If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a “LES MILLS” class that’s offered at Goodlife gyms in Canada. It’s an hour long weight lifting group class. I’ve taken it over 10 times now in my lifetime and I think I’ve formed an opinion… someone get out the crash mats, this could get messy.
First of all, I really like it. The music is loud, albeit, a little out of date and mind-numbingly remixed. There are lots of people taking the class of all different abilities. And I’ll say it, I love a good, sweaty workout that leaves you shaky and sore for the next two days. For these reasons it’s great.
The class is a great idea..
Here’s the problem.
Weight lifting exercises can be dangerous. They should be properly supervised during the learning process. And they shouldn’t be done too fast. And the weights people are using shouldn’t be too heavy at first.
With all this in mind, imagine a class full of at least 25 people, one instructor who is also demonstrating, and booming music half drowning her out. There is a lot of room for error.
Incident #1: A girl in the tiny weight room attached to the back of the studio gets a 5 KG weight dropped on her toe in the rush to set up. WTF. If that had been me, I would have LOST IT! I mean, my toes are LITERALLY my livelihood. LITERALLY. *I need a crash mat* The girl was perfectly sane about it, but it has (obviously) stuck with me. Too many people. Not enough space. Not enough focus on safety with weights.
Incident #2: Over head lifting too heavy, too fast, too soon. Given that I know my body pretty well, and have lifted in the past, I was quite keen to up my weight load in these classes. Surprise, surprise, I’ve injured my rotator cuff. Again WTF. I’m not blaming this solely on Body Pump, because it was me who overloaded my bar. But the thing is, I didn’t know that would happen. The instructor didn’t say, keep your weight low and slowly increase because of the risk of injuries. I don’t care if you think you’re hot stuff, or the exercises seem too easy. Do what I say for your own safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry. I just figured I’d be REALLY sore the next day if I loaded too much on… I’m an idiot. But, ouch. my shoulder.
That’s it for the incidents.
Anyways, this rant comes down to this. Weight lifting is no joke. And although the group class seems like a good way to start, I think more attention must be paid. I needed more help with my form. A lot more. And to be honest, I’m probably one of the more coordinated and body aware people in the room (being a professional dancer). So what about the rest of them!? I don’t know how to fix this problem. And, please, don’t let this stop you from trying the class or weight lifting. Just be mindful. Start slowly. Even if it feels really easy the first class. Build weight increases slowly. And I think most importantly, stay after class and ask questions about form, or google for some specific form info. Because it’s your body, your possibly injuries, and your possible pain. You have to be in control of that at all times.
Have you tried Body Pump? What about any other types of weightlifting classes? What did you think?!