In the past, going to the gym has been boring and somewhat intimidating with all the weights and machines. Often you get one time instruction from a qualified instructor on how to use the machine and how many reps to do. There is some supervision but it is limited and scarce if the club gets busy, which is the prime time YOU are working out. When gyms and health clubs added aerobic classes, those places became friendlier and easier to use. Because classes are a group environment, people could get a work-out in an hour rather than waiting around to use the weights and machines which could take 2 hours. The problem with aerobic classes, step aerobics, spinning, yoga and all the other aerobic type classes is that while giving the body a cardio workout they don’t build much muscle. They don’t focus on the entire body in individual parts to work the muscle groups. There has never been a class oriented weight lifting, muscle shaping /strengthening class…until now!!
Body Pump is an export from New Zealand that comes to the US. This new program is designed to “reduce body fat, improve muscular conditioning and reshape your body in ways you wouldn’t get from any other exercise program” says the president of Sports life, an Atlanta-based chain of health clubs that helped launch the program.
After reading about Body Pump in a magazine, I immediately called the company handling the Body Pump program. When I say immediately, I mean I really did. I talked with Rich Boggs that same day. Rich Boggs is the head of The STEP Company that came out with the most widely used step platform in the fitness industry. His company is known for innovative and quality product such as the Body Bar and The STEP. Rich was kind enough to send me not only press material but videos covering this new program. Body Pump has hardly made a dent yet in Los Angeles, but 24 Hour Fitness Clubs are about to introduce it at 85 clubs as they roll out this new fitness program. After talking with other Body Pump representatives and instructors, I can see why everyone is so excited about this new exercise program.
It is simply a hone hour class of weightlifting to aerobic music working each major muscle group. It is led by an expertly trained instructor who keeps classes small and informal so that the instructor can correct the participants. The weights initially are light: a 3 pound bar bell with additional 5 pound plates added on in different increments. It is easy to use for men and fun and especially women-friendly.
It is aimed at the segment of the population who:
1) Wants to use weight machines but finds it boring and too solitary.
2) Hates waiting to use machines when gyms and clubs are crowded; and
3) Those who want a quick work-out that will boost metabolism and calorie burn while maximizing the muscle work-out all within a 60 minute period.
It is extremely efficient and fun. Each muscle group gets attention and has a different musical segment keyed just to that muscle group. What this means is that the progression of the class is linear and predictable. From class to class the people may change and the weight you lift may change, but the basic work-out will not. The program has been standardized so that if you take a class in Atlanta, you will get the same work-out in LA, Chicago or Texas. It is the camaraderie of everyone working together that makes it fun. And you are out in 60 minutes flat with a body pumping, muscle working, calorie burning sweating workout. Sound too good to be true??
Nope!! This program has an advisory board of some of the leading fitness professionals in the business overseeing this burgeoning fitness phenomenon. It is so awesome to see men and women together lifting weights, encouraging each other while they work through this class. It is fun and the music and the instructors keep it fun and light (hearted; not in weights).You lift what you can and then you progress to heavier weights as you get fitter. Your body looks better and you slim down faster because the muscles get stronger, leaner and burn a ton more calories.