BodyPump isn’t as easy as you think

Earlier this week, a friend of a friend was talking a little smack about BodyPump, claiming it’s an easy class where folks lift “wimpy” weights.

It just so happens it was the night before my regular Wednesday class, and I just laughed at that comment, used it as motivation and went up on a couple of weights while teaching some very challenging tracks.

That leads to the very point of this post. A great deal of my friends are Les Mills tribe members, some living as far away as Great Britain, Brazil, Texas, Tennessee, Maryland, California and yes, New Zealand, and we all share a common bond while “stealing each other’s shit.”

While some of my non-Les Mills/gym friends have a solid idea what BodyPump is – one of them even took her first PUMP class right around the same time she started dating her current boyfriend – most of them think of BodyPump as an easy workout, since the weights are light.

Yes, they are light weights, but when you’re in the weight room, you wouldn’t be doing 80-pound squats for 5 and a half minutes. It doesn’t seem like a lot,  but three sets and 24 bottom-half singles later, your legs are going to be screaming.

This post is not meant to scare any prospective first-timers from doing PUMP – it is a class for everyone and anyone, and it is loads of fun. While it is a class for everyone, don’t think you’re just going to come into that room, coast through the workout, head on home and have a glass of wine. Earlier this week, a fellow instructor and I threw a chest track with LOTS of push-ups into the mix, and after class, a lot of my regulars kept saying, “that was tough, thanks for the challenging workout.”

What the naysayers don’t know is that lifting the somewhat light resistance over a 60-minute period makes you stronger. Especially when you do it three times a week. Trust me, I’ve encountered a lot of naysayers over my 2-plus years in the group fitness industry. But rather than choose to get frustrated, I simply use it as motivation, like any athlete would.

My advice to all the naysayers out there who are dissing BodyPump is give it a try. Most of the naysayers I know haven’t tried the class. You’ll be surprised the results it brings, and the amount of fun you’ll have. If people have more weight on their barbell than you do, so what? Don’t judge. This is group fitness, for pete’s sake! It’s supposed to be a good time, not a competition! There’s no winners and losers, we’re all winners in any way shape or form. While fellow instructors and I compete on weights once in a while, we’re only trying to have a good time and bring out the best in each other.

Also, if someone pokes fun at your workout, ignore it and use it as motivation. Hey, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school team as a sophomore and he turned out OK, now didn’t he?

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.