Since I have a well-documented habit of coping with stress with eating, I’ve tried to counterbalance some of that by hitting the YMCA during the day a little bit. Sometimes I just hit the treadmill, but I finally braved a BodyPump class last week.
First – I AM TERRIFIED OF FITNESS CLASSES. I’ve been a member at the YMCA for about 7 years and have NEVER gone to a class before. The only classes I’ve ever attended was a Zumba class at a church a few times and my boot camp. And both times were TERRIFYING. I mean, obviously I survived since I’m still going to boot camp 2 years later, but still…TERRIFYING. I get so worked up about embarrassing myself that just GOING is a huge step, much less going back.
So – I decided to try BodyPump because it’s not a class that requires rhythm. That’s one of the things I fear the most, having to watch myself in a mirror looking like a FOOL. BodyPump is all weights/strength training stuff so I figured I could handle watching myself do that. I got there 15 minutes early so I could watch people get set up and see what they did. I had a bit of a bad experience at first, with someone who may naturally be snarky and making me feel dumb, but once I made it clear I was new there were two girls who helped me get everything I needed. Which is actually a lot. You don’t just walk in and do a BodyPump class. There’s benches and bars and plates and mats and dumbbells.
THAT’S A LOT OF STUFF.
Those type of situations are especially stressful for me because I have separate anxieties for EACH item. Basically each of those items represents a different way I could humiliate myself. Why didn’t I choose a class that involved only MY BODY. I mean, there’s tons that could go wrong there too, but that’s only ONE THING.
But I did it! I got all of the stuff together. I found a spot on the side, in the middle – not in the front – not in the back. And I braced myself for the new experience!
It was basically a weight-lifting class. The tricky part was knowing what weights to use. I found a few girls in the class that looked about my fitness level and followed their lead. Some of the choices were too light, some were too heavy, but it was a good place to start. I think you definitely have to go to BodyPump a few times before you make a judgement, just to give you time to find the right weights for the right body parts.
My favorite thing about the class? Was that I loved watching myself in the mirror! Can you believe I just said that? But seriously! Watching myself lift weights was fun because I could actually see my muscles in use…which I’ve never done before. It turns out that it’s easier to ignore the flab around your midsection when you are watching your quads or shoulders flex under the weight of a barbell with 16KGs on it as I did several reps and sets of the different exercises.
(I’m such an American. I found myself very frustrated in the KG labels on the plates instead of LBs. It hurt my brain to translate.)
Overall? I loved it. It didn’t have the humiliating “dance” aspect of some classes and it allowed me to see my muscles in use which gave me a huge confidence boost. It didn’t have any cardio, which is fine since I get that in my running. I’ve gone twice now and I’ll keep going back as long as it fits into my schedule!
Have you done BodyPump? What do you think.