It’s scary trying a new workout class or routine for the first time. You don’t know anyone else there. You fall behind on the routine, or cues the instructor gives you. Maybe it’s a dance class and you’re worried have no rhythm. You’re scared the people in the gym might be intimidating or mean.
I’ve been there. But don’t let your worries get in the way of getting an amazing workout. It is definitely worth putting yourself out there for. Who knows, this might be the perfect fitness routine for you.
As I have tried many new classes and workouts this past year, I’m going to share with you the 10 tips and tricks that have helped me get past the awkward part, and onto the beneficial part.
1. Make Sure to Drink a Recovery Shake Within 30 Minutes of Your Workout
I’ve made this mistake one too many times. You know what happens when you do a tough workout and you don’t properly fuel yourself afterwards? You feel dizzy, sick and you end up having a four-hour nap afterwards. You also deprive your muscles of the protein and sugars it needs to rebuild after you’ve torn them apart. If I know I have plans after a tough workout, I make sure I have protein powder in my bag and a shaker so I can start chugging the minute I leave the studio. If I’m heading home, I make sure to blend up a delicious shake.
2. Take the Time to Actually Stretch
Whether you are trying a new fitness class or a new training regime, recovery is so important. Stretching properly after a workout helps lower your heart rate and prevent venous pooling (Google it…it’s fucking gross). Stretching and foam rolling will also help your muscles feel better so you’re able to keep on your workout schedule. It’s also nice to be able to walk up and down stairs…
3. Get a Good Nights Sleep
This is sooooooo important when trying out a new working regime. Experts suggest that when we change our workouts frequently, it keeps our muscles guessing and helps keep them working and training at a high intensity.
When trying a new workout, studies show that the first few times you do the workout, your body burns many more calories than another person who does that same workout all the time.
During sleep, our muscle tissue repairs and cells are regenerated. Without a good nights sleep, you disrupt this rebuilding. Which can increase belly fat, cause you to make bad “food decisions” and lead to injury.
4. Nutrition is Key
Why do all this hard work, eat like shit and ruin your results.
Maintaining a healthy weight (and looking good) has a lot to do with the 80/20 rule. 80% is your nutrition: eating healthy, nutrients, vitamins and fuelling yourself. 20% is fitness / exercise.
Not only will a balanced diet keep your body looking hot AF; it will also replenish and rebuild your body after tough workouts, and fuel yourself to kick ass at the next workout.
Also, have you ever eaten McDonalds and tried to go for a run afterwards? You legit want to die.
5. Don’t Push Yourself Too Hard
Overtraining can be a scary thing. It will deteriorate your health, your muscles and will leave you at severe risk for injuries.
And it is not easy to get out of. Those who have severely over-trained their bodies may have to take off working out for a year or more and MUST seek medical attention.
Be careful when you sign up for a 30-day-challenge or heavy-training regime. Make sure to space out your workouts by upper and lower body, cardio and weights, lighter workouts in-between heavier ones, and low-impact with high-impact.
6. Stay Focused
While doing your workouts, or following instructions in class, make sure you are ready to focus. When you’re tired and uninterested you have a higher risk of injury, especially when your doing movements you’ve never done before. If you haven’t had enough sleep, skip your workout for that day. Really focusing on your muscles and movements has also shown to improve muscle growth and form by triggering the right muscles for the movement.
7. Look Good, Feel Good
When I signed up for beer league baseball, this was my motto (thanks to my girlfriend Jessie). I fucking suck at baseball. But at least I looked good out there. Dressing the part really helped me gain the confidence to jump for that fly ball and swing as hard as I could. The same motto works for doing anything new. I always feel so confident when I wear a brand new pairing of leggings or top that I know I look boss AF in.
8. Make a Goal for Yourself
Having a goal set in mind will help drive you to work harder and see results from it. If you want to squat 10lbs heavier by the end of the month, and you check your progress weekly, you’ll see the short-term and long-term results. This will pump you up to look forward to crushing your next workout. Just make sure you make smaller goals as well as big, long-term goals.
9. Time Your Meals (With Meal Prep)
If I haven’t prepped my lunch at home when I get back from a workout, I’m literally eating a whole wheel of cheese and package of crackers because I’m so damn hungry and I CANNOT WAIT 40 minutes to cook a chicken breast. Having a few meals prepped and knowing when you’re going to be hungry will help keep your nutrition on track.
10. Take a Buddy With You
I mean this in the nicest way possible: take a friend with you to new workout classes so you can suck together. Sometimes, wait; fuck that…all of the time new classes can be intimidating for a few reasons. One of those reasons is because the class is usually filled with people who do these workouts weekly and they are good at it. Having a friend with you who has a tough time nailing the technique or finishing the last set of reps lets you know that its ok when you’re struggling with the same things. And to know, with practice you will get better (maybe even better than that chick at the front of the class.