If you are thinking of joining a gym, do consider joining in the Body Pump classes if you really want a great workout that's fun as well. It's a class where students use bars and free weights in a choreographed routine to music. The class lasts an hour and targets all the main muscle groups. Although the class involves no running about, your heart rate will be raised and you will feel you have had a good workout .
I was a little apprehensive, being a slightly built female. The sight of all those free weights and dumbells made me think I would turn into Arnie if I started working out with them! But no, I was given an induction and shown that you start off with light weights and increase only when you feel ready. It's a non competitive class so you just work at the level you are happy with. Of course, if you did want to 'bulk up', you can pile on the weights but the instructor is always there to advise on the right level for the individual.
Body Pump is set to a number of official Body Pump cd's, giving a wide variety of motivational music to work to. Typically the class will start with everyone getting out the equipment they will be working with - a bar to carry on the fleshy part of the shoulders, a variety of weights, a step and risers (to lie on), and a mat for comfort. The qualified instructor will stand at the front of the class to direct you and demonstrate the moves. It is very important that technique is correct to avoid injury and to get the most out of the movements. You are aiming to tone muscles and sculpt the body as well as burn calories.
The first 'track' of the cd will be a warm-up. The second track will be aimed at toning the thighs and buttocks. You will require your heaviest weight on your bar for this track and it will also raise your heart rate. Next comes the chest area and this is exercised by lying on the bench and pressing the bar above the head. After that we target the back, followed by the triceps, bicepts, legs, shoulders, and tummy or abs. At the end of the class comes a welcome stretch and cool down track.
Don't worry about getting bored with the same old music each week. Most instuctors mix and match from the Body Pump cd's they have so you never know what to expect. Plus, the company issue new music and routines regularly to their instuctors.
The advertisements state that Body Pump will change the shape of your body. Provided that you follow a good diet and do the classes regularly (3 times a week is a good amount) I think it really is true and in the process you will feel great and make some friends too!
Do read my other guides - you'll not want to miss the one on car boot sales!
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