fitness · group exercise

My First BODYPUMP Experience

Saturday morning I took my first BODYPUMP class, something I’ve been dying to try since I first read about it a year ago. For anyone who doesn’t know what BODYPUMP is, Ashley over at A lady Goes West wrote a great overview you can check out here.

Although I had read a lot about the class, I wasn’t sure what to expect since several people had told me it took them a few tries to really hop on the BODYPUMP train. I’m also new to using a barbell so I was nervous about being able to handle the weight, etc., but that didn’t end up being a problem. In case you don’t want to read this entire review, I’ll give you a little spoiler: I loved BODYPUMP and will definitely be going back again.

Here are some of my thoughts from my first experience:


Controlled Chaos: I can understand why people find BODYPUMP intimidating. There’s a lot going on in the class and you adjust the weight on your bar after almost every track. For newbies like me, this was a tad disconcerting. I took a little too long figuring out what weight I should be using and I had hard time getting my weights on and off of the bar at first. This meant I missed the first few reps of the first exercise set in most of the tracks. I was much better at this by the end of class, but I still took longer than the regulars.

Great Music: I recognized a lot of the songs even though they were remix versions. The music was upbeat and totally motivating. It was easy to keep my movements in sync with music, which helped me push through when I felt tired.

Friendly Peeps: I was so, so thankful for a few women around me who took me under their wing and helped me set up by grabbing weights, a barbell, a mat and the bench. They also offered suggestions for the amount of weight I could probably handle as a newbie. I didn’t even have to ask for help they just sensed I was new and offered. Gotta love the community feeling of group fitness!

The Shoulder/Bicep Track: Holy hell those tracks were hard! My upper body is a lot weaker than my lower body and my core so I was absolutely feeling the work we did on our shoulders and biceps. Triceps were not as challenging, but still a great workout.

Abs: I found the abs track to be the least challenging of all and I was kind of disappointed because I love core work…a lot. In fact, my core is the only part of my body this isn’t insanely sore right now. My thighs on the other hand….ouch!

Instructor: I had mixed feelings about the instructor. I don’t think it’s entirely fair to judge someone on one class, but I’m going to do it anyway for the sake of this post. The instructor was very nice, but she showed up after most of the participants, which meant I wasn’t able to  get her help/advice on equipment set up. When she did finally arrive another student alerted her to the fact that I was new. She said hi, but didn’t offer any help or even introduce herself by name. However, during the actual class, she did make eye contact with me a few times and gave me an encouraging nod and smile when I was doing things correctly. She also referred to me by name once when I hadn’t noticed we had moved from a wide grip on the bar to a medium grip. I’d be interested to try a different time slot with another instructor to compare my experience. I think maybe we just didn’t “click” if that makes sense.

All in all, I had a great experience. A few people even told me I looked like an old pro in class so I was pretty proud of my efforts. I’m still sore as all heck three days later, but I think that’s a good thing. It’s been awhile since I tried something new and challenged my body in different ways so I think the soreness is a good reminder to step beyond my comfort zone when it comes to weight training.

Have a great Tuesday everyone! I will see you back here tomorrow with a new workout.


3 thoughts on “My First BODYPUMP Experience

  1. Sounds like you did really great for your first class! Its too bad the instructor didnt get there earlier. Sometimes my instructors show up at the last minute and forget to ask if anyone is new. But I do think that since everyone has been new to body pump at some point, we all know how it feels so are willing to help out anyone who is new! Glad you had some helpful people around you. I’m glad you liked it so much and plan to go back!

  2. Hi Chrissy! I am SO glad you finally tried BODYPUMP. And I think your reactions are spot on. You definitely have to enjoy the style of the instructor, which can be different depending on the person’s teaching tone. I also think that people in BODYPUMP are very helpful, when you need assistance getting set up. As far as the core song – different releases have more or less challenging moves – so give it another go. You’ll see depending on the releases, the moves will be a little bit different, but the order of songs will never change. Great work!! And thanks for sharing my overview.

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