Thursday, March 13, 2014

Pump it Up

Before I became a member of the Y, one thing I always heard from friends of mine who were members was: “BODY PUMP IS AWESOME.” Or maybe something like: “OmigoshBodyPumphurtssogoodyouhavetotryit! Also: OUCH.” So when the day finally came when I would finally make it to Body Pump at the South Shore YMCA I was…um...pumped? At the very least I was excited to take the class that I’d heard such good things about.

A lot of what scares people about a class like this is 1) There is a lot of “gear” involved and 2) There are lots of repetitions with the weights. Let’s talk about both.

1) Getting Started

It says on the class schedule to arrive early 10-15 minutes to set up. Although a seasoned Body Pump veteran wouldn’t need so much time, I got there 15 minutes early to talk to the instructor and figure out what weights I would be needing for class. In addition to mat I ended up with a stepper, two sets of light to medium dumbbells as well as a barbell and some varied weights to swap on and off of the bar depending on what muscle group we were working. Since I wasn’t familiar with the barbell she helped me figure out how much weight I would be needing and gave me some tips for how much weight to put on (i.e. start light and add if needed, squatting will be your heaviest weight of the day, etc.)

2) All those repetitions.

They are not kidding around.  LOTS of reps! I’m the type of person who is used to heavier weight/fewer repetitions so I was glad I listened to her advice to start lighter. What I thought was a good amount of weight for me would start to buuuurrrn about halfway through the song- whether it was overhead presses with the barbell or lunging lunging lunging again and again. Like the Body Combat class, each song had a “theme”. There was track for squatting, one for rowing, one for overhead pressing (and so forth.) By the end of class I had used every combination of weights on my barbell as well as both sets of dumbbells.

I can definitely see why this class is popular. A lot of people find strength training to be boring so the lively atmosphere and music help to keep the energy high. Plus, the higher repetitions add a level of cardio to the workout as well. So if you’ve ever gone back and forth about a Body Pump class don’t be intimidated! Just get there early, don’t go overboard on the weight and have fun!

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