Male Instructors
Yesterday we got word there's two more instructors joining our forthcoming trek to the Baltimore Quarterly. Hopefully I got a few laughs out of folks for my grousing that I'm the only guy amongst the fourteen travelers in our group. But underneath that post was a serious message: We lack male instructors in this program. "We", by the way, is not just our club.

It's not that BodyPump lacks the requisite masculinity most guys require before they'll take on a workout program - you instructors out there know as well as I do who's been choreographing this show. It's not that gyms are short on men, either. And though I've got my theories as to why the male attrition rate seems high, it's a fact that female instructors lead the vast majority of Pump classes here in the States (I'm told this is true in other countries as well). A female GFM once commented to us that male instructors didn't have to be all that good to be popular with their classes - their novelty was more than enough to draw in the crowds.

Ladies, I'm not knocking you here. It's fabulous that, as a group, you've embraced BodyPump as your weight training program - a remarkable achievement given that aerobic activity tends to dominate the female fitness class offerings. Your loyalty to this program has brought it into the mainstream in a way that's nothing short of remarkable. Yet I've heard attendees say time and again they'd definitely like to see a more balanced mix of male/female instructors.

Club owners, GFMs, and instructors - If you've got a deficit in the male instructor department (as our club does), I'd like to offer up this challenge: Make 2006 the year you correct that balance. As you know, class attendees become committed members of your gym. And as a man, I'm here to tell you that we're much more inclined to try - and stay with - classes where there's a male presence. Put some men in front of your classes and you'll start to get that male presence. I've seen that develop in our own classes, so I know it's real. It may mean you have to make more of an effort at first to reach out to the men. Fine, go ahead and do it. Once you gain a critical mass of male instructors, I'm confident you'll see more men in your classes - and we all understand the value of increased class attendance. It won't happen overnight, but it will happen over time if you make it a priority.

Everyone understands the importance of balance in life. You already know whether or not your instructor team's got a balanced mix of men and women - and so does your club's membership.

Want to add your thoughts to this post? Click the comments link below and have your say!
We're Off To See The Wizards
After the last quarterly workshop this past November, we decided to make it a point to attend as often as possible. So, when the Baltimore Quarterly hit the schedule and our club announced they'd be sending a contingent, we knew it was time to make good on that promise. And when International Trainers Steve Renata, Kylie Gates, and Susan Tolj showed up on the schedule we started packing our bags.

As luck would have it though, a little problem has cropped up. Tami thinks it's funny, but I'm not laughing. See, it's a 5 1/2 hour drive from here to Baltimore, and our club is renting two vans for us twelve instructors - eleven of whom are ladies. They're already coordinating outfits. By the time we get there they'll probably have me bound and gagged, hands tied behind my back, wearing a pink dress. Look, you can call me chauvinist, prejudiced, whatever you want - but, I'm here to tell you this won't be a fun trip. Not for me anyway.

I've already established with our GFM that I won't be driving. The laws here in the States tend to frown upon drinking whilst operating a motor vehicle - even for medical reasons.
Empty Mailbox? You're Not Alone
Slipping and sliding down our icy driveway this morning, we wondered if it'd be worth the all the effort. And then quick peek inside our mailbox confirmed what we already suspected - no BodyPump 57. After years of getting new releases like clockwork, there seems to be a slight hiccup in the system. And, as luck would have it, this is probably one of the most important (if not most anticipated) releases in a long, long time.

For those of you who haven't heard, we here in the States are in the midst of yet another transition. LMI is regionalizing their delivery system, which - in the long run - should improve their ability to personally interact with clubs and instructors. They're a hard-working team and we know this'll further raise their standard of excellence.

In the meantime, though, we'd sure love to join the rest of the world's instructors who are already rockin to this legendary release...
BodyPump 58 Filming: A First-Hand Account
Instructors: As you probably know by now, we're about to witness a changing of the guard as Mike McSweeney passes on the leadership torch of the program he helped build for so many years. Until this post appeared on Kia Kaha, we've seen little - if any - official word from LMI corporate sources on the upcoming departure of our favorite international trainer. It's come to pass though, and the dawn of a new era is upon us.

Of course you know the Les Mills crew wouldn't let such a huge milestone go by without throwing a massive party! (that's why we love those guys) BodyPump 58 is that party, and we'd like to direct your attention now to fellow blogster Reymond's Journal for a superbly crafted first-hand account (with pictures)...
Your Workout Rhythm: Keeping Steady
The summer before my college freshman year, a recent grad shared with me a piece of wisdom that I've never forgotten. "You'll soon find," he said, "that getting in here isn't hard. The tough part is staying." As the years went by I found this principle applied to my workout routines as well. In fact, BodyPump is the first - and only - routine I've ever stuck with for more than a month. There's nothing magical about BodyPump - it just happened to be my latest workout routine when I had the epiphany.

Let me explain: Every time I started a new workout routine, it soon became an internal competition. I always felt compelled to increase the workout intensity and, if it was a class, I just had to move more weights than anyone else in the room. Within a month, whatever routine I was doing left me exhausted and sore. I even ended up with a hernia once. As any fitness professional will tell you, discouragement is the primary reason people don't stick with a routine. So, while it seemed like my schedule always managed to derail my routines, it was actually my mind making everything else a priority over those increasingly painful workout sessions.

One night I was watching BodyPump training videos with Tami. (I wasn't an instructor - in fact, she was just going through the training herself). What really blew me away - and here comes the epiphany, folks - was that they were moving less weight than I. A lot less. The form of the trainers on this video was so exquisite, even artistic, that I just sat there and watched the whole thing from start to finish. The next day I went into class and cut all my weights in half. And, for the first time ever, I focused solely executing each motion as perfectly as possible. Most importantly, my workouts became one of the highlights of my week - an opportunity to shut out the rest of the world and focus on doing something to the very best of my ability. In less than two months I began to see the results that had eluded me for so many years.

If you're committed to developing a steady workout rhythm, the most important thing you can do is make certain your workouts are something you look forward to. For me, that meant dropping the weights and focusing on my form. When you leave a Pump class - or any class, for that matter - you should feel energized and rejuvenated inside. If you're completely spent, if you've constantly got a backache, can't climb a set of stairs the next day, or find yourself hardly able to complete each workout set, chances are good your workout rhythm won't last long. Whether it's dropping the weights, switching timeslots, classes, workout partners, or anything else - do whatever it takes to make your workout one of the very best times of your life. Because the most effective routine - the one guaranteed to bring you results - is the one you stick with week in and week out.
(Next Post: Your Workout Rhythm: How To Reboot)
Your Workout Rhythm: Getting Started
If you've ever cut a piece of wood with a hand saw, you know the first few strokes are the toughest. You take a swipe, then another, and then another - and, depending on how hard the wood is (and how sharp your saw!) - it may take several swipes before you can really get that back-and-forth sawing motion going. But once you get the rhythm started, chances are you'll complete the cut. And so it is with your workout - you may try a few things here or there, but until you get that rhythm going, you really won't enjoy any real results. So, how do you get that rhythm started?

As I mentioned in the last post, what you bought when you purchased your club membership was a destination - a means to a goal. If someone came up to you during class and asked "Why are you here?" you'd probably have an answer - and (hopefully) that answer would indicate what your goal is. My experience has been that most - maybe even all - people in Pump classes have some sort of goal in mind. And more often than not, it's the attainability of those goals that differentiates the regulars from the part-timers.

Nothing's absolute, but I would submit that goals such as "I want to get into better shape" or "I want to lose X amount of weight" probably won't get you into a workout rhythm. They're either not measurable, or not realistic (BodyPump builds muscle, which weighs more than fat!). If you're new to BodyPump (been at it for a month or less) or trying to get a workout rhythm started, I'd like to suggest focusing on modest, short-term goals such as dropping one pant size, or being able to climb a single flight of stairs without getting winded. Because when you're first starting out, these small, attainable goals are like the short swipes you take when sawing that piece of wood - before you know it, you've surpassed those goals - and gotten the workout rhythm started. And, once you've gotten a workout rhythm started, the bigger goals get a whole lot more attainable!
(Next post: Your Workout Rhythm: Keeping Steady)
What did you buy?
When you fill your car with fuel, what are you buying - a tank of fuel? No, when you think about it, what you're really buying is a destination. And so it is with your club membership - it's not the little card that you bought, it's that personal goal you have for yourself. The magic of BodyPump (or any class, really) is that there's a schedule attached to it, and so a certain built-in accountability starts to happen. You've got that time blocked off, and so you're going to be there. And being there is what ensures you'll reach that destination!