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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Its not all about pedling

This week has been good for me, my mileage has increased, I have started climbing proper hills and I am finally starting to get some real rhythm on my bike.
But getting bike fit is not all about cycling, Core strength is just as important, as is being lighter and leaner.

What has given me the most satisfaction this week has not even involved the turn of a pedal.

Through healthier eating I have lost 4 lbs and I have started going to Body Pump Classes.

Rather than do isolated gym work with no real plan or objective I decided that this year I would change that. So I signed up for 2 BODYPUMP classes a week, as well as my two spinning classes, to compliment my outdoor cycling.

I started this week.

I have always been put off by doing weights, as having a broad frame, I end up looking like Popeye, however these classes are more aerobic with lighter weights and multiple reps focusing on all of the main muscle groups. All of this is done to funky music.


1. Warmup
The opening track is designed to warm up all the major muscles and prepare the body for the workout ahead. First we adopt the BODYPUMP™ set position of standing upright with great posture, heels under hips with the toes turned out slightly. The tummy is held in tight, the chest is proud with the shoulders down and back and knees are soft… Then we do shortened versions of each of the main exercises to follow, warming up all the major muscle groups and preparing the body for the workout ahead.
2. Legs/squats
The first real working track targets the biggest muscle groups of quadriceps, gluteals and hamstrings with squats performed at different speeds – slow for strengthening and toning, fast for burning calories. Participants will use their heaviest weight selection for this track.
3. Chest
The focus changes from legs to the upper body and lighter weights are used as participants lie back on their bench to work the barbell up and down at chest level. This track targets the major muscles of the chest, shoulders and triceps with moves of varying range and intensity.
4. Back
Participants return to the standing set position for the most athletic track of the class. A selection of lifts and deadrows trains the postural muscles of the upper-mid and lower back and the cardio-vascular system soars with clean and presses, where the barbell is lifted high above the head. This engages all the muscles of the upper-mid and lower back, as well as working the gluteals and hamstrings.
5. Triceps
Time to lie back on the bench again and sculpt and tone the triceps using lighter weights. The barbell is held at chest level and lowered toward the forehead or chest by bending the arms at the elbow. Other moves may include tricep kickbacks using a single plate, tricep push-ups and tricep dips.
6. Biceps
Similar of slightly lighter weights are used to isolate and train the biceps with a succession of lifts and curls.
7. Lunges
Weights are optional in the lunge track, which revisits and trains multiple leg muscles by extending one leg forward (on or off the bench) and dropping the back knee towards the floor.
8. Shoulders Barbells and single, hand-held plates are used in this track to work all areas of the deltoids in a range of different ways. Exercises can include lateral raises with plates, upright rows, rotator and overhead presses – and the ever-faithful push-ups.
9. Abdominals
The last working track is focused on all areas of the body’s core, relying heavily on the use of sit-ups and leg raises, with bodyweight ‘hovers’ and ‘planks’ also frequently incorporated. Single plates may be placed on the chest or lifted overhead to increase the work-load.
10. Cooldown
Soothing music is usually used to accompany a final sequence of stretches to complete the workout and help reduce any risk of muscle soreness or injury.

I highly recommend it.

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