I have been thinking what is that I want to talk about most of all. I have several topics lined up as always and to be honest cycling was exactly what I was interested in writing about. However I did not want to just pour my emotions and feelings all over my blog (however it is always good to do :)) but to be useful and educational at least a little bit 🙂 While I am still learning about my new hobby, I decided to write about body pump, one of these few group classes I get involved with.
I am personally not the biggest fan of group exercising and I am sure I have mentioned it along the way multiple times. There is a number of reasons why I prefer my solitude when I work out.
However there is a great benefit of training together with a partner or in a group. For example, today I was running around the City (mainly Darling Harbor) training for the next week (23rd of June) Sydney Urbanathlon (which is about 10 km urban obstacle race) and I got some awesome weights training tips along the way as well as breathing, running, jumping and many other small but very useful pieces of advice. With me being relatively anti-social (introvertive, I call it:)) it is a fairly seldom occasion for me to get some good info from first hand racers 🙂
Well, running is something I have taken up in my life fairly recently. I have always been running before but never really trained as hard as now. Since my running increased dramatically and I spend more days running or jogging, I realised I stopped lifting. Weights training is my passion number one and I abandoned it. Not good! I am aware though that if I am planning to do all the runs I signed up for this winter I have to reduce my resistance training … but just a little bit, in order to spend more time improving my running. I am always at the back of a pack, you know 🙂
WEIGHTS LIFTING + AEROBICS = BODY PUMPING
I love lifting weights, alone, with my music running through my headphones, dancing and singing along the way. However, just like your very favorite ice cream, it can become really boring after a long period of time. So I got back to the group weights lifting, body pump. Why?
Well, aerobics are great for burning fat, it also increases cardiovascular fitness. When the heart pumps blood more efficiently and the lungs breathe more efficiently, it increases endurance and stamina. I can feel a constant burn in my heart, lungs and sometimes shoulders when perform aerobics for long enough. I am not the biggest fan of that feeling but I am sure it only does good for me!
Now, strength training increases our metabolism. Yes the one everyone talking about so much blaming it for being too skinny or too fat. Well, muscle burns more calories than fat, if you didn’t know. Therefore building muscles (and it does not need to be as crazy as professional bodybuilders) is absolutely crucial for constantly burning fat especially after the work out and even when asleep. Muscle tone also gives a good-looking physique and simply makes us stronger. Lifting shopping begs no longer hurts arms or back 🙂
Funny though when people learn that I go to the gym they straight away ask me to flex my muscles. I giggle and say I just started the other day in order to avoid this embarrassing conversation again and again. I am far from being a fitness freak, in my opinion but I have some understanding of how the body works after all these years and letting you know again that developed muscles are often hidden under the layer of fat. Until I decrease my fat percentage in my body I won’t look like Arnold Schwarzenegger if that’s what you refer too 🙂 On a side note, if you lift you don’t become Arnold Schwarzenegger that easily so don’t be afraid to lift 🙂
Sorry for getting slightly off the topic! Body Pump!!! 🙂
I believe body pump is a perfect break from the gym environment for these who want to carry on lifting but cannot look at the machines and the PTs and these gangsters around them anymore. Sometimes I want to vomit when I walk into the gym … and not because I ate something bad but because all the half naked Lebanese decadency buff guys simply do not turn me on (FYI, never did). When they walk around the gym they look like the are about to tear you apart and often bump into you with their fridge width shoulders. Honestly, I totally get why they look into the mirror playing with their nipples forever and then do their bicep routine for like half an hour obviously getting a hard on while doing it … BUT sometimes I just cannot take it anymore! 🙂
I know I always say that I come to the gym to train not to watch so who cares who is in there. And I stand by it. However when the gym is that packed when you have to wait for these 3 guys to finish their gang train, it gets a little annoying. This is when I need a break! So I take it!
What is really amazing about body pump – all of the major muscle groups are addressed during the class. When I plan my resistance training, I usually break it into 6 days of a week. Each day is a different muscles group so my entire body gets a very detailed training by the of the week and then rests for one day. While it sounds smart, it is very tiring. Skipping a day means skipping a certain muscle group. This is when you lose all your friends (giggling) because you prefer not to skip but this is a different story. Getting off the track again! 🙂
Body pump always includes a warm-up and a stretch (cool down) after. Body pump works with small muscles as well as larger ones and overall aerobic training to round it out. Participants can burn anywhere from 200 to 600 calories per session depending on their fitness level. I have not tried to measure it yet; however will definitely do it next time and report on my results 🙂
Body Pump in my opinion has just the right amount of aerobics for me to remain sane throughout the entire session combining a fairly good range of resistance training which can be adjusted by taking smaller or heavier weights up. I always try to go for heavier and do less reps being a little behind the entire class’s pace but only because I want to challenge and grow my muscle while training my heart and lungs as well.
HOW I PUMP
As I mentioned earlier, my weekly routine changed so I had to make gym adjustments as well. While I am studying I usually cycle to the school and back two times a week also body pumping on one of these days. The second day has been devoted to an outdoor group training in order to get fitter for Urabanthlon, City2Surf and other runs I have signed up for. The rest of the week I spend at work therefore try my best to deliver myself to the gym and carry on with the machines and free weights or attend a body pump class again. I try my best to run on Wednesday or Thursday instead of lifting; and lifting on other days. Saturday is always a long distance run for me with a long and pleasant cycling on Sunday. It looks like I don’t get rests. However I do 🙂 I chose one day throughout the week simply because while I am a full time student and a part time marketer I simply get so exhausted I cannot live through the week without a break 🙂
Body Pump also makes you want to compete a little bit. I like to think I am not competitive; however when a guy next to you is lifting 10 kg on the bicep track you want to do the same. And you do 🙂 I get a little competitive now and then. It pushes forward making stronger and its fun if you don’t take it too serious.
So why to pump your body? I think it is social enough to re-charge your “I wanna meet some people” batteries but not too annoying like some of your friends might be, it is challenging but adjustable depending on your fitness level and desire or the lack of it, it includes aerobics AND resistance training. Sounds perfect to me! Funny enough I get bored of it quicker than the machines, free weights and the annoying buff people so I often end up on my own in the gym getting pissed of with how packed it is but carry on training lol Vicious cycle! Find a friend who also wants to mix their work out and pump the shit out of your bodies. Its fun! 🙂