It’s that awkward moment again: you’ve just walked into a new fitness class for the first time, and the air reeks of lifelong friendships. If you’re anxious about the inevitable “now grab a partner!” coming from the front of the room, don’t sweat it. Here are a few top tips for how to make friends while you train:
This is simply good class etiquette, but saying a quick hello to the instructor taking the class also means that he/she will know your name, and can potentially introduce you to others like you who have just started. Alternatively, the instructor could have everyone give you an embarrassing round of applause at the end of the class for managing to keep up. True story.
The people at this class probably live nearby, and if they like to keep fit then no doubt they know of a few other classes in the area that could be of interest to you. Before you head home to shower and binge on Netflix, ask them if they know of any similar local classes. If they go to any, ask if you can tag along! The more the merrier, eh?
It’s the oldest trick in the book, but luckily at a fitness class there are usually some pretty cool outfits lunging around. If you can’t keep your eyes off those amazing neon trainers or zebra print leggings, be sure to tell their owner how much you’re admiring them and ask where you can buy them too. Also, if they have any nifty gadgets, that’s always a good conversation starter, and you’ll be tracking each other on FitBit before you know it.
Everyone loves to feel special, and better yet, motivated. If the person next to you isn’t quite managing the set of 15 push ups, give them a gentle nudge by way of “You’re doing great!” or “Hang in there, we’re almost finished!”. It will help them get through the exercises and will have them returning the favour to you in no time.
If you’re wondering what equipment you may need, or how long the class lasts, shimmy on over to the person next to you and ask all your burning questions. Chances are if they’ve been before they’ll enjoy sharing their knowledge with you. Just don’t go overboard with queries while your neighbour is in downward dog or trying to bash out 30 burpees. You don’t want to be that guy.
Remember that fitness classes are for everyone, even if you’re solo, so you shouldn’t feel worried about going it alone. Most of the time any partner work will result in you being split up from your other half anyway, so it pays to learn how to make new friends at your fitness classes, or at least form some sort of brief bond with the person sweating next to you.