What to expect from a pump class

What to expect from a pump class

A few weeks ago, after attending my first ever spin class and loving it, I decided to go to a pump class at my gym.

My gym is a PureGym, so I’m unsure how much pump classes will differ from gym to gym and trainer to trainer.

The pump classes at my gym are described as:

A total body workout using barbells, weights and steps. Each part of the class is designed to target a different muscle group so you’ll get a great overall body workout to some great music.

I was really nervous about going at first. One of the things I like about spin is that you can lower in intensity if you want to – but what if I’m in the middle of an over head press and my weights are too heavy and I have to stop? WILL EVERYONE LAUGH AT ME.

You know, sometimes you have to put your pride aside and remember it’s being there that counts. There is always the possibility that some knobs might think you’re weak, but who cares about thoughts inside of a human that you don’t even know? NOT ME.

Most people won’t even notice. Or if they do, don’t care.

Anyway, let’s move on.

What to expect from a pump class

At the start of pump class, you get your own equipment ready. As it was my first time, I just copied what other people did and got the same as them, which was:

  • Workout mat
  • A step
  • A barbell
  • Weights (2x 5kg, 2x 2.5kg, 1.25kg)

Most people were setting up their bar with the two 5kg plates, some added more, so I picked the same as the majority of the people in the class.

When the class started, the instructor showed us the basic moves we would be doing with the barbell, which were:

  • over head press
  • squat
  • lunches
  • bent over row
  • chest press

So if you’re unsure what weight you would use – it would be a good idea to go to the gym before hand and do those exercises with the weights on your own so you can see how much you can lift.

I’d recommend going for a lower weight than you would use if you were doing sets of 8-12 as you’ll be using the barbell for the length of a track at times. I know I can’t do over head presses for over 2 minutes using the weights I would normally!

So the way it works is you left the weights to the beat of the music and change how fast and slow you move the weight.

For example, in over head press, you might go straight up and down, then the instructor may ask you do go up in 2, so you would lift it half way, then all the way, the back down half way, then all the way. We sometimes did it in 4’s, too.

This is the same for the squats, chest presses (laid on the step) and the rows.

With the lunges, we would take turns from going from one leg to the other, to pulsing on one leg.

The instructor does sometimes mention you might need to lower your weight at certain times as you might be able to squat more than you an chest press, for example.

There was a time when I lowered mine and other people did, too.

Also with the squats and lunges, the instructor stated that if you need to put the weights down and carry on with no weights, that’s better than just stopping so a few people did that..

The class lasted 45 minutes and it seemed to go fast, even though at times it was painful to hold the weights for so long, especially in the squats which I’m really bad at!

Overall, I’m glad I went because it’s good to see what moves you can use with the barbell, especially as I’m a bit self conscious about doing lunges and squats because I feel my form is bad so it’s a great way of being shown how it’s done. If you form is bad, the instructor comes around and gives you some pointers.

For me, though, I much prefer lifting heavier weights for a shower periods than lighter for a long period of time. Though the class did get my heart rate up and I burnt lots of calories according to my heart rate monitor.

Whether this class is for you is totally dependant on your goals. It’s more for weight loss, toning, muscle strengthening and endurance than it is for building muscle, I think.

What to expect from a pump class

Have you ever been to a pump class? What did you think?

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  1. May 8, 2016 / 12:14 pm

    I haven’t been recently but I went for several years. The advantage for me was that I’m not fond of weights and it was a way to ensure I did some weights as I was fonder of classes. I prefer dynamic workouts and I quite enjoy kettlebells, but due to problems with my neck now I have to be careful and can’t use very heavy weights.

  2. May 9, 2016 / 9:28 am

    Ooh, this is a really useful series of posts Corinne – I would like to learn more about different classes so I can pick the ones that are right for me! It’s like you said on the spin post – when you’re in the class, you have to do it.

    This one’s probably out right now because my gammy knees mean no lunges or squats – but my spin classes are helping those, so maybe one day.

  3. May 11, 2016 / 8:33 am

    It’s quite tricky to pick the right weights. I’ve made some bad choices and I was too tired after that and my muscles were protesting. Your advice of trying the weights in those particular exercises before the class is great.

  4. May 11, 2016 / 10:20 am

    I’ve tried most of the classes at my gym but don’t think I’ve ever tried pump. I need to go back to kettlecise and I loved that one x

  5. Sarah Ella (Mumx3x)
    May 11, 2016 / 1:39 pm

    I recently started working out again! I’d love to try a pump class but I am nowhere near ready for that just yet. Last time, I was working out almost daily, I found it quite hard to pick the right size weights and was constantly changing them throughout the workout. I enjoyed this post, a pump class is something I’d love to try when I’m more fit. 🙂 Thanks for posting. xx

  6. May 11, 2016 / 8:21 pm

    I have never heard of pump classes, they look very intense – but brilliant exercise too. Kaz x

  7. May 12, 2016 / 8:57 pm

    I’ve never tried a pump class before, looks rather intense.
    Sure I’d be the idiot at the back failing.

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