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My First Time: BodyPump

Sorry it’s been a while since I have posted a class workout. I have been so excited about food blogging I completely forgot to put these up!

I tried BodyPump for the first time with Kim Hale. She’s pretty much amazing and I enjoyed every second- but I have to admit I was a little apprehensive going into that classroom.

BodyPump is a class that works different muscle groups using weights and hot tracks. And All I could think of was man… I hope I don’t drop a weight on my foot or someone else’s.

Thoughts Prior to Class:

It’s going to be too difficult.

Can I lift that?

I know I am going to need: A step, Mat, bar with two or three sizes of weights.

The Class Itself:

We need a mat, a step  and a bar with weights. I am newbie so I choose 2.5 lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb weights.

Kim Hale started us off with a decent warm-up. The music was popular and familiar, and the moves were easy enough to follow. In a way the warm-up gave you a false sense of confidence because you were like, “Oh hey- I got this.”

Now BodyPump focuses on different muscles groups. So there is usually a: warm- up track, squat track, chest track, back track, biceps track, lunges track, shoulders track, abs track, and then the final cool down and stretch track.

So naturally we moved into the Squat track next.

Kim made sure to point out correct form for squats multiple times throughout the track in order to get people into the correct position for this move. Squats are one example of a move that is best taught to you by a Personal Trainer (USE YOUR FREE CONSULT!) so that you can make sure that you do not injure yourself.

The squat track feels long. Mostly because your glutes start to burn after the third set of pulses. And the slow drop and slow raise segment doesn’t exactly feel like a breeze either. As someone new to the class I suggest not overloading your bar and really just focusing on getting the correct form. Because even with a light bar- the correct form will make you feel every second of that track.

Our next track focused on Chest. So we took a few second to re-arrange the bar for the correct weight and get into position.

The chest track was not as long as the squat track- or at least it didn’t feel that way. There were several moments of rest as well which really helped. In Chest Track you are using warm-up weight if not a little bit more and you are holding your grip a little wider then you would for biceps or triceps. You focus on pushing straight up and down, doing it in counts of 3:1, 2:2, and 1:1.

After Chest we moved to the Back Track. So you again re-arrange your bar weight and then stand back up.




Back focused on “clean and press” and rows.  Clean and Press is another move that I STRONGLY suggest you work with a Personal Trainer to get the form down correctly. (USE YOUR FREE CONSULT!) It’s a move that can be hard to master in such a large classroom setting, but once you get it down you will not regret it.  The great thing about rows and dead lifts is that when you do them correctly you feel them! You know you’re working the right muscles because they let you know!

Back Track is pretty fast paced and easy to follow. The hardest move to pick up is the clean and press, but if you pay attention you can catch on.

From Back we moved to the triceps track. Awesome. (Mine are not exactly in great shape…)

Triceps involves moving back down to the ground and using free weights to do a few non-bar related moves. At this point in the class you are sweating and starting to feel a little sore. There are definitely muscles you are not used to using. We started with the bar and did a few “skull crushers” and a couple of other tricep extensions, once again using the 3:1, 2:2, 1:1 ratio for the movement.

Then we stood up and grabbed our weights and did the tricep extensions behind the head. If you have ever taken a gym class you have seen these done.

After your arms feel like rubber you get the joy of picking the bar back up and doing biceps.




Biceps focus on full bicep curls, bottom half curls and top half curls. And we do those in multiple variations. 8 counts are not uncommon in biceps. Kim Hale’s peppy voice starts to sound like nails on a chalkboard because you just want to put your arms down and have them not burn. And then the track is magically over. And you shake your arms out and feel magical.

At the end of Biceps you’ve decided that you have the same muscle tone as Gumby.




The worst part of the class for me was lunges. I have knee issues so I can get sore very quickly. But it wasn’t the lunges that did me in. It was the fact that my legs were shaking like one of those “Jello Jigglers” commercials and I was plum worn out by the end of the track. If you are new to the class- do lunges without any weight.  Do not push yourself until you know what you are getting into.

Lunges involve pulsing, pulling your knee up into your chest, Deep lunges on one leg for multiple 8 counts and then switching. There may even be a few additional squats in your lunge track.

This is the point of time in class where you are officially tired.

Which of course means you still have three tracks left to go.

After lunges you focus on shoulders. Usually this means you get out of the bar and are once again using the weights in your hand to work those muscle groups. The shoulder track is not very long and is pretty tolerable because at the end you get to lay down for abs.

Kim combined our abs with some push-ups. Do not tell Jay I did “girl” push-ups. We then got to do some oblique crunches, some normal crunches, bicycles and one or two more assorted abdominal exercises. We finished with a little bit of plank.

And then thank heavens. We got to stretch- which you MUST stay for. Otherwise you will be unbearably sore the next day. Like hobbling around like a penguin sore.

Final Thoughts:

I LOVE BodyPump. Because at the end of this class you KNOW you worked out. You can feel it. My one caveat for BodyPump would be to take the time to sit down with a Personal Trainer or even grab one on the side and get them to assist you in form ahead of time so that you DO NOT injure yourself. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that- PLEASE do not weight the bar until you get comfortable with the motion of the moves and can do so correctly.

Kim Hale is an excellent instructor and she is not the only one. Emilie, Kathi, Shelle- all of them do a wonderful job teaching BodyPump. (Kathi even throws a little CXWorx in every Friday at 12:15)

BodyPump is on the schedule daily and is worth taking a trip to try out. ALWAYS let the instructor know it’s your first time. Do not over do it. And you will have an amazing workout experience.

I hope to see you pumping some iron soon.


One Comment Post a comment
  1. Donna #

    Thank you! This was so helpful. I may even try the class now that I have a better idea of what is involved!

    June 26, 2012

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