Friday, October 29, 2010

Bodypump Basics

I have been going to BODYPUMP class for a little over a year. I have gotten into a pretty good routine that has allowed me to go at least once a week, sometimes once every 5 days or so.

Facts about BODYPUMP:
(taken from Les Mills BODYPUMP Website)

  • 60 minute barbell class that strengthens the entire body.
  • includes squats, presses, lunges, lifts, and curls.
  • every workout is choreographed with upbeat music. There is a new workout every 3 months.
  • class is designed to improve strength and endurance in the major muscle groups, and burning calories - up to 600 calories per class for fat loss.
  • improves bone density.

Our BODYPUMP Classes:

  • We have some great instructors that really make the class fun.
  • Every session starts with a warmup, working all muscles. Then each song throughout the class works a different muscle group, quads, hamstrings, glutes, triceps, biceps, shoulders, etc.
  • At the end of every class, it slows down with some ab/core work and planks, which sometimes includes walking and rocking planks.

Things I have noticed:

  • This class has been a fun way for me to corporate strength training (and more endurance) into my workout routine.
  • Being a runner, swimmer, and biker, I thought I was working many different muscles across these disciplines - but have realized that my legs (particularly quads/hamstrings), glutes, and hip flexors are still my "weakest link". If I go more than a week without taking this class, I find my hamstrings, glutes, and sometimes groin muscles to be extremely sore after a workout - mostly from the lunges and squats.
  • By incorporating this into my workout routine, I have noticed huge dividends in my running and biking. I have been able to run pain free (for the most part) for the past 6 months at least, by strengthening all of these muscles!
  • The music is usually pretty cool and the time flies by super fast!

Tips for Newbies:

  • Start out with minimal weights. I would even advise with some of the routines to just focus on doing them without weights, as your body may not be used to them (such as squats and lunges).
  • If you start taking a BODYPUMP class, try to get into a routine of going once a week. I find that this works best for me. Before increasing the amount of weight you put on your barbell, I think it would be more beneficial to try and go more often, but remember to rest between workouts. I would love to be able to go every 4 or 5 days if I could plan it into my schedule better. (LesMills recommends no more than 2-3 times per week.)
  • In addition to starting out with minimal weights, don't try and be "That Guy". You know, the guy that lifts daily, sometimes twice a day and then decides to take BODYPUMP class and use more weight than any regular in the class. This class is different from regular weight lifting and trainers have commented how it is more challenging than P90X.
  • If you can't keep up with the reps through the 3-5 minute song, then you have TOO much weight.
  • If you can't lift the weights appropriately, then you have too much weight. Example - if you are rocking your body or swinging your arms while doing bicep curls, you have too much weight.
  • Posture and doing each routine accurately is very important. Anytime you stray away from this, you are putting yourself in a position where you might injure yourself. The instructors are very good about reminding you of where your elbows need to be when doing bicep curls, how your wrists should be locked when doing shoulder presses, and where your knees should be when doing squats, etc.
  • Talking through the entire class with your friend or texting between routines is highly frowned upon. This is more a personal note of mine, but I know that it not only irritates others taking the class but the instructor as well. If you can carry on a conversation the entire time you are doing walking lunges and then between routines, you probably aren't working hard enough or don't have enough weight - just my personal opinion.

Have you ever tried a BODYPUMP class?
Do you like it?
What kind of strength training routine do you do?

(Note: I am not a personal trainer and I am not trained to teach BODYPUMP class. This post consists mostly of my personal opinions)


Jen said...

I LOVE bodypump classes!! I feel so strong after and it's a great way to strength train without having to *think* about it!

Jess said...

I've never taken a Body Pump class, mainly because I don't belong to a gym. I think it would be a lot of fun and it's something I'd consider if I belonged a gym.

Wes said...

sounds like somebody needs to P90X it :-) Good stuff!

Diana Tries-A-Tri! said...

We have this at my gym but they call is Power Pump. It sounds like exactly the same thing though! I like it and my booty definitely likes it (my glutes are always screaming the next day), the instructor I go to though, while I really like her, she sometimes keeps going, 'one more song' and it ends up over 90 minutes. That's just way too much for me! It is a super fun class though, love the music!

Marlene said...

I wish my gym had a BodyPump class! I'm going back to "Bootcamp" on Saturday which incorporates strength with cardio intervals, but not nearly as intense as what you're describing.

Aimee said...

I've thought about going to a Bodypump class, but just haven't. Your post has encouraged me to give it a try!

Emz said...

I'm a loser.

I have never even heard of this.

Sounds awesome!!

Julie @ HotlegsRunner said...

haven't tried it. but I just lift some weights. looking forward to trying out the P90x or insanity. haven't decided which one I should do first.

Unknown said...

I don't think I've ever seen bodypump offered at my gym

justme said...

my gym has bodypump (at least it use to) i took it and liked it but now i do more of bootcamp which i feel like incorporates weight and cardio...

justme said...


Unknown said...

Body Pump...Hmmm I don't think there are any of these classes here! Something to start?! hmmmm

Steel Springs said...

My brother and I took a few classes last summer that were similar to Bodypump. I thought they were fun! I took my brother to the class because I was trying to get him into more of a fitness and exercise routine and a class like this was more comfortable for him than the weight room (with sometimes intimidating lifters and no one to watch his form) and the classes that had few (if any) males. After such a positive review from you, I'd love to try a true Bodypump class.

chris mcpeake said...

never heard of this. will have to check it out

Anne said...

Nicely informative post here. I took a class with my sister years ago and realized the same thing about my lower body not being as strong as I thought. They don't offer a class at my current gym or this post would make me sign up again.

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