Just keep moving and keep your heart rate up. You'll do great.

    Just try to remember that everyone was new once. Everyone tripped over their own feet in Zumba once (new Zumba routine? I can NOT learn feet and arms at the same time. Its pretty funny.). I tend to stand there and laugh at myself like a loon when I goof up, which inevitably makes the instructor and a few people around me laugh. Turns out, it's a great way to make new friends. You will find that most everyone is paying you no attention anyway, unless you are good at it and they are watching you because you are easier to see than the instructor. The 2% that IS watching you for nefarious reasons? Well those mean girls can suck an egg anyway.
  • sammyliftsandeats
    sammyliftsandeats Posts: 2,421 Member
    Maybe having a friend come along would be helpful?

    Whenever I do a class that I am unfamiliar with, I like having someone I know to make a silly face at when I mess up a move. Keeps the mood light.
  • WayTooHonest
    WayTooHonest Posts: 144 Member
    amers271 wrote: »
    Everyone feels that! When you see someone struggling or trying to learn the moves in a class, do you think bad thoughts about them or do you think "Wow - look at him/her. That's really awesome that they're pushing so hard/trying to make a healthy life choice/etc"? I bet you think the second one! Most all of us do. :smile:

    I always want to high five or fist bump or "keep it up!" the newbies, but I fear that would be weird. Being new is hard enough, I wouldn't want someone to think I am being a smart donkey.

  • theVintageWhorde
    theVintageWhorde Posts: 43 Member
    Everyone has been there at some point and time. I'm in the same position as you as we speak; I'm not necessarily a newbie, but I haven't worked out in two years. I work at my own pace right now and could care less about what the others in my class think (I wasn't always that way). Please, don't feel embarrassed; things will get better. Just keep at it and focus on the bigger goal.
  • pomegranatecloud
    pomegranatecloud Posts: 812 Member
    I'm pretty fit, and I always feel self conscious taking a new class or going to a different studio. I think it's pretty normal. I love taking classes and trying new classes, but I also get kind of stressed about the first class. Just remember everyone is always new to something and focus on yourself. When you notice someone new in class what do you think? Nothing really probably. I'll be honest, in a lot of classes it's easy to figure out who is brand new to the class because they usually seem a little unsure, may sit not going the right way if they're the first in, look around at others a lot, and don't usually have the positions or choreograph down. But so what? I never judge anyone because they're new, need to modify, or can't keep up. Everyone starts at different places. Also, most people are busy focusing on themselves during class and aren't paying attention to what others are doing except for maybe the person in front of them. The only time I pay attention to what others are doing during class is if I'm unsure what I'm supposed to be doing or need a visual. I took a barre class once at a place that was a lot more dance focused than previous barre classes I took, and I spent the entire class a step behind everyone else and doing the opposite of everyone (up instead of down, left instead of right).

    If you go to the same class or type of class regularly you'll quickly improve. But, everyone always has positions or things that they need to modify.

    I'm on ClassPass too. It's great because it's forced me to try a ton of different types of classes and studios that I would not have tried otherwise. I'm super bummed ClassPass eliminated the unlimited option. I was taking about 30 classes per month before the switch.
  • divcara
    divcara Posts: 358 Member
    When I was first getting started, one of my best friends (a Pure Barre teacher) told me, "you just have to be willing to suck for awhile." It was actually pretty good advice. It took the pressure off that I felt I had to be "good." I kind of just accepted I was just starting out and going to suck. It helped take away my fear of trying other classes as well - HIIT, boot camps, hot yoga, spin, whatever. It was just like, okay, I'm going to suck for a bit until I get stronger and good at this and that's okay.

    You also can't compare you in your first or second class to someone who is 6 months...or 6 years into their workout routine. And it takes time to get stronger, build up your endurance, your muscles, your flexibility, everything, but you will.

    The other thing is, don't assume every fit person in your classes is a lifelong gym rat who knows what they are doing! So many people find fitness later in life. I take all kinds of group fitness classes and people who only know me now, think I've always been really fit. When in reality, two years ago I was over 60 pounds heavier, couldn't run three minutes continuously, could barely pick up 10lb weights, and am about the most unathletic, uncoordinated person out there. I *still* feel like an amateur every time I walk into a class. I eat really well these days and have a pretty lean physique so sometimes people look at me like I know what I'm doing and in my head it's like oh no, don't watch me, my form is terrible!

    I still don't think I'm "good," you get stronger, but it never stops being hard, and the last thing I would ever be doing in a class is looking around rolling my eyes at someone else. First of all, I don't even notice anyone else. I am usually focused on trying not to die, challenging myself, or trying to meet my own goals. And I love group fitness classes with a good energy and everyone supporting each other's goals and new personal records at every level. I don't think anything bad comes from people showing up to take a class and do something positive for themselves, their health, their lives. We're all in this together, no matter each person's level of fitness or abilities.
  • sarko15
    sarko15 Posts: 330 Member
    I feel the same way often, but then I remember that everyone is self-conscious to some extent in those classes. Sure, there are some people who are totally confident, but I can totally tell when someone is pushing themselves really hard because they don't want anyone to think they're weak or out of shape. Nobody is really focused on you because they're worried about the same exact thing you are. I'd rather push myself but still get through the work out without wondering if I'm going to lose my lunch.

    There are some kickboxing moves that I literally cannot coordinate with my own body, and I end up just flailing, but no worries, I've got the next move and can jump right back into it. It's important to remember that flails burn calories too ;) Some people don't even go to the classes because they don't think they can do one move, and you've got a lot on those people.
  • callsitlikeiseeit
    callsitlikeiseeit Posts: 8,633 Member
    i used to take zumba classes. im as uncoordinated as a drunk hippo but loved it and was fun. i was the comedic relief in the class - id crack jokes at myself and ask the teacher if she was trying to kill me.

    it was fun. i miss it.
  • dutchandkiwi
    dutchandkiwi Posts: 1,389 Member
    edited January 2017
    Been there; done that. The advice that @leaninsc gave is spot on - A new class will lead to the feeling of not beign there - not quite gooed enough and that can be discouraging feeling. I had that feeling about 9 months ago when I first joined my class. All others were better then me. I kept thinking that the first few clases are there to learn - the routines, the class and get into shape, meaning that I was not but I wanted to get there. I had to - the others were so much better. I now know that comparing myself to the best one in my class is senseless (she is a 18 year old gymnastics ex-regional champ) Instead I focus on my progress, getting to know my class buddies and having fun getting in shape

    Do keep up the good work up will make things happen for instance.
    There will be a day when others will come into the class and see you - being more advanced than them
    There will be a day that you feel you can keep up
    There will be a day when others ask for your help
    There will be day that you feel you can keep up with the class
    There will be a day that you feel that this class was made for you
    There will be a day that your trainer will compliment your progress (that day is sooooooo sweet, I had one of those a month ago)

    What isrequired is to stick to it, have fun and enjoy the ride into shape and the class. You can do this
  • xochristianna
    xochristianna Posts: 96 Member
    Thank you everyone for the wonderful advice! It's good to know that lots of people get this feeling and I'm not the only one!