BodyPump – is it right for you?! |


Over the last week I’ve had  a small debate with some other PT’s and gym go-ers, over the use, benefits and reasons behind bodypump, on twitter.

Now, I’ve not done this class, and I don’t intend to! The following is my personal/professional opinion – feel free to question or put your comments forward!

Before I go into the reasons I don’t like it, I want to say that ANY exercise is better than no exercise, and as someone who runs successful bootcamps, I know the benefits of group training, both physically and mentally. Also if you mix your training up, and “cross-train” fine, but beware using one form of training as the only form, and from attending too often for the reasons below.

1) I have a phrase that is also used on our “Gym Free” workshop – “You can workout hard, or you can workout long” Unortauntely, BP falls in to the later. If you think you workout hard and not long, attend our workshops, and we’ll show you short and hard!

2) Ask any Personal Trainer worth their salt, and they will tell you to lift relatively heavy, and keep repeations fairly low (sub 16). BP Does not do this. I’ve heard of tracks lasting 5mins on one particular movement or exercise. This is not intense. This is working long, not hard.

3) “But I feel the Burn”?! Do anything for 5-6 mins and you’ll feel the burn! Lift the TV controller above your head for 5-6 mins and your shoulder will burn! This is due to the repetitive movement of a muscle, and the build up of lactic acid due to this “overload”  – “The Burn” is not a sign of hard, effective work!

4) Everyone tends to have muscles imbalances, due to daily activities and postural issues. They won’t always be apparent, but at some point, if you take part in a form of exercise long enough – they will appear as aches, pains, and often as injuries. Muscles have a job to do. When you have an imbalance, muscles will start to do more jobs than they are designed to do, placing the body in a weaker position, pulling you out of alignment, and in time, causing injury.

Working for 3-5 mins on one movement, will find these imbalances, overload them, and likely causing RSi injuries or worse.

5) Poor Form – Working out to a track for such a long time, is not likely to promote “good form” – by this I mean squatting to or below thighs parallel to the ground,. with a flat/neutral back when squatting as an example. You will see too many “half-arsed” squats, which will do very little for the butt – the exercise most people squat to improve. Unless the instructor is super organised, or you are aware of your movements, you’re not gonna get a great workout.

6) “But I sweat and get a great workout” – What’s great? Your endorphins are up due to elevated heart rate and working out, and you sweat because you are moving non stop for 3-5mins. I could get you doing that with a challenging set of weighted squats, performing just 5 reps for a total of 40secs! Again, sweating is not a sign of a great workout! Continuous workloads, where your heart rate is elevated, will actually produce adrenaline and cortisol – 2 stress hormones, which when prolonged can break down muscle tissue, and place stress on the body – surely something your trying to eliminate through working out?!

So…… hopefully this might make you consider why you’re doing something, and that should be a question you often ask yourself;

“Why am I doing this?”

You should always have an answer…….if not, do something else and ask the question again – don’t follow the crowd!


Tags: bodypump