So, a few months I wrote a post about how I have started to go to Body Pump classes at my gym in a bid to build strength. The reason I decided to start Body Pump was because, after injuring my shoulder muscles through running, I realised I needed to get stronger.
I think Body Pump for me is a way of taking control of my condition. Hopefully, by building stronger muscles, this will help to protect my back and core and hopefully reduce back pain over time. That’s my thinking, anyway.
I have always shied away from any kind of weights through feel of injuring my back. However, I now feel like this has had a negative effect and caused me to become very weak (especially in my upper body and back) over time. Add to that my scoliosis surgery where my back muscles were cut through and then subsequently wearing a back brace for 6 months, which meant that my back muscles weren’t really having to work at all. All this has left me very weak and vulnerable to injury when performing cardio such as a running.
Over the past year or so I have had a stark realisation that strength and resistance training is VITAL for me and I should have really started doing it years ago. The realisation came when I injured my shoulder when running (muscle strain) and then I had a body scan done at the gym which showed I had virtually NO muscle mass. This was not surprising really though, after everything I have been through!
Anyway, I wanted to follow up on my first post, update on how I’m finding Body Pump and share some small (but exciting!) victories with you.
My Body Pump Results so far…
I have now been going to Body Pump twice a week for about 6 months and have noticed that I am definitely getting stronger, which i find really exciting. It’s my favourite class in the gym and I really look forward to going. I think it’s so good because it’s FUN. As you are performing the exercises to music and in a group it’s more interesting and motivating then just lifting weights by yourself in the gym.
Below are a few benefits of Body Pump that I have noticed over the past 6 months:
- I quickly noticed after a few months that my arms were getting more toned and defined. I now have (albeit small!!) definition in my arms and shoulders as you can see in the photo below (I really should have taken a “before” picture!)
- My strength has improved and although this is not necessarily visual, this is the reason I started Body Pump. When I started I pretty much used the lowest weight on the bar throughout the entire class (1.25kg on each side of the bar). For me, this was the right thing to do. As I had zero strength and I have scoliosis and so I knew I needed to take it easy to start with and ignore what everyone else was doing.
- Now, I have double this for my warm up weight and am slowly increasing the amount of weight I add on to the bar for each exercise. I think it is important for anyone new to Body Pump to start light and increase the weights gradually, as Body Pump classes feature hundreds of reps and so you start to feel the burn with even the lightest of weights!
- To give you an idea of my improvement, in 6 months I am now using the following weights (increased from 1.25kg when I first started):
- Squats/lunges – 6.5kg on each side of the bar
- Chest – 2.5kg on each side of the bar
- Triceps – 3.75kg on each side of the bar
- Biceps – 2.5kg on each side of the bar
- Shoulders – 2.5kg on each side of the bar
- Back – 3.75kg on each side of the bar
- I’m sure many people would have increased even more in 6 months but as someone with zero strength 6 months ago and with my back condition I’m really proud of how far I’ve come. I have been purposely taking it slow and not rushing to increase the weights in case I cause myself an injury. I still have a long way to go to increase my strength. I still can’t do a push up for example (without using my knees). But I feel like I am now on the right track and if I carry on, gradually increasing the weights and combining with a good diet and cardio, I should keep on improving and getting stronger.
- Even though I have a long way to go, I have noticed that being slightly stronger in general is having a positive effect on my other cardio activities, such as my running. I am able to run faster and for longer than ever before and I am sure that Body Pump is contributing towards my running improvements.
I will update again about how I’m getting on over the coming months and lets see where this takes me and how much more I can improve.
I’d be interested to know if any of my readers have ever tried Body Pump or any kind of weight or resistance training with scoliosis? Let me know in the comments below.
I do worry sometimes that I might injure myself but I just try to keep the weights light and have been building up very gradually over time to try and avoid this.
To find out more about Body Pump follow this link.. BodyPump – group fitness
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing or starting a new fitness routine.
I accept no responsibility or liability for any injuries caused directly or indirectly through the performing of the exercises described. If you feel any discomfort or pain during any exercise, stop immediately.
If you have recently had scoliosis surgery, speak to your Dr/physiotherapist in order to get tailored exercises for you while you recover. You will need to be very careful and it will probably be difficult to do anything other than walking and simple exercises for a while. (Remember NO bending, lifting or twisting for at least 6 months following scoliosis surgery).
I had scoliosis surgery in 2010 and blog about my experiences living with scoliosis. My aim is to raise awareness of scoliosis and help and inspire others with the condition.