New to Body Pump?
Classes with lots of equipment can seem scary, but Pump is a great way to introduce weights based training into your routine with the added benefit of having an instructor there to help you get the hang of the moves.
So this is my ‘what you need to know’ guide to taking your first Body Pump class:
- Arrive at least 10 minutes early and introduce yourself to the instructor so they can help you set up and so they know that you are new. This can help them tailor their teaching, ensuring you have a good first class.
- Stick with light weights for your first couple of classes and concentrate on getting the hang of the tempos and the moves. Body Pump works because you are doing large numbers of reps, so whilst you want to use a challenging weight eventually, it’s ok to start off light – 3.75kg each side might be a good starting point for most and allow you to work on technique as a priority.
- The instructor will give you a guide of what to put on the bar at the start of each track (e.g. double the weight, take 1/3 off etc.). Listen carefully to this – they will normally give two options – one for regulars, one for new people but do not be afraid to stick with the same weight all the way through on your first class.
- We will also tell you what else you need for the class – for instance you might need a separate weight plate not on your bar. You’ll be tired in between tracks but try and listen and get the equipment advised close to hand – if you have to go hunting for a weight plate half way through a track you miss reps and will get stressed (not what anyone wants for your first class!)
- The structure of every class will always be one of these – where ever you go, whoever teaches:
- Warm up
- Cool down
- Warm up
- Lunges OR Tricep / Bicep Combo
- Shoulders OR Lunges / Shoulders Combo
- Cool down
- Warm up
So when the whole class looks like they know what is coming they do for a reason- and after a couple of classes you will too!
- Talking of continuity – we get a ‘new release’ every 3 months. So at that point, every instructor will teach this new set of tracks for 4-6 weeks. That is why when you do your first class some people will look like they know what is coming – they have probably done the track lots of times before! After about 6 weeks, the instructor will probably start to ‘mix’. This means they will bring back some older tracks to keep things interesting and keep your body reacting well to the class.
- As a new member, you can take advantage of something called Smart Start. This means that if you want to try a few tracks (we suggest up to the back track) and then leave you can do. Leave your stuff out and the instructor will put it away at the end of class. Then next week you can stay for a couple of extra tracks, and a few more the week after until you can do a whole class. This is optional and you can stay for the whole class if you want, but it does provide an option to try the class out and build up week by week if you are new to exercise or unsure about being able to do a whole hour.
- With Body Pump your technique is more important than weight so don’t worry too much at first about what you are lifting – instead work on getting the moves. Doing them well will bring better results than just picking up a heavier bar!
- The tempo is also really important in Body Pump. You will hear the instructor ask you to move at different tempos (3/1, 2/2, bottom half pulses). These aren’t just to make it more interesting. The different tempos help to work different muscle fibres and maximise your results so try to work with the instructors pace.
- You aren’t moving or jumping (well occasionally you might be jumping but rarely!) but you will sweat and you will get out of breathe. Don’t worry about this or think it means you’re unfit. Body Pump will burn calories as well as shaping your body. You’ll notice the instructor will be sweaty and out of breath by the end of the class too!
- Don’t be worried if you wake up the next day and climbing the stairs or tying your hair back hurts! This is your body reacting to new training and will pass in a few days. After a few classes your body will take less time to recover!
- If you have done weights in the gym before you may be confused by a couple of the moves we do in Body Pump! Be aware that some moves (Deadlifts for instance) are modified for the studio environment. This is for safety reasons as a) we move at a fast tempo and b) the instructor needs to make sure a large group of people are all moving safely. You can do both sorts of training, they both have their on benefits and it doesn’t need to be one way of the other.
I hope that the above tips have made the idea of trying a class less daunting! If you do decide to give the class a go, I would love to hear your thoughts!