cross training, Strength

How I Strength Train: Body Pump 105

Here in Columbia, Body Pump 105 was just released at all the area Muv Fitness clubs (I belong to the one on Forest Drive) and will be the routine used by all the instructors through next Friday, May 4. For whatever reason (personal commitments, sleeping late), I’ve managed to miss the last couple of releases when they came out, so I was glad to actually show up for one on Sunday (and again this morning) to see what’s new in the land of Pump.

With that brief introduction, here’s my quick and dirty review of Body Pump 105.

What I love about the new release

The chest track. The moves themselves are nothing new – combination of chest presses and push-ups – but an awesome song, like “The Man” by The Killers, makes a routine workout instantly awesome. I frickin’ love this song! (This video, starting at about 1:10, shows a clip of the Les Mills master instructors from Down Under leading the push-ups segment.

Here’s our instructor (and fellow runner) Randy doing the chest presses!

One thing I love and kinda hate about the new release

The lunge track. Whenever the instructor starts off by saying, “you don’t need your bar for this track,” I figure that a) he or she is wussing out, and yes, I really would get a lot more out of it by using the bar with my usual lunge weight, or b) they’re getting ready to queue up “Show Me Heaven” (a Jazzercised version of the song from Days of Thunder) or another track full of forward- or back-stepping lunges that don’t work with a bar. Well, “b” was the correct answer this time, and the barless track really packed a punch with all the pulse-speed squats and lunges.

What I LOVE about this lunge track is that it’s such a good workout and one that could easily be done in a living room or hotel room or wherever you have space to do squats and back-stepping lunges – and there are lots and lots of them, and the tempo gets faster the deeper you get into the workout on each leg. (This video, starting around 3:40, shows you what I’m talking about.)

And here’s Randy again. Holy crap, this track is hard!

What I didn’t so much like in the middle of it (at least the first time) was the quick transition between the lunges and squats during the fastest part: during that sequence, the one leg gets no break whatsoever, so I could feel my IT bands (or something on the outside of the thigh) burning as I pivoted between the lunge stance and squat stance on that leg. Yikes! I also found myself leaning toward the less-fatigued leg every time we switched from lunges to squats. Fortunately, I was able to run 6 miles immediately after the class I went to on Sunday and for 9 miles on Wednesday morning without any issues.

All in all, Body Pump 105 is a great class and was well worth showing up for, even at 5:30 a.m. on a Friday!

If you’re not in the habit of strength training at least once a week, you absolutely should be! We running junkies tend to prioritize the running above all else, exercise-wise, but a good weekly or twice-weekly strength workout provides multiple benefits that will help to prevent injury and make you an even stronger runner. (More on that in a forthcoming post.)

For more information on Body Pump in general, Google “Les Mills Body Pump” (the Les Mills classes are licensed to health and fitness clubs around the world) and check out their promo videos as well as the videos that instructors have posted to show what a class in a gym looks like.

So, have you been to Body Pump since 105 came out? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments!


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