The Profundity of Bodypump

Christmas has come early for me this year. I know this because I’m carrying holiday weight two weeks in advance of the big day itself. That’s when I decide to step up my visits to the gym and reduce my daily intake of “Christmas-in-a-cup“.

Bloated Snowman

What’s Bodypump?

For those of you unfamiliar with Bodypump, Bodypump is weight-training en masse to pop music. In the early days, mainly only women went (something to do with it being perceived as “aerobics with weights”). Nowadays it attracts both men and women because it’s up to you how many weight plates you want to stack onto your bar. What you get out is what you put on.

Each class is made up of the usual sequence of warmup, followed by squats, then upper body training (biceps and triceps), followed by either lunges or more targeted training and finally always finishing with abs work. How good you are at crunches (and its variations) is a fair indication of how squishy/toned you really are. What they call your “core strength”.

Physical and Mental Training

Now imagine you’ve just signed up for a Bodypump class. The warmup’s gone fairly well and you’re not yet out of breath. You feel “warmed up”. Suddenly, from out of nowhere comes a steady stream of existential questions.

Booming Voice: “Why are you here?”

Voice-in-own-head: “That’s a very good question. To work out I guess. I’ve put on a bit of holiday weight and I’m hoping to work it off before the holiday binge.”

Moments later, displeased with the class’s progress or the answer, the Booming Voice poses a different question during the toughest of squat tracks.

Booming Voice: “What are you waiting for?”

Voice-in-own-head: “Another great question. It’s not an uncommon question I ask myself. I’m trying to give it my all, honest I am.”

Then a longer period of silence, leaving one more time to reflect on one’s previous answers to such wide-reaching questions confined to so stuffy and small a training room.

Finally, we get to core strength and we do the plank followed by side plank with rotations, same number of agonising reps on both sides. You have to try it to appreciate how tough it really is.

Booming Voice: “We won’t be here for long.”

Voice-in-my-own-head: “Best make the most of my time here then.”

And as the class wraps up with a cool-down, the Booming Voice leaves us with one final thought.

Booming Voice: “Well done. Good job. See you next Tuesday.”

Being a Work-in-Progress

Moments afterwards, as I get ready to return to work, I wonder how often we get asked such profound questions that truly shape our lives. And it is in searching for the answers that transforms us from who we dream of being to who we ultimately become.

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