Strength Training

I have added a new weapon to my work outs and it is called Body Pump, a strength training class by Les Mills. Body Pump is a strength training class offered at a variety of gyms across the country. Set to upbeat music and using bar weights, plates, step bench and a mat, it is a strong workout that can get your whole body in shape.

Strength Training Class or Machines?

I was pretty surprised at how full the class was but after the first 10 minutes, I could see why. I personally hate boring machines so doing my weights in a class is definitely appealing. In a class (or using a video at home) you are more free and not confined to an awkward machine. You use  the step benches with the mats on top to lie down on to do chest, tricep and ab work.

The only thing about the classes, and probably one of the best things, is that you are less likely to stop and give up because you look like a loser. Everyone’s bars go up and yours is sitting on your stomach. Still, it seems like right when I couldn’t do another chest press, there would be a perfectly timed break!

If you are interested in Body Pump, be prepared to like to do squats. They were a large part of the workouts I have done so far. Also, be prepared for your body to plateau a bit if you haven’t done a lot of strength training yet. When you start lifting weights, your body will be holding onto some fluids to help your muscle recover. It is OK! In a week or so, you will be back to losing and faster than ever.

If you are afraid of Body Pump because you don’t think you can do it, you can start with just the bar and don’t even have to add weights. You can do the squats with no weights or even modified and use the bar on it’s end to hold onto and help you balance. Overall, ANYone can try it and even if there is something you absolutely cannot do, the instructor will help you out with alternatives. It is all about getting to your personal best.

When your strength training class is over, be sure to have some protein to help your muscles right away. I prefer the Diet Direct Protein Shakes line as they are individually packaged and inexpensive.

So if you hate the machines but know you need to weight train, try Body Pump or a similar weight training class near you. If you don’t want to try a strength training class right away, start with something like P90X that you can do from home.