Why I love … BodyPump

Weight and strength training burns more calories than cardio, and increases bone density

Debbi O’Donnell loves the BodyPump class at her gym.

Debbi O’Donnell loves the BodyPump class at her gym.

 

Fitness has always been key to my physical and mental health. In school, I played hockey, and in college I did fencing and karate, and I was always up for a new challenge.

Before I had my boys, Marcus (11) and Sam (6), I was a big runner and ran the London Marathon in 2003. But, when I reached 40 it was time for a change. The same old routines just didn’t work, so I swapped endurance running for weight training, and random sessions in the gym for Pilates.

With less time to dedicate to fitness, it was time to train smarter and choose the tried and tested models. The fear of “bulking up” made me cautious about weight training. I had visions of looking like a pumped-up Sylvester Stallone in Rambo. But as nothing else was working I had nothing to lose, bulk or no bulk.

I started a weekly BodyPump class in my gym, which is a synchronised weight class to music. I’d be lying if I said it was easy, but the more I stuck with it the easier it got, and with each class, I felt stronger and part of a team. Persistence is key.

If I’m having a bad day, I always feel a million times better if I train and work through it. I’m also assured (by my husband who is a personal trainer) that weight and strength training not only burns more calories than cardio, but also increases bone density, which we lose at a faster rate over 35.

With the world of health and fitness helping us defy age, 60 is the new 40 and 40 is the new . . . there’s hope for all of us.

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