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This is another les mills class I went to (I have another review on body combat, and I still have a few more classes to review). the body pump posters around my gym (when I used to go to one), had phrases like "when your body tells you its had enough, tell it to shut up" with huge men lifting silly amounts of weight. The class is actually nothing like this, so here is the review:
First of all you step in, and line up (again this class is mainly women dominated, but this class is not really aimed more at women, but more on this later), and you each grab a mat, a pole thing, and some weights. You start by doing some warm ups, and then the instructor plays some music, and you have to do a series of weight lifts. Life for example, life the weight over 2 seconds, then drop it in 1, and repeat, maybe 30 times, then a 10 second break, then into a new position, with different timings. Although this may sound silly, it can actually be surprisingly difficult to life a weight over say 2 seconds rather than in one go, so you don't need to heavy weights to get a workout (can't remeber what weight I was using, but I think it was around 30 kg or so in a bar). And you do this for about 45 minute, working on different muscles (so you do things like squats, bench presses and so on). At the end your muscles do ache, and you are normally out of breath. Whats great about this though is that everyone can do it, as if you are weaker or less fit, then you can jus topt for a lower weight, or no weight at all!
I liked this program because its actually a pretty cool workout, and its kinda cardio as well as msucle training, because some of the exercises are more cardio rather than strength based (like say the squats), whereas others are msucle based. However, I did not go to the class again, as I did not like being the only guy there, its just awkward in a gym class. However I think this is not just a problem for me alone, later in the year I saw signs up saying "common lads, think you can lift more than the girls" body pump poster. So obviously there is some universal problem with guys going to this class. I think part of this may be to due with male psychology, we don't really like classes as much, and partly maybe because generally men have long work hours, so are less able to make daytime gym classes? I do not know, but I do know that it was a really good program, but the fact the only reason I don't want to go is because i don't want to be the only guy there.
Overall then, I give the program 3/5. It would be 4/5 if there were other guys there, but sadly this is not the case, in my local gym at least.
Body Pump is a weight bearing exercise class which has been running in gyms across the country for at least 10 years (well thats how long I've been going on and off!!) It is designed to strengthen your entire body through a series of workouts which challenge different parts of your body, using different weights. Although and exercise phobic I find BodyPump to be one of the most effective workouts that I have tried and each time I give up exercising and put on a little bit of flab it is always BodyPump that I return to.
Designed by an Amercian firm Les Mills, BodyPump seems to be available at most gyms. The class is made up of little mini workouts using different weights during to target various parts of the body.
The class starts with:
Warm up: Using the bar with light weights ( I use around 7kg for this track) you slowly warm up yourbody using a variety of exercises. This track should use the lightest weight of the class and is a nice way to get you started.
Squats: This is the biggest weight group and the killer. Usually a fast paced workout lasting around 4-5 minutes you use 2-3 times your warmup weight to squat. The squats are at different rates, slow down, fast up, fast up and down you get the picture. The lower you go the more it works! Apparently anyway. THis is the killer but within weeks you can see the tone of your legs changing.
Chest press: Again a favourite but purely as you get to lie on the step. Chest presses for 4-5 mins. Again at different rates.
Back: My favourite track. Again using heavy weights, exercise and toning the back muscles using rowing type exercises. By toning this area you are massively improving your back and helping develop the abs.
Triceps: You used to get to lie down for this one but they've changed it recently. Using smaller handweights toning those tricep with a variety of movements
Biceps: Using the bar to tone those biceps. THis can be a killer however, usually by then I have begun to chicken out and start reducing my weights.
The class is then completed in a similar way, focusing on the legs again with lunges, shoulders and abs. You then finish the class with a good stretch.
My only criticism of the class is that you don't get enough time to stretch between each track and its important that you have a good stretch at home as well as in the class.
Every 3 months a new class is released with new upbeat music. Their is a different track for each mini workout. Quite often the music has been in the charts and it varies between recently released tracks and old favourites. Currently there is a mix of Lady Gaga, U2 and some other chart hits that I can't name.
They do like their Pink though as she regularly features in the workouts!
Does it work? Oh yes it does. After your first class, or your first for a while, your whole body aches. But after a while your body gets used to it and its time to up those weights! I find that within 3 weeks my body is starting to show tone and those women and men who attend every week without fail seem to have perfectly sculpted bodies. Unfortunately I am one of those who always chickens out of the gym when I get busy so everynow and then I have to start again however, I always return to BodyPump.
Similar style to Body Attack where you work through pre set music and excercises that change every 3 months or so.
This one focuses on bar work for the most part and with each track you focus on a different muscle group.
So again you start with a mid weight warm up track and do a series of short squats, lunges, biceps and most excercises you'll be doing in the next hour or so.
Track 2 is squats in focus working on your leg muscles and should be a heavy weight. Bottom halfs help make the track harder at this point.
Track 3 is on the bench for the chest press where you'll have a nice lie down.
Track 4 you're back on your feet and into the back track (clean and press as the instructors call it).
Other tracks work on the shoulders, biceps, triceps, abs and at the end you have a nice non intensive warm down.
Each track lasts around 5 minutes and you'll need to be able to change weights on the bar quickly between excercises.
You can do these in most city cetnre fitness centres world wide, but not small town ones as the licenses are generally too expensive. There are DVDs, but they are not commercially available. However, if you're friends with an instructor you can always ask to loan them. This though then misses out on class comradship.
An excellent, dynamic, challenging workout. I only started going to Body Pump classes in September and have achieved a more toned body and feel alot more stronger. I was accustomed to weight training but not like this. Solitary training is ok for those who achieve results from it, but these classes have definately made me more motivated to increase my weight load, thus making it more challenging. The Instructor is clearly someone who has worked for her body and that inspires others to aspire to a higher level. The class begins with a warm up, using relatively light weights whereby the repetitions are minimal. we tend to do the lunge track against the wall - which makes it very hard for you to cheat. The track we do each leg to is Will Smiths' Get jiggy, which, if you can withstand burning sensation in your legs, makes you feel a sense of achievement. Lately one class has been adapted to be more of a circuit, whereby we do reps of one movement for a minute, which increases to 3 excruciating minutes! The atmosphere in the class is electric, as we are all trying to keep in beat with the Instructor, and when the word "relax" is heard at the end of a track, weights are literally dropped to the floor in exhaustion! The class is challenging, without a doubt and if you want to push yourself it's worth every ounce of sweat! There are 3 classes a week, and i feel that a few more during the week would be beneficial, apart from that, I have no qualms about pushing myself to my limits just 3 times a week!
I have been doing Body Pump whenever and wherever I can for 4 years. I have taken classes in 4 countries on 3 continents, and whenever I move to a new place, it's the first thing I look for when finding a new gym. It is simply one of my favourite classes at the gym, and I never tire of it.
Body Pump is a weights class, which in itself is a funny thing to be. Traditionally, group exercise classes are for the girls and weights are for the boys in my experience, but Body Pump, like Body Combat, another class in the franchise, is one which has managed to unite the sexes and seems to have universal appeal. Classes are an hour long (though an "express" 45 minute version is also available) and are only available in gyms who have a license for the franchise. Instructors are specially trained (they have to submit a video of a real class they're leading before they get their final accreditation) and are supposed to dress in certain clothes, as with other classes in the Body Systems series. The gyms provide the, branded equipment you need, and you just have to show up with a water bottle, a towel, and a can-do attitude. The class has set choreography from which instructors cannot deviate. They also cannot change the order of the exercises since each one is matched to the track on the CD. Every few months a new Release is released, with brand new music, and the exercises change slightly to keep it fresh.
The first time I did Body Pump I thought it was a novel idea, to have a grunting, huffing weight lifting class set to Top 40 music, but I soon grew to adore it. You start the class by getting a stack of weights and making up your bar, adding disks to it at the level you require. The bars are easy to manage, and can fit a great stack of weights on, though I tend to end up with only two or three on each side. The first track is a warm-up where you quickly run through exercises for all the muscle groups you will be targeting, except the abs. Then you move on to the individual tracks which each work one muscle group for the duration of the song. Down-time is unavoidable because you have to add or reduce weights between each track (since, for example, legs are usually stronger than triceps) but after a few classes you soon become adept at whizzing off the place holders, changing the weights, and fastening them again.
Body Pump is a very simple class, because there are only a few movements to learn for each muscle group. The variation comes in the timing - 'up for 3/down for 1', and then 'up 2/down 2' for example. However the music is lively and changing from one muscle group to another every track keeps it from getting boring. I used to be a typical girl who just did cardio, no weights. Now I do some weight machines in the gym, but whenever I can I prefer to trade them for a Pump class. There's no way I will do an hour's weights on my own, nor will I work my way through every body part, but put me in a Pump class and I'll happily squat, lunge, catch and dip with the rest of them.
At first it can be hard to know which weights to use, but you soon learn (though usually the hard way, by going too heavy and flaking out half-way through the track). I tend to have two different weight options, one for legs/back and another, lighter one for arms, chest and shoulders, though some people change every track, adding or reducing by a little. I haven't managed to find a way to correlate my weights on my Pump bar with those on the machines in the gym, but it's not too hard to remember what you need in each place. If you go to Pump regularly you should be able to add weight after a while, as your muscles grow stronger - I am now using double what I started with, though am a long way off some of the scary-ass man-women in the class.
According to the official blurb, Pump can burn up to 600 calories per class, improve your strength (duh), improve your general fitness, shape and tone your muscles and improve bone density. It is very important to have correct form in this class since you are working with weights, and a good instructor will always correct you. I have also been to some gyms where they have a special 30 minute "technique" class before the main event, so newbies can learn the ropes at a more relaxed pace, because during the class there's not really time to stop and reposition. I took The Boy to his first class last Sunday and watching him struggle through some of the positions reminded me of what I was like when I first started - now I hardly have to think about it, and the moves come as second nature to me.
The moves you will generally find in any Pump release include squats and lunges (the latter sometimes on a step, to add intensity / the ouch factor). You will do press-ups (sometimes twice per class), bicep curls, triceps kick backs and something I was convinced for over a year was called a "Klingon Press" (it's actually a Clean and Press...I just had Star Trek on the brain at that point). I love these because they make me feel like a proper weight lifter as you "throw" and catch the weight. The penultimate section is always abs, which includes crunches, planks and bicycles, and then you stay lying on the floor and finish with a cool down and stretch
Despite the good calorie burn, Pump is not really an aerobic activity, and you spend most of the class standing on the same spot. In order to see results quickly, you need to combine it with cardio too, to burn off the layers of fat over your newly toned muscles. I like to combine Pump with a Body Combat (fighting) class, and doing them back to back followed by a trip for a pancake or waffle breakfast is quickly becoming my new Sunday morning ritual. It is recommended that you do no more than 3 Pump classes a week, and always have a recovery day in between. I tend to hurt about 24 hours after doing a Pump class, and if I don't it's a sign I've not used enough weights. I am particularly conscious of my chest and my bum (so is The Boy, but that's a different story) since these areas tend to get more a muscle hangover than my arms and back do.
My only grumble about the class is a girlie one. I don't like the way the few tracks that require you to be on your back (like the abs, the triceps, and the chest) are interspersed throughout the class, since they invariably mess up my hair. By the end of the class I look a mess anyway, so I don't really care, but when it's the 2nd or 3rd track, and I'm still looking relatively human, it bugs me that I have to juggle re-doing my hair with changing weights.
That said, I still think this is a great gym class that complements a typical gym routine of treadmill / elliptical trainer / rowing machine. The fact that you are stuck there for the hour makes you work harder than you might left to your own devices, and the music and choreography help make quite a boring activity (lifting weights) into a fun one. You do not have to be strong to join in - the baby weights are only 1kg each, and when slotted onto a bar, and balanced on your back, this feels like next to nothing. Though some may feel otherwise, I never see a competitive aspect to this class - sure, you can't help but see what weights others are using, but most tracks you're concentrating on your own form, or checking yourself out in the mirror, rather than sighing that sweaty, beefy man in the corner is lifting twice what you are.
Many gyms now offer these classes, and I hope this has given you a good overview of what to expect. If you've been considering dipping a toe into the weight-workout pool, I would fully recommend it, and Body Pump, with its neat choreography, funky music, and well-trained instructors, could be exactly the way to start.
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I started Body Pump six years ago. At the time I did not practice any sport, and I had no strength at all (always reading books when I had free time). Now I have become an addict and go at least 3 times a week. The firt notable effects when you start exercising is that your breasts and your buttocks go up !!! I've got now buttocks worthy of an African woman. That's great ! And I feel much stronger. Now I can carry as many shopping bags as I want and believe me, it changes a woman's life ! And don't worry about growing big muscles. It won't happen. The only slight problem is that the muscle grows faster than the fat disappears for the first few weeks so you will get the feeling that you take volume but you must be patient and in six months'time, if you are careful about what you eat and if you also do a few aerobic exercices, such as Body Attack or RPM, you will have the body of your dreams !!
This is the class that reshapes your body & clears your mind- all to the best music and by the most motivating, most unbelievable instructors - PERIOD! It puts endless resources into research & development, keeping the classes progressive and safe. Ladies, if you want lean, tone muscles, your bodies will never look better - Guys, if you want to 'cut up' your muscles - this is where it's at. Anything else is just a cheap replication. The ever entertaining instructors rock - really bad jokes and even worse dance moves- they'll do anything to get you there and keep you coming back! That's why we love 'em.
I've been doing body pump for about 5 years now and I'd just like to express a word of caution. I am also an ex-gymnast and national swimmer (back in the day). Body pump is an excellent exercise - especially for those who aren't very good at sticking to weight training programs or get bored doing the repetitive lifts themselves. However, because there are weights involved, Body pump also has the potential to be very damaging. I would suggest that before you attend a Body pump class that you spend a half hour at least with a qualified/certified fitness instructor who knows what they're talking about to go over the more standard moves and the basics of weight lifting. All too often, Body pump classes are too large for the instructor to go around and tell everyone what they are doing wrong. I have seen WAY too many Body pump enthusiasts executing the moves in very, very dangerous ways - which make me wince during the class. Actually that's one of the worst things about Body pump! Best bets are to attend classes where there's one instructor leading and another one that goes around correcting moves during the class. And keep asking instructors after class to confirm that you are holding the right stance or lifting using the right muscles. Plus, if the instructor tells you to execute a move that your common sense tells you is risky (i.e. to your back) or that you don't feel comfortable doing, just substitute a similar, but more comfortable move instead. I've had some rather dodgy instructors doing things which were specifically prohibited by other more experienced instructors! *What is Body Pump? Body Pump is an aerobics type class, usually goes for about an hour where you do weight repititions in a class to music, following the instructor's movements. In most classes I've attended, you'll need to set up a stepper (used for step aerobics) and get a weight bar, some loo
se weights and (sometimes) a couple of barbells of v arying weights. The instructor will take the class through sets of lifts working most of the muscle groups in your body using the free weights. If he's a good instructor, he/she'll ask you to add or reduce weights for the next set (since different body areas have different size and strength of muscles, it's important to vary your weights so you don't strain/over-use a smaller muscle group like your upper-arms while under-exercising a larger one like the back, or legs). There are many variations of types of lifts but the most common are: - squats, lunges and dips with the weight bar on your shoulder (make sure you push your elbows slighty up + forward when going down to keep your shoulders high and chin up - this will maintain the correct stance as well as relieve tension in your arms) - bend + snatch (like you see the weight lifters do on tv. Your instructor should show you the three seperate parts of this lift, most people will get it wrong if it is not broken down the first time) - arm curls (do <b>not</b> sway with this one. If you're swaying, your weight is too heavy. Only your forearms should be moving the weights up, if your upper arm, back or shoulders are swaying to make the lift, reduce your weight immediately. Swaying means you are lifting with your back - not only dangerous, but not working the desired muscle group) - reverse curl (start with arms at sides holding the bar, holding it so your palms face in. Your hands should just brush the side of your thighs which are planted at shoulder width. bend at elbows and lift as if you are doing an arm -curl. If the instructor tells you to do a variation of this where you lift the bar with straight arms from your thighs to your shoulder height do not do it. THis move is incredibly bad for your back and you should complain to your instructor / ask him to justify the move after the class)
Words can't really describe, there are lots of other moves which involve you standing, lunging, squatting or lying back on the stepper (for the arms). Make sure you clarify proper stance for the different lifts (i.e. legs shoulder width apart or closer together, toes pointed out or straight ahead, knees bent or not) since the wrong stance with a lift can mean injury. The most oft-used stance - the sort of squat, requires you to stick your bum out like you're going to sit on a chair, while keeping your shoulders + chin up, your feet shoulder width, toes ahead and knees over your ankles (not toes). Sticking your bum out will feel weird at first, but you MUST otherwise you risk your back. Lifts will be done at varying speeds, either at the one-count (fast) or anywhere from three-counts up (slow), or fast down, slow up, you get the idea. Listen to the instructor and follow everyone else and you should be fine. To end the class, some instructors will do stomach exercises (like situps, although I find triangular holds much more effective) and push ups - but you should have been holding in your stomach throughout the class to get maximum results from the weight lifting. Then there will follow a short shake-out and stretch session. I never find the stretch session long enough and always go to do further stretching on my own. Sometimes instructors will rush this and do stretches for less than 15 seconds at a time, which is no good - don't do the sheep thing, take your time. To stop lactic acid build-up in your muscles (which feels like someone pounded you in some back-alley the night before), you should also do about 15 minutes on an aerobic machine like the treadmill or elliptical trainer. I find this always ensures a pain-free day when I wake up the next morning -well worth the extra 15 minutes of cooling down. Word of advice for newbies - don't be ashamed of using very low weights on your bar
, or only using your bar without weights. It is an ego thing for some to stack on the weights, but it's imperative that injury-avoidance comes before impressing some gym junkie, agree? In all, if you know + stick firmly to the fundamentals (don't get lazy, constantly check your stance in the mirror instead of the hot guy next door), body pump is one of the absolute best classes out there. If the instructor shows no interest in doing things the right way, I'd suggest getting a personal trainer for a one hour session and going through all the typical body pump moves with him thoroughly - it would be a pity to deny yourself this great toning activity just because your local has disinterested instructors. In fact, if you are a regular body pumper (of this G variety, not the xxx variety), getting someone to check out your stance a couple of times a year is a good idea as everyone but elephants forget. The class is good for: muscle toning (don't worry girls you will not bulk up as females react differently to weight-lifting than guys. You have to make a concerted effort to look like a female body-builder - just doing body pump will only make you very toned, tight and perkier *wink*), some aerobic benefits too. You'll definitely sweat and watch out for the muscle "shivering" the day after an intense class. Side note - I've given this 3 stars due to the slightly higher risk factor. If you know your weights though, this is definitely a 5 star form of exercise. Pump away! **Update on 9 Dec 03** Wow, what a mind blower. I completely forgot that I wrote this - I never checked back after writing - I didn't even know people could comment on it! Joined www.epinions.com under the same name a month ago, so this turned up when I searched on google. I even thought "Who's the w*nker who's using my name?" until I finished reading the review, thought "Wow this person sou
nds a lot like me" then realised it WAS me! I'm a dork, I know. Anyway, I have updated it, so thanks for re-reading!
Body Pump is an exercise class where individuals use free weights to music, working on specific muscle groups in order to tone, build muscle and improve strength and stamina. I first tried Body Pump five years ago, but gave it up when I moved to a new area, and have recently started attending regular classes again at The Third Space gym in Soho. I’ve only been going for about two months, but I feel stronger, have more energy and my improved muscle definition is clearly visible. Some questions you may feel like asking: How do I start? When you first attend a Body Pump class, the instructor will help you to select your weights. You’ll need a bar and weights to fix to either end of the bar. It’s advisable to start with low weights – say, 5kg on either end, and you’ll need to put aside some smaller weights for upper body exercises. Depending on the class you’re attending, you may use mats or steps at some point in the workout. What sort of exercises will I be expected to do? After a quick five minute warm up, consisting of some simple jogging exercises and stretching to music, you’ll begin working with the weights. Most instructors like to work the major muscle groups first – the legs and back. You lift the bar with weights attached over your shoulder and place it on the fleshy part of your shoulders. You then perform a series of squats, maybe eight or ten in total, before resting and the doing the set again, perhaps a little slower this time. Two to four sets of each exercise is the norm. The rest of the routine is along the same lines, with different exercises working different groups of muscles. To work the chest and arm muscles, You lay on a step and lower and lift the bar above your chest. You’ll also do some bicep curls and dead lifts (keeping your legs completely still and lowering and lifting the bar to your knees) to work your back and the ba
cks of your legs. My least favourite exercise is the shoulder press – lifting the bar above the shoulders and in front of you to tone your shoulder muscles. I’m hopeless at it! At the end of the class you may have time to fit in some sit ups or press ups, if not then your instructor will take you through some cool down and stretching exercises. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO STAY FOR THESE STRETCHES! I once made the mistake of leaving directly after the main part of the class, without stretching my muscles first. I have never in my life ached as much as I did the next day – and I ended up with a calf strain because my muscle hadn’t had a chance to stretch and relax, and tore as I left the gym. How will I feel after the class? Directly after the class, you may find that your arms and legs are shaking and you feel a bit ‘wobbly’ Don’t worry – this is a very good sign! It means that your muscles have been stretched to their very limit and you are building new muscles and toning up these parts of your body. A hot shower/bath or session in a steam room/sauna directly after your workout will help you relax and feel ‘normal’ again. Drink plenty of water following your workout, and if you can, take a vitamin C supplement. These will both help alleviate the worst of the aches the following day. Nothing can prepare you for the aches you’ll feel the day following your first Body Pump class. You really will feel like you’ve gone ten rounds in the ring with a heavyweight boxer, and unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do about it. It’s your unused muscles’ reaction to the intense exercise. Take it easy for that day, and console yourself with the thought that it will never be quite as bad again, and how fantastic you’ll look in a few weeks time! It’s not advisable to attend a Body Pump class more than twice a week at first
, as your muscles need time to rest and settle after each class, and shouldn’t be constantly exercised. What are the benefits of a Body Pump Class? You will notice improved strength after the first couple of classes. I had to move onto heavier weights after the third class I attended, and am now on nearly four times as much weight as I was when I first started the classes. Your stamina and energy increases dramatically, and after about two or three weeks you’ll be able to see the difference in your muscles – they’ll be more defined and toned. Men tend to build muscle more easily than women, so will ‘bulk up’ whereas women will tone more and bulk up less. I used to be worried about getting too muscly, but have found that I really like having slightly bigger and much stronger muscles, and don’t feel ‘too big’ at all. Who will benefit from Body Pump Classes? Anyone wants to be stronger, fitter and more toned will benefit from Body Pump. It’s especially good for people who are trying to lose or have lost a lot of weight, as your bone density decreases when you lose weight, and weight bearing exercise helps build it up again. Body Pump is the ideal sort of class for people like me, who have two left feet and can't keep up with the frenzied jigging about that takes place in conventional aerobics classes. This way you work up a good sweat without having to worry about where your feet should be going next! It’s not advisable to attend Body Pump classes if you have a musculo-skeletal injury or problem. As it’s quite a demanding class, pregnant women or those with a medical disorder should seek advice from their doctor before attending.
I hadn't heard of Bodypump until around six months ago but having read its praising reviews, I decided to give it a go and see what all the fuss was about! WHAT IS BODYPUMP? Basically, a Bodypump class consists of a short warm-up, followed by working of all the major muscle groups via a series of weight bearing exercises such as squats, presses, lifts and curls. Each muscle group is exercised for about 5 minutes before over-load is achieved. Barbells and adjustable weights are utilised for this purpose but because any size weights can be used – Bodypump is suitable for all. FOCUS The main focus of the class is on correct lifting technique and postural alignment. Many gyms hold Bodypump technique classes (duration of about half an hour) for those new to it. The instructors of such classes will aim to make sure your technique is correct, so as to carry out the exercises safely. WHAT DOES IT ACHIEVE? This type of endurance training is excellent for increasing lean body mass, improving muscle tone and definition but without causing bulking. So you won't get big, just toned and strong :o) OVERALL RESULTS I have been doing Bodypump classes now for around four months and believe me, it does tone and condition your body, and it can facilitate weight loss (provided you don't eat too much!) and thus ultimately change your body shape, all in record time. The other thing I like about Bodypump is that it isn't too choreographic so those with poor co-ordination skills can still benefit from a great class. Definitely worth trying.
Body Pump is an excellent fitness class for people at all levels of fitness - and when I say this I mean it. It is suitable for the wobbly, jelly-like beginner (like I was) and for the ultra-fit, big muscled lad in the corner (like the guy I was watching in my last class). First of all, it is an excellent class for getting fit. It combines some basic aerobic moves (all of which are done at 3 different levels so you choose the level that suits you best) with organised, routine weight lifting. Now, if you have only ever dabbled with bums & tums classes, then weight-lifting may sound scary. But it's not. It is important to get a good technique and so beginners often do the moves with the weights. Once you feel ready for weights you can start with as little as 1 kilo on each end of a bar (this is not heavy, a child could pick this up). When you start doing repetitious moves with the bar, it will seem heavier and as you feel more able, you can add more and more weights to the bar. Body Pump is very effective for changing your body shape, defining your muscles and making you stronger. It is no good for losing weight as you tend to get heavier over the first year as fat turns into muscle. Combined with a more aerobic class, Body Pump provides amazing results. The class is done to very loud, motivational music and the feel good factor is incredible. There are very structured exercises and there is a lot of stretching between exercises in order to reduce the amount of pain you suffer after having worked your muscles. Concentrating on the legs, shoulders, stomach, chest, biceps and triceps independently, this is a great class for all (mine is about 50% male and 50% female).
Having tried a number of exercise classes with mixed results I would recommend body pump as an effective workout. With regular sessions you can see a difference in body shape and tone. At the beginning you start with low weights and gradually increase the weights at your own pace. Each set of exercises covers various muscle groups set to music. Find a good teacher who fully explains the importance of good body position when lifting the bar/weights. Generally classes seem to last about 60 minutes with a warm up, main exercises and then floor working on your abs and finally a cool down. After the first session I found I was stiff the next day but after a few sessions this was no longer a problem. The only draw back is that the classes are not that aerobic but personally I am happy with the visible difference working with weights has achieved. The classes are great fun with a really great feel good factor.