Saturday, August 9, 2014

Switch It Up Saturday: Les Mills BodyPump

I love group exercise classes and I cannot lie (Get it? A little 'Baby Got Back' reference...).  Okay, seriously, though, there is something so much more fun about working out in a class.  Doing so while lifting weights is no different.  A few years ago, 24 Hour Fitness brought Les Mills' BodyPump to their clubs.  I didn't jump on the bandwagon at first, but about a year later, I started to take the class before teaching my own class.  I've been hooked ever since.
This class is a completely pre-choreographed format that hits every body part for 4-5 minutes (sometimes even a little more) using a barbell with interchangeable plates.  The choreography uses changes in tempo and different moves to constantly challenge your body in different ways.  It's a great way to get a whole-body workout in an hour, and as a runner, it not only challenges your strength, but also endurance.  Hello--6 minutes of squats!  I've seen the buffest of men quiver during the squat track!!!

In taking the classes, I definitely got stronger, but about a year ago I decided to take the plunge and add BodyPump to my skill set.  I registered, and then received a scholarship from the gym to get certified.  THAT really got me stronger!  They really pushed all of us to build strength and push ourselves past our limits.  Immediately after the training, I increased my weights and really started to see and feel a huge difference.  I got stronger, and in turn, my running really improved too. 

So, in case you aren't convinced, here are my top 5 reasons why I love this class:
1.  You build strength AND endurance--no baby weights, and no stopping after 10 reps!
2.  You get real instruction. Les Mills has a strong training program and specific reminders that keep your form in check.
3.  Great music--and it's not just one type. If you are like me and love (almost) all music, you'll love this class.
4.  You hit it all in an hour: warm-up, squats, chest, back, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, abs, cool-down.  Done. Period.
5.  Your body changes.  As women, we are inherently afraid of weights, but strength changes your body--and this class develops strength.  I LOVE what it has done for my body. 

I gotta know!  Have you ever tried a BodyPump class?  Do you like to lift weights or do you avoid them? 

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