Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Get Into Your Dream Shape With Les Mills's Body Pump

I always thought you were either born toned (some I still think are), or you had to make do with the fluff you had. Recently I've discovered this is so not so! And, the best, you can get gorgeous in 1 to 2 hours a week. All you need is find a gym near you that offers Body Pump courses and on you pump!
I know, I know. Now people will lash back with the old story. No will power. No time. No money. Dog ate fitness card. Back injury. Heart problems. And so on, and so forth. But I tell you what. These things can all be countered by a good start on a fitness regime. I'll tell you about mine, so you might get some ideas, and maybe a little jelous too, enough to get you started.

So before you say it's easy for me, let me just quickly jot down a few facts about my helth and lifestyle. (If you're more of a get-goer, you can skip this part and move on to the success story. :)) Well, I've never been overweight or anything, but I'm extremely petite, and even 20 grams of exess fat shows on me, in the form of a muffin top or a puffy little belly. I know that's normal, but it used to bug me no end. If this sort of thing bugs you too, this post is for you. I also have an extremely low blood pressure, which means I have to be careful with lengthy periods of exertion -- or I simply faint. If that's not enough, I have a sufficiently broken knee, and a general tendency on the part of my joints do go creaky and do funny stuff.

So there I was, admiring (half jealously) my lissom friends, whose only advantage was a few added centimeters/inches. I felt unjustly ripped off by Mother Nature, and thought it hugely unfair that I should watch my plate while they didn't, that I would eat whatever I felt like just to get back at the b*tch. Of course, I don't have a huge appetite, so it wasn't much of a getting back at, but you get the general idea. Then one of them lisson friends said she was going to the gym. Imagine my sarcastic smile, I told her, yeah, 'coz you really need it. And she said that she would never really feel 'herself' without it. That made me think. Was I really doing all I could to look marvelous, or was I just whining about something I was too lazy to change? That got my back up. I always say you should either do everything to make things better, or stop crying over them. So the next day, which was a Monday out of pure coincidence, I dopped in at the nearest gym and started attending classes.

First I tried Yoga. Felt cheated, since it was the type you get at gyms, and had no soul to it. Neither was it very demanding (I'm quite flexible), and I soon got bored. Then I tried Stretching and stuff like that, aimed at perfecting girly curves -- not for me either. It felt good while I was doing it, but my 5 p.m. muffin still did not feel well-earned. And then I decided, to boost his spirits, to accompany my husband to his first Body Pump session.

I was sweating, sometimes I was suffering, but man, it felt good. I was grinning the whole time through, and I felt reborn afterward -- actually, that lasted for days. I loved it so much, that for a couple of months now I've been going every single time I could. That means twice a week, normally, but if I can squeeze in a third, I do, which more or less makes up for the ones I miss.

But why is this one different from all the rest of fitness classes? You have to understand that I have virtually no will power. That is, long term. If I want something, I normally don't stop until I get it, but if the process is a looooong and tedious one, I get discouraged easily. I decide I'd rather want something else instead. So far I've been very conscientious with my evening (Callanetics) routine, which I've been doing for around 9 years. But all my attempts as a regular gym goer have been futile in the long term. Because, and this is the catch, my BMI is OK, and my body knows it, blast it. If I want things to change, I have to teach my body to ditch its self-preservation measures and look on to brighter, happier things. For instance, low-impact exercises do nothing for me, and while medium workouts help me keep in shape, nothing can change that shape, unless... Unless I do something crazy. Like body Pump.

So what is it and how does it make you look wonderful? Well, basically it's a weight lifting routine. Wait, hear me out. I know that traditionally this stuff is for guys who want the bulging stuff, but this is where you're wrong. Body Pump was designed especially for those of us who want to get toned, lissom muscle. The routines you go through move small muscle sections, thus strenghtening the whole system supporting your bone structure, burning away fat, and the final product is sleek but strong. It's also an appealing aspect of the workout that you choose your weights yourself, meaning that you can adjust them to your aim and conditions. I do pretty crazy stuff, because that's how I like it, that's what works for me. But there are plenty of girls and mature women Pumping away with no or little weight. What matters is that you intensively move all those little parts of your body, making rusty hinges budge and get stuff done.

And the routines, as well as the music, change evry three months, so it never really gets boring. I personally also develop in strength, so there's always a new set of weights waiting for me the next round. That gets rid of my biggest qualms. The thing is interesting, fun, leaves me feeling gorgeous and great, and it doesn't really damage my body in any way. Since one of my knees is missing a ligament, I don't jump, etc. I do squats instead, and all my pushups are done either on one knee or in as lenient a position as possible. One sided squats, I do with no weight on that knee, and I make a point of exercising back muscles with a very well balanced bar.

You don't need any special equipment either. Most gyms will require you to bring your own towel, which is fine by me. I'd also recommend taking plenty of fluids, water being the best of them. Avoid stuffy halls, and, if planning for long term, get a pair of fitness/weight lifting gloves. They help you get a better grip, thus avoiding unnecessary discomfort during trickier exercises. But many do without.

I'm Pumping :) at Silhouette, but as far aas I know, there are many other places offering the same stuff -- and it is the same, since Les Mills regularly train their trainers and give them the material for the new set.

Hopefully this helps a couple of people struggling with the fitness problem.
I wish you many happy sessions at the gym, and fabulous results!




  1. It is basically the same as Hot Iron, isn't it?

    1. Yes, very similar. As far as I could see BP is more dynamic, I'm definitely sweating more than the people in the HI videos... :D