Is it really the world's fastest way to get in shape?
Beginners, or anyone returning to exercise after a lay-off, may gain a little muscle. However, Body Pump involves the use of light weights and high repetitions. This type of workout will increase muscular endurance rather than add a significant amount of muscle.
"It is unlikely that strength gains and hypertrophy would occur for already fit subjects. "However, for individuals without a history of resistance training Body Pump may provide sufficient stimulus to elicit strength gains."
What's more, despite the popular belief that one pound of muscle burns "50-100 calories per day," there's very little evidence to show that this is true. More accurate estimates suggest that losing two pounds of fat and replacing it with two pounds of muscle will increase your resting metabolic rate by just eight calories per day.
The bottom line
These limitations aside, Body Pump has been shown to help you lose fat. In a 13-week trial comparing Body Pump, Body Step, Body Attack, Body Combat, and RPM, subjects in the Body Pump group actually lost the most fat. Beginners, or anyone returning to exercise after a lay-off, may gain a little muscle and improve their cardiovascular fitness. Body Pump is also very popular with anyone who prefers to exercise with other people rather than on their own.
There were many people who wouldn't set foot in a gym for love nor money simply because they found it so boring. So, while it's a long way from being the world's fastest way to get in shape, Body Pump does provide some of the benefits of conventional gym-based resistance-training programs.
Copyright 2005 The Facts About Fitness Ltd.