Want to Lose Weight, Build Strength and Gain Lean Muscle? Try Body Pump

Body Pump is a bar bell weight lifting program that works every major muscle group in 55 minutes. The instructor run class is built around repetition and form and the whole program is set to contemporary music. I have honestly not found anything better to tone, strengthen and burn calories quickly.  The official program is designed by Les Mills, a New Zealand fitness company. The founder is Leslie Roy Mills  (born 1 November 1934) who is a retired New Zealand track and field Olympic athlete and politician. The Les Mills organizations’ goal is to help create a fitter planet. They want to do this by creating the world’s best workouts, available in clubs or anywhere on demand. Body pump instructors have to be certified and the programs are updated quarterly. You can do the workout virtually but I personally enjoy the classes so that I can use the gym equipment vs buying my own, get the one on one instructor tips on form and motivation as well as the comradely of class participants. The class is scientifically structured to optimize strength, muscle tone and calorie burn and this is done by working all muscle groups as well as through the pace of the movements.

Key benefits of body pump:

  1. Shapes & tones your body
  2. Burns fat – you can expect to burn 400-600 calories per class.
  3. Builds lean muscle
  4. Improves muscular endurance
  5. Like all exercise, body pump helps to improve memory and brain function while also reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.

Most of the classes I attend are 80% female and 20% male. I think when most men think of weight lifting they thing of using the machines or being spotted in the weight room with heavy weights and minimal reps. I have seen numerous husbands, boyfriends and sons join classes with their family members and they are all shocked at how intense the workout is. Many times they will load up their bar with too much weight and not be able to keep up or complete the class. Hopefully you can find a class near you and give it a try. 

Since I’ve been doing body pump for years, here are a few tips I share with new people.

Body Pump Tips

  1. Be sure to start with very light weights. The number of repetitions is intense and it’s important to focus on form and keeping up before you start increasing weight.
  2. Be sure to come back. You will be sore after the first class but if you come back to a class two days later the stiffness and soreness will disappear.
  3. Modify as needed. The instructors will provide advice and options for weight levels, personal concerns and injuries. As you attend more classes you can and should modify as you see fit. After all, you know your body best.
  4. Body Pump is easy to follow so don’t stress. I personally, am not a Zumba or dance person. If your like me then you’ll enjoy body pump. Just listen to the instructor and follow those around you and after a couple of classes you’ll be totally comfortable.
  5. You will not get bulky unless you use super heavy weight(s). You’ll see your body tighten and build lean muscle quickly. If you take 3 classes a week for 2 weeks you will see major results. 

In summary, Body Pump is one of the most effective workouts you can do to build lean muscle, drop fat and build strength. Classes are good for all ages, body types and sexes since you can customize the weight levels. Find a class near your here.

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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