Body Pump: An Inner Monologue


Supermodels do Body Pump. I want a body like a supermodel. I should do Body Pump. The only thing more impressive than that casual use of the transitive property will be my obliques after I become a Body Pump devotee. Now that I’m back in Austin, I have to get fit to fit in. People here practically do lines of granola off of their yoga mats. I joined my local gym in preparation for my healthy new lifestyle. After walking into the class, I look around the room. The average age seems be mid-30s, so this should be a breeze for a young postgrad.

Track 1: Warm Up
I pick up my bar as a Rihanna remix begins to play. The instructor smiles at the class. I actually smile back and foolishly think that the next hour of my life is going to be fun.

Track 2: Squats
The instructor tells us to double our weights for the squat routine. What? Fortunately she also tells us this song has a break. I squat away, anticipating a minute of recovery. Just kidding, the break is five seconds. What is hope?

Track 3: Chest
This is my time to shine. Half the women in the class have had boob jobs and are unable to lower the bar within 12 inches of their chests. I ambitiously press through the routine unaware of the impending fatigue.

Track 4: Back
Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” comes on. This song is about five minutes long. I feel my body begin to fail. Just when I think this hour can’t get worse, I hear techno beats start up. This is an extended remix? What’s next, lunges to “Free Bird?” Burpees to “American Pie?”

Track 5: Triceps
I regret my recent manicure, because my fingernails are now too short to etch my dying words into the gym floor as we do tricep dips. As we turn over to do presses, the teacher instructs us to “keep our arms like an L.” L is for loser. I am a disgrace to my Lulu Lemons.

Track 6: Biceps
The last time I did a curl was when I reached for a slice of pizza and put it in my mouth, but I can’t let the moms see the weakness in my eyes. They have endured childbirth and are curling away. Meanwhile, I am doing a spot-on impression Carlton Banks.

Track 7: Lunges
The instructor makes direct eye contact with me as she tells us to extend our back leg farther. Little does she know that I am about to be the first person to ever die from a Charley horse. Fortunately, my Matilda mind-strength has worked, and my ponytail falls out of place. My hair is obviously way too distracting and I spend more than a minute pulling it back up.

Track 8: Shoulders
We were supposed to do 15 pushups. I did half of one and then pretended to hold some sort of cobra yoga pose for the next 30 seconds. I exchange a sympathetic look with another woman who has met the same fate.

Track 9: Abs And Core
As we do mountain climbers, I am mentally writing my will. As we hold a plank, I feel rigor mortis setting in. We flip onto our backs and the florescent lights start calling me home.

Track 10: Cool Down And Stretching
This is the Promised Land. My mind feels trapped in some sort of Enya music video. Eventually, after stretching, I put my weights back while avoiding any sort of small talk with my classmates.

That hour of Body Pump was one of the bleakest hours of my life, but I’ll be back. Where else can I get my fill of pseudo-Pilates to the tune of a Sugar Ray and Will Smith remix?

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Brown rice. Black beans. Barbacoa. Both Salsas. Corn. Cheese. Guac. Lettuce.

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