Group fitness is an ever-growing fad, and for a good reason. Research shows that those who attend group fitness classes lose more weight, are more likely to stick to a workout routine and demonstrate higher levels of performance.
Group classes range from cardio-centered courses such as spin and Zumba to yoga, Pilates, barre and other spirited sessions. Also on the group fitness roster are high-intensity weight training classes, and Les Mills BodyPump in particular has taken Coastal Virginia by storm.
The popular weight training circuit tops 1,000 reps in under 60 minutes and packs in an average of 50 BodyPumpers per session. BodyPump is designed to burn calories, build muscle and improve muscular endurance through resistance training and light cardio.
The hour-long class is offered numerous times a week, sometimes as early as 5 a.m., at several local gyms including the Simon Family JCC, Hampton Center for Health and Fitness, Norfolk Family YMCA, Peninsula Metropolitan YMCA locations, Women’s Workout & Fitness Center, select Onelife Fitness gyms and regional community recreation centers.
BodyPump also reaps the same social and health benefits as other group fitness classes, plus some. Whether you’re a first-timer or resident BodyPumper, we’ve discovered the top five reasons to try Les Mills BodyPump today.
1. Great Music
If any workout requires music, it’s BodyPump. Each of the class’s eight working tracks are choreographed to upbeat tunes by Les Mills trainers to help BodyPumpers stay motivated. Since BodyPump’s conception over 25 years ago, Les Mills has released over 100 iterations to thousands of popular songs. Between iterations, song selections are at instructors’ discretion, so be sure to find an instructor that keeps you focused.
2. You’ll Hit Fatigue—Every Time
BodyPump prides itself on the “rep effect,” a form of resistance training that exhausts muscles by performing high repetitions of low weights using barbells. Exhausting the muscles often results in the burn you feel when lifting and helps to create lean, athletic muscle instead of bulk. Once you stop feeling the burn, bump up your weight. Even though BodyPump is a group class, you can personalize your workout by selecting weights appropriate for your body’s needs.
3. Learn New Techniques
In the gym, as in life, there is always room for improvement. Attending a BodyPump class will introduce you to exercises that can be easily incorporated into your normal gym routine. Joining a class may also help improve your form for more challenging movements such as BodyPump’s famous clean and press or power press.
4. Get a Full Body Workout
BodyPump is intended to challenge every muscle group, big and small. After the warm-up track, the class focuses on big muscle groups including glutes, chest and back. The latter half of the class then focuses on the smaller and more easily fatigued muscle groups including triceps, biceps, legs, shoulders and abs. Pro tip: stay for the cool down—it’s arguably the most important part of the workout.
5. Exercise to Socialize
Gymtimidation is rarely a factor in group fitness classes. Despite BodyPump’s large following, newcomers are present in almost every session and instructors make a point to help you learn the ropes. Invite a friend and try BodyPump together, or strike up a conversation with a vetted BodyPumper. You are all there for the same reason after all, to stay healthy and have fun.