It’s the one year anniversary of Golds Gym Los Angeles getting the Les Mills group fitness programs: BodyPump and CXworx. So I’ve had a full year to assess the program, and I figure it’s good time to give an overview of my thoughts about the programs and to provide a recap of the release I trained on (Bodypump 78 and CXworx 3).
Initial thoughts 2011
When I heard that Golds Gym was bringing in the Les Mills formats I talked it over with my girlfriend Julie and told her that I would go to the masterclass (afternoon session of classes held by master trainers) and make a decision. After some research and seeing the videos on youtube I was doubtful that this would be for me but I was willing to do the masterclass and training because I wanted regular classes and this might get me on the schedule. After the masterclass I knew that I wanted to do CXworx regardless, it was revolutionary in its class design and would replace all abs classes as far as I could tell as it was above and beyond a traditional abs class. The bodypump I wasn’t sold on straight away. It was enjoyable but I wasn’t fully on board. I signed up for the training anyway 😉
Training July 2011
Two weekends. One for bodypump and one for cxworx two weeks later. I don’t think I really knew what I was getting into with the training at all. It was long days, hard physically, and mentally to stay alert and it was intense. There is no written exam for these but that’s because it’s ALL practical. Sure you might have book smarts, but that DOES NOT mean you can lead a group fitness class. This certification had the toughest practical component I’ve ever undertaken in all my 15 years in the industry. It doesn’t stop on the exam day either! After the training weekend you have to submit a video of you teaching your class format, then and only then may you officially PASS your certification! By the end of the training weekends I knew I wanted to teach both formats. We’d had the music and training DVDs a few weeks and I loved the music and moves. Yep I was hooked!
Gym Launch – 20th August 2011
I was at Thousand Oaks for the launch, and we launched with Steve Renata, the CEO of Les Mills West Coast and husband of Susan Renata (bodypump master presenter and idol!). So much fun that morning! 6 classes back to back so break us in gently, lol! Bodypump, break, cxworx, break, repeat two more times for a high calorie burn day! There were 4 of us in total presenting the classes and it was SUPER FUN! After that Saturday it was business as usual and I was given classes Weds, Thurs and Saturday.
A year later 2012
I’ve gone through 5 launches at the club (Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley) and soon will be on my sixth! I’ve gone from 4 classes to 6 and absolutely LOVE it! I teach BodyPump 4 days a week, and CXworx twice a week, and I’d do more given a chance. When I started teaching this format I had concerns, my main one being: I don’t want someone else to tell me what/when/how to teach. Well for a while I continued to teach 1 freestyle “powerpump” class on Monday mornings and soon it was the low point of my week. I hated that class. The participants still liked it, but for me the energy was gone, the life was just not there. I wanted more BodyPump! I’m totally music driven and as the moves are choreographed to the music flow BodyPump makes sense to me! It’s natural! I stopped teaching freestyle pump in April 🙂 CXworx, well that just been awesome, hands down the best core class out there. Period!
Does it work?
YES! In training a year ago our master trainer Josef said that “you are stronger than you think” and he was right. I started adding just a little bit here and there. In a year ALL my weight selections have increased. Pretty much doubled all my weights and some I could possibly go higher on (maybe). My weights for the class are as follows:
- Warm up – should be the lightest weight of the class, but for me it depends on the bicep track I use. Some bicep tracks I can go 10kg on, others not :/ That’s part of the progression with BodyPump – listen to recommendations between tracks!
- Squats – I think I could go heavier, my issue is getting the bar up and over my head 😉 Until that time I’m staying where I am! Hoping to try to increase it one class a week, and go from there. As the instructor I can choose the track (some are easier than others – more breaks, different tempo’s/pace), so gonna choose one with breaks. hoping this time next year I’m at least at 25kg!
- Chest – Started with a medium plate, now using large AND a small. I’d like to go up to large and medium. This all depends on the amount of push-ups in the class for me. Some chest tracks have push ups, and if I go heavier for chest I struggle with the push ups (especially if they are bench push ups) my chest is TOAST by then. Conversely if I use a track with no push ups, I need a break if I want to go up in weight. Again think of the track selection. Ideal weight: 15kg
- Back – I’m STRONG in my back. This was an easy progression for me. Honestly I could go heavier if not for the grip in my hands giving out! Large and medium is enough, but I may add a little when squats & chest go up!
- Triceps – bar I now use a large plate each side and it’s doable now. Initially it was tough but I’m used to it now. Kickbacks I use a medium, overhead a large. I couldn’t hold the mediums initially as our plates don’t have the side grips, just the hole, but my grip has improved! Now I can hold them 🙂
- Biceps – slowest weight progression ever! I JUST went up to 9kg and that depends on the track. If there is a break and not as many full or halves then I can do 9kg, I could maybe do 1/2 the track with 10kg but my form goes to crap after the break! Still working on it!
- Lunges – again another easy-ish one. I use my chest/back weight depending on the track. Usually my back weight to challenge the legs or if we put the bar down for propulsion lunges/squats. That way my legs are pre-fatigued.
- Shoulders – Bar I use a large each side, took some time to progress but I am THERE now. For side raises, delt raises etc I use a medium in each hand. Again my issue was grip. It still is for MAC raises. If there are only a few MACs I can do medium, otherwise I use handweights. I’d rather use the correct weight and GRIP the weight than go down and suffer my workout. Sorry Les Mills, I know you’d rather I use plates but I want balanced muscles and using the handweights gives me that option. Hoping that soon I’ll be able to use plates for MAC raises all the way through. Or we get better plates 😉
So YES it works! I’ve seen much better muscle definition, and weight improvements in my weight selection for every track! The trick is to keep challenging yourself. Keep a track of your weights, and push yourself EVERY REP, EVERY TRACK, and in EVERY CLASS!
BACK TO THE BEGINNING
So for this week I’m doing a ‘retro’ BodyPump and CXworx week at Golds. I’ll be doing the releases I trained on in their entirety.
BodyPump 78 –
Warmup: Saturday – Basshunter
Squats: Beautiful Monster (Damn-R Remix) – Mick Lion
Chest: Sweet Child O’ Mine – Swade
Back: Tonight Is The Night 2K10 (Extended Mix) – Raindropz! vs Le Click
Triceps: Yeah 3x – Chris Brown
Biceps: Raise Your Glass – Pink
Lunges: Firework (Klub Smasherz Remix) – Galaxy Surfers
Shoulders: Welcome To Africa (Short Cut) – Paffendorf
Abs: Please Don’t Go – Mike Posner
Cooldown: Just A Dream – Fire & Ice
CXworx 3 – back then it was called CX30!
Warmup: In The Moment (TV Rock Edit) – Zoė Badwin
Core Strength 1: Hey Hey – Dancefloor Generals
Standing Strength 1: Money For Nothing (Radio Mix) – Crew 7
Standing Strength 2: Let Me Think About It – KopyKatz
Core Strength 2: Shake It (Lenny B Remix) – Metro Station
Core Strength 3: Speed Up – Funkerman
Playlist available on iTunes, click here to go to iTunes (note: I couldn’t find the first track, if I find it later I’ll update the playlist!)
Have fun this week!
Let’s get pumped and ripped!!!