BodyPump Initial Training Weekend

Hi guys!


As you may have noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a blog hiatus lately. Why? Well, quite simply, I’ve been so super-ridiculously-crazy-uber busy that I haven’t had a moment to spare! Honestly, I’m not quite sure how I made it through last week alive. Someone check my pulse?

Anyway, currently I have been working towards getting my credentials in line for PA {Physician Assistant} school. I have everything prerequisite-wise except for Anatomy & Physiology II. The past two weeks I’ve been busting my booty taking that class at a nearby college. And MAN is it hard to go back to school when you’ve been out for a couple years! As of today I am halfway through the fast-paced summer course. Phew!

But more about that another day…



So. About this weekend. I went to a BodyPump Initial Training session! I guess I should back up and explain…

A few months ago I was approached by the Group Fitness manager at my gym about possibly teaching classes in the future. My knee-jerk reaction was to look around to see if she was talking to me. I was completely taken by surprise and initially terrified of the thought! I mean, think about it. Teaching group fitness is pretty much public speaking on steroids. Not only are people listening to you speak, but you need to memorize choreography {I’m totally not a dancer or gymnast}, provide inspiration and entertainment, demonstrate perfect technique, and do it all in front of 30-60 people. Ummm yeah… not my cup of tea. Or so I thought.

The more I thought about the possibility of teaching my favorite class, the more I became excited about it. I realized that my passion for not only fitness, but BodyPump in particular, is absolutely there. As I became accustomed to the idea, I really started to think that this could be a cool opportunity for me to grow as a person and expand my horizons! By doing something I love! Yes! I was in.


Once I made my decision to DO THIS THING, I signed up for the nearest Initial Training session. I had to wait a couple of months, but as you know, I’ve been busy and it went by quickly.

Two weeks ago participants were sent a virtual packet containing everything from music, choreography notes, videos on how to teach, and most importantly, the number of the two tracks I was responsible for learning to present to the class.

This, folks, is where my panic set in. As I’ve never taught before {group fitness or otherwise}, I felt overwhelmed. I didn’t know how to learn the choreography. I was nervous about presenting it to a group of strangers. I was even more nervous to present it to the instructor for a grade. Yikes!

I did my best over the past two weeks to balance learning A&P II {daily quizzes are just rude} and memorizing two weight-lifting tracks. I felt like I knew the tracks come this Friday evening, but was not 100% confident in them. I was at maybe 80-85%. I have a tendency to second-guess myself when I’m dealing with something new and it came out big time this past week. I had to suck it up though because I’m not a quitter and there was no turning back!



All packed up and ready to go!

All packed up and ready to go!

Saturday morning kicked off my big weekend. The weekend I’ve been simultaneously dreading and looking forward to! My GPS took me on a wild-goose chase off the wrong exit and I finally made it to the correct location just barely in time. If you know me, you know being late stresses me out to the max… not a great way to begin!

The class had eighteen total participants. Sixteen females and two men. Pretty much the ratio I’d expect for group fitness. Ha!

We soon learned that we were in a “trial run” of a new training system Les Mills is trying out. Not only were we in a trial, but we were the very FIRST group in the entire country to do this! Third in the world, after New Zealand and Australia. I must admit, I thought that was pretty dang cool!

Typically, we would have had one instructor. But because we were in this special trial, we got two! One of them being the Les Mills representative for the United States. Woah.

I don’t want to bore any of you with the nuances of the training, so I will do my best to provide a concise summary. We did a few “getting to know each other” activities to break the ice. Then, we completed the entire BodyPump Release 90 Masterclass. For those of you non-BodyPumpers out there, that means we did an hour long class using a barbell working all of the major muscle groups in our body to some thumpin’ music. Essentially, we did what I have been going to the gym to do for over a year. Take a class to get a great full-body workout!

I loved how we started with this! Everyone had been so focused on our two tracks, that most of us had neglected to look at everything else. I learned soon that both the biceps and shoulders tracks in this release are killer.

Following the Masterclass, we learned a lot about choreography, technique, and coaching. To a new teacher such as myself, the information was invaluable. We also did technique work, had time to practice, and completed some other cool drills.

BodyPump training

Taking some time to practice our tracks

Then… the part I had been dreading… our first presentations. Considering I had been worrying about this moment for two weeks, I was really nervous. Not only that, but I was assigned the Squat track, which follows warm-up. AKA I was up first. Eeeeek!

As it turned out, we only had to present the first two minutes of our main track. {The second track was just to shadow someone else presenting.} This was music to my ears because my track was nearly six minutes long. I was all for shortening my presentation time! With trepidation, I presented two minutes of the squat track. It wasn’t perfect by any stretch, but afterwards I had this incredible feeling of “I can do this!” That was a BIG moment for this introvert.

We did a lot more drills and learning the remainder of the day and finished up around dinner time. Needless to say everyone was starving!


After dinner with another participant, I decided to study for my big A&P midterm that was coming up on Monday. I tried to focus, but it was difficult because I was exhausted and knew I needed to practice my squats!

After some school learning, I switched my focus to the squats. Unfortunately, my knee was really bothering me so I mostly read over my speaking notes and practiced the timing with my hands. I knew I had another long day of squatting and didn’t want to overdo it any more than I had to. Some anti-inflammatory pills seemed to do the trick for the moment.

I fell asleep in less than one second that night. I’m not even kidding. New record!


Although it was only yesterday, Day Two is a complete blur! It was madness, I tell you! Madness!

One thing I do remember is that I started the day with oatmeal with walnuts and an apple. Not bad for hotel offerings.

oatmeal and apple

We learned more about different cues and speaking points. We did our second presentations early on, to the entire song this time and not just two minutes of it. Even though it was longer, I felt much more at ease with the second presentation than I did with the first. Practice makes perfect I suppose!

Making speaking notes

Making speaking notes

After some more stuff {blur, I say!} we completed the BodyPump Challenge. It was kind of like a mix between BodyPump and CrossFit in that we were doing BodyPump moves, but as fast and heavy as we could. We were in partners and completed five stations of timed super sets, going back and forth for 4 minutes at each station.

To warm up, we did a quick Tabata-style workout outside. I’ve never done Tabata before and must say, 18 fit people were huffing and puffing after just a few minutes. That’s some serious stuff! It’s a form of HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training.

Following the warm-up, my awesome partner and I squatted, clean and pressed, and lunged with ferocity! {This area is probably why I’m so sore today!} My arms felt like they could have popped off after! I can say with confidence that I was not alone. We also were screaming at each other… **ahem I mean encouraging… the whole time. My throat was so dry!

A much needed lunch break came and we all changed into some dry, clean clothes as well. I was happy to not be in super sweaty and stinky gear!

After a recuperating lunch, we learned some more information and prepared to give our third and final presentations. The ones we are graded on. Duh duh duhhhhhhh.

This round, I was relieved to go first. Get it out of the way! After completing the whole class one final time, we were finished! We had some house-keeping stuff to take care of {IE what to do now} and then received our grades. You can receive a 1/3, 2/3, or 3/3. A 2/3 and above are considered passing. I felt like my track went well and was wanting a 2/3 at least. Turns out, I received a 3/3 and was elated! WOOHOOOO!!!



Look at this awesome group! World, we’re coming for you!

Before you all get too excited, I am not certified just yet. We all need to learn the rest of the tracks and teach an entire class at our gyms that will be reviewed. We have two months to complete this. Once I get the official “pass” from that, then I will be a certified Les Mills BodyPump instructor! Me! How awesome!

This weekend was both mentally and physically exhausting. But so, so worth it! My anatomy test may have suffered {whoops}, but I feel so proud of myself for succeeding in this training weekend!

A BIG thank you to Megan and Kristen for teaching us! You two are total ROCKSTARS! And to Summer and Christi at my gym for encouraging and helping me leading up to this weekend! I wouldn’t be here without you!


  • Are you a group fitness instructor? Do you enjoy it?
  • Have you ever done something you didn’t think you could? What was it?

Talk to you guys soon!



2 thoughts on “BodyPump Initial Training Weekend

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