Body Pump Training (Pumping)

One of the options for barbell training is Body Pump. This type of physical activity has its specific characteristics.

Key Features

Body Pump (BP) or pumping is a type of physical activity with the following features:

  • Combines cardio and strength training
  • Is highly dynamic
  • Enacts all the muscles of the body in turn
  • Guarantees a fat-burning effect

BP classes are held in groups with dynamic musical accompaniment. A special collapsible barbell is used to perform the exercises. To work out each muscle group, a particular set of paired discs with a weight of 1, 2.5, and 5 kg is used.

The Benefits of BP

Pumping exercises help achieve the following positive results:

  • Provide the right load for the whole body and not just selected muscle groups
  • Train heart endurance
  • Improve physical fitness
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Align posture
  • Prevent the appearance of problems with the spine and osteoporosis

In addition to the above, Body Pump is characterized by other advantages:

  1. Right Mix of Aerobic and Power Loads
    • A fast training pace combined with light weights guarantees a positive effect from training.
  2. Simplicity of the Exercises
    • The training program lacks complex elements of choreography, where movements are performed simultaneously with hands and feet. There are no difficulties with mastering and memorizing basic exercises.
  3. Lack of Pumped Muscles
    • Using a barbell doesn’t mean that the muscles will become excessively bulky and “bloated.” Using low-weight discs enables you to simply keep them in constant shape.
  4. The Ability to Change the Weight
    • Weight adjustment depends on the level of physical fitness. Training experience makes it possible to gradually increase the load without harming the body.

An important advantage of pumping is the periodic updating of the program. Changes take place once every three months. They relate not only to exercises but also to the music to which the training is performed. Thanks to such updates, classes don’t become boring, and you don’t feel the desire to quit them. There is no persistent habituation to exercises, and their effectiveness remains at a high level.

The Effectiveness of Weight Loss Classes

The desire to lose weight is one of the most common reasons why women engage in some kind of physical activity. Pumping completely satisfies this desire.

The high pace at which the workout takes place allows you to burn about 500-600 calories in a one-hour session. To start active fat splitting, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Exercise intensively for at least 40 minutes
  • Follow the correct technique for performing exercises

A regular strength workout at the gym burns 200 to 300 calories.

Disadvantages and Contraindications

Like any training process, Body Pump has its drawbacks.

Firstly, such activities are not suitable for active muscle building and increasing muscle volume.

Secondly, such training is inappropriate for beginners who lack experience in fitness or sports. This is due to the following features of pumping:

  • Dynamism of classes
  • Risk of injury
  • Need to monitor your posture when doing exercises
  • Need to choose the right weight for each muscle group

Even with some experience, it’s difficult to practice pumping at home since a barbell with discs of different weights is required. When performing selected exercises, you can’t do without a step platform and a gym mat.

Although Body Pump training is often positioned as universal, it can’t be called suitable for absolutely everyone. People with the following medical problems will have to give it up:

  • Cardiovascular pathologies
  • Varicose veins
  • Hypertension
  • Hernias and spinal injuries
  • Asthma
  • Diseases of the musculoskeletal system

Such a serious disease as epilepsy is also considered a contraindication and prevents practicing pumping.

Important Recommendations

Even in the absence of contraindications, there is a risk of harm to health in the early stages of BP classes. To exclude it, a number of important recommendations should be followed:

  • Act exactly according to the instructions of your coach. It’s not only about the technique of performing exercises but also about safety rules.
  • Control the weight used. A specific weight segment is provided for each muscle group.
  • To work out the gluteal muscles, choose heavier barbells. This applies to lunges and squats. But you should switch to using such barbells only as your training experience progresses.
  • Take your time if you want to achieve a result. The workload and intensity of the classes should be increased gradually.

Another recommendation concerns consistency. You need to exercise regularly according to the Body Pump program. Training once in a while is a waste of time and effort. The optimal frequency of classes is 2-4 times per week.

Even as you master the technique and gain experience, it’s recommended to concentrate as much as possible on performing lunges and squats:

  • Avoid moving your knees too much forward and make sure that they are half-bent
  • Lower your shoulders
  • Draw in your stomach
  • Keep your back straight
  • Make sure that your shoulder blades are brought back

Even a small oversight or mistake will lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of training, significantly increasing the risk of injury.

Training Plan

The training process in the basic version of Body Pump has a duration of 60 minutes and is divided into 10 blocks. The appropriate musical accompaniment is selected for each block.

The initial block, warm-up, is carried out to prepare the body for training. You should choose the lightest weight for it.

The warm-up is followed by a block of squats. The maximum weight is selected for a particular person, based on their level of physical fitness.

Next, there are blocks aimed at working out the following parts of the body:

  1. Chest
    • Exercises with a barbell and discs are performed from a recumbent position on a bench. You should take the weight 1.5 times more than that used during the warm-up stage.
  2. Back
    • This block contains barbell presses and tractions with different grips. The optimal weight is the average of the weight for squats and for chest training.
  3. Triceps
    • It’s trained by performing isolating exercises with discs and a barbell as well as using push-ups with a narrow grip. The recommended weight is the same as during warm-up.
  4. Biceps
    • It’s worked out by lifting the barbell and discs with various grips. You should opt for the same weight as when working with the triceps.
  5. Legs and Buttocks
    • To train them, lunges and some types of squats are performed with the weight that was used during chest training.
  6. Shoulders
    • This block consists of push-ups with arms wide apart, dumbbell flies, and arm lifts with a barbell and discs. The weight must match the weight at the warm-up stage.
  7. Abdomen
    • It’s worked out by performing exercises on the abs and the oblique abdominal muscles as well as leg lifts and turns. You shouldn’t use weight in this block.

The final stage of the training process in pumping is stretching (cooling down). It also takes place without using weight and relieves stress from the body.

In addition to the basic session, there are other pumping sessions of different durations:

  1. 45 minutes
    • It lacks blocks aimed at training the biceps and triceps.
  2. 30 minutes
    • Lunges, as well as exercises for shoulders, triceps, and biceps, are excluded.

Regardless of the duration and plan of the workout, it always starts with a warm-up and ends with stretching.

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