Getting Back into Body Pump

Happy Thursday! After seven days down in Savannah, our Christmas vacation has come to a close. Cold, dreary rain kept us inside today and provided us with the perfect opportunity to unpack our suitcases and put away the Christmas decorations. Even though it’s only 2pm, I am ready for a break after working non-stop on cleaning and putting away the Christmas decorations all morning.  Is it just me or does it seem like it takes 2x as long to take the decorations down and wrap them with care as it does to decorate.

Now that our Christmas vacation in Savannah has come to a close, I will be blogging daily. I have a lot of content lined up for the next few days including two workout reviews, first trimester reflections and suggestions, as well as thoughts on 2016. Today’s post is the first of two workout reviews coming over the next week.

If you’re a new reader, you may not recall that I’ve been a BodyPump fan for years. When I lived in Wayne, Pennsylvania the neighborhood gym featured BodyPump on the workout schedule three mornings per week. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday you could find me in the group fitness studio lifting and laughing with the same group of women each morning from 6:30-7:30. I remember the first time I walked in the studio, unsure what to expect. But an hour later I walked out energized and exhilarated by the very balanced workout. Unfortunately, after two years of BodyPump classes, I had to say goodbye to my favorite workout when I moved to New York City other than a few opportunities to enjoy Les Mills classes like Body Attack when we lived in Switzerland.

Until last month, when we joined the Brooklyn Dodge YMCA, it was virtually impossible to include BodyPump in my workout routine. In New York City there are very few gyms that have BodyPump or the other Les Mills workouts. Luckily, once again, I have access to this workout since the YMCA offers it seven times each week.  Since some of you may not know what this workout is, even though you’ve probably heard friends talk about it or even seen it on your gym’s schedule, let me give you some background.

body-pump-workout

BodyPump is a weight-training group fitness class which was created by Les Mills International, a New Zealand based company whose popular group fitness classes are taught at gyms around the world.  A typical class is 55 minutes long and features 10 different songs. During each song, the workout focuses on a different part of the body.

body-pump-tracks

As you can see, you are able to push yourself during each track since you are done with that body part after that song is over. The music ranges depending on which release or version your teacher uses that day.  On January 14th, 2017 gyms around the world will celebrate the release of Body Pump 100, the latest release.

body-pump-weights

During each class, students use a step, risers, mat and a Les Mills branded barbell and plates. Students are able to add weight, as desired, using weight plates which range from 1 pound to 20 pounds.  If you’re a beginner, it is advised to experiment with the weights during your first few classes, starting light and adding on as needed in order to reduce the risk of injury.

Another aspect that I like about the class format is that the moves are simple enough for a beginner or pregnant woman to master without injury. In so many of the high intensity interval classes I’ve taken in NYC, the compound moves often result in me falling a step or two behind and sometimes not being able to keep up. Since BodyPump includes moves such as squats, chest presses, dead rows, and lunges it is easier to ensure I use the correct form. In addition, since I am able to personalize my weights and the moves include a reduced range of motion compared to many other types of resistance workouts, it is a great way for me to increase muscle tone and strength throughout my pregnancy.  Both the instructors who teach at the YMCA are very familiar with prenatal adjustments and suggest that once it is no longer comfortable to lie on my back, they will help me turn the bench into an incline as well as provide alternative ab exercises during that track. My goal is to include at least one, if not two, BodyPump classes in my prenatal workout routine during the next six months. I know that once Baby Girl Diamond arrives I’ll need lots of strength to lift, feed and keep up with her!

Your turn: Have you tried BodyPump before? What’s your favorite track? 

The above is a sponsored post in partnership with Les Mills but, as always, all opinions are my own.

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