Poll: Do You Take Workout Classes?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
4/19/2012 2:00 PM   :  295 comments   :  27,202 Views

See More: fitness, poll, exercise, gym,

It's been a long time since I have taken a workout class at a gym. I normally do my workouts on my own, but I joined a gym a few months ago and want to shake up my workout routines a bit and am now considering going to a few of the classes that they offer. I hate to admit it though, but that makes me nervous and even a little bit scared (even though I have gained a lot of confidence with reaching various goals). What you may not know though, is that I'm not the most coordinated person and I usually have to modify exercises to suit my physical ability/needs, so that is where the feelings of being nervous and scared come in. What if I make a fool of myself in some way (whether it is going the opposite direction and running into someone, dropping a weight if I lose my grip, or just not picking up on what it is that I should be doing)?

Well, I know in the past that I had similar feelings and was able to get past them eventually. Back then, I started out in the back of the class first and would sometimes be towards the front, but never actually in the front. I hated the thought that others might watch me and perhaps criticize my every move. Scary thought, right? I mean, who wants others to watch and criticize you, especially when you are not that coordinated? It's one thing to do workout videos at home -- there is nobody there watching to see all the missteps that you take, but it is a completely different story when you are surrounded by a large group of people that are workout class veterans.

Something I must keep in mind are my past experiences and that as I start going to these classes, over time I will get used to the classes and they won't be so scary. Additionally, isn't it possible that the others are worrying about themselves just as much as I am worried about myself? I think so. If they aren't, and they really are watching me, I suppose I will give them some good entertainment value. At any rate, I have decided to take another big leap in my journey and not worry about what others are thinking about me or if they are watching me mess up some choreography in a workout class. I'm going there for myself to add more variety and challenge to my current workouts and that is what I need to remember, even if I don't do everything perfectly. Despite my feelings of being nervous and a little bit scared to do something new, I have decided it is time for me to leave my comfort zone of working out on my own (at home and in the gym).


Do you take any workout classes? If so, which workout classes are your favorite? Have you been (or are you) scared or nervous to take a workout class? Do you have an recommendations on how to get over those feelings?

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  • 295
    I take spin class twice a week. I really hated it at first, but now it is okay and it is good for me and helped to strengthen my knees. - 1/12/2016   9:33:28 PM
    I started in my gym last September with a trainer and she created various circuits for me within the gym with and without machines. I did it for a bit but found that I was getting a bit bored. She also encouraged me to do any of the classes that I felt like doing. I started to do spin class, Brazilian Butt (with abs) and Boot Camp (I tried Zumba but I have two left feet for dancy type of classes). I love what Boot Camp is doing for my form, and the instructor switches things up so that we don't get stuck in a routine. I feel like I am in the best shape of my life. I know that my Achilles Heel is getting bored and that I can slide back - I really need change, motivating instructors and ever changing goals to keep me pumped. I love the classes and the people in them - it's a lot of fun. - 6/2/2015   8:05:44 AM
    In September, I started a Step & Sculpt class (aerobics and hand weights.) I only went 1 day a week. I had no idea what all the patterns were. I was always going the wrong direction. But the people don't judge. The teacher is so nice and encouraging. After 6 months, I added the second day a week. I still get lost on some of the moves, but I'm not the only one. And some days I have to just march in place. But I have gotten so strong. I can get up off the floor. I can jump. I can do pushups. My legs are so firm. My arms are stronger. I am so glad that I am doing this class. - 5/5/2015   3:21:05 PM
  • 292
    In the past I have been a member in a gym but for some reason I lost the motivation to go and then for a whole year I end up paying for the cost and not going. I find that there are lots of free activities on the internet for exercise and I also find that walking is suitable at this time. However, if I can get some weight off I might rethink that gym class. Truly, there may be some extra support that wouldn't be otherwise. - 4/12/2015   1:53:31 PM
  • 291
    I wish I could but time and financial constraints keep me from doing so. I would love to swim and do water aerobics as well as try something new like zumba or kickboxing. - 1/29/2015   6:08:37 PM
  • 290
    With my return to consistent physical activity I have only been doing fitness classes - Cycle, Cardio Box, Step, Hot Yoga and Resistance classes (all included in my gym membership). It is the only thing keeping me motivated. - 12/29/2014   5:05:39 PM
  • 289
    I want to, but I'm too shy. Maybe one day. - 12/18/2014   2:02:56 PM
  • 288
    I don't just DO Group classes... I TEACH them! They are my favorite way to workout, as a team!!! But, that being said, I also LOVE a good solo workout where I can just plug in any music I want and just sweat it out! - 12/18/2014   10:07:52 AM
    I have done all kinds of group classes. Most of the time I am the only guy in the class. The instructors at the gym I go to are awesome. They don't care that I am the only guy in class. They don't care if I get all of the steps correct or not. All they care about is if I get a good workout while having fun doing what they are teaching. I have done Zumba, Body Pump, Cardio Kickboxing, Piyo, Ploxing, Ballet Fit, Tabata, Total Body Bootcamp, HITT, Turbokick, Strength and Resistance, Max Interval, ect... I go to group classes six days a week. Just got done trying my first ever BOSU class last Saturday. I am going to try a Cardio Funk class the day after Thanksgiving to see what that like. - 11/24/2014   8:07:54 PM
  • 286
    Yes, spinning, weight training, yoga, and sometimes swimming. I am a triathlete, so all these classes give me a built-in coach. - 11/9/2014   3:59:38 PM
    no. I normally just do workout videos at home. - 11/7/2014   11:51:32 AM
  • 284
    I do AquaFit on Mondays, AquaZumba on Wednesdays and swim laps & water strength training independently on Fridays. I like working alone, it's meditative for me, but I realize that I will push myself in these classes even though, after three months, I have yet to get the entire routine and still misstep. Haven't bumped into anyone yet, so that's good. I find I laugh a lot in the classes. That's also good. - 10/25/2014   9:32:11 AM
  • 283
    l love zumba, have been doing it for a couple years now. Started taking a bodystep class 2 weeks ago and I really enjoy doing that. Gonna give bodypump a shot tomorrow, hope I survive it. Love doing classes, gives a lot of variance to your workout routine. - 10/14/2014   2:43:34 PM
  • 282
    I joined the Alpha Strong gym in Chico, CA, the Warrior Class. They use tires, sandbags, kettle balls, jump ropes, platforms, weight benches, dumbbells, and our own body resistance. I'm currently turning my guest room into a workout room. We bought the wall T.V. today and I already have aerobic step, weight bench, dumbbells, videos, workout posters, floor mats and a fan. I should be adding more fitness at home this week on top of going to the gym. - 10/12/2014   12:35:34 AM
  • 281
    I practice yoga at a yoga studio. I'm 62 and have only been doing yoga for 6 months. I also jog on the streets around my city. I've decided that my "ego is not my amigo" when it comes to exercise and fitness, so I put it away and feel proud of my efforts to take care of my body. What others think of me is not my business, as the saying goes. - 10/11/2014   11:47:23 PM
  • FITGAL28
    I take a body pump, and a body attack class at my gum. I really enjoy both of these classes. - 10/11/2014   8:53:05 PM
    I do Zumba and spinning. I receive a lot of support from group classes. Just started exercising and I heard spinning is great cardio. I'm working up to completing the spinning class. So far up to 40 minutes. Let them no your new to group exercise and you will gain support to help you through the class. Zumba is fun. Everyone miss steps, I just do what I can do. - 10/11/2014   7:59:02 PM
  • 278
    I do AquaZumba Wednesdays, AquaFit Mondays and I do laps on Fridays. The classes are really fun. I've been away for a few months due to a knee injury but have been swimming laps and doing the PT water exercises at least twice per week. Looking to get back on the three days per week starting this Monday. The classes are really fun and I don't think anyone is looking at anyone except the instructor. And, why should you care what they think anyway. Just go and have fun. - 10/11/2014   7:29:28 PM
  • KILLROY108
    A coworker told me about her boxing classes at Title Boxing here in TX. She invited me to go with her and it was a blast. Having someone there that knows what is going on was a huge help. Unfortunately I work nights and the classes just don't work well with my schedule. - 10/11/2014   3:33:15 PM
  • 276
    I think you have to actually try a class more than once before you decide to ditch it. My first zumba class I was so angry and frustrated that I couldn't get the moves right that I swore I wasn't going to go back. I did go back a couple weeks later and try it again and was amazed at how much easier it was the second time and now I love zumba. I also do yoga, pilates, tai chi, qigong, water aerobics (deep and shallow) and just started a circuit training class. I like a LOT of variety in my workouts and think I have a good balance between the different types. I highly recommend classes because I feel I try/work out much harder, longer and am expected to show up. No more excuses! - 10/11/2014   10:43:09 AM
  • 275
    I do Zumba at least once, 2-3 times a week if I can fit it in. I also will take a barre class, bootcamp or cardio sculpting class when I can fit them in. I'm much more likely to push myself in a group setting than I would at home watching a video. - 10/11/2014   9:25:29 AM
  • 274
    Zumba primarily, yoga (rarely), pilates (sometimes), bodyworks w/abs (often)...and guess what...I don't care if I mess up or can't keep up. I do my thing and aim to do better the next time. I really don't think anyone cares about the next person's imperfections in class...some ppl are way to sensitive and swear everybody is looking at them. I've found that most are really focused on themselves so have no time to notice your mistakes let alone laugh. In general, they are pretty helpful in my experience. Guess I'm lucky not to be at a snobby gym. - 9/2/2014   2:48:38 PM
  • 273
    I love the core and abs class, step and spin. - 8/26/2014   1:54:32 PM
  • 272
    I understand about the nervousness, so I will read about the benefits of the class. I talk myself into going because I want these benefits=) My favorites classes are BodyPump and Aqua Zumba--I too am uncoordinated, so I don't do Zumba, but AquaZumba is fun cause it's in the water. Make a deal with yourself to try 1 new class a month, and if you don't like it you don't have to go back--but at least you tried=)
    - 8/18/2014   7:50:32 PM
  • 271
    I love my Pilates class and try to go twice a week. Last week, however, I was embarrassed and actually got laughed at for doing something really awkward because I couldn't hear and I couldn't see the instructor. It was kind of funny and they were trying to be nice and make it better but I was being sensitive and it hit me wrong. It's taking some time to get over it and tomorrow will be my first day back at class since it happened. Yes, I'm going back because I've been going to that class for over a year and love how much it's helped me in so many ways. I don't want to ruin it for myself. I am not a workout class person either and I HATE being embarrassed. I am horribly uncoordinated and can never follow moves. :-( Anyway, my plan is to move to a different location in the class so I can see and hear better. I even already talked (via email) to the instructor about it. I don't think she really understands how it hit me because she's just got a thicker skin than I have but at least I addressed it and I am moving forward and not letting it ruin things for me.
    Sure, I'll probably be a bit different than I had been before but I think I'll eventually get over it. I wish these things didn't bother me so much, but they do.
    So, despite being embarrassed in class, I am still going to go - FOR ME!! :-) - 8/18/2014   3:46:46 PM
  • 270
    I generally take a Spin class on Sundays, Step aerobics on Mondays, PiYo on Wednesdays, yoga on Fridays, and Zumba on Saturdays. I love classes. :)

    I need to do more weight lifting, which I do on Tuesdays, and think I might trade out Friday yoga for weights. I don't like the weightlifting class, I prefer to do it on my own. - 8/18/2014   3:01:20 PM
  • 269
    I Zumba 3 to 4 times out of the week. I also do body pump (weights) twice a week, Body Combat once a week and most recently U-jam once a week. I love the variety I get by taking the group classes. To be honest with you I believe no one is there to judge and everyone is to into just accomplishing a great workout. The group classes also help me stay motivated. - 8/18/2014   12:44:03 PM
  • 268
    I do two Aqua Fit classes a week, one Yoga class, and 1 -2 Urban Poling classes. Hoping to get in on a Zumba Gold class this fall. Eleanor Roosevelt said "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do. - So throw on your gear, and get moving! - 8/18/2014   12:34:06 PM
    Spinning classes... hard but I love them! - 8/18/2014   9:20:46 AM
  • 266
    When I was younger I went to the gym with my father. Someone there didn't like that a young kid was at the gym and was very rude to me. It made me even more self conscious and I quit going. As an adult I still had those feelings, as though I didn't belong or was doing it all wrong. I found going with a friend helped make those feelings to dissipate. You still feel goofy, but you're not alone. Perhaps taking a friend to your fitness class would help you to feel more comfortable. - 8/18/2014   8:18:42 AM
  • 265
    I go to seated Yoga and seated Weight & Balance classes four days a week, I also take a weekly Zumba Gold class. I wish there was a pool nearby that wasn't so highly chlorinated - can't breathe. - 8/18/2014   8:09:43 AM
  • 264
    I do a water aerobics class 3-4 Times per week. It is the best thing to do with arthritis, trying to stay in shape waiting for knee replacements. - 8/18/2014   7:55:58 AM
  • 263
    I do a zumba class once a week. I also do it at home. If you are scared about going to a class. Give yourself permission to do half hour or one evening, if you like it great, if not at least you got moving. Don't stop there, continue to look for something you do like. There are various kinds of videos on youtube. I hope this has helped. - 5/19/2014   7:45:48 PM
  • 262
    I LOVE workout classes. It's a completely different experience doing the class in person versus a video. I used to love step class, but ever since I did Zumba, that's my workout of choice. My instructor is an AMAZING dancer and she kicks our butt every time! I can't keep up yet or do some of the moves, but I just keep moving. Zumba makes my heart smile. - 5/19/2014   1:29:07 PM
    I recently made the decision to stop making excuses and start exercising, no matter how much I felt like I couldn't or didn't want to. Feeling like I was too big to use the machines, and not enjoying the sound of the whirring of the treadmill under my weight, I opted to try some of the classes that my gym offered. Nervously, after memorizing the schedules for about 2 weeks, I bit the bullet and walked into my first class, Les Mills BodyPump. It was difficult, not gonna lie, but after it was all said and done, I felt exhausted, yet exhilarated. The instructor was helpful, offering options to moves, so that all fitness levels were accommodated. I now, take 3 classes a week, BodyPump, BodyFlow and CXWorX... with my fitness level getting stronger, I plan to try out more!! - 12/19/2013   3:52:25 PM
  • 260
    I go to at least 4 classes a week. I found an instructor whose teaching style I love and try to go to her all classes which include: Kickboxing, Zumba Toning and Zumba. I also go to boot camp. But need to find another strength. - 12/19/2013   10:13:11 AM
  • 259
    Even as a yoga teacher, I do group practice as a participant because it feels so good to get the group energy, even when you think you have no individual energy. This happened recently, and by the end of the practice, I had done poses that surprised me. I still remember what it was like to feel as though the hardest part of the practice was the Sun Salute warm-up (and there are times when that's still true); but I also have better confidence and calm because I kept going with yoga practice. Find your own "best activity". And enjoy! - 12/19/2013   5:46:27 AM
  • 258
    i take classes at my gym that are workouts for arms and legs and abs. i do them once a week. i like the trainer i work with he keeps the classes small and upbeat. he makes it fun and exciting to be there. he pushes me to try new workouts but he doesnt push so hard i end up in pain. i have a lot of medical and physical issues and he works around them. hes the reason ive lost 10 lbs this last month. i love the classes too because they tend to be the same people and its a wonderful support group. we talk about our lives our goals when we slip up how were doing weight loss wise. when i hit ten lbs i went and told the trainer and he was so proud he told everyone else and the other staff members. he still keeps going on about it and they all make me feel great for what i saw as a small accomplishment. - 12/11/2013   6:41:40 PM
  • 257
    I usually workout at home but when I do take a class it's zumba and it's a very depressing zumba class. It's not really upbeat and there are not many people in the class. I haven't taken many other classes because a lot of them a so hard. I usually stick to home workouts. - 12/6/2013   11:36:48 AM
  • 256
    I like Zumba. It's fun and even though I'm not as young or energetic as many others in the class, I can modify moves and just keep moving. The time goes by so fast it's hard that I had an hour workout. - 12/3/2013   9:37:18 AM
  • 255
    I take all that my gym offers. I found that fitness classes provide structure for me, and help me to get the best burn for the time allotted. I do much better with an instructor than on my own, plus attending a gym class is almost like having a personal trainer as most of the time (mine anyways) they always come around to answer questions and correct form. My favorites are body pump, zumba, body combat and cycling. - 12/3/2013   7:58:08 AM
    I love Zumba classes. Our instructor really kicks up the beat and adds a lot of strength exercises into the moves besides just dance moves. The hour goes by so fast. It's more like going to a "sweat party" rather than a gym workout. - 10/31/2013   1:27:55 PM
  • 253
    I take deep water aerobics classes. Once in the pool, no one can see what you do, except maybe the instructor standing on deck. I have physical limitations, and my balance isn't the best. The pool is safe for me. I get a GREAT workout. I have been eying a silver sneakers zumba class. It looks like fun, lots of folks are awkward,and most modify the workout. Not everyone in the class is a senior. I would fit right in. I have it on my goal list, as soon as the physical therapist says it safe for me to start the class. - 10/31/2013   7:37:12 AM
  • DAWN8378
    I occasionally take classes for the variety it adds and the challenge. If I like it, I'll do it a few more times. If I don't, I try something new. I don't see the point in becoming frustrated, since I'm not commited to the class. - 6/22/2013   10:56:26 PM
  • 251
    I do at times. - 6/22/2013   9:18:50 PM
    Yoga and Zumba! - 5/12/2013   7:01:06 PM
  • FITNESS386
    I take spinning, Zumba, hip hop cardio, kickboxing, and pilates classes. They are all super fun with some classes being more challenging than others but my cardio workouts are never dull. - 4/1/2013   8:05:22 PM
  • 248
    Yes, I love classes. Hate the machines.. boring! Zumba is my fav. Some are slow and some are taught by expert professional dancers. Just go at your pace. Let me tell you, I'm a veteran, but I always admire people who are doing it. There is a little old man who is at the back left side of our class and he does his best to do what we do, but when he can't he still works it. I am inspired by him and think it's great. I never think negatively of him or anyone else who has to modify the movement/intensity. I recommend staying a few rows back, behind the teacher at first so you can see what the teacher does and see the other folks and so you don't get trampled if it is a fast paced class. ALWAYS do it at your own level and pace and don't think "I can't do that, I should leave" think " I can do it this way, and I'm still burning calories and having fun" If anyone things bad of you, well, then they are not nice people and we don't care what they think do we?! Don't be scared, we were all in the back going slow at one time or another. I still do when a new teacher comes along. Also, none of us are watching you... we are all watching the teacher or trying to get it right ourselves.
    - 3/13/2013   7:21:35 PM
  • 247
    I take Zumba...I enjoy it. Some instructors are really good and make it easy to follow....some seem to be dancing in their own little world...yet others, you just don't feel comfortable with because they do the over the top smiling. Find one that you are comfortable with, that way you know you will keep going. One bad instructor should not make you give up. You can do it! - 1/8/2013   9:51:31 PM
  • 246
    I love the Latin dance classes at my gym, at first I was intimidated b/c I was usually the biggest girl in class, but I found that I'm still fairly coordinated (use to dance in high school many moons ago) and in time I was able to keep up with the instructor. I held off on joining the ballet class for same fear being biggest girl, but also I'm not physically able to do some of the moves yet...conquered that fear and the instructor was so nice and gave me and others modified moves.

    My gym must have had some feedback on this issue of the fear of taking a class, so they decided to give sample classes, I think they were 10-15 minutes each. I say go to the class a few minutes early let the instructor know that you're new, many will look out for you and make sure you don't stay lost for too long. - 1/7/2013   12:51:22 AM

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