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Erika Santiago Answers All Of Your Questions About BODYPUMP

BODYPUMP is a choreographed weightlifting workout that uses light weight, high reps (possibly 1,000+ reps in one class!), and scientifically proven moves.

Published: 10/22/18

Are you looking for a challenging group workout that will help you get stronger than ever, Les Mills BODYPUMP may be the right class for you! We interviewed our incredible instructor, Erika, to find out more. Not only does she teach group exercise classes like BODYPUMP and Zumba at our National City and Chula Vista locations, but she is also a triathlete! So, get ready, get set, let’s learn!

1 | We are so excited to get to know you, Erika! Could you tell us a little about your background with Chuze?

I’ve been working at Chuze for a little over 6 ½ years as a group exercise instructor. I’ve been teaching Zumba since day one and throughout the years I’ve taught a variety of formats which includes BODYPUMP today. Chuze National City had just opened its doors when I joined the team. I responded to a job posting and Ani, the Director of Fitness Services, took a chance on me 🙂

Erika Santiago - Chuze Fitness Instructor

2 | What is BODYPUMP and how is it different from the other toning classes?

BODYPUMP is a weightlifting workout that uses lighter weight and high reps… quite possibly 1,000+ reps in one class! The class is choreographed to music using scientifically proven moves. Each track focuses on a different part of the body. We work the muscles to fatigue which delivers RESULTS. BODYPUMP is different from other toning classes in that it uses a barbell in addition to using weights in each hand. You definitely get more “bang for your buck” in this class. But one need not be intimidated by the fact that it’s a “weightlifting” workout. It is for everyone. Since we all have our own bars and weights, you use the appropriate weight for YOU.

3 | For those of us who have not tried it out yet, could you walk us through the structure of the class?

Absolutely! The body pump class consists of 10 tracks (55 minutes): warm-up, squats, chest, back, triceps, biceps, lunges, shoulders, core, and cool down. We use a variety of moves to hit just about every muscle in each group. Each song is about 5 minutes. You leave the class knowing you got a fantastic workout!

4 | For someone new to weightlifting, what size bar should they use?

We always recommend you start with a “light weight.” This is very subjective. If you are new to fitness, I’d recommend a bar with two small plates on the end for the warm-up. If you aren’t new to fitness but are new to BODYPUMP, maybe try a medium plate on each side. We will go up and down in weight throughout the class depending on which muscle group we’re working. Your weight is used as a frame of reference (ex: double your warm-up weight, a little less than warm up, etc.). I tell members that it may take a class or two to figure out the perfect starting weight. As you get stronger, you can add more weight.

Chuze Fitness BODYPUMP class instructor lifting weight

5 | What are your three main tips for someone new to BODYPUMP?

  1. This class is not scary at all! We laugh and have fun (my silly jokes are free of charge!).
  2. We work a single muscle group for 5 minutes straight… that’s a long time relatively speaking! Be careful not to load your bar with too much weight. What you lift out on the floor of the gym is much different than your BODYPUMP weight. Even with lighter weight, you WILL feel the burn soon into the track!
  3. Don’t be shy! As instructors, we love to meet our members and are more than happy to answer questions. I feel honored to be part of your fitness journey.

6 | Could an athlete benefit from BODYPUMP?

Yes, yes, and yes! I’ve met many athletes (myself included in the past) who focused solely on one sport (i.e., running, cycling, basketball). Including strength training can be incredibly beneficial to your athletic performance and help avoid overuse injuries. Ever since I started teaching BODYPUMP, I’ve noticed that my running stamina has improved drastically and I haven’t had any knee pain.

7 | We know that you love to dance. How have you incorporated dance into your workout routine?

Dancing is one of my passions and is what brought me to Group Fitness. I also believe that it’s incredibly therapeutic for the mind and body! While I don’t get out as much as I want to, I love to dance salsa and bachata. When you leave the club or studio drenched in sweat, you know you got a good workout!  Luckily I get my dance “fix” every week with my class 🙂

8 | We like to encourage members to get outside and explore. What is your favorite workout outside of the gym?

I love running in the park with my dog. (I’m pretty sure he just likes to chase the ducks!)I’m a triathlete, so I also like to incorporate swimming and cycling into my routine whenever possible. I’m lucky to live in San Diego where the weather is conducive to outdoor sports year round.

9 | Is there anything else that you would like to share with the Chuze Family?  

There’s no one-size-fits-all workout to get you into shape. Do what you love and it won’t feel like a chore. BONUS: You get to meet amazing like-minded folks along the way!

Have you tried BODYPUMP? Let us know in the comment section!

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