Pump it up!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

No use for overdose

I study to become a nurse. I've learned that it's very important to be sure it's the right medicine, for the right patient, in the right amount, in the right way, at the right time.

Bodypump is a good medicine for most of the people. Most of the people I know don't have any medical reason why they should not exercise and why BP class would not be suitable for them. But the amount is not and the time is not that simple issue.

I've read you can get result by doing Bodypump 2-3 a week, having at least 48 hours between the classes. Costumers at the class should be informed about this more often. I've seen people coming to BP class saying "yesterday's BP class was so hard, my legs are so sore".

And about the weights. Some people really think the bigger is better. Is it the instructor's job to make sure the class is safe for everyone, also for those who eagerly want to hurt themselves by having too heavy weights? What if someone is simply training too much?

Can you blame the medicine if you take it the wrong way? It's not the fault of Bodypump if you're doing it the wrong way, too much or too hard, and then get hurt.

Bodypump and heart rate

I tested my new heart rate monitor Polar F11 yesterday. The statistics were surprising: the monitor said I spent 500 kcal in 50 minutes (I stopped the watch before cool-down). Max heart rate was 180, average heart rate 147. Maybe it's because the breaks between the songs were really short so the pulse stayed high the whole class.

I never thought BP was so effective aerobic training form. Is this true or is my new heart rate monitor not working?

Monday, October 17, 2005

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Yesterday I visited a Bodypump class of another gym, SATS, to see if it's any different. Of course the Bodypump is always Bodypump, but it's interesting how much the room itself can change the class. The sound system was simply better - you could turn the volume louder but still not break everyone's ears. The bass was in some way deeper and stronger - and that was just fine with me when Sweetest Poison started to run through my ears!

One remarkable difference was the mirrors on every side. At my gym there's only one in front and one in the back, and there are windows on the both sides of the room. It was totally cool to see myself doing dead-rows and dead-lifts, and really secure I was having the correct technique. I really enjoyed the class in a totally new way.

I don't think Bodypump should be teached at all in a room without mirrors. You can't possibly feel the correct technique the way you can see it. You might think you are doing it right, but the mirror never lies. And the motivation - have a sharp look into your eyes and force your body to work out!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

You might be a BodyPump'er if...

...you can visualize the choreography of popular songs when they come on the radio.
...you automatically assume the set position when you're standing around.
...you can "hear the beat" in popular songs.
...you hear cool songs and try to visualize their usage in a future BP release.
...you have a pet named Les Mills
...when you sit in the toilet, you pull your hips back, pull out you chest and check that your knees don't go beyond your toe line.
...when you pass by a construction site you start yelling things like: good work, let's take it home, watch your back when lifting that steel post or squeeze your glutes on your way up!!!
...when you go to the disco, on your first song, you move every major muscle group to properly warm up.
...whenever a pump song comes on the radio you start going through all the moves in your head.
...degrees has nothing to do with the temperature but everything to do with the angles of knees, hips and toes.
...you automatically calculate weight totals when you set out the dinner plates.
...clean and press no longer applies to doing the laundry.
...you prefer to eat donuts with your thumb in the hole!
...when you order a drink at the club, you check to see if the bar is nipple height.
...all your best clothes are BP and LM gear.
...you know twenty ways to cue 2 x 2.
...you know what the Haka is.
...you know the difference between a deadlift and a deadrow.
...you catch yourself talking in sync with the cadence of a song.
...you're from the US and you actually know how to convert lbs. to Kg.
...you're not from the US and you know that a push-up is a press-up.
...you do quick spinal rotations at random intervals throughout your day.
...your favorite passtime is surfing the BP web forum.
...you use a small child to practice the clean and press.
...you sit down in a chair just as if you were starting a 4 x 4 squat movement.
...you've never been back to the weight room since you started BP!
...the traditional weight-lifting wisdom of 3 sets of 12 repetitions simply isn't satisfying enough.
...you can't lift weights without the music!
...you count down the days to each launch ( and here in the US - each BTS Super).
...you think a song sounds better in BP class, than it does on the radio.
...you make sure your wrists are straight as you are driving your car.
...you have your abs switched on while at the office, watching TV, etc.
...you feel an urge to do a lunge while walking down the road.
...you like to stand using a split stance for greater stability.
...you know all of the tracks from the last 20 releases.
...you hand out free BP class passes to the unconverted masses.
...you understand of all the items in this list.
...your favorite colors are red and black.
...you wanna be like Mike!
...your motto is "Become Some Body"
...the Les Mills website is your home page.
...your vacation destination is based on a BodyPump location.
...you're hoping for the release of a Mike McSweeney action figure.

OMG. I didn't think I was so deep in this. But. Too. Many. Of. These. Are. TRUE. EEK!

originally from http://www.joedom.com/joedom.com/humor5.htm

My personal preview of BP 55

We all know what BP55 is about, we've done it over and over again. It's going to take some time before we get the new release, so it's not too late to write my own preview of current one and also leave this here to remind me later what fun we had.

1. Warm Up - Back To Basics - Shapeshifters

At first I didn’t get any kicks from this one. There’s no feeling of explosive, aggressive “here we go, are you ready, people?!” But it’s okay. I’m getting used to this one. The moves are simple and especially great for beginners. My mom just started new hobby with BodyPump, so I'm glad the first song didn't scare her away.

2. Squats : You are all of That – Danzel

This song was a disappointed after Danzel’s “Pump it up”, of which I madly love! But I’m getting used to this one, just like the previous one... And the song gets better every time. I had a chance to put some extra plates, finally. So, I got new challenge that way.

3. Chest : Sweetest Poison - Nu Pagadi

I love this song. It’s just sad that I have to stop singing in exstacy and get on the floor to do some push-ups. This song with my favourite move of the class gets me high! I'm trying to learn the lyrics, but I guess I have to settle for the chorus...
Are you surprised if I tell you that Nu Pagadi is actually Germany’s Popstars-winner of the 2004? You can watch their video for this sexy song on their website. I would marry the other male singer (Pat) any time, any where. Oh, Pat, I’m waiting!

4. Back & Hamstrings : Olympia - E-Type
Like we haven’t got enough E-type yet... Well, this is the same song as always. And it works. After some listening this is just fine. After chest-track back-track is my second favorite, so enjoyable moves make up for the E-typish song. I love dead-rows and dead-lifts.

5. Triceps : California - C.O. Club Oriented
I hate tricep presses. Because I suck. I don’t know how to do them right and any instructor in the world wouldn’t have the skills to teach me how to do them properly. I like the kick-backs and the one move, where you hold one plate above your head and… but this sucks. The whole song before those party-poopers is okay. O.C. just started in Finland before BP55 release, so I’ve heard this song on the radio too many times before.

6. Biceps : Galvanize - The Chemical Brothers
And time for my second favourite! I always find some new favourite songs from new BP releases. I listen to the BP tracklists at home too (as long as downloading mp3's in peer-to-peer-network is possible...), and some of the songs will stay at my playlist forever. I love the slow moves (four up-four down... oh yes...) and the fast stops when counting to three, it gives my biceps some time to think what they did wrong to get punished so badly. The whole routine is fun and new and very fresh.

7. Lunges : As the Rush – Motorcycle
Very beautiful, dreamy song. Simple and effective. And biceps get their well-earned rest. I'm trying different ways to use the barbell or a single plate, but I still prefer having the barbell on the side giving balance.

8. Shoulders : I Get Up - INXS
Yes, I like this one. Some rock'n roll. Nice to have some cool songs that are not burnt already from the beginning. There's not a single move I don't like in shoulder-track.

9. Abs : Karma - Alicia Keys
I’ glad they decided to keep the same move like the in the previous release, the one with the plate. It’s my favourite ab-killing move. Oh yes! Sometimes ab-tracks are maybe a bit lazy, but with this move you can get the good-kind-of-pain to the abs.

10. Cool Down : Liberatio - Krypteria
I wish there was more time, it always runs out… And the song is a bit boring. Maybe because lyrics are so weird I will never learn them.

Music is a matter of taste. I may not like all the songs as much, but this is still one great release and I'm loving every second of it.


So, my few weeks without Bodypump are finally behind. Today I decided I'd recovered from flu and it was time to get back on track. I used the lightest weights my nature let me put to the barbell (yeah, I'm a fool who's always trying to break her limits, but now I had to start carefully. Don't worry, I know that "the gains you achieve in a BodyPump class clearly come from something other than slinging around heavy weights - and that something is called form", as Tami and Craig said!).

It felt like a new start - literally, I felt like all of my strength had dropped to the level it was a year ago. I know that's not true, I know. Soon I will be what I was just few weeks ago. And getting stronger!

I just have to take good care of myself, because I can't afford terrible breaks like this. Whole week lying on the couch watching TV was horrible and made me feel like lazy, fat bastard, even though I know it was not my fault I got sick and my part was to give my body a permission and time to heal and get better.

Hopefully the next class on Friday will be easier. Now I need a good night sleep and let my body think about what we've been doing today... I'm SO not going to give up, tomorrow I'm going to be "stronger than yesterday"... ;)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

You don't know what you've got till it's gone.

I've been totally sick for two days. This is my third day with this terrible flu. And of course I'm not gonna get any exercise for a long, long time. I can easily see how all healthy habits support each other - I have been eating junk food, explaining "I have to get more energy to make my body recover". Yeah, right. Like oat meal wouldn't do the same.

Today I must get out and face the world with my red nose, because I have some classes at school I just can't miss if I want to pass the course.

Oh, I miss Bodypump! I miss Bodycombat! I miss running and I miss the sweat! I miss the tired but happy feeling after some serious workout.

Getting sick is really a terrible thing to happen to a person who enjoys using his/her body as much as I do. I've been tied to my computer and TV, but hopefully this is going to be over soon and I can be seen at the gym with more energy than ever.

You don't know when it hits you, so take care of yourself. You may not remember it now, but this really sucks. So guys, appreciate your health when you have it! That's my message for today!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

My kind of BP instructor

I've become more and more critical about BP instructors along the way. It's sad because it keeps me from enjoying the class 100%. I truly admire good instructors who give me their best while I go to their classes. All respect to those people, they are stars of my life.

At first I need to tell you that all the instructors are female at my gym. I'd be excited to visit some class where there would be a male instructor, just to see if it's somehow different.

And now... The technique can be ok, but the instructor doesn't know the song that well. It really bothers me, because I like the idea of getting the same workout every time. It's something that is not about the instructors personality. Of course there are differences between instructors -thank God, they're not clones- BUT the choreography should be the same every time. I think most of people recognize when the chorus-part of the song begins. Usually the counting of the moves changes that ,moment. It's frustrating when the instructor is always "late". My dream instructor always knows where the song is going and what's coming next and gives the right instructions at the right time.

There are instructors who don't care to learn the new programs. Some seem to think the BP 55's biceps-song, "Galvanize" by The Chemical Brothers, is too darn difficult and they just switch it to some old song and either get more time to learn the new song or just kill time and wait for the new program.

Those instructors are ladies, who have been teaching Bodypump for too long. They are not that enthusiastic anymore, maybe they have their busy life with their family and normal full-time-job. They probably know that nobody's going to take their license away from them anyway.

My dream instructor would have the new program as soon as it's released (meaning: she/he should learn it quickly but still well) and then later, after few months, play something the class wants to have. Is it normal elsewhere to start the new program bit by bit, not having the whole program at once, but slowly changing the songs to new ones? Because here most of the instructors do that. That way they have more time to practice, but I think, maybe it would better to have the whole program at once but just later.

There should be more testing for instructors. Some time ago there was an instructor whose technique was terrible, and I just couldn't concentrate at all while watching her doing her terrible moves and all the people following her mistakes. But there's no way of telling the instructor that her technique sucks, is there? I mean, if I could tell precisely what she's doing wrong, I didn't have the guts to go there and say it aloud to a so-called professional.

Some instructors won't mind if you're doing your workout totally wrong, probably hurting your back or shoulders. They are having their own show in front of the class, and not having much interaction with the group. I think it would be a great idea to have lessons with two instructors, one doing the workout in front of the class and other moving in the crowd and correcting the moves.

People like different things. I like an instructor who doesn't shout all the time, but gives instructions with a gentle voice so that I can hear the song and get it's rhythm. If the instructor yells something to the mic, I usually can't get any sense of what she's saying -it just hurts me ears.

It really shows if the person in front of the room loves the workout and the songs and the moves... you can tell it by looking at her face. It says "we're having this great workout together" and "I really hope you guys love this as much as I do". That makes me feel I'm not the only person who appreciates the great program. If the instructor believes we can get both results and good vibes from it, I just have to agree with her.

I really wish I could be someday the instructor who gives great moments to people, not the one people like me are writing and complaining about. It's really demanding to have that kind of a job, being vulnerable and open to all critic from people who don't even know what it's like to be there teaching Bodypump and giving your all for that.

Welcome to my new blog


This is my new blog where I share my thoughts about fitness, workout and healthy lifestyle. I'm trying to find good links to other sites and then share them with you. The reason for writing in English is simple - that way I can communicate with people who love the same things I do, all over the world. I'd be glad to reach you in some way, get new friends and fresh ideas on what's going on and what's HOT in fitness right now where you live.

English is not my native language, feel free to correct my spelling mistakes and bad choises of words, hopefully it doesn't irritate you too much and stop you from reading my blog. I'll try my best!

I started going to Les Mills BTS classes 1.3.2004, the very day when I joined a club, Beauty center (sorry, the site is in Finnish), which is a fitness club only for women. I fell in love with Bodybalance, Bodypump and Bodystep. Sometimes, but not regularly, I enjoy RPM. The newest class is Bodycombat, of which just started at my gym. I love it, I love it, I love it! I also do some other excercise, like pace workout, and I recently started having a 30-60 minutes of jogging twice a week. I'm a Bodypump fanatic and hopefully someday I'll be teaching it myself.

I hope you all fitnesslovers find this blog and we'll get some conversation started. I'm doing my best to make this blog motivational, inspirational, informational and still personal - if someone could share the deepest feelings with me. For example Bodypump isn't just an hour of lifting weights up and down. It's more than a habit and an ordinary part of my week, it's a big part of my life and it represents my choises for better, healthier lifestyle - the better life I want to have. You know, all good things support each other.

With special peace and love,

Hani, 23 years, Oulu, Finland