Body Pump - More Than Just Weights to Music

As fitness studies continues to provide new information, exercise programs are developed as a result of this research. Aerobic exercise came about consequently due to the research which showed the benefits of increasing the heart rate to cardiovascular health overall.

This is also the case with the BodyPump resistance weight training group program. Designed specifically to increase muscle tone and strength, along with other added benefits, without adding the bulk that many people do not wish to gain.

What is the Body Pump Program?

A simple explanation of the BodyPump program is as follows:

It consists of 60-minute resistance exercise using a barbell, however rather than focusing on heavy weights, the emphasis is on low-weight barbells that are used in a more rapid exercise. This is because the idea behind the program is to “exhaust” your muscles so that they strength and tone but do not add bulk.

You will complete 5-6 specific exercises but with so many reps of each one, ending up having completed approximately 800 reps in one 60-minute session; as the weights used are minimal, these are not horrible to achieve, and thus the program can become addictive. The 6 exercises consist of; squat, chest press, deadrow, clean and press, lunge, and reverse curl.

All exercises are done to music in the BodyPump program and therefore plays a key factor because there must be a rhythm. The original program which was developed by Les Mills has specific music tracks for all levels or progress. As you improve and gain confidence, there are music tracks that require more rapid movement that you are able to move up to.

Whilst it is usually taught in a group class which has the benefit of providing a good support system, once the 6 exercises are mastered you can buy the music tracks and can continue the program at home if you possess the self-discipline required. It is recommended to complete the program twice a week.

The Key Benefits of Body Pump

There have been research studies carried out regarding the benefits of the BodyPump program accomplishing positive results. For the duration of 12 weeks, participants completed the workout 2 times a week, with changes in weight, endurance, body fat, muscle tone and strength all being measured.

Based on these studies and their results, if you make the decision to “raise the bar”, here is what you can expect:

1.  In One Workout, You’ll Burn Up To 590 Calories

According to health guidelines, dependent upon how active you are, your daily calorific intake should range between 1600-2400 calories per day. If you want to lose weight, and keep your calorific intake unchanged, you can burn off 1/4 – 1/3 of that intake with a 60-minute BodyPump workout. As the recommended workout is 2 times per week, the weight loss will be gradual. If you want to speed weight loss up, you can reduce your calorific intake whilst you work the program.

2.  Your Muscle Strength Will Increase

To increase your muscle strength you do not have to bulk up, and this is one of the added benefits of the BodyPump program. Yet with increased muscle strength, medical professionals say the benefits include:

  • As your overall metabolism is improved, this will result in higher energy and stamina levels
  • You tend to experience improved sleep along with better concentration and focus
  • You have better health overall as studies are now showing regular resistance training and workouts help to prevent some forms of cancer, diabetes, hormonal problems, high blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
  • The benefits to cardiovascular health have long been known.
  • Stronger muscles help the body absorb impacts helping to decrease chances of injury. Even if you do suffer from an injury it will be less severe than in comparison to if your muscles were weaker.

3.  Increased Core Muscle Strength

Your core muscles are all of those which are contained within your body’s torso; those muscles will receive a great workout with the BodyPump program. This is both important and beneficial as:

  • Your core muscles protect internal organs and therefore if there is trauma to your torso, you are less likely to have damaged organs in contrast to people who have little or no muscle mass in their torsos.
  • As the core muscles also support your backbone, your spinal column is better protected as well as strengthened. When core body muscles are supporting the centre back and spine, back pain is far less frequent.
  • When your core muscles are developed, you have better posture overall.

4.  Great Flexibility

Muscle flexibility is an aspect of health that is often ignored, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. Flexible muscles being those that have been worked through resistance training and thereby are more relaxed in contrast to the tight muscles that result from lack of a workout and these can create problems for your entire body:

Tight muscles cause back pain because, for example, when your hamstrings are tight they pull your pelvis downward. This puts stress on the backbone along with other parts of you back and thus causing pain. Tight muscles cause your entire body to be tight and tense, causing neck and shoulder pain.

We lose range of motion, or the ability of the body to move with ease as we age. Due to the range of motion becoming lost, simple everyday activities become hard such as bending over to pick something up. By continuing to work those muscles this helps to keep them longer and more relaxed.

Nutrients and oxygen are carried to all parts of the body via the circulatory system. When muscles are tight, circulation is not able to flow as effectively, and poor circulation can cause tiredness. So, when muscles are more flexible, they are relaxed, and circulation improves.

5.  Better Overall Body Definition

Your body definition refers to your shape; while genetics does play some role in body definition, the correct workout routine has the ability to overcome many of the “definition” issues you may face. Some of the definition benefits you will get from the BodyPump program are as follows;

  • A tight core and firm glutes
  • Defined rather than bulky triceps and biceps
  • Your waistline will be in proportion to the rest of your body
  • Better sculpted shoulders
  • Your legs will become stronger as well as leaner

6.  You’ll Have A Healthier Heart

Your heart is a big muscle, and like any muscle it needs to also be exercised. The way a heart is exercised is through increasing its “rate” which is why it is recommended to put the heart rate up and keep it up for a sustained period. In many fitness programs, people wear monitors to check their pulse at its resting speed, and then through engaging in exercise, their heart rate increases and stays this way for a designated amount of time. By doing this, circulation is increased and medical professionals have said that exercising the heart in this way will keep you alive for longer.

Although regular weight training does not provide aerobic exercise to the heart, the BodyPump program does. You are moving fast to complete 800 reps in 60 minutes and this movement increases your heart rate. As you progress, the reps get faster, according to the music tracks that are used. By getting that heart rate up and keeping it there, this gives your heart essential exercise.

7.  You’ll Have Support In A Social Setting

If you join a BodyPump class, it is because you have some fitness goals. If you try to meet whatever those goals are all by yourself, in the isolation of your home, it becomes easy to “put it off” or to postpone. This is one reason why people who workout buy gym memberships; as they are surrounded by other people with fitness goals they are motivated to keep working on their own. Here are some great benefits of joining a BodyPump class:

You will learn how to do all of the exercises correctly as there are chin positions, standing positions and knee positions that are important if you are going to receive the full benefit of the BodyPump training program.

The music is really great and provides a fun way to get all those reps in.

You will be able to praise your fellow classmates, praising each other as you progress as the class will provide a built-in mutual support system.

In Summary

If you are someone who is self-disciplined and who does not like the idea of the set time schedule of classes, BodyPump workouts are easily done at home as they little equipment – a small mat, a barbel, and the purchase of the music tracks. You should use the music that has been developed for the program as the rhythms are specific to each level.