From the floor to the stage

It’s amazing how people can get hooked on group fitness in so little time. After my first few months of being a BodyPump participant, I was more than sold on the class, and the benefits it was reaping.

In February of 2010, after taking a class with a BDN co-worker who just happened to be an instructor at Bangor-Brewer Athletic Club, she pulled me aside and asked, “have you ever thought about becoming an instructor?”

At first I just chuckled and said no, as the first thought that popped into my head was, c’mon, I’m not that good! But I subsequently saw a notice that BBAC needed new instructors, and a month later, I was taking the plunge into training!

Now, for those of you who think becoming an instructor is a walk in the park, it is far from it. Initial training for BodyPump is probably the toughest thing I’ve ever done athletically, and as a longtime competitive runner, I’ve endured hill workouts, mile repeats, and 10-mile runs in blizzards.

Initial training is three days long, and you’re introduced to the Les Mills culture, and the nuts and bolts of being an instructor. My trainer was from Boise, Idaho, and we got along extremely well, mainly because she loves college football and her Boise State Broncos!

The first day consists of the trainer taking us through a Masterclass of the latest release, or BodyPump 73 in our case, and going over the nuts-and-bolts of instructing, and why we want to be on stage. For me, the biggest thing was to get more kids (high school-aged) in classes, as childhood obesity has become a huge problem in our society.

The second day is easily the toughest, as you have to present one of eight tracks (mine was Triceps) twice, and go through the BodyPump Challenge, which makes the Boston Marathon look easy. By the time your second presentation comes around, your body is completely zapped of energy. Luckily, one of the girls from BBAC was my partner during the challenge, and we were able to feed off each other and push through it.

Of course, the training is much more than lifting, fitness magic, and nailing your track. Your evenings after each day have to be free, as that time is spent memorizing choreography for your subsequent presentation. It wasn’t that difficult for me fortunately, but you get sick of those songs after a while 😛

The third day was more of a coronation of all our hard work. I had the Squat track for the third day, which is my biggest strength in Pump, and it couldn’t have gone any perfectly! I wound up passing the module with flying colors, and that is where the long journey to becoming the best of the best begins! Trust me, it is a very long journey, with plenty of adversity, but you’ll have to wait for those details!

Coming soon in this blog, I’ll have video presentations featuring an “exercise of the day,” in which I’ll demonstrate proper technique and execution for a certain move in BodyPump.

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.