I was unsure about Body Pump, Body Combat and Body Balance (The Les Mills group training classes we offer at the Club) as I thought that these tailored workouts were for instructors who lacked the ingenuity to come up with their own choreography.
People would ask me after a freelance class “Do you teach Body Pump or Body Combat?” I would often reply “No I can arrange my own choreography thanks”. Questions like this became more and more frequent. Participants were clearly enjoying Pump & Combat and it seemed that I was being pushed in this direction too. I didn’t even really consider taking any fitpro courses as I thought this could be just a passing fad. Any freelance instructor could almost be forgiven for thinking that this was just another fad after all our industry sees as many trends and crazes as the fashion catwalks of London and New York. Well it turned out that this wasn’t going to be a fad. When Body Pump arrived it did take the nation by storm. Packed classes with motivational music and good exercises focusing on good form were filling up the timetable slots that would otherwise be filled with freelance instructor classes. Classes were packed full of Body Pump, Combat & Balance and enthusiasts. I had obviously been left behind!
I probably wouldn’t have gone on the Body Pump course had it not have been held in Cambridge. I went along expecting a ‘drill sergeant’ approach to training which would leave us all feeling useless and sore for the entire week and David Kyle (UK Director of Body Pump) certainly lived up to that expectation. We were presented with CDs, choreography notes and guidelines on how to stay within “the essence of Body Pump” I was still quite unsure of what this was exactly. As the course went on we were drilled on technique and form, cueing and how to connect and to motivate and correct our participants. This was all very similar to other qualifications in group exercise but I would have to say that I was impressed in how the Body Pump team managed to push and motivate and get more out of us each day. Over the course of the three days I realised that my body was capable of much more than what I had been subjecting it to and I would have to raise my game if I wanted to get fitter and stronger and become a credible Body Pump instructor.
The advantages are pretty obvious really. You get excellent music and inventive choreography with guidelines on how to teach the class and how to create ‘Fitness Magic’. The fitness magic phenomenon seems to be one of the most important and powerful elements of the class as it involves connecting, motivating and inviting the participants to have fun in their workout. There are many good instructors out there who have the capacity to develop their own great choreography and have access to awesome music but not so many have a good grasp on how to create Fitness Magic, including me as I feel it’s something that comes in time. It is the Fitness Magic that motivates your participants and enables them to have more fun during your workout and any decent instructor can tell that any workout plan is more likely to be successful if it is fun to do.
Other practical advantages include saving time. As a freelance instructor I would spend hours choreographing routines that were challenging, not too complex but still effective. They were also diverse from the previous workout. Each workout has to tick boxes such as phrase structure and intensity. I don’t have to spend time arranging choreography for Body Pump as everything is provided and the choreography is more innovative and effective than anything I could create. Having the considerable resources of the Body Pump team at your disposal is a serious advantage. I am learning new moves and techniques all of the time. I am finding and correcting faults in my form which I have had for years and I am getting stronger and fitter. The main advantage is that I have raised the bar as to how much I feel my body is capable of. I have learnt to find new limits and push beyond my self-imposed limitations and I in turn can recognise the limitations of others and help them push to their maximum.
This was very much an aspect of the ‘essence of Body Pump’.
David Davies - View my Class Finder profile