In the wide world of fitness clubs, men usually like to exclusively work out in the weight room.  The ellipticals and treadmills will do on occasion, but the fitness classes are generally reserved for only the women.  Maybe it’s machismo or maybe men just do not like working out in groups, but there are some great classes out there that many men will enjoy.  One of those classes is Les Mills’ Body Pump. 

A former Olympian from New Zealand, Les Mills, and his son developed Body Pump and a number of other fitness classes available at over 13,000 gyms in over 75 countries.  Their Body Pump class is essentially a 60-minute weight lifting, endurance class.  Throughout the hour-long class led by trained instructors, participants will work every major muscle group in their bodies while accompanied by upbeat music tracks to get your juices flowing.  The instructors will guide the class in a series of exercises, synchronized to the beat of the music, which seek to give participants a full workout of each core muscle group.   The music and progression of the exercises within each group varies frequently, as a new class is “released” every three months. 

What To Expect When You First Attend Body Pump

You can always spot a man who attends his first Body Pump class—he is so used to maxing out in the weight room but will soon realize that he cannot do the same in this class.  In the first warm up track, first-timer men will load up, generally with at least twice as much weight as they should.  About halfway through that first track they will realize too much weight is on their barbell.  Some will tough it out for the rest of the track, but many will drop some weight to more comfortable levels. 

So before you attend your first Body Pump class, get it in your brain that you are not in the weight room.  This is a completely different way of working out.  Listen to the instructor to see what he/she recommends for first-timers.  Generally, 15 total pounds added to a barbell is a good startup weight.  For each track, your instructors will give guidelines to determine what weight is recommended for each track.  For example, it is recommended that you double to triple your warm-up weight for the squat track, which immediately follows the warm-up exercises.  Heed these guidelines. 

Why This Class Is Great For Men

Men usually tend to meander through the weight room.  After each exercise, most men will let their heart rate fall and fully recover before starting their next set of reps. This can certainly create a great work out and can be conducive to building muscle mass, but this way of working out is very different than Body Pump.  In Body Pump, your heart rate should be at high levels throughout your work out.  Recovery is not an option.  You may not build muscle mass as quickly, but the point of Body Pump is to tone and shape your muscles.  You might be sore for a few days after your first class, but you will leave your feeling confident that you just had a great work out.