TTTG part 2: BODYPUMP. Someone make the soreness stop

Last time in Tara Tours The Gym, I told you that my gym features several of the Les Mills fitness classes. The first one I went to was BODYSTEP, but the most popular and the most famous of the Les Mills classes is BODYPUMP.


This is what it looks like. Except I am not as fit as these women and I sweat 100% more.

BODYPUMP has the most rotation at my gym at least, and apparently everyone except me has heard of this class. While most gym classes are about cardio, BODYPUMP is about strengthening and pumping muscles with weights. Hence the PUMP. I was apprehensive about this class because before I went to it my friend Melanie told me, “I was so sore after that class that I thought I was sick.” And my coworker said, “Oh God, I was so sore after that, I like, died!” and lastly my dad said to me, in a dark and foreboding tone: “I’ve seen that class, it’s…demanding.”

For those of you out there who are saying, “Well duh Tara, it’s BODYPUMP! Everyone knows about that class.” Well, I didn’t. Before this project I had never taken it, and I had no idea what it entailed. All I knew was that it was the most popular class at my gym.

When I got to the gym there was already a long line in front of the studio, and everyone looked like they had done it before. By the way, I’ve recently come to realize that I’m not dressing properly for the gym. All the women were beautiful and fit, and they were all wearing yoga pants, and the kind of tank tops that you can tell are bought specifically from the “Work out attire” section of target. My gym wardrobe is like, “Hey, I have these PJ pants I don’t really sleep in anymore…and I’ve got this shirt that they gave me when I donated blood. That works for the gym right?”

Finally the class before ours ended, and everyone began rushing around the gym with a sense of urgency and purpose that made me feel very out of place. There are a lot of props that go into BODYPUMP.  I found out that you need to set up a step, then get a mat, then get weights and a bar. Seeing the step from BODYSTEP again terrified me for a moment because all I could think was, “Oh God, this is what BODYPUMP is, they are going to make me jump over and dance around this step, and lift heavy weights above my head, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. I’m going to kill myself, it’s for sure this time.”

new years

My parents should use this as my obituary photo. Underneath it will say. “Tara was TARA-IFIC. She will be missed.”

Luckily, that didn’t happen, the step was just something for us to sit down on. But back to the weights portion of this class. I had no idea how much weight to put on my bar, but I didn’t want to hold up the class, so I went for 10 pounds on each side, and then grabbed two 5 pound weights to put on later. I decided to start small so that I wouldn’t wimp out during the middle of the workout, especially since I had no idea what it was going to entail in the slightest. I felt really embarrassed later though, as I watched all the petite, yoga-pants-wearing women hefting around heavier bars than me.

halloween tall

Don’t let my large frame deceive you, my muscles are actually made of marshmallow fluff.

Then the class began. This workout is definitely all about strength training, and much less about cardio. There was a lot of squatting with the bar, lifting the bar over your head, laying down on the bench and doing presses, etc, etc. The idea is that every major muscle group gets used. And everyone in the class seemed really serious about what we were doing. Like sometimes after difficult sets, when the instructor indicated that we were done everyone would yell and fling the bar to the ground with a loud, dramatic thunk. Like, I started getting the feeling that I wasn’t grunting enough.


I guess this is how we’re all supposed to do it.

I definitely had to really work in the class. Just like in the BODYSTEP before, I started sweating immediately into the class, and didn’t stop until we were done. There were parts where I couldn’t do what everyone else was doing. I’d have to rest for a rep, or just do a different variation.

Finally though, the class ended. My muscles felt abused.

Actual serious thoughts about the class:

Everybody was right, this class was pretty intense…but not from a cardio perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I sweated, but I sweat at the slightest provocation. Cardio classes are my favorite, because I just feel like I’m burning more calories. I feel like I need to do this again though. I’ve always heard that it’s important to have a mix of cardio and strength training in a fitness regimen. I wouldn’t ONLY do this class, but it would be something good to work in my routine once or twice a week. I need to work on my muscle strength. Which I know because…

What was sore afterwards: OMG EVERYTHING. ARMS. LEGS. ABS. MAKE IT STOP.

Will I go again: Yeah, at least once. Especially since they have like 4 of these classes everyday at my gym. Like I said, it’s popular.

And that is all for today. Come back for the next installment, where I find out that Pilates is an exercise class, and NOT a fancy dessert!



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