Getting Started: Don’t go too heavy!

Now that I’ve explained to some degree what BodyPump is, and what to expect from the class, it’s time to get over that first hump: Trying the class for the first time.

I’ll start by saying a high percentage of BodyPump participants at both gyms I’ve taught at are women. For whatever reason, most men either don’t enjoy group fitness as they do pumping iron in the weight room, or simply don’t like the setting. However, a lot of folks don’t realize that taking classes such as BodyPump can burn a LOT more calories than an hour on the treadmill (aka Dreadmill) or the Eliptical machine. And, it’s a LOT more fun!

Even if you’re a seasoned weightlifter, don’t expect to chuck a ton of weight on your barbell when you step into your first BodyPump class. Why? Because in the weight room, you’re only under tension for about 15, 20 seconds, as opposed to up to four and a half minutes in BodyPump.

In other words, if it’s your debut and you toss 60 pounds on that bar for the squat track, your legs will be screaming after the first set, and there’s at least three remaining!!

The big key: Start slow and let your muscles get used to the longer amounts of tension, particularly in the slower tempos, since those beats keep the muscles under tension longer. You also may find yourself doing moves not typically found in the weight room, such as bicep rows and tricep kickbacks. Also, you want to make sure you maintain proper form, especially in the second half of the track, when the muscles tend to fatigue.

Once you take the class two or three times, and you are feeling good about it, that is the time to start upping the weights. Trust me, it took me a while too! The most important things those first few times are to have some fun, get used to the music and the moves, and making sure your technique is spot-on! Maintaining proper form is the most important factor of your BodyPump workout, especially those first few classes, as improper form is an easy way to get hurt. After that, the rest is history, and who knows, maybe you’ll be on stage one day, changing the world!

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.