Beale AFB first to incorporate Body Pump in fitness program

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Chuck Broadway
  • 9th RW Public Affairs
"When your body starts to scream, tell it to shut up." That's the motto of the new Body Pump fitness program which began at the fitness center here Aug. 24. Several members of the 9th Force Support Squadron trained to become certified instructors of the program.

"We wanted to find the most relevant group exercise on the market," said Capt. Tyson Edwards, 9th FSS Sustainment Services Flight commander and the one responsible for bringing the program to the base. "We wanted to appeal to active-duty members, anyone can participate, but we're focusing on helping people pass the physical fitness test."

According to 9th FSS personnel, the program is very popular in the surrounding areas and also known worldwide. It is taught in more than 12,000 facilities in more than 70 countries and currently is the fastest growing group fitness program in the country. Beale is the first and only Air Force installation to offer the Body Pump.

The barbell-based routine features a standard program of 10 tracks, set to contemporary, Top-40 music. Each track lasts three-to-five minutes and focuses on specific muscle groups for a total-body workout. Each track works a particular muscle group such as legs or chest.

"It's a battle," said Master Sgt. Keith Vernon, 9th FSS lodging section chief and Body Pump instructor. "Like any battle, we wage a campaign and each campaign gets harder as we go. As an instructor, my job is to lead people through the battle. Instructors do the workout with the class and challenge themselves along with participants. We go through it as a team."

Volunteer instructors train three times a week, sometimes twice a day, to master the technique and routine of Body Pump. The instructors, who are all active-duty personnel, are not the typical world-class athletes some may find in a commercial gym. They have pushed themselves through the training and have seen benefits in which they say anyone can have if they come to the class.

"It's for everyone," Captain Edwards said. "You can be a world-class athlete or just starting out. You control the weight on the bar."

In order to ensure everyone is getting maximum results of the program, Sergeant Vernon said instructors focus on technique and will work with class members whenever they need help.

"If you're a beginner, it's an awesome class to get started," he said. "It's your individual challenge; we're just there with you, along for the ride. One of the great things about the class is it's the same exercises you'd do in the weight room."

In order to avoid a plateau effect with Body Pump, a new routine is released every three months by the parent company, Les Mills, to mix things up and keep the workouts fresh. With each new release, new music and choreography is taught and gives instructors and class members something to look forward to instead of the same routine.

Captain Edwards said he feels the program will not only be beneficial to participants, but help them during deployments as well.

"This is building functional strength you would use in the Air Force," the captain said. "The repetitive work used during deployments is found here and this will build up endurance for that. It's fantastic for weight loss because you burn up to 600 calories per session; and it's good for building lean muscle and endurance."