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BodyPump Advanced Instructor Training

Today I completed the BodyPump Advanced Instructor Module 1! I have been wanting to go through advanced instructor training for a long time now so I was thrilled to discover a course was being offered in Cary. I signed up a couple of months ago and today was the big day!

I love BodyPump (read more about why). I totally credit it for all of my muscle tone and completely changing the shape of my body. The purpose of advanced instructor training is to improve your teaching skills and perfect technique. Also, AIMs are how Les Mills is selecting the new generation of trainers and one of my long-term “stretch goals” is to become a trainer for BodyPump. That means I would train other instructors and present new releases and lead workshops. Getting to the point where I can train others to teach is a huge career goal of mine (and not just for BodyPump…hopefully one day yoga too!).

Although it was an awesome day, it was a long one. Six hours of driving and 8.5 hours of training. My alarm went off at 4:15 a.m. and I was on the road by 5. I stayed awake thanks to coffee and the BodyPump music that was blasting as I reviewed choreography. I ate some overnight oats around 6:30 and finally arrived in Cary for the training around 7:45 a.m.

The agenda for our full day was posted when we arrived. We started out by teaching and receiving feedback. I really appreciate honest feedback and what I received really resonated with me. Sloooooow down…”say it and let it sink in.” I totally agree with this! I am such a “coach” and want to tell my students everything about what they’re doing. In reality, less is always more.

After presentation we went through some flexibility, strength and technique drills. We did a cool hip flexor flexibility test where you laid back on a stack of steps and let your leg hang.

Knee above the thigh = poor flexibility
Knee in-line with the thigh = good flexibility
Knee below thigh = excellent flexibility

I had a slight advantage thanks to yoga. 😉

The other cool drill we did was the Sorenson Test. This is meant to test the endurance of you back, glute and hamstring muscles. We had to lay down prone on a step and maintain a position where our chest was lifted above the line of our hips with palms face down while a partner pressed down on our legs.

2 minutes = Average
3 minutes = Ideal for a BodyPump instructor
4 minutes = Athlete status

I held mine for a little over 4 minutes and then bailed. My low back and IT bands were killing! Some people in our training held this up to 8 minutes. Insane!!!

We had a short lunch break but luckily there was a Panera close by. I ordered vegetable soup, the harvest turkey salad and whole wheat baguette. I grabbed a coffee to go.

We spent the afternoon talking about how to really effectively teach our classes using cues and tone of voice and then ended the day by presenting our assigned tracks again so that we could apply all the things that we learned. I ended up doing the lunge track FIVE times over the course of the day. We did the entire release twice + the technique drills (plus practicing our assigned tracks with partners…mine was lunges). I predict that I will be very sore in the morning! Watch out yoga, here I come.

Much thanks to our amazing trainer, Darren. I promise to talk less and work on my form! 😀

We wrapped up our training at 5:30 and after a trip to Starbucks for an Awake tea, I was back on the road for Charlotte. I got home around 8:30 and got straight to work preparing dinner.

Baked tofu seasoned with Dizzy Pig Shakin’ the Tree and topped with roasted red pepper hummus, whole wheat couscous with sun dried tomatoes and feta and sautéed spinach. Complimented by a huge glass of wine + cookies!

Now I crash. What a long but awesome day! Happy weekend!!!

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Kamaile November 19, 2011, 12:00 am

    Ouch you are going to sore! Mmmm baked tofu my favorite. Enjoy yoga tomorrow it’s going to hurt so good!

  • Jen@FoodFamilyFitness November 19, 2011, 6:45 am

    Sounds like a great day!!!! I think you will be an amazing instructor for new trainers!! Congrats on all of your success, you totally deserve it all!!!!

  • Chase November 19, 2011, 7:19 am

    I’m going to the BP AIM on 12/4 in Sterling, VA! Thanks for the heads up on what to expect! I’ve been teaching BODYPUMP since release 52, so I’m long overdue for some true feedback!

  • Matt @ The Athlete's Plate November 19, 2011, 8:09 am

    I love that you put hummus on your tofu 🙂

  • Sarah November 19, 2011, 8:40 am

    So glad it went well! Watch out BP & yoga classes next week 🙂

  • Laura @ LauraLikesDesign November 19, 2011, 8:52 am

    That’s so exciting–I can’t wait to hear more about your teaching experience with Body Pump!

  • ~Jessica~ November 19, 2011, 11:08 am

    Looks like an amazing training day – I would absolutely love to teach Body Pump at some point, but I’m only going to be able to start the preliminary qualification (in the UK it’s called Exercise to Music Level 2) in January.

    I was just wondering f I could ask a few questions (obviously you’re extremely busy and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have time to answer!) about Body Pump? I used to have definition from it, although perhaps not as good as yours, but since I’ve upped my weights it doesn’t seem to be giving me the results it used to in terms of aesthetic muscle definition. Granted, my diet is not where it should be either, but I’m not sure if lifting heavier is helping me, or whether it’s bulking up my legs in particular (I know ‘bulking’ is a myth but even during periods of eating too much in the past, my legs and arms have never been quite so stocky) by going heavier with the weights.

    Would it be okay to ask how much you lift/weight selections for each track? And do you think that over time your body adapts to Body Pump? Finally (promise!) do you think that the reason your muscles are so long and lean are down to the combination of yoga and Pump, because I’ll be honset, most of the Pump instructors I know, and myself, seem to end up with shorter, bulkier muscles from it. I’m wondering if it’s to do with the weight selection, or the fact that we combine it with running long distances, where as yoga seems to have refined your body so much. Or perhaps we just eat too darn much!

    Oh, I thought of another one (sorry!) How often would you recommend as the optimum number of times in a week to do Body Pump? I’ve ranged from 3 to 6 over the years but currently do 4 classes a week.

    Many thanks!


  • Q. November 19, 2011, 12:59 pm

    WOOT! Great blog post. I’m amazed that you were able to get such good pics during the AIM. I remember mine being a blur/fast-paced, so I never thought to grab my camera! (Except for a pic at the end w/ Susan Renata – natch.)
    The AIM1 really took my teaching to the next level. So excited for you to reach the next level, too! Keep me posted:)

  • Laurie G November 19, 2011, 1:35 pm

    You have set a light bulb over my head! I’ve been teaching Body Pump for 8 years and I, too, am a coach. I have big classes and get great feedback but I bet I talk waaaaay to much. So interesting!
    Looks like I need an AIM asap!

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) November 19, 2011, 1:56 pm

    I love that you have such big dreams of training others! That is great and you will be AMAZING 🙂

    Haha I had to do that hip flexor flexibilty test with my physio, and I totally failed it! I am working on that at the moment, and yoga is helping me a LOT!

    And your dinner looks delicious! I love baked tofu topped with hummus! And cookies too obviously! 😉

    Have a great rest of the weekend Jen! <3

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 19, 2011, 4:27 pm

    I’m not certified, but I did get a chance to go to the master class during a certification once. It was so much fun!! Though, I couldn’t imagine sticking around for the rest of the day for more training!

  • Ashlee November 19, 2011, 9:17 pm

    I would LOVE to hear you answers Jessica’s questions as well. I’ve experienced similar and body pump doesn’t seen to tone me as well anymore esp when I’m training for long distances. I’ve noticed that the instructors def aren’t toned like you and tend to have shorter, bulkier muscles as well. It seems as I’ve increased my weight, I get the opposite effect I’m going after.

  • Heather @ Run Eat Play November 22, 2011, 11:23 pm

    Hi – I just found your blog today and I love it! Can’t wait to read more about your Body Pump experiences!

  • Jamie Hansmann September 17, 2012, 11:26 pm

    I have always wanted to become a body pump instructor! How did you get started in this?! Where would I have to look at getting certified in this?!

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