I’ll be perfectly honest – I was really nervous for my first BodyPump class. I was going to go a few weeks before, but I kept chickening out until one of my friends recently told me that she goes and absolutely loves it.
If you’ve read my previous post, where I tried Zumba for the first time, then you’ll know that I’m new to my fitness journey. I’m new to working out again and am currently not in the best shape of my life. I used to be an active child and teenager, but college hit (hard) and then I moved around a lot for a while. Now, however, I’m trying to get my fitness journey back on track. I (reluctantly) thought that I’d give BodyPump a try.
Why was I nervous for BodyPump? Well, it’s because BodyPump is basically a weightlifting class that started back in the 1990’s. They use light weights and high reps to target specific muscle groups. This method apparently wears down the muscle and leans out the body. I’m fairly new to my fitness journey and felt fairly weak, so I was super nervous about being too weak to keep up. However, that was not the case and I quite enjoyed the class.
First of all, I really enjoy group workout classes because…
a) I like not having the responsibility of planning a full workout for myself.
b) I find classes very motivational. It’s definitely intimidating, especially with the super fit people in the class, but I like having the instructor continue to push and inspire me throughout the class.
I know that not everyone likes group classes, but working full-time and being a newbie in the fitness world, I really enjoy fitness classes.
Before arriving at my first BodyPump class, I did some research and learned that you should always arrive a few minutes early to class to set up, introduce yourself as a newbie to the instructor, and bring a mat (unless your gym has a mat). So, that’s exactly what I did.
I arrived about 8 minutes early to class, saw some of the regulars begin to set up and followed their lead. I spotted the instructor and awkwardly introduced myself. She was very friendly and willing to help me figure out what I would need. It turned out that I really didn’t need my mat, but it was nice to have. In a typical class, you use a step, mat, weights and bar. There are various weight options and you can switch between weights throughout the class for different muscles, but I found the lightest weight and kept it with that for the entire class. It was just enough to where I could still complete the sets, but I was shaking during the exercising and sore afterwards. Eventually I’ll need to upsize my weights, but that’s in another week or two.
The class began with a quick warm up, followed by squats. Then it cycles through muscles like biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders, back, abs and ends with lunges and, a much needed and appreciated, cool down stretch. The shoulders and lunges were by far the most challenging for me. I could hardly get through those exercises and those were my most sore muscles afterwards.
Throughout the class, popular music was blasting through the studio and we pumped our muscles to the beat. In between sets and muscle groups, there are short breaks to adjust and add weights. Before each exercise, the instructor showed the class (aka., the newbie, me) the exercise and how to do it, along with important tips to keep in mind about form and whatnot. Then, while performing the exercise, she would announce suggestions and tips for form – basically, correcting anything I was doing wrong but not blasting it out to the whole class and putting me on the spot. It was really nice to have a trainer there to teach and correct me and my form. It was also nice to not have to think too much about what I was doing next. It’s basically follow the leader so it was easy to tune everything else out and just focus on the music.
At the end of the class, the instructor came by and asked me how I liked the class, which I said I enjoyed. She also recommended that I come back to workout the muscles again and stretch. This was something that I read online as well: After your first BodyPump class, you will be really sore but the best thing for your body is to keep working it. This may seem obvious to many, but for newbies, the last thing that you want to do when you’re really sore is workout again. I did end up going back to another class with a different instructor two days later, so hopefully I can keep up my BodyPump schedule.
When I got home after class, my muscles were sore but it wasn’t too terrible. My arms were definitely shaky and my thighs needed lots of stretching, but I could still walk. I’d heard that sometimes some people can hardly walk after BodyPump classes, especially the day after class, but I could still walk with only a little soreness. Like I mentioned earlier, my shoulders and inner thighs were super sore from the lunges and shoulder workout, but it wasn’t awful. I was able to make it to my Zumba class the day after and still enjoyed myself.
Overall, I really enjoyed BodyPump. I think that it’s a good way to build up your muscles and have a trainer there to help you. It was only 60 minutes, the supplies are all ready for you, and all you have to do it show up and sweat. Hopefully I’ll be able to see results from this class in the coming weeks.
So, if you’re looking to build muscle and are intimidated by the gym, I think that BodyPump classes could be for you.
Thank you for reading! Have you tried BodyPump or enjoy weightlifting? Let me know in the comments below and like this post if you want more like it!