Pump + Pumpkin

October 15, 2010

Went to my first BodyPump class today!!

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As you probably already know, I hate weight training. I think it’s the most boring thing on the face of the earth. YOGA keeps my muscles well oiled. But I do know strength is important, and I like group exercise a lot, so I gave the Pump a go.


  • The bar. Much easier to deal with than two shaky free weights.
  • The exercises. Simple muscle groups. No wacky cross-muscle stuff that left me exhausted like my old Sculpt class (which was way harder and therefore I dreaded it)
  • The pace. It was JUST fast enough per set to feel the burn but not to overwork me or make me bored.
  • The lack of repeats. LOVED that we did most things once (even if we lifted something 20 times in a row, that was just ONE set. It wasn’t “3 sets of 12” or something. I hate sets.


  • The music Sad smile I was prepared for lots of fun pop songs and only recognized one, maybe two of them.
  • All the weight changes. I wish we could use just one weight level for the whole class. But I guess that’s not really the point of gaining strength. And also, biceps and quads are not equal.

I biked there and back, so I got in some nice easy cardio too. An all around good workout! I’ll definitely be incorporating in some BodyPump into the rotation. Gotta get back to cycle classes too!

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Post-shower lunch

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Leftover stuffing

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A salad made from garden greens, sauteed zucchini + carrots, hummus (Athenos Red Pepper a la coupon) and nutritional yeast.

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Orange for fall!

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A blogging snack distributed by Matt! Cinnamon Almonds!

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And hot tea ’cause I’m freezing!

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We’re taking a bike trip to Food Lion in just a few because they have PUMPKIN! Crap, I shouldn’t have said that – others might beat me to it!

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{ 89 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin October 15, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Wow good for you for giving BodyPump a go! I’ve never tried it either and am really bad about consistently strength training, so a class like that might be the perfect thing for me!


2 Tracy October 15, 2010 at 6:07 pm

We always use the plates in shoulders. And sometimes in triceps and abs!


3 Samantha @ Bikini Birthday October 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

What I don’t like about BP is that you ONLY use the bar. It’s nice to mix up a barbell and dumbbells to get a wider range of options for your workout.


4 Marieke October 16, 2010 at 2:35 am

Most of the time you dont only use the bar though. In most releases you use handweights and/or plates as well, e.g for the lunges or the tri ceps and definitely for the abs and the shoulders. Like I said, it depends on the release but I can’t remember a body pump where you don’t use plates or hand weights at all. But yes, the main focus is the bar.


5 Amanda (Eating Up) October 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I really want to try Body Pump when I rejoin a gym. It’s gonna be a requirement when I’m gym-shopping! <–Fun!


6 Maria @ Oh Healthy Day October 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

It’s funny – I’m quite the opposite. I love working my muscles with strength training, but I hate cardio. Recently, though, just like you, I incorporated cardio into my routine because I knew I needed it and I’ve fallen in love. Hopefully Body Pump will grow on you like running did with me!


7 Valerie @ City|Life|Eats October 15, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I feel the same way about Body pump at my gym – and I too find weight lifing super boring. I much prefer yoga though do like pilates. And body pump when I can make it to a class.

Great salad!


8 sweetersalt October 15, 2010 at 1:06 pm

That stuffing looks yummy!

Go get that pumpkin, I swear it’s a national shortage. Get it while it’s there!



9 Katie @ The Boston Marathoner October 15, 2010 at 1:10 pm

Body Pump is my favorite class offered at my gym, (aside from step aerobics…I have to take every opportunity to wear my spandex!) but I absolutely agree that the weight changing can be tedious.


10 Dorry October 15, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I’ve never been to Body Pump…but definitely think it would be worth my while. Glad to see you likes and dislikes. :)


11 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Hehe I know what you mean with your last comment about the pumpkin – whenever it goes on sale I feel as though I have to rush out and buy it all myself before other people get to it! LOL..

I’m glad you enjoyed Body Pump! Do you know which release it was? Most of the recent ones have well-known songs, but I’ve found that the older ones have some very unrecognizable ones. The new releases for all Les Mills programs should be out next week though, and the Pump one is GREAT! (As is RPM, which is what I teach, so if you fancy a spin I highly recommend going!) :)


12 Kath October 15, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I thought it was 75…but based on Jen’s comment below, maybe it was 74?


13 Jen October 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm

Glad you tried BodyPump! Love your honest reviews when you try something new. Remember how we were talking about the numbered releases? I just listened to my CD for BodyPump 75 and it’s full of music that you will recognize so ask when your gym is launching it! You will probably like it.

And yes, it is a pain to switch your weights around so much but hopefully once you figure out what weight works for you on every track it will become more seamless and you’ll have less adjusting.

Have a fabulous weekend!


14 Kath October 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

I don’t think it was 75 because I just googled 75 and WHATCHA SAY is on the list!!!!!!!!!!!!


15 Kath October 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Actually, Bleeding Love was the first one, so maybe it was the 67 list!?


16 Rina October 15, 2010 at 3:32 pm

hey Kath
I’m a BodyPump instructor from NZ … and I don’t know about the US, but here we mix up our own Pump classes using music from various releases (unless it’s a specific new release day to introduce the latest release) – so that could’ve happened to you yesterday. 😉

Most Les Mills music are covers, but some of the artists are original – Kelly Clarkson, Pink, Aerosmith, Derula, Bon Jovi, etc. Looking forward to reading more about your Pump exploits!


17 Jen October 15, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Kath – the “Whatcha Say” squat track in the new release (75) is awesome!!! You will love the mix. And yes – Bleeding Love is from the 60s but like Rina said a lot of instructors mix in several different releases in one class. As long as we work all the muscle groups in order we can mix and match music. Kind of confusing :)


18 Tracy October 15, 2010 at 6:05 pm

My gym does mix it up! I an in AZ. Except when they do a new release, they keep it the same for 2 weeks.


19 Marieke October 16, 2010 at 2:38 am

I think they mostly do the new release in the first month or so, then they start mixing it up at my gym. Sometimes I really like a new one and I’m disappointed that they mix it up! But it does prevent boredom I suppose.


20 lisasfoods October 15, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I’m with you – I find strength training so boring and repetitive, but I know it’s important, especially as we women age. I need to get into a routine at home, since I don’t go to a gym, but could use something inspirational – music, moves, something.

Enjoy your pumpkin search. I need to appreciate that living in Massachusetts we can find pumpkin all year round. Not to make you jealous or anything…;)


21 Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg October 15, 2010 at 1:17 pm

I love Body Pump! I’m not a fan of strength either, so getting it in the form of a class is good for me– if I have to just do it on my own at the gym, I almost always skimp on it in a major way.

Good luck getting to the pumpkin!


22 shannon (the daily balance) October 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

leftover stuffing is the best!

glad to hear you enjoyed (for the most part) BodyPump!


23 Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine October 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I’ve yet to try Body Pump- I wish my gym offered it!!

Have you ever tried mixing hummus + nutritional yeast? You mix the two with some water to thin and use it as a dressing. Super flavorful and protein-packed!!


24 Ashley October 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

In regards to not hearing many pop songs you know…just remember that it is illegal for a group fitness instructor to play just any song in their class without paying for it. It usually costs thousands to license a popular song for it to be played in class. So generally, instructors have to pay for legally cleared compilations that are offered from music fitness companies…this many times includes covers of popular songs, but *rarely* the actual song. So, if you have heard a big pop song in one of your gym classes, most likely the instructor is illegally playing it.

Sorry for the long reasoning…I work in music licensing :)


25 Kath October 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm

My understanding is that the BodyPump songs are covers. I’m totally fine with covers, but I thought I’d at least recognize them. But maybe even covers are bad?


26 Tracy October 15, 2010 at 6:04 pm

Some are covers. You will know which ones! KEEP GOING!! :)


27 Marieke October 16, 2010 at 2:41 am

I think all of them are covers, Les Mills pays for them to be used, this is why the instructors can only use specific Body Pump tracks and not just use whatever they fancy on that day. Keep going Kath, some of the songs are great like Pink, the Black Eyed Peas etc. Upbeat is good :-)


28 Tracy October 16, 2010 at 4:41 pm

If you look up the track listings for the releases, it will tell you who the artist is, and yes it usually is a cover. But some are the original artist.


29 Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes October 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

looove leftover stuffing! and also love weight trainig…but I’m with you on the art of sets…don’t like ’em…would much rather keep changing things up…which is why i looove pilates!
Cathy B. @ brightbakes


30 Cathy B. @ Bright Bakes October 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

*part of sets


31 Taysa October 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I have a lot of the same issues with strength training, but I have pushed myself to get into it recently. I found a few videos (some through Netflix’s ‘Watch Instantly’ option) that are interesting enough to keep me motivated. Plus I feel so AWESOME the day after.


32 Kristina @ spabettie October 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

I have never tried Body Pump – I think I would like it… thanks for the pros & cons…

It took me a while to figure out the first photo… I thought it was a torso at first.. 😀


33 Holly @ couchpotatoathlete October 15, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I would love to try Body Pump — sounds like a good workout!

I love seeing the orange slices — I am definitely excited for oranges :)


34 [email protected] October 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm

My sister said there was a pumpkin shortage by her (Northwest Chicago Suburbs), she couldn’t find it anywhere. I stopped to get a few things over the weekend at Aldi (a discount food store) and they had tons, so I stocked up just in case a shortage comes by me!


35 Alison October 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I’m glad you tried Body Pump. I personally LOVE it, but I also happen to adore strength training. I find Les Mills’ music to be a lot different than the music you’d find in any random aerobics class mostly because it’s heavily mixed– sometimes to the point that you can barely recognize the song–but it’s still quite catchy.

Just think of all the weight changing as a chance to catch your breath. That’s how I look at it. :)


36 Lily's Health Pad October 15, 2010 at 1:36 pm

The music will grow on you–I promise! I actually look forward to the songs that aren’t radio singles now.

Does your gym have Body Attack???? GO NOW if they do.


37 Kath October 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

I don’t think so :*(


38 Tracy October 15, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I love Body Attack too! And Body Combat!!! And RPM! :)


39 Nicole October 15, 2010 at 1:40 pm

LOL on the pumpkin. I bought 4 cans myself today to stock up. I’ve still got one or two left from last year.


40 whitney October 15, 2010 at 1:48 pm

i have mixed feelings about body pump too but it helps me weight train because I’m not good with it either.

You better go get that pumpkin!


41 Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) October 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I love my cardio and my weights. The thing is, ya gotta do what works for you. If it is boring, it isn’t good! I love core fusion too! Great mix of muscle toning and stretching! Dressing/stuffing makes the best salad topper!


42 KatieTX October 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I love feeling the burn of strength training. I like bodypump, but get bored of it. I feel much more challenged when I can mix up my routines. I am lucky to teach at a gym that has mucho equipment. I mix up my strength classes with step (as a bench), bosu balance trainer, stability ball, dumbbells, bodybar, gliding discs, med balls, bender balls, resistance bands, and this contraption called a corepole. It is so awesome to constantly switch things up. Maybe check out a body sculpt class at your new gym to see if it offers some variety for you!


43 Janelle October 15, 2010 at 1:51 pm

I’ll agree that the songs will “grow on you” – I used to hate that I didn’t recognize them, but then I started looking forward to the non-mainstream ones. I miss body pump – I swear that class transformed my body. (but I agree with you – switching weights was a pain).


44 Carlee October 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

I am the total opposite. I really hate cardio but I really like weight training. I think weight training is so important for women. If you want to kill two birds with one stone (cardio and strength training) you could try tabata training or circuit training. Both will get your heart rate up and allow you to build some muscle along the way. I used to do body pump with a friend a few years ago but got bored with it pretty quickly – hopefully your experience is better than mine was.


45 Stacy R. October 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Kath- would you write a post on working out for weight loss at some point? I’ve read so many articles about the importance of strength training AND cardio for weight loss, but like you I am not a huge fan of lifting weights on my own. I try to do cardio 4 times a week and yoga two times a week, but I’m wondering what you did when you were losing weight.


46 Kath October 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I did the same as I do now! Except less yoga because I hadn’t fallen in love yet, and more boring 15 minute weight sessions because I didn’t realize there were other ways to tone. I think both cardio and strength are very important, but I don’t think you have to pump iron to get strong.


47 Claire (Low Impact Fashionista) October 15, 2010 at 2:01 pm

Body Pump sounds so fun! but then again I love lifting weights. Also I’m jealous you are having pumpkin later…I had some on toast for breakfast and already want more more more!


48 Amanda October 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm

I wish I had Body Pump at my gym! I belong to LA Fitness and just tried their Body Works class last night – I think it’s supposed to be the same idea, but its with dumbells. The instructor was a total bore and I left half way through (felt bad doing so, but it was a waste of time!) I need either a dvd or class to get in a full weight lifting routine because I don’t love it enough/I’m not very weight savvy to do it on my own! I also really like the Jillian Michaels “No More Trouble Zones” dvd.


49 Jessica @ The Process of Healing October 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I’ve always wanted to try Body Pump but I have yet to get around to it!


50 Michelle @ IronDivas October 15, 2010 at 2:16 pm

I love BodyPump. Whenever I feel the need to do strength work that is pretty much my go-to class… I hate lifting weights by myself in the gym, I feel I need the class to push myself to do it. Lately my other forms for strength are coming from yoga as well, and some great quick fitness videos from the Tone It Up girls.


51 Christine October 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

My gym just got bodypump this Sept. — but I haven’t been to a class. I witnessed the end of when I arrived early for Pilates a few weeks ago and it looks HARD.

I think my gym is on 74…..

We have no shortage of pumpkin in Jersey. I’ve even seen the libby’s pumpkin bread in a box kit here (which is a rip off $5 for them to give you flour and sugar with canned pumpkin? no thnks!)


52 thetreadmilldiaries October 15, 2010 at 2:28 pm

I’ve always been curious about BodyPump. Heard good things. Sounds like you agree it may be worth a try. Thanks!


53 Dani October 15, 2010 at 2:31 pm

So glad you tried Bodypump. It will grow on you. The music is usually great, and always helps me push through the more challenging parts. Maybe you will like it more when you learn the songs? I am always excited for a short break to change my weights. It’s a great class and it grows with you..never gets boring. Enjoy!


54 Serena October 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Kath, I’d love to hear your thoughts on BPA in canned food. Pumpkin is back and I love it, but over the past few months, I’ve phased out canned foods that contain BPA (only eating the Eden and other brands that don’t contain BPA – TJs beans, for example). I haven’t been able to find a manufacturer that doesn’t use BPA in pumpkin cans, so I’m trying to decide if I should avoid it or not worry since I don’t get BPA from many other places. Judging from what you post, it seems like you’re not concerned with BPA in canned goods – can you give us your RD perspective on it?


55 Kath October 15, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Well RDs aren’t experts on BPA! And this one hasn’t done much research.

That said, you’re right, I buy canned goods in conventional cans. I don’t eat canned goods so much that I’m very worried. And I’d be more worried if we COOKED the food in the cans. It’s definitely a concern of mine, but not enough to change ..yet.


56 Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) October 15, 2010 at 2:37 pm

I’m with you on the whole strength training thing. I’d much rather do yoga or cardio, but somehow I manage to still squeek it into my weekly life since I know of all the benefits. 😀

Your lunch looks so *FRESH!* 😀


57 Morgan @ Life After Bagels October 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I love love love weight training, I find it so satisfying!

and number 2 – I’ve never had a pumpkin shortage here, but since I’ve heard of it happening so much lately, perhaps I should fill a grocery cart full, hahaha


58 Tina October 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Totally agree. The music is hit or miss. 74 was the worst. Hopefully, you didn’t do that one today. I’m so glad that you tried it!!!!


59 Missy October 15, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Hi Kath,

I read via Google Reader and rarely get a chance to comment, but just wanted to say “thanks” for all that you do! I am a stay-at-home mom (homeschooling 6 kids, we have 12 adopted kids total, 6 who live at home still, 6 on their own). I’m only 35 (we started this when I was 22). I’m REALLY out of shape and struggling with figuring out how to take care of ME with all this other responsibility in my life. I LOVE reading your blog because your lifestyle makes it seem so easy to have a healthy, active attitude about life! It is motivating me to do MORE for myself. I had to grin when I saw your Chicago Starbucks mug…I have the very same mug that I bought in the Chicago airport last October on a layover from D.C. back home to KS. :) It’s a small world!

–Missy in Kansas–


60 Kath October 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Hey Missy! Wow, that’s a lot of kids. Thanks for reading!


61 Camille October 15, 2010 at 3:14 pm

I’m not a big fan of strength training either. I am finally starting to do it a bit because I have zero definition in my upper body.


62 Natalia - a side of simple October 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Mmm that stuffing looks great! Makes me crave some Thanksgiving foods right now…


63 M October 15, 2010 at 3:37 pm

I want your life!(workwise that is!)

Your days sound so nice-time for yoga or gym,or biking or running,or maybe even a
beer or wine tasting…. sounds so lovely!

I want your lifestyle girl :)


64 Heather October 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I feel the same way about weights…so boring!!! but its obvious in my arms that I NEED it!


65 Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA October 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I LOVE BodyPump! It take a few classes to get used to the flow but before you know it, you’ll be able to know exactly how much to add to the bar for each set. :)

PS…Excited to meet ya at Foodbuzz :)


66 stacey-healthylife October 15, 2010 at 4:04 pm

It’s always fun trying new things. You probably will be sore tomorrow.


67 Casey October 15, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Hey Kath! I JUST tried Body Pump on Monday because they just started offering the class at my gym this passed weekend. It felt real good, and I plan on incorporating it into my routine. Perhaps once a week or once every 2 weeks or so. But I totally agree I only recognized two songs :(


68 mariaeatsbeets October 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm

Where can I find Athenos hummus? I’ve been saving my coupon, what seems like forever!


69 Kath October 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm

I found it at Kroger


70 Erika @ Food, Fitness, & Fun October 15, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Glad you have been encorparating more strength training in your workouts. I try to do the same thing, but I am always so busy with my running.
Have a great weekend! 😀


71 Tracy October 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm

I am in love with Body Pump! Keep going, and you will recognize the music and get to know all the ones you don’t know. I sing along to every track now!! :)


72 Allison October 15, 2010 at 6:29 pm

I’m so glad to hear you tried Pump! Yes, you’ve got to give Body Pump at least three tries before you decide if you like or don’t like it. I’m also a BP instructor and I can tell you that their is tons of Top 40 music throughout the releases but it depends on which release or mix the instructor is doing. You will like BP 75 for sure! We’re launching it in Dallas next week. I’ve got to get to work on my choreography. Have a great day!


73 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey October 15, 2010 at 7:26 pm

ahahaha – i love hwo you got paranoid that others might beat you to the pumpkin! i understand your fear though.


74 [email protected] October 15, 2010 at 7:47 pm

I love classes too- bodypump sounds like fun! Wish I had it near me. I want to try Zumba too :-)


75 Erica October 15, 2010 at 8:11 pm

Hey Kath! Not sure which pump your gym is teaching but the new pump is awesome! The music is an interesting mix because it produced in New Zealand so they usually lag behind the US a bit in whats current. However, the latest release is pretty spot on. And they try to switch it up between the bar, plates and other body weighted exercises (like dips, pushups, etc). I’d definitely try different instructors too because we all have a little bit of our own styles.


76 Mary @ Bites and Bliss October 15, 2010 at 8:22 pm

I loooveee and MISS BodyPump! I’ve even been considering getting a second membership at a gym I severely dislike just because they offer that class (along with many others) that my current gym doesn’t offer.

I agree with the annoyance with all the weight changes..but if they didn’t happen, bicep track would probably kill us. 😛


77 Eileen October 15, 2010 at 8:58 pm

My gym added Body Pump about a year ago, and I’ve seen visible, awesome results in a number of my friends. I like it, don’t love it, but I know it’s good for me. I agree about the music. Ours tends to be sort of electronica/dance, and it’s just sooooooo different from my running music, which is mostly alternative


78 Hannah October 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Maybe you could take an ipod and listen to your own music? 😀


79 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin October 15, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I like weight training, but I’m getting bored of doing the same thing over and over again. This class sounds like a great way to switch things up!


80 Shannon October 15, 2010 at 10:26 pm

I used to hate BP, but now I love it. When I lift on my own, now I lift heavier weights than I did for years before I started taking BP!


81 Wendy October 15, 2010 at 11:15 pm

I noticed a while back that one your cville friends does crossfit? Have you thought about trying it? I started back in July, and I’m the strongest and fittest I’ve ever been, and I only do 2-3 10-20 minute workouts a week. I like it because the workouts are super effective, always different (in 4 months, I haven’t repeated a workout yet), and don’t take much time. Probably the best part though is that everyday motions, like carrying groceries, picking up my kids, or getting up and down from the floor are so much easier (and I was in decent shape before I started).

Ok, getting off my crossfit soapbox. Have a great weekend!


82 Kath October 16, 2010 at 11:06 am

I will try it – but I dunno if I’ll like it much


83 Melissa October 16, 2010 at 1:33 am

I am always intimidated as I pee through the window of group classes so I have not done any. I would like to try out Body Pump one of these days. And my mom brought me some of the cinnamon almonds from her trip to Chicago this week. I didn’t even request them. They are so good and addicting! We don’t have a TJs here so it is nice getting to try it out via Mom.


84 Kath October 16, 2010 at 11:05 am

Pee through the window – hee hee!


85 Krit October 18, 2010 at 10:59 am

I wouldn’t go to the group class if they can see you peeing through the window at them! 😉


86 Jen October 16, 2010 at 6:52 am

I love that you dressed to match the pumpkin :)


87 Jamie @ Food in Real Life October 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm

I haaate sets! Couldn’t agree more. I wish they had body pump at my gym!


88 Cecilia @ I [heart] me October 17, 2010 at 7:42 pm

I used to do BP years back… if they have enough equipment at your gym so you can have 2 bars, you should take advantage of it! One for legs/back, one for biceps/triceps/shoulders. It makes switching weights so much faster.
In regards to the music, I liked that it introduced me to new music and then whenever I’d hear a song outside of class, it would remind me of BP and get me stoked for going!


89 Alyssa October 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I do body pump twice a week and think of it only as my weight training for the week! The music depends on the instructor…my tuesday class has much better tunes! Thursday is the same music every.single.time. BORING!

I have gotten back into yoga as well and really love the way it makes me feel…a gentle muscle toning workout :-)


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