I’ve been telling you both here on this blog and through Twitter and Instagram that I’ve been to the gym VERY regularly since the beginning of March. I’m sure that 50% of my commitment to the activity of going, is because I have the gym building right across the street. So today I decided that I wanted to share with you what I’ve been doing there and the benefits it’s been giving me.
I’m going to be honest with you: I was unsure about sharing progress pictures on here, and on social media platforms mostly on Instagram, because as inspiring as I find them every once in a while, I’m also aware that they perpetuate the idea that being thinner/fitter makes you prettier ergo more accepted/desirable/loved. And even when this is true, something at a psychological level happened to me when I started taking these classes at the gym, that I believe is worth sharing (and guess what? My body was the least of my concerns at the time I was starting out).
What is body pump?
In my case, this is how my class goes:
The weight to use depends on a number of factors:
Type of routine: Some routines are longer and consist of more repetitions (hence you can use less weight) and others are the complete opposite, shorter tracks and less repetitions (more weight).
Experience: This depends on whether you’ve been working out or not. Usually you are told to use the minimum weight during your first two classes, even if you’ve been working out, so that you can experience the whole class and check how your body feels after completing them.
Progress: Another important factor is your progress through time. I, for example, doubled the weight after 2 months of going to class every day, and now at 5 months I’m at 5 times that inicial weight. Of course, your diet and the way your body work are important — in my case, I’m real bad at anything to do with cardio, so weight lifting is perfect for me.
Desire of evolution: Clean and simple. If you don’t want to get as big as Terminator (kidding… only not :P), then you can settle with a weight you’re comfortable with and gives you exactly what you want — oh, and don’t forget to let your trainer know about this! They usually push you to strive for more and surpass yourself, but they don’t exactly know what your goals are while taking their class! 😉
Why I started taking body pump classes
The truth is that I discovered this discipline hazardously.
I’d been trying different things for years, and I even tried to make a comeback at swimming (total fail), but nothing ever made me feel as hooked as body pump. A year ago, I’d have told you that I was too lazy to work out and that I didn’t even see the benefit of putting gym hours before any other activity.
Nevertheless, I decided to give the gym another try at the beginning or March. It is right across the street, how can I say no to that?! The class that fit better with my schedule back then was body pump, so I decided to try it and I ended up falling in love!
It’s super important to find a discipline you enjoy and even might feel passionate about. I swear to you guys, every time I have to skip class for a meal with friends, a doctor appointment or whatever adult chore I have to do, something inside of me squeezes my heart a bit hahaha. That’s how much I like it.
It’s equally important that you LOVE your trainer/professor. If it doesn’t feel like they’re enjoying the class and never correct you, how are you supposed to like it/do it right?
In my case, I found the perfect combination I never knew I needed: an excellent trainer, a wonderful group and a discipline that fits my needs perfectly.
The transformation of my body
To be completely honest with you, yes, I dropped some weight, but not thanks to working out. (Please don’t follow my footsteps) When I go through some serious sh*t in my life, I tend to lose my appetite and not eat properly, if at all, which is exactly what happened to me by the end of March. Nevertheless, through the following months and as my mood lifted (partially thanks to these classes!), I gained back that weight in muscle, bettered my posture and went down 1 bottom size.
I’m sorry I don’t have any measurement or kg data about these changes, as I didn’t really document much of it, but you will be able to clearly see the difference (when I started the gym, I was basically the same as the photo of March 2018):
Funniest thing of all, is that these physical changes didn’t happen on purpose
Yes, I did benefit physically, but the reasons why I started and kept on going with this discipline are very different:
On one side, I devoted myself to training because it helped me grieve the loss of a loved one.
Going to class was the only way, for at least 1 hour, to stop my brain from overthinking. Body pump requires you to be fully concentrated; you have to check your posture every time and adjust your core to keep your balance and prevent injuries from happening. I always say to those who ask me: the key to climb back up from the bottom, was going to therapy and attending to my body pump class, taking care of both my mental and physical health.
And, on the other side, the quick progress that was made gave me a new sense of purpose.
I’d never gotten results faster in anything else in my life. I have no idea how far I want to go with my training right now, but I do know that I want to keep on going and challenging myself to become stronger.
It’s not just about the body; it’s also about the mind
I know that each person is a whole unique world on their own, and that my experience is only valid for me and only me. But I think it’s essential to highlight the real and most important reason to start any type of physical activity.
Yes, looking (socially acceptable) “pretty” has it’s benefits (whatever…), I’m not going to say otherwise. But that shouldn’t be our main reason to work out!
Day after day I see people commiting to different activities that they LOATHE just because they want to have someone else’s body or “get ready for summer” (I don’t get this: as far as you have a body and you’re breathing, you ARE f*cking ready for summer LOL).
The focus in working out is on health, and not just physical! Also mental.
When we say that working out “gives you more energy”, we’re talking about the gym making you feel “lighter”. It’s about you walking out feeling lighter than you felt when you walked in an hour ago. Lighter to have a clearer mind that allows you to come up with new ideas that will benefit the other areas of your life.
Don’t say “I HAVE to go to the gym” as if you’re carrying the elliptical on your shoulders as you go by. Say “I WANT to go to the gym”. You want to go because you CAN go and benefits your body and impacts your health, both physical and mental. Hence I invite you to kick society’s a*s, that society that is trying to convince you that you have to work out to lose those 5kgs in excess that make you “obese” and therefore catalogs you as ugly (even reading these words make me cringe…). Because we all know that’s bullsh*t, right? :*