Pumping in Pleasanton

You have to practice to workout.  True story.

On Sunday, I joined a group of fellow BODYPUMP instructors from across Northern California for a practice session to try the new choreography that will be debuted in January at all the 24 Hour Fitness clubs.  A Les Mills BODYPUMP trainer was there to lead the session, and she not only gave us great insight into the research behind the makeup of moves in the new release, but she also pushed us to work harder than we usually do, by adding more weights onto our bars.

Every quarter of the year, Les Mills releases brand new music and choreography, which keeps the essence of each of the ten individual Les Mills programs, but continues to build on the innovations of the last.  That means you always have a similar structure and song order for a BODYPUMP class, but the particular songs for each muscle group may incorporate new moves along with new music and combinations.  You never get bored teaching BODYPUMP, because the music is always great, and the entire program is designed to be challenging, yet achievable.

I’ve been a group fitness believer for four years now and a teacher for three-and-a-half.  Something I learned from the very beginning, is you have to practice in order to effectively teach group fitness.

The trainer at this particular practice session reminded us that we have to continually push ourselves harder, so we know what members new to BODYPUMP feel like when they are experiencing a very challenging workout.  The idea of pushing yourself harder and practicing to teach are not new, but as it goes in life, you always get a few additional tidbits of wisdom when you actively work with others on your craft in a live setting.

I certainly walked away with a few new ways to reach my members, in addition to a tweak in my own technique.

My family of gyms in Orlando didn’t hold these types of practice sessions formally, so this event was a welcome benefit for me as a new 24 Hour Fitness employee.

If I had to guess, I would say there were nearly 50 instructors in the group fitness studio for this session.  Held at a huge 24 Hour Fitness outside of the city in a place called Pleasanton, the studio was so large there were TV screens above where the instructor stands to give a better view to members in the back of the classroom.

I had never been to this area before and boldly chose to use the BART subway system to reach the destination.  It was a 45-minute ride, followed by a four-minute walk, so in theory it wasn’t bad.  However, my ride home was unfortunately on the worst smelling BART train I have ever set foot.   Oddly enough, the trains were full on a Sunday evening so I had no choice but to remain in my seat, and it was a gut-wrenching stench that lasted all 45 minutes.  Even better — when I got off the train, I stepped in vomit.

Yup.  I carried that all the way home with me on my shiny, orange sneaks.

All in all, it was well worth the effort on a Sunday afternoon to put a little more weight on the bar and experience the new BODYPUMP release with fellow instructors.

But, maybe next time I should drive.

So, if you are lucky enough to have attended a BODYPUMP class, what is your favorite thing about it?  And if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

My station for the big workout.
My station for the big workout.
Northern California instructors ready for a practice session.
Northern California instructors ready for a practice session.
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