We all know that weight training’s good for us — it keeps our bones strong, it helps us burn more calories when we’re just sitting around and it adds muscle tone for a nice and lean look. BUT, weight training is a bit of a bore when you do it on your own. Not to mention having to share the weight training section of the gym with hardcore meatheads who sometimes grunt and look like neanderthals.
So, how do you get the benefits of weight training without boring yourself to death? BODYPUMP! Originally created in 1991 by the Kiwis, BodyPump is now taught all over the world in a homogenized way via Les Mills (the company who also own the rights to BodyCombat, BodyAttack, BodyFlow, etc.). Funny enough, the original objective of BodyPump was to get men into the aerobics room, whereas these days, it’s one of the few ways to get women to pick up some weights!
BodyPump is usually a 60-minute weight lifting class done to different tracks of inspirational, uptempo music (that’s updated seasonally with the hottest tracks) that starts with a warmup track and a track each for squats, chest, back, lunges, biceps, triceps, shoulders, abs before a cool down. There’s also a 45-minute version of the class that omits the biceps and triceps for those with less time to spare, which is the one I usually take at Pure during lunch hour.
The instructor I take the class most from is Luis, a muscular, tattooed and boisterous Latino man with enough momma jokes to keep you entertained throughout each class. His most famous line is, “C’mon! My mother can do this better/faster than you!”
Be warned — if you go all out during a BodyPump class, you will likely be crippled the next 2-4 days, meaning you will lose all control of your thigh muscles and need to hobble around Hong Kong and be helped down stairs, not to mention having no strength left in your arms. One way to prevent this is to stretch completely after every class (don’t rely on the cool down track, you’ll need at least another 10 minutes of proper stretching to prevent the crippled phase).
Ready to give it a go? Here’s what you’ll need: A step elevated by two levels, covered by a mat and towel, plus a BodyPump barbell and weights to put on each end (start small with two donuts if you’re just a beginner, and add on weight as you get stronger week by week).
Aim for 2-3 classes of BodyPump per week and you should start to feel stronger and leaner in no time. And don’t worry about bulking up if you’re a girl — you’d have to lift crazy amount of weights to do so (like the guys). Good luck and hope you like it! 🙂
(Photo courtesy of The Bone Architect)