I got this week’s spoonful to embrace group fitness started off right away with a BodyPump class this morning at my gym, O2 Fitness. I was definitely very nervous going in, but as with most things that make me nervous, it wasn’t nearly as intimidating as I made it out to be in my mind!
BodyPump is a total-body strength workout using barbells and basic strength-training moves that I believe anyone with a basic familiarity with weights could master fairly easily. The class focuses on one muscle group at a time and uses lots of repetitions to get you fit fast.
When I first walked in, I immediately felt more at ease – there were women of all shapes, sizes and ages taking the class, and there were a couple of others there for the first time as well so I wasn’t the only newbie.
I walked up to the instructor and let her know it was my first class, and she took me over to the equipment area and got me all set up with a barbell, the weight plates, a step riser, and a mat.
Photo from PBFingers.com
She started me off with 5 lb plates on each side of the barbell, explaining that they recommend starting off with lighter weights than I normally would use in the weight room due to the speed and number of repetitions. I didn’t argue She also gave me a couple of 2.5 lb plates that we ended up using without the barbell during the triceps and abs segments. Normally you increase and decrease the weight on the barbell throughout the workout, but as a beginner she recommended I stick to what I started with.
Once I was all set up, she got the class going with a quick warmup, then launched immediately into the real workout. BodyPump gets updated regularly with new music and moves, but the order in which you work the muscle groups is always the same:
Each section is set to its own song, and you do the exercises for the entire duration of the song. The total workout is 60 minutes, and it seemed to fly by! Normally in the weights room I get a little bored after 20-30 minutes, so that was a refreshing change for sure. I think a big part of it is the music – it’s loud and energizing, and it keeps the pace of the class brisk.
I kept up with everything pretty well I believe, although it clarified for me exactly where my weakest areas are – abs and back. I had a lot of trouble with the series of walking planks during the abs segment, and I had a little bit of difficulty during the back exercises when I had to hold the barbell behind my head because I don’t have the best mobility in my shoulders (although thanks to regular yoga, that issue is improving). But for my first class, I was pretty darn happy with how well I kept up!
I’m sure I will be feeling it in the morning, but it was nothing to be scared about! I broke a decent sweat and definitely felt like I worked every part of my body, but I do think I could have handled more weight on at least some of the exercises. I will definitely be going back, and I’m really looking forward to testing my limits in such a fun, supportive environment.
Big thanks to Kimberly at O2 Fitness for welcoming me into your class today and showing me the ropes! I hope I’ve inspired some of you to give it a shot as well – be sure to let me know what you think if you try it out!