So this is a follow-up to a recent Facebook post that was precipitated by some discussions about the appropriate weight selection in BODYPUMP®.
For a particular exercise, 1RM(One Rep Max) is the heaviest weight at which you can do a single repetition. If you knew you only had to do one squat, how heavy could you lift? You'd be surprised how heavy that is; more than likely, it's a heavier weight than you could put on a BODYPUMP® bar.
It's generally accepted that if your goal is to improve muscular strength, you should be using enough weight to allow you to get sets of 1-6 repetitions with perfect technique.
If your goal is to build muscle, the traditional view has been that you should be using enough weight to allow you to do sets of 8-12 reps with perfect technique.
This is heavy weight. It is designed to fatigue the muscle in short sets.
When we consider BODYPUMP®, we have hundreds of repetitions in a typical class. You wouldn't last more than a few reps if you tried to use a truly heavy weight. So, we say BODYPUMP® is high-rep at light weight.
But light weight doesn't mean no weight or very small weight; it's light relative to 1RM and heavy weight.
The key whether you're lifting 1-6 reps, 8-12 reps, or hundreds of reps is fatigue. The ONLY way to see any sort of gains in any exercise regimen is to push to muscular fatigue. If you are finished with a squat track and you aren't experiencing fatigue, you aren't getting the benefits of BODYPUMP®.
So what does that say for those of us who are instructors?
Our members look to us to be role models of what it should look like to do BODYPUMP®. The average person doesn't know how hard they need to push themselves to get results. We need to represent what is possible and what it should look like because our members will follow our lead. If we take it easy, our members will take it easy; but if we lift big authentic weights, sweat and breathe hard, our members will see that it's ok for them to push themselves to the same point as well. It is critically important that we find a way to push ourselves in every class we teach and encourage our members to do the same.
That's not to say that we ignore every individual's fitness journey.