Body Pump: Do’s and Don’ts for Your First Class

Friday, 4 September 2015  |  Running + Triathlon


It’s been several months back when I tried my first Body Pump class at Fitness First. Before then, I would watch other members wait patiently for the previous class to end and, when the door to the studio would open, they would rush into the room, reserve their spot, and methodically prepare their bar, dumbells, weights, and mat on their space. It got me curious. So, one day, I decided to try it.

Fitness First’s Body Pump® classes are the original Les Mills barbell class. The classes are for sculpting, toning, and strengthening your body.  The instructor focuses on using light to medium weights and high repetition movements with music playing in the background. It’s a total body workout with exercises for the arms, legs, and core.

I’ll be honest with you. My first class was quite embarrassing and intimidating. I thought I was a strong athlete, but this class taught me that, while my endurance is strong, I certainly lacked in strength. The exercises such as dead lifts with a bar, dumbbell squats, or arms exercises using weights were quite easy in the start, but after a number of sets, I was just dying! Even when we were doing core work, I could barely finish the routine! The instructor was great though and so were my classmates (who were lifting heavier weights than I was, but were doing more than I could) so, despite my suffering, the class was informal and fun. After the session, I truly felt the burn and, honestly, I loved it! I came back for more since then and, as long as my sched coincides with Body Pump, I join in on the fun.

If you want to add some strength and conditioning into your routine, check out the Body Pump class at Fitness First. In case you do try it, here are some do’s and don’ts for beginners:

  1. Don’t be intimidated. I felt nervous when I was preparing my much lighter weights among all these other toned women at the studio. But, it’s important to always remind yourself that they all were beginners in the past too. Besides, these women are probably supportive of you and are glad you’re trying it out.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask. Preparing all your equipment in the start can be unnerving. What weight do you use? How many dumbells do you need? When do we use the mat? Feel free to ask your classmate or the instructor.
  3. Do use light weights first. Body Pump has a lot more reps and sets for a particular exercise. Be conservative in the start and use light weights. You can always gradually increase as you progress.
  4. Do watch yourself in the mirror. Good form is important not just to work the right muscles, but also to prevent injury, especially for us runners!
  5. Do have fun. Lifting weights in a class setting with great music is a different experience. It’s more enjoyable and fun. Don’t forget to smile!