I’m going to start this post off with a quick preface.  Running this week has been brutal. Please, please be careful out there!  Be sure you’re hydrating, rehydrating and listening to your body.  The East Coast heat and humidity can be dangerous!

Now, let’s get to what we’re all here for.  Part of training and becoming a better runner is cross training.  This has been one of the more difficult aspects for me because I am very picky about what I consider to be a “good workout”.  Last Thursday I took a 6:15 AM BodyPump class at the NYSC in downtown Hoboken.  I was hesitant to sign up for a class this early, but I forced myself out of bed and dragged my friend Cait with me.  We got there a little early, which ended up being a good thing because once in the studio, you have to set up your station with steps, a bar, a variety of weights, a mat and towel.  BodyPump is a barbell class that focuses on high repetition movement and low weights.

Considering this was my first barbell class, I started my warmup with lower weights than some others in the class because I wasn’t sure what to expect.  As you gain familiarity of the moves and increase strength, you can definitely add weight as you see fit.  By the end of the  class, I was pleasantly surprised and knew that next time I’d be able to add!   This is an hour long, choreographed experience which targets each part of your body individually.  You get some triceps, shoulder, back, chest, legs — literally everything!  The routine goes along with the song  blasting in the background and the instructor is yelling encouraging words as you’re doing your bicep curls or clean and presses.  This class is a great total body workout and allows me to work muscles that I don’t get to while running (which is the whole point of cross training).   The instructor also lets you know how much weight should be on your bar for each set, based on the weight you have during warm-ups.

This class is great for both experienced “class-takers” or newbies like myself because you can go at your own pace/weight.  I highly recommend giving it a try!  Don’t belong to NYSC and looking for a gym?  They are having a promo right now to give July and August for free with a one time initial enrollment fee of $117.  They also have a 5 Day Guest Pass for $5!  Give it a try — I promise you won’t regret it!

Belong to another gym in the area?  I’ve listed a few and the class that seems equivalent  or similar to Body Pump below:

Crunch – Diesel

Equinox–  Body Conditioning

Retro Fitness – Offers the BodyPump class!

Gold’s Gym – Offers the BodyPump class!