In the summer of 1979, when Herb Brooks kicked off practices with the U.S. Olympic hockey team, he knew that his squad was short on talent, but promised that they would be the best conditioned.
After I booked my spot at AIM II next month, I took those thoughts to heart, knowing that at 6’2, 185 pounds, I may not be the strongest guy in Virginia in April, but figured why not be the best conditioned?
What I’m getting at is conditioning in BodyPump training is just as important as training to win a gold medal, national championship or Super Bowl. While a BodyPump class is only an hour long, if you’re not well-conditioned and don’t have proper endurance, it doesn’t matter how strong you are. Chances are you’re going to be gasping for air before your hour of power is over.
One thing I’ve tried over the last few weeks is doing cardio approximately an hour prior to taking the stage…i.e. 15-20 minutes of light running on the treadmill, and it has helped, as my squat, lunge, chest and shoulder weights have all increased over the last week. If you’re well-conditioned, it’s that little-known secret that will get you through that fourth set, those last round of bottom half-singles, or a pesky set of 16 push-ups at the conclusion of a shoulder track!
But the big reason I’m upping the conditioning is knowing that I’m going to be presenting four times in two days at AIM II, and that both days involve 10 hours of BodyPump, not to mention the trek to Virginia. Yes, it is grueling, and my main focus is to have the most gas left in the tank on the final presentation of the final day. Hey, a lot could be on the line!
On my off or non-BodyPump days, my cardio typically consists of power lunges (a move usually found in BodyAttack), some sprints outside the gym, and once the track in Brewer clears, sprint workouts. No, you won’t find me doing any “Herbies,” or the hockey version of suicides, anytime soon. Another good way to up the cardio a bit is to try the eliptical machine in the gym, or take RPM Cycling, another Les Mills program which I do at least twice a week.
On a side note, BodyPump 81 came in the mail a few days ago, which is like Christmas to instructors. That is the release I’ll be doing at AIM II, so needless to say I’ve got to start learning it right away. It’s a good release with some killer music and some new tempos, so I’m excited to see how the participants respond to it.