DIY Body Pump

A piddling 0.2 kg loss this week. I was going to get all pouty that the scale isn't reflecting my efforts but then I realised my efforts weren't that great on some fronts. We went Up North for the weekend, stayed in a B&B and went out for dinner; then indulged in that grand tradition of the Full Scottish Breakfast (bacon, eggs, sausage, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms – but no black pudding for me). Then Monday night because we still had the hire car we drove out to Anstruther to reputedly the Best Fish And Chips in Scotland, and ate fish suppers by the seaside.

I don't feel one tinge of remorse for all that. Why? Because I just bloody felt like living life last week and not fretting over weight loss targets. There was sun in the sky for once, we had a car for once and neither of us were busy for once; so we took full advantage of it.

I still did all my exercise (walking to work, two Body Pumps, three running sessions and a yoga DVD) so I was at least keeping up the exercise. Last night I tried on my wedding dress since it was our Two Months Anniversary, and I am pleased to report that I can now zip it up ALL BY MYSELF! Two months ago it was a fifteen minute two-man job with lots of swearing and sucking in of stomachs. It fits so much better now, especially around the hips and thighs. Looks like Mistress Julia's running regime is helping with the lard removal!

There were so many trains of thought sparked by your reactions to last entry that I don't know where to begin. Thanks for your responses! Some of you were apologising for hijacking the comments or cluttering up my inbox; this is never the case. These kinds of discussions are invaluable. Not only do we get comfort from knowing we're not alone in feeling this way, it also helps us to see things in different ways and to consider other people's ideas. Then perhaps what you thought was an overwhelming or scary issue can seem a lot more managable.

I guess what I learned most from it all that it has taken time to change my body that it's only natural that the mind will take time to adjust. Best of all I feel like I am well on my way – it's just those PMS days that it can all seem too much.

Rosemary Grace asked if I thought it was harder to adjust to "normality" than it was to take on the journey to get there. In some ways I do, because this Adjustment Phase I'm in is all mental and emotional, whereas my focus in the Journey Phase was more physical.

If you think right back to before the Journey started, ie joining Weight Watchers in 2000, I'd just come through a few years of bad depression as well as some intense family dramas – a phase of life where it was all about emotional/mental work. So it was great to launch into WW and focus on a practical task. For the past four-and-a-bit years I've tinkered away at my health and fitness – changing the way I eat, learning to move my butt, buying skinner clothes, etc etc etc. It's been a very practical, absorbing project that required me to learn a new way of life.

That's not to say the Journey part hasn't brought emotional changes, lord knows I have written enough about that. But for the most part I've been able to put my brain on hold. And once I'd learned what to do with my food and exercise, my life got bloody busy with this crazy run of gigantic, life-altering changes – two years of travel, working two crazy jobs, falling in love, getting married in a big freaking hurry. Sooooooooo, for the first time in yonks I actually have time to reflect on what all this physical change has done to my head. Finally talking about this stuff to the Scottish Companion has dredged up the muck in my brain so now I think it's time to deal with it.

Anyway, that's enough Dr Phil for one day. What else has been happening? We bought a set of weights for home. Just some cheapie dumbbells and a barbell from Argos. There's only a couple of Body Pump classes per week that I can make at my new gym, and it's even more difficult with my running schedule. Plus I have been trying to sell SC on the amazing wonders of resistance training. He refused to try a Pump class with me, saying the music was too poncy. So the weights at home were the compromise.

Being a sad Body Pump geek, I came up with the ultra-geeky idea of downloading some BodyPump songs and putting them on my iPod Shuffle so I could make my own Body Pump class at home! I googled like mad til I found this blog that is actually devoted to Body Pump songs of yesteryear. Don't you just love the internet? It is a sanctuary for every kind of geek there is. So I spent HOURS there last Tuesday reading up on all the cheesy techno songs and cooing "oooh I remember that Lunge track! Sweeeeeet!". Then I went crazy on iTunes, downloading songs and assigning them categories (Abs, Shoulders, Chest, Squats, etc etc etc), then making playlists for my very own Pump class.

Thursday night I got out the weights and hung the Shuffle round my neck. It was simultaneously thrilling and Really Freaking Sad that I could remember the moves for an entire eleven-track "class". I just churned through like a robot, knowing exactly when to do single squats or bottom half or super slow; remember which triceps bits used the barbell and which bits were plates or pushups. And some of the songs were ancient, like from 2001 when I did my first Pump class as a 120 kilo lass. It was awkward maneuvering the barbell in our tiny bedroom, and I used a camping mat in lieu of a Reebok step for the chest and triceps. The only dodgy bit was during the Chest track, when I pushed the bar up for the Clean and Press, it got caught underneath the neckcord of the iPod, donking my forehead and flipping it up over my head, wrenching out the earphones. After that I put the iPod under my t-shirt so it couldn't move. Overall it was just as an effective workout than if I'd been at the gym, with a bonus geekgasm element.

UPDATE – October 2005 – Hello Google visitors and emaillers! Sadly there is no such thing as a Body Pump DVD. The only way to do Body Pump is to find a gym that holds the class. Check the Les Mills website to search in your area. If you read this entry you will see that I simply had downloaded some of the songs and did the moves from memory in my living room. This is in no way affilliated with Les Mills International.

There are many home fitness DVDs available that incorporate similiar resistance training into the workouts – try FitPrime, The Firm or Cathe.

30 thoughts on “DIY Body Pump

  1. mmm sounds like a ton of fun was had! both on the miniholiday & in teh homestyle pump class. fab work πŸ™‚

  2. OMG I can’t breathe I’m laughing so much
    I got tangled in my MP3 on a treadmill – ne plus jamais! Thanks for brightening up a dull day.
    You lost half a pound – that’s half a tub of flora marg GONE, so well done.

    I lost 1lb this week (pah 450grams) so it’s sloooooow, but in the right direction.

  3. You are happy with your .2 loss, Kimba and I are happy besides our kilo gains. Isn’t it magnificent? I think a lot is your doing, with this entirely wise last post of yours. It is still in my head, I am still considering things, and seriously, I am still left speechless with the more new thoughts I have while rereading it…again and again and again!

  4. Another superb DG post! I’ve been lurking for a while but enjoyed every single post – it’s a higlight of the week when there’s something new to read, and I so relate to everything, I don’t even know where to start. I’ve bought body pump tunes in CD /geek/ πŸ™‚ Thank you – you rock!

  5. Yep, some days we’ve just got to live. And whether that is eating fish and chips or a fuck off big breakfast or geeking the hell out to music, that’s what you’ve got to do.

    We are not defined exclusively by this journey, even though it is a huge part of who we are.

  6. Ah, geeking out to music. It’s my sanctuary, really. I’m starting to realize lately that nothing has the power over me, moodwise, that music does. (gee, why didn’t I pick that for my career, instead of the most-uncreative field of law?!)

    DG, yours is the first blog in a looooong time where I’ve actually gone back and read every entry from the beginning of time! I adore your blog, both because of your honesty and non-stop sense of humor. Somehow my sense of humor has gotten much thinner while I got fatter. Hopefully I’ll transfer my weight back to it along the way – with your inspirations of course!

    Every week can’t be a big week, weight-loss-wise. This one is hard for me, too, so let’s all cheer each other on as the scale doesn’t quite agree all the time with all the effort we’re putting in. It will catch up! We all have those “whoosh” losses from time to time where it really does catch up, yes? You’re doing GREAT, fark the smarmy, coy, little scale!

  7. Hey, do these Body Pump/Combat/Thingumy classes come on DVD? I wanna try, it sounds like such a nice little cult of exercise!

    I bet it’s easier to be discouraged by a smaller loss when you think in KG. To you it’s a fifth of a kilo, to me it’s HALF an LB! Scary sometimes how much of the emotion is in the verbage you use to frame the situation.

  8. DG keep running please – please keep running – its the key – its a pain, its arguably boring but its the key

  9. 200gm loss is way better than a gain. And you had a brilliant break as well. I was ROFL with the body pump story. It would be great if you could load up your music so we could grab it and start pumping as well. I don’t even know what body-pump is!! I may have to enter internet geek heaven today and do some research.

  10. Totally agree with Andrew….keep running. Quickest way to lose weight, and probably the hardest exercise to do!

    Since I’ve been back in Oz (after 10 years in the UK) I started looking for all the old 80’s songs that I loved back then. I also love certain music from other eras too, so I have CD’s with such a variety of songs, ranging from late 50’s through to current stuff, but all on 1 CD. I love listening to them when I’m ironing as I can sing to my heart’s content!!

    And you still lost weight even though you ate fish & chips and a full english breakfast. Good on you girl!

  11. Yeah, it’s great that you lost despite taking the weekend off. So did I this week, and it was such a nice surprise after the scale stubbornly not moving at all for about three weeks. I count in pounds as well – I don’t think I have the patience for kilos.

    I love hearing about other people’s geekdom, as it reassures me I’m not alone. Although I have never done Body Pump or free weights, ‘cos I’m a wimp… but they’re both on the plan.

  12. Fab – I added that blog to my favourites so I can check it out later when I have time. Our gym has just changed to a new Body Combat routine and I hate it. In addition, the best instructor can’t do BC anymore because his qualification ran out and Les Mills lost his video to update it. I just never work out as hard with the other instructors.

    For the person who asked, I have never seen Les Mills routines on DVD. They make their money by selling the routines and training to gyms and I guess part of the deal is that the routines will be exclusive to the gyms who pay for it – so no mass distribution. I have a TaeBo video which is the same kind of thing as Body Combat.

    Good for you DG to have lost something in a week when you lived a little. Myself, I put on 3 punds this week. I had PMT last week and ate Lindt chocolate daily and on Tuesday night I found myself eating Lemon Curd straight out of the jar. Crazy sugar cravings. But I am feeling okay about the gain. I have dropped two dress sizes since I started my programme and this is only a minor blip. I’m back on track today. Of course, TOM is not really an excuse because when I started out I lost week evry week regardless of hormones and cravings. But, after a while you do start to fall victim to these things as you can’t be 100% all the time. We are human and I am still positive about my journey that I’ll get there.

    Your regular postings help with the inspiration. I know that if you can come this far, I can shift my lard too!

  13. Hey there DG, Sounds to me like you had a great week. .2 KG is a perfectly repectable loss. You may find as you get closer to the goal that the weight comes off at a slower rate. As I got near my goal I had small losses week after week of half a pound or less. As long as the scale is going in the right direction that is fine. Because that is what eating to maintain your weight will be like. You will have days when you allow yourself little treats but then you make up for the food party by eating salads and upping your exercise. You rock as usual. Hugs.

  14. That’s so funny about remembering all the moves! I used to this “Cher” step video every day, back in the day, and my DH (years before we married) would just laugh at me because I could totally speak along with the girls on the video – every step change, every count aloud, but also every ridiculous piece of “witty banter”, all the back and forth, I’d even make the exact same faces at the exact same time. I’d love to find that old video and see how much I still remember. πŸ™‚ – Mia

  15. That is gorgeous!

    I have a ~very~ vivid imagination so you see, I visualised the room you were in, you mouthing the words, bopping along in your own world.

    Cute as a button and something I would totally do. Except the only tracks I know all the dance moves to are my 3 hours of pre-historic Young Talent Time videos.

    *slinks away quietly*

  16. I’ve been trying like mad to purchase Body Pump music/moves. I’ve got three kids and work full time – the gym I was going to changed their schedule and I can’t make the classes anymore. Apparenlty I’ve donated my brain cells to my children and can’t remember the sequence/reps/fast/slow like you mentioned. Would you be willing to share. Please, please, please????

  17. I just found your site during a Body Pump search. I’m in Florida, US and live in a newly developing county that doesn’t offer Body Pump at any of the three gyms. I did BP for two years before moving here, and when I realized I couldn’t do it anymore I was truly heartbroken. I was in fabulous shape and really enjoyed the classes. I just had a baby a year and a half ago and I’m not physically bouncing back like I did with my first child. How depressing. So I would search for hours on the internet trying to find a way to buy a BP video. They don’t sell them in the US. I bought Power Hour with Cathe and it’s essentially the same thing. I ended my gym membership, bought a set of Danksin girly weights and I’m good to go at home. I’ve been so happy. But…
    Even though I’m exercising everyday (Power hour twice a week, Pilates twice a week and two Bar Method routines, walking 30 minutes on the last day), I’m not losing a pound. I’m not doing enough cardio I suppose. Anyway, so glad to see other Body Pump fans, and I completely understand your thrill at hearing the BP music and being able to do the routine from memory.

  18. Does anyone have a list of the general exercises for each body pump track? I know that track 1 is the warmup and track 2 is for squats, etc. but I had to change gyms (my new does not have body pump) & I cannot remember all of the exercises for each track. Any ideas???

  19. Just saying hi – I have been meaning to do that downloading of body pump songs for MONTHS – and finally I did it! I added some from that blog of which you spoke – and also some of my fave songs that I thought might work well. There’s actually 136 songs – so the variety should keep me going for ages. I’m LOVING it!

  20. By the way Julie – it goes something like this:

    warmup – little bit of everything
    squats – normally they do normal squats, then wide squats, then normal
    chest – sometimes some “wide” pushups, then lots of chest pumping lying down towards breast (wide grip)
    triceps – lying down arms straight then to forehead, then straight down to belly button (shoulder width grip)
    back and hammies – row, dead lift, clean and press
    biceps – lots of variations on the bicep curl
    lunges – lunging on both sides in different count combinations, sometimes some lunge steps as well
    shoulders – i can’t remember the names of them – there’s the one where you lift forward from groin to where your wrists are straight out at breast level, then lift up from groin to breast against your body, then the lift from shoulders to arms fully extended above.
    abs – all sorts
    warmdown – mainly stretches.

    when i do it at home i switch these around a bit. i find the way it usually works is they often do a four/four count at the beginning of a song (if it fits in), then two and two, when you get to the bridge of the song it is three and one, then for chorus is often singles. but of course it depends on the song – then they have the half ones – and the tricky ones where you go half down – stop – all the way down etc.

    don’t know if this will make any sense – it’s hard to explain accurately and i don’t remember any of the names.

  21. Hi! So glad to see others who were body pump devotees and have been relocated to somewhere where there is no BP. I live in Colorado, USA, but have moved to the mountains where there are no gyms. I had done BP for 5 years and now have done none for 2 months. It sucks! I haven’t gained any weight but my pants don’t fit anymore!! Go figure! IT’s true what they say that it’s not your weight that matters, but how clothes fit. I will try the link to BP songs. I had been planning on doing that so this will really help. THANKS!!

  22. hey, if I may ask where did you downloaded this music.. I’m searching for the Body Combat music. On dutch sites I just can’t find it! Please respond.

    Thanks a lot!

  23. Hey! This is great for Body Pump lovers – go to EBay. Les Mills usually makes people pull the Body Pump videos, but you can get Group Power – which is the same thing (I’ve done both). Good luck to Dietgirl and all looking for this great stuff!

  24. I’m a BP instructor in the U.S . and these comments are so inspiring to me. Unfortunately you cannot buy BP CDs or DVDs from Les Mills, but I keep checking eBay and other sites to see if I can get back releases (in the 30s and 40s). This workout has changed my body, people now ask me if I’m a tennis player or a boxer! For the first time in my life, I have guns, and I like showing them off! It is great to hear that people love the workout as much as I do. It’s important to remember, however, that regular (sometimes boring) old cardio is still a vital part of both weight loss and muscle conditioning. I think sometimes we (I include myself in this) get into a fitness routine and inevitably we get bored and stop being sore! That pain is actually a marker that says “I am doing something to change my body.” I haven’t felt it in close to 6 months, so I bought some sessions with a personal trainer at my gym to help make me “feel the burn” again.
    Good luck to all, and keep going to BP — I absolutely adore my students. Instructors really CARE about their classes, and we love to see the same kind of dedication out there that we feel onstage!

  25. Another possible option for Body Pump lovers who can’t get to classes – I just found a series called “Animate” on, which looks similar (from one of the Aussie “Biggest Loser” trainers, I think) – they have CD + choreography for AUD69, and the tracks are all listed (with a pre-listen feature for people like me who can’t remember song names…) Anyone got/seen any reviews/comparisons? Looks promising at this point! πŸ™‚ (I’m going to do aid work next year in Yemen, and they don’t have body pump anywhere in the country…)

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