We are huge, huge, huge fans of weight lifting and strength training. After all, lifting weights has been shown to be, kind of, the magical cure-all for all things health, including building strong bones, boosting your stamina, staving off or managing chronic conditions, controlling your weight and even making your brain sharper. Not to mention that strength training just makes everything in life a little easier — from picking your kids up, to hauling groceries into the house, to being able to get out from the side of the pool. And, let’s be honest, muscle definition in your arms or legs or stomach is something that can make you feel really proud and strong. And feeling fit and strong — no matter your weight or size — well, there’s no better feeling than that.
Lately it seems as though more and more women are wanting to get strong — and feel that empowerment that comes from being able to deadlift a heavy weight or do a pull-up or master a push-up on her toes. But where do you start? The weight area at many gyms can seem intimidating, and for the strength-training newbie it can be difficult to know what to do and to make sure that you’re doing it with good form. For these reasons and more (so many more!), we love the LES MILLS group fitness classes BODYPUMP and GRIT STRENGTH. Both take the intimidation factor out of lifting weights, while still getting you the results — and giving you the “I’m a bad ass!” feeling — we love.
BODYPUMP is one of the most popular LES MILLS classes and with good reason. This barbell class sculpts and tones your whole body, but the time flies by because it’s timed to music and you have the high energy of doing it with a group of people. In a typical BODYPUMP class, you’ll perform 800 repetitions with light to moderate weights in 55 minutes, giving you something called the REP EFFECT. This exhausts your muscles, allowing you to burn fat, burn more calories and achieve more meaningful fat loss and muscle fatigue to build strength.
For those looking for more of a challenge in a short amount of time, GRIT STRENGTH is the way to go. This 30-minute high-intensity class uses barbells, plates and benches to take your fitness to the next level. In a small-group format, you’ll tackle getting strong with a team!
No matter which class you try (or, hey, try both to really mix things up!), we encourage you to get out there and start lifting. Yes, the health benefits and changes your body will undergo when you start lifting weights are awesome (and you won’t bulk up — promise!), but it’s the feeling and confidence that come from getting and being strong that we really love. So get out there, and get strong, ladies! To find a BODYPUMP or GRIT STRENGT
Do you lift weights? How can you start feeling stronger today? —Jenn