Beginners guide to fitness classes

Beginners guide to fitness classes

The choice of fitness classes can seem overwhelming. There’s something for every interest, every level of fitness and every fitness goal. We all want strength, endurance and flexibility, but how do you pick a class to suit?

Being a beginner at the gym can feel intimidating, so here are some ideas on how to select the right class for you. Never be afraid to ask the gym staff for advice. They will want to add you to their regulars so have every incentive to help.


All exercise has benefits, and all movement is exercise. If you are starting from the very beginning, the gentler pace of classes such as yoga or Pilates may suit you. These workouts will improve your flexibility and core strength, and also add an oasis of calm after a stressful day.

Classes in the pool also give a good workout without strain. No swimming required.


The basic government guidelines tell us to get a bit sweaty and breathless for our health. There is an enormous variety of ways to do that in a fitness class. You can step or you can dance. You can even ‘spin’ – a stationary bike workout.

There’s always an instructor and music to encourage you.  A fitness class also takes you through a proper warm-up and cool down.

If you want to make the most of the British summer, there are even outdoor fitness classes.


There’s always a new idea in the fitness world, so there’s no excuse for boredom in your fitness class. Recent ideas have included ballet fitness and suspended workouts on devices known as spiderbands. For a guaranteed big grin factor, a trampolining workout is another one to try.

All these classes are available at different levels, so being a beginner at exercise is no barrier at all. With flexible gym passes there’s no need to commit to a particular class.  All you need to do is book your space, turn up on time, and bring a towel and a bottle of water.

Try a few different classes and see what appeals.


The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Simon J.
28 June 2017

Simon J.

I wish my gym had a view like that! I have to admit I had discounted things like yoga and Pilates as 'too easy'. May need to rethink that!

Debra G.
14 June 2017

Debra G.

sweaty and breathless has to be done - but the gentler ones also work for me. They seem gentle but I know all about them the next day!

Paula C.
13 June 2017

Paula C.

Loving how these classes are all described. I love the 'sweaty, breathless ones' to make me feel like I've done a proper workout. I have also tried a few new ones such as bootcamp with my gym pass, which I never would have done before.

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