Pump it Up!!

body pumpBody pump has become notoriously popular with sedentary women. But, make no mistake, the active women likes Body Pump too.  The question is, “Does it work?” Is it an effective activity that tones and builds endurance? Body Pump generally last for 60 minutes and involves moderate to high intensity resistance training with a barbell. In class, a participant will execute approximately 800 repetitions of various exercises, but with relatively low weights. The experts claim that an hour of Body Pump can burn from 500-1000 calories.  It usually includes squats, chest press, clean and press, lunges, and curls. Those who participate hope to achieve maximum isotonic strength, improved neuromuscular efficiency, improved heart rate, and endurance.

The program is designed for those looking to get back into some type of exercise regime.  It includes group motivation activities and simple exercises. Muscular endurance and strength are the most effective gains of Body Pump. During a typical Body Pump class you’ll be joined by a group of 20 to 30 other people and a single instructor who leads the group through one hour of exercise which focuses on all major muscle groups. The one hour class generally has around ten music tracks to accompany the specific exercises. Instructors are trained to motivate you and make exercise enjoyable. Although music and movements may vary, the overall structure of every Body Pump class will be basically the same.

Typical workout clothes will do. Clothing should allow for full range of motion. Comfortable athletic shoes are highly recommended. Since you’ll be working up a sweat in no time, bring a bottle of water to hydrate and a towel to dry off during the short breaks between exercises.

Weights consist of round plates made of plastic, either to be used as weights on the barbell or as free weights. The barbel is a metal bar that is 4 to 4.5 feet long. The weights are slid onto the outer portions until you reach your desired weight. Collars are used to safely fasten the weights. The aerobic platform is usually a bench.

To get the most from Body Pump, you should focus on form and posture. This will increase the effectiveness of the exercises and decreases the risk of injury. Motions should be performed smoothly using good control of all body positions. Use only weights that are comfortable for you. You need to push yourself without overdoing it. Using too much weight can not only lead to jerky movement but also to a break of proper form which then can lead to injuries. When beginning this form of exercise you should start with a comfortable weight in the beginning and increase that after about six weeks. Because form is so important, going to the gym and following a lesson has an added benefit.

Body Pump provides you with a full body and aerobic workout and improves strength and endurance. It also has benefits for shaping, toning, and posture. As with any new exercise program, consult your doctor and experts that can recommend the best program for you.

Source: Body Pump Group Exercise: Does It Work or Not?” Breaking Muscle. Web. 03 Apr. 2013.

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