Your friends can make you fat.
The Framing Heart Study is a cardiovascular study based in Framingham, Massachusetts. The study began in 1948 with 5,209 adult subjects from Framingham, and is now on its third generation of participants.

The New England Journal of Medicine have recently published an article based on results of this study, which says that:
A person's chances of becoming obese increased by 57% (95% confidence interval [CI], 6 to 123) if he or she had a friend who became obese in a given interval.

It also mentions the influence of siblings and spouses on your chances of becoming obese. For more analysis, read this article.
Fear Is A Great Motivator
Everyone is motivated by something to get in shape. Ours just happens to be fear.

We don't want to look like this. What motivates you?
This Week's Playlist Theme
If you keep tabs on our blog, you probably know we switch out our songs every week to keep things interesting - and to keep me from getting lazy. Every now and again we add a little theme to our playlist. This week, it's one-word song titles. Before music aficiondos flame us we'll own up to it straightaway - yeah, we fudged a little on the shoulder song by removing The from the title. Turns out we just did the only other shoulder song we have handy with a one-word title (Freestyler)!
Body Pump 62 Lunges: To Bench, or Not To Bench?
As we pointed out in our review of this latest release, the floor's clearly the best place for the bar to rest during Body Pump 62's killer lunge track. After all, the amount of weight a bar adds to the lunge workout is relatively small in comparison to a person's total body weight - it's actually the extra work involved with maintaining your balance and form that really ups the ante when you lay that bar across your shoulders. Do the math - you're probably adding maybe 5-10% more weight, at most.

But what about the bench? After giving this track a fair run for the money in our classes, there's little doubt in our minds that it's pretty doggone easy to underestimate the effect this has on the workout. Get out your measuring tape and likely to find the average bench probably sits a good 1/3 the height of whatever vertical distance the typical lunge covers. And if that figure's even remotely accurate, consider this: You'd have to extend the usual 4:45 lunge track to well over six minutes long just to get the same workout! Yeah, the bench takes it to a whole new level.

So here's what we tell our classes: Leave the bar on the floor for the 62 lunge track. And, if you're new at this stuff (we define "new" as anything less than a month, at three times a week) then you're probably best served by setting the bench aside as well. There's no shame in perfecting your form before graduating to the tougher workout regimens. But for the regulars who've got that form nailed - complete with right angles in both knees on the downstroke - adding a bench to the mix is just what the doctor ordered. Grab your weapon, folks - it's lunge time...
What Not To Wear
I’ve decided to let Craig have a break from posting so he can get some work done. Besides, I’ve had something on my mind that is worth mentioning. I think.

It has become increasingly interesting at the variety of exercise clothing participants wear to class. For the most part, they are dressed comfortable, in easy to move in outfits. Some have outfits that match – right down to the shoes, and some could care less how ‘in style’ they are – they just came to get a great workout. Then there are the ‘others’. You know who you are – the ones in the low cut tops, the shorts with the really wide legs, the shorts with no legs at all, you get the picture. For us, it makes it difficult when we are watching for form because we don’t want to appear like we are staring at something we shouldn’t! Does anyone else have this problem?

There has also been the rare occasion where someone has forgotten his or her shoes. I had one lady work out in her hiking boots! Craig has had to work out in his socks before. He would have had to work out barefoot but I went to the local drugstore and bought him socks! He has also forgotten his shorts and had to workout in his jeans. Not very comfortable.

Personally, I am one of those who likes to look somewhat put together. (I confess – I have Nikes that match my outfits…) My biggest issue is finding clothes to wear. Right now I teach 6 classes per week – that will increase to 11 in a couple of weeks so I need plenty of outfits! Being one of those who are vertically challenged, it makes it especially hard to buy pants that don’t need to be hemmed. I love Capri’s’, but on me they always come down to my ankles making me look like someone chopped off my legs. Tops are another issue. I’m short waisted so most tops on me are too long – leaving a wad of material at my middle. And then, exercise clothing is soooo expensive! And unfortunately, if you buy cheap stuff, it doesn’t last. Thank goodness I don’t have a problem with shoes….

It is great to see Body Pump clothing getting away from so much red and black. Don’t get me wrong – I DO like it, but it is nice to have some variety. However, I can’t afford to keep up with all the BP latest fashions.

Men don’t seem to have the same problems women do. When Craig went shopping for his BP attire, he got everything he needed at one store. I on the other hand have to go from store to store – and when you live in a small town with not a lot of stores, your choices are even smaller. Most everything looks all the same – black or navy pants, solid or print tank style top. I have seen some great websites offering cool clothes – but I generally like to try things on before I buy.

So, I guess for now I will continue to wear my same outfits. (Maybe a new pair of sneakers would brighten up an old outfit) Or maybe I’ll call Stacey and Clinton from TLC’s “What Not To Wear”!
Body Pump 63 Sneak Peak (shhh!)
Here's the latest buzz floating around about Body Pump 63, due out to instructors this September:
  • Chest - Famous Last Words by My Chemical Romance (video)
  • Triceps - Pullovers are back again, and from what we can tell it's Faster Kill Pussycat by Paul Oakenfold feat. Brittany Murphy (video)
  • Biceps - Feature mid-range partial curls - sounds like a fast one to us
  • Lunges - Introduce the use of a new single plate move to a remix of Loleatta Holloway's Love Sensation '06 (video)
  • Shoulders - Freestylers are back with Fast Life
  • Abs - A new prone bar roll option is featured for hovers
Rock on!
Justin Timberlake Body Pump Tracks: A Top 5 List
We mentioned during our Body Pump 62 review that we're not big JT fans. Here's the top five reasons why My Lover will join Sexyback in the deep, dark recesses of our library after the 62 launch:
Number 5: Timberlake's bubblegum teenybopper fanbase has little in common with our class participants

Number 4: Backbeat sounds too much like a continuous drum machine loop with canned instrumental runs

Number 3: Overhyped, overproduced sound contradicts everything the Pump program means to loyal participants

Number 2: Girlie-man falsetto vocals make it hard to hold a straight face in front of the class

And the Number 1 reason: Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction fiasco reminds us too much of our own.
Have we struck a chord, or are we completely off-tune? Click the Comments link below and have your say!
How We Organize Our Music
We've had occasional questions over the years about the best way to organize Pump music. Here's what works for us.

First, we use iTunes as our music "repository". Not just because we use a Mac, but primarily because it makes it really easy to coordinate our library with Tami's iPod - you just plug it in and everything gets synched up really nicely. Some people like WinAmp better. Whatever floats your boat.

Anyway, whenever we get a new release, the first thing we do is import the CD into our iTunes library. And, even though it's not really necessary, each new release gets its own playlist - so the most recent release's playlist is called "BodyPump 62", for example. Techie note: We use the "High Quality 160kbps" for music import - that gives us a good balance between quality and storage space.

Next, we copy that new release's music into our track playlists. For example, the warm-up song goes into our "Body Pump - 1: Warm-Up" playlist, squats into "Body Pump - 2: Squats", etc. Note the naming convention here - since iTunes displays playlists in alphabetic order, we always want to see the warm-up listed first, squats second, etc.

Finally (and mostly because we're semi-fanatical about our music), I always drop by either Pipera's BodyPump Tracklists or Mel's Totally Les Mills site and right-click+copy the graphic for the current release, then paste it onto the newly-imported songs. Yeah, it's going a little overboard... but we like it.

Our library always has a "Body Pump - Current Class" playlist where we put together our weekly CD. I burn that a few days before class so Tami can listen to it in the car, and of course we take it with us to class. If your club has a fairly modern CD player you might consider using re-writable CDs - just be sure they work in your club's CD player before class, as CD-RWs tend to be a semi-unstable medium.

One note: We generally don't use an iPod for class. It's just a little clunky for us to locate that little play/pause button right after a tough chest workout, plus we don't want to risk having it slip out of sweaty hands and splatter all over the floor!

So, has this been helpful, or do you have a better/easier way to organize your music? Click the Comments link below and tell us all about it!