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Get pumped with BodyPump

Sarah Kelsey is a lifestyle writer, editor and spokesperson based in Toronto. She was the editor of AOL/The Huffington Post Canada’s StyleList, Style and Living sites. Today, she's a freelancer writing for some of North America’s top pub...

Fun, full-body fitness

This intense workout known as BodyPump is quickly taking over gyms and fitness clubs across the US and it's one of the best, full-body workouts you can do. Here is what you need to know about this high-energy, blood pumping fitness class.

Body Pump

BodyPump basics

BodyPump was created by Phillip Mills in Auckland, New Zealand in 1991, as a way to lure men away from weights and into aerobics. What he didn't expect was how popular it would become with women. Today, the program is offered in over 70 countries and in 10,000 gyms and health clubs worldwide.Essentially, BodyPump is a toning and conditioning weight class that combines strength training with aerobic exercises. BodyPump classes are usually an hour in length; however, in the UK and Japan, BodyPump Express classes have started to pop up (they only last 30 minutes). BodyPump participants use free weights, barbells and aerobic step platforms, and each motivating musically choreographed session works all of the body's major muscle groups, including the legs, chest, back, triceps, biceps, shoulders and abdominals.A typical session consists of eight tracks of music (each track is usually five minutes long) and each song is matched with a muscle-specific workout. There are short breaks between each track so participants can stretch, grab a drink of water or catch their breath.To get the most from your BodyPump workouts, experts recommend these essentials:

  • A good pair of supportive fitness or running shoes
  • A water bottle (you will sweat a lot in this class so it's important to stay hydrated)
  • A towel (to wipe away sweat)
  • Sweat-wicking, loose-fitting clothing to keep you cool and comfortable

Benefits of BodyPump

Because BodyPump combines weight-training and aerobic activity, it's believed the workout can help prevent osteoporosis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease as well as help participants lose weight, stay fit and motivated to keep working out.To see results quickly (in two or three weeks), you're going to want to take two or three BodyPump classes a week (in addition to following a healthy diet). Each BodyPump class can burn up to 600 calories while giving you a fun fat-burning workout that also delivers improved strength, muscle tone, bone density and coordination. New workout routines are created every three months, which means your BodyPump workouts will keep feeling fresh while improving your fitness.

BodyPump tips

To stay motivated and injury-free, here are some tips to get the most from your BodyPump workouts.1. Choose the right weight. Because you use weights and barbells during a BodyPump class, take some time to figure out what weight level you should begin with. Weights typically range from 2 to 12 pounds (or 1 kg to 5 kg). So start slowly. Gradually increase the weight level as you go as a key way to prevent injury.2. Focus on form. It's important to maintain the correct posture in each class to avoid injury. Keep your joints bent slightly (never lock your elbows or knees). And control your movements (don't jerk the weights around).3. Wear comfortable, breathable clothing. And consider investing in some sweat-wicking gear.4. Bring a water bottle and towel. This is a high-intensity, sweat-inducing workout. In order to stay hydrated you'll want to drink water before, during and after a class. And having a towel on hand to wipe the sweat away will come in quite handy.5. Go early. If you have questions about how much weight you should be lifting or how to use the equipment, get to class early and talk to one of the trained instructors. Their expertise could help you prevent serious injury — and talking to them can ensure you get the most from your workouts.

Keep reading for more workouts and workout tips


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