When I initially decided to join a gym about ten years ago I pretty much only ever stayed in one very small area of the building: the cardio section. I would walk in, jump on the treadmill or elliptical trainer for about 45 minutes and leave. I wasn’t really sure what to do in the weight room and found it to be pretty intimidating, so I steered clear of it altogether. But then I got bored. I decided that I wanted to start doing exercise in the form of strength training to build some muscles! And then one day, as if by fate, I noticed a flyer for a new class that the gym was offering: Les Mills Bodypump.
Bodypump is described as the original Les Mills barbell class and will sculpt, tone and strengthen your entire body, fast! The classes use a specific formula of resistance training that is referred to as “The Rep Effect.” This essentially means that the classes focus on using low weight loads and high repetition movements for effective fat burning and production of lean muscle tissue. (Or, in my own words – it’s an hour of strength training combined with cardio moves that will kick your butt and re-shape your body.)
Nervously, I decided to give Bodypump a try, and I loved it! Even though the class was nearly an hour long, it went by super quickly and I enjoyed every heart-pumping minute. I immediately became hooked and found myself faithfully attending the class three times a week. I loved it so much in fact that I eventually decided to become a certified Les Mills Bodypump instructor! (more…)
Les Mills is a fitness regimen that covers what the company believes is needed to give gym goers an overall fit body. Within the Les Mills family is an indoor cycling class called RPM, which can be fun. Like other indoor cycling classes, it depends on the energy given by the instructor. We check it out so you know what to expect on your first, or subsequent, visits.
What is Les Mills RPM?
Choreography is already in place, so every instructor teaches the same tracks and gives the same overall workout. Unlike more traditional classes, RPM has its own positions. Instead of first, second, and third position it uses “ride easy,” “standing climb,” “power climb,” “aero racing,” and “standing attack.” These positions allow the rider to better utilize both the quads and the hamstring muscles while keeping the core active.
Anyone who has ever been to an indoor cycling class can probably testify that the first time they were told to “engage your hamstrings” in second position it was very challenging! (more…)
Despite the fact that I’ve been teaching group exercise for close to 10 years now, I am not always the most gifted when it comes to coordination and dance skills. Sure, I can do the basic step-touch or even a mamba here or there, but when you start asking me to do one thing with my feet, another with my hips and something entirely different with my arms, my eyes cross and my body simply does not compute.
I recently decided to try a new dance exercise class: BodyJam by Les Mills. Just like any group exercise class, there was a bit of a learning curve, but I really enjoyed it. With high-energy music that makes you want to move and a variety of dance formats — salsa, hip hop, jazz, contemporary and even some rock ‘n’ roll moves — there were a few parts during the class that I felt like I actually “got” it. Other times, not so much, but the instructor had a fabulous way of breaking down even the most complicated moves to easy-to-do steps. At one point, I looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe that I was moving my arms up and down, while shaking my hips and turning my knees in and out! It was a group-fitness miracle. (more…)
Guest blogger, Vicki L. VanArsdale is a freelance writer, certified personal trainer and nutrition consultant. By adopting a healthy and active lifestyle, she has lost 100 lbs. Her mission is to motivate and inspire people through her actions and words. Get healthy from the inside, out is her motto. Learn more on Vicki’s blog.
My favorite class at the moment is BodyFlow. It was created by New Zealand Olympic athlete, Les Mills and can be found in gyms throughout the world. BodyFlow is an hour-long class that combines Tai Chi, yoga, Pilates, balance exercises, stretching, relaxation and meditation. New classes are released every three months, with new moves and new music.
Les Mills group exercise classes are held at the gym where I work as a personal trainer. After peering through the glass a few times and wondering what the heck they were doing in there I decided to investigate. (more…)