Thursday, July 14, 2011

Les Mills Body Attack

I think it probably goes without saying that Les Mills group fitness classes are big. They're run in 75 countries and Body Pump, Body Combat and other 'body' classes have become recognisable trade names.

In theory, the classes would be a good way for me to mix up my exercise routine and integrate cardio, strength and stretching work into one session.

In theory, but not, to date, in practice.

Prior to this year, I had tried Body Pump, Body Combat and Body Balance.

In my first Body Pump class ("challenges all your major muscle groups"; Les Mills), I had to leave half way through because I thought I was going to faint.

In fairness to me (and the class), I was developing a cold, but I think it also said something significant about my lack of strength. As I then couldn't summon up the mental strength to go back, I haven't ever given the class a second try!

In Body Combat ("fiercely energetic program...inspired by martial arts"; Les Mills), my inherent uncoordinated nature meant that when everyone else was kicking left, I was kicking right. Punching to the right? I was off to the left. I tried two classes before giving up.

Body Balance ("carefully structured series of stretches, moves and poses"; Les Mills) I did enjoy and I have probably done a dozen or so classes over time. I'm not great at balancing either (I'm painting a negative picture of myself in this post...), but I found aspects of the class thoroughly enjoyable, and the contrast to my usual exercise routine is refreshing. The problem with this class is that my gym holds it a inconvenient (to me) times. 6pm on a Tuesday night or 12pm on Monday or Friday are not times that suit me well.

Given the above, it was with some trepidation that I saw signs advertising the start of Body Attack at my gym. It sounded good. The class times included one that suited me (6am Tuesday). The class description noted that "you don't have to be particularly coordinated" and that the "high-energy interval training class combines athletic aerobic movements with strength and stabilization exercises" (Les Mills).

I had intended to try the class in its first week, when, I assumed, everyone would be equally ignorant about the routine and my inability to follow left / right directions might be less obvious. Unfortunately, that was the week I got sick, so I postponed my involvement until after our holiday.

On Tuesday, I made it to a class. Yesterday, my muscles were keen to remind me of it.

Post-exercise muscle soreness aside, I really enjoyed this class. I wasn't fully on top of the moves, but the 55 minutes challenged me and kept me interested without it being too hard. I was certainly sweating and tired out by the end, but I felt good, rather than over-exerted, and ready for the day.

I even semi-liked the muscle soreness yesterday, as it suggests the class did something different for me than my usual exercise routine.

All in all, I hope I can make this a regular Tuesday occurrence!

How about you - are you a group fitness fan? Do you have any favourite (or least favourite) classes?


  1. I don't think I'm in the group exercise loop as I've never heard of Les Mills.
    My group training consists of two Monkeys swinging on either leg while I lift them up as high as I can. I guess that's weight training :-)

  2. :( I need to join a gym. First, I need to stop dawdling and buy my parents car (but I could travel for four months again with the same amount of money!!!)... and then I need to join a gym.

  3. I've been reading about Body Pump for years and wanting to go, but living in a small town in northern British Columbia... I was without Body Pump, without Ashtanga yoga, without Kombucha... all this stuff that bloggers talk about.

    It's funny that you posted this today because I had my gym orientation at my crazy-expensive gym today, and I'm SO EXCITED for Body Pump! And Body Combat! And everything else! Except: oh yeah, my Portuguese sucks and I'm going to make an ass of myself! ;D I hope you don't give up on Body Pump---it sounds to me like if you dial back the intensity and try again, it might be just what the doctor ordered!

    I'll make a deal with you: you try it again in English with lower weights, and I'll try it for the VERY FIRST TIME in a language I don't speak, OK? :)

  4. @cityhippyfarmgirl
    I think that counts as weight training, aerobic exercise, and balancing :) Who needs a gym when you have boys?

  5. @Hannah
    Maybe you should skip the gym, put the money towards travel, and get super fit from walking around new places? :P I'm sure you don't need extra suggestions about travel though, so yes, buy the car and then join the crazy gym world!

  6. @Stephanie @
    When you phrase it like that, I think I do have the better side of the deal! And it may just be the motivation I need :)

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