3 Times the Charm!

On Monday, I took a Les Mills BodyPump class for the first time. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but a couple of my friends always rave about it, and it aligns with my postpartum fitness goals of increasing strength, stamina, and muscle tone, so I finally got the courage to try it. In just one class, I can tell you that BodyPump is AWESOME! What a workout! For those who don’t know, it’s lifting to the beat and squats—ohhh ma gaaaaaaahhhhshhh the squats! Intimidating to hear, I know, but it’s one of those workouts with the immediate gratification of sore muscles and feeling like a badass. I definitely want to try it again and am excited at the prospect of getting ripped for the Summer with this muscle-producing workout. But I will also say I am having a slight mental issue visualizing myself consistently attending class each week. There were moments (ahem, push-ups) where I wanted to die and had to squash down the little devil in my ear telling me I was too weak to do this.

In talking with a random woman before Zumba started last night, I mentioned how I had tried BodyPump the previous day. She gave me such great advice, I have to share!

Try every class a minimum of 3 times. The first time is to see what the class is all about; the second time is to get over your mental baggage to see what your body can really do; and the third time is to take the mental and physical components and make an educated decision on if the class is for you. Anything less than 3 tries is cheating yourself.

This is so very true! And I can tell you I have not consistently done this in the past so I may very well be missing out on some really cool fitness classes out there.

Every once in awhile you have a “love at first sight” moment, like I did with Zumba, because it’s already in your comfort zone.  As a former dancer, it’s no surprise whatsoever that I get giddy about pas-de-bourrees and chasses, so of course I’m going to frequent Zumba classes where I own the dance floor and shake my booty like I’m still 12. And there’s nothing wrong with doing what you love—in fact, I encourage it—but don’t let this “I need to be the best” mentality prevent you from incorporating other forms of movement in your fitness routine. More often than not, when we gain the courage to try something new, we find ourselves counting down the seconds until either class is over or we’ve dropped dead. We don’t know what to expect, so if you’re like me, you get that moment of panic where you fear the difficulty of the class is going to get even worse and your body is going spontaneously combust.

Much like my reaction to a cycling class back in the archives of September 2012 (wow, I’ve had my blog for that long?!) I promised at the end of my post that I would try the class again, and I’m here to admit 18 months later that I haven’t even stepped foot near the cycling studio since. I definitely should have applied the 3 times rule, because in re-reading that old post I can see how I had some mental baggage clouding up my ability to make a clear decision on how I felt about the class. I’m positive yet skeptical, but ultimately I let the skeptic win. I even acknowledge how I’m used to dancing and yoga so the “one motion” of cycling was out of my comfort zone (baggage), that my under-carriage hurt (baggage), and the class didn’t exactly fit the description on the class schedule (baggage.) Tsk tsk on me!

BodyPump, for me, is a crazy challenge of unexplored territory. I thought the instructor was phenomenal so that certainly has inspired me to attend again. This time I’m putting it IN WRITING, that I will attend this class a minimum of two more times. I may even try a different instructor too to confirm it’s BodyPump that I enjoy doing and not just being in the presence of this one instructor!

Do you have any advice for starting a new fitness class? What have you tried and loved? What have you tried and hated?


Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Love Yourself Towards Healthy where she helps chronic dieters heal their relationship with food, fitness and body image. She is also the creator of Gain Wellness, a 5-week behavioral change program to unlearn diet culture, stop negative self-talk and set wellness goals---not appearance goals. Follow Meridith at @loveyourself2healthy on all social channels.

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