Saturday, September 18, 2010


Yes, it's true--I faced down the one class that most intimidated me: BodyPump.  Actually, I've now officially faced it down twice. 

Why so intimidating?  There are men in this class.  LOTS of men.  So I'm sure my issue comes from some sort of middle-aged "women should only glow" sort of conditioning, but seriously, I find it hard to be all I can be when there are men around.  I hate that about myself, because that is not who I want to be, it's not who I believe myself to be at my core.  But I still feel that hitch about showing myself to be a truly strong and capable woman.  Even when I try to be, I still have that little "aren't I cute" wink in my eye...

So, BodyPump is another Les Mills class set to music.  That means the routine is repeated for about three months before it's changed up.  Theoretically, if you go to a BodyPump class in Boston or Los Angeles, Seattle or Miami, they should be the same. 

The intimidation factor--for me anyway--is that this is basically a weight lifting class.  There are barbells and weighted disks.  This is the type of class where you might grunt or make a funny screwed up face.

So the good thing is that it's your barbell, you decide how much weight to put on it.

The bad thing--for hyper-competitive me--is that you decide how much weight to put on and you might notice that you have less weight than anyone else in class. 

I've been going to a Saturday morning class.  It's the only class I can fit in around my daughters' dance and horseback riding lessons.  It seems like a pretty regular group that attends.  So lots of them have really heavy weights.  I've been forcing myself to scale back.  Because if I let my instinct take over I'd be trying to do at least what they're doing.  When I look at my puny little barbell I have to consciously remember that they've been doing it longer--they ARE stronger.  And I need to do what's right for my body, not theirs.

But it does make me feel weak.

On the other hand, it's a really good workout.  Most classes--and I'm a classy kind of girl--are cardio-based.  Sure, most have a few minutes of abs or push ups at the end, but that's not going to give me the arms I want.  (I actually LOVE having really defined arms.  And, yes, I have had really defined arms in the past to know.)

As to the intimidation factor, the instructor and other attendees were super helpful.  In fact, on the first day I walked in looking definitely bewildered and the woman in front of me helped me choose all my equipment and set them up.  The instructor also immediately looked for any newbies (ME) and kept a special eye on them--lots of very detailed form tips right where I could see them.

I'm planning on making this a Saturday regular and I'll be upping my weight next week--just a little though.  I'd like to find a way to incorporate more strength training into my routine, but I'd have no idea what to do in the open gym.  Since I can't afford a personal trainer, BodyPump will fill that niche. 

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