New BodyPump exercise class a hit with both men and womenA group exercise class now offered at more local gyms is luring men into the female-dominated aerobics studio, and encouraging more women to curl and press barbells.
By: Sherri Richards, INFORUM
A group exercise class now offered at more local gyms is luring men into the female-dominated aerobics studio, and encouraging more women to curl and press barbells.
Xtreme Measures and Courts Plus Fitness Center, both in south Fargo, recently started offering BodyPump classes, and the YMCA of Cass-Clay plans to expand its BodyPump program to its downtown branch.
A rising trend in the world of gym workouts, the BodyPump classes are 45-minute or hour-long weightlifting sessions trademarked by fitness company Les Mills. Participants use a platform, a bar and set of weights to do high repetitions of squats, presses, lifts and curls, all choreographed to music.
“BodyPump is one of my favorite classes because it is a great overall body workout,” says Lori Weisenberger, who works out at the YMCA. “You can individualize your workout by choosing the amount of weight you want to use, so you can make the class as challenging as you want. The music and teachers are very motivating.”
Previously, only the YMCA in Fargo was allowed to teach the class, said Stefanie Meyer, its health and fitness director. BodyPump instructors must be trained in the class and qualified by Les Mills to instruct it.
The YMCA has offered the class at its Schlossman branch since 2000. In April, BodyPump classes will begin at the Fercho branch.
The 14 classes currently offered each week at the southwest Fargo location typically draw more than 50 people each, Meyer says.
Courts Plus launched its program Jan. 9, and it’s been heavily attended since as well. Its studio can accommodate 25 people.
“Courts decided to get BodyPump to keep up with the trends,” says Jodi Roper, aerobics director at Courts Plus. “BodyPump is a huge trend right now, all around the world. … We’ve just seen how much of a success it’s been in other gyms. BodyPump packs the members.”
Xtreme Measures started BodyPump classes in December. Owner Mariah Prussia said the women-only fitness center needed a muscle conditioning class.
“Especially women, when it comes to weight training, if they’re not doing personal training, they have a hard time putting together a weight-training program,” Prussia says.
“I think people are realizing more and more we do need our muscle work, especially as we’re getting older,” Roper adds. “You need more muscle work to keep your body young.”
Besides strength training, the class improves bone density, provides cardiovascular benefits, and Les Mills says participants can burn up to 600 calories per class.
Roper says participants in her classes range in age from 20 to in their 80s, and a mix of men and women.
“Men are scared to come in the studio, normally,” Roper says. “Men will try it (BodyPump) because it’s not that dance-y. It’s all muscle work. Women, they’re kind of in their comfort zone in that room.”
Sheldon Poss is one of those men. He’s been doing BodyPump classes at Courts Plus two to three times a week since it launched in January.
“I like the group setting,” he says. “You push yourself more in a group atmosphere.”
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556