While I have been a regular attendee at BodyStep™ and BodyPump™ for more than a year, I hadn’t yet tried BodyVive™. BodyVive™ is described on the CA class schedule as: Low impact workout at various intensities plus strengthening, balance and core exercises.
I took this class for the first time this past weekend. I found it very refreshing. I liked how it was 25 minutes of cardio and 25 minutes of toning with warm up and cool downs to make it a 55 minute class. On busy days, I could get a lot of bang for my buck with this class. Also, the moves were familiar to me because of taking BodyStep™. They use a lot of the same moves and use the same jargon. So, you might find that adding BodyStep™ might be a bit easier once you’ve taken BodyVive™ a few times.
The name BodyVive™ isn’t as descriptive as BodyStep™ or BodyPump™, but when I went to the Les Mills site, it gave me a pretty good description of the class. The only quibble I have is the way it recommends the class, “BODYVIVE™ is an all around low-impact workout that lets you choose just how hard you work. It’s ideal for those new to group fitness, those returning to exercise or rehabilitating after an injury, pre and postnatal mothers, and active adults who want the benefits of improved cardio fitness, strength and flexibility.”
Everything it says is accurate. I just wish they emphasized that this class is good for everyone of all fitness levels at the beginning of the statement instead of at the end. But with that, it is true that it is great for those new to group fitness. It is also good for those returning to exercise and for those rehabilitating after an injury, most definitely. I will remember to use this class if I have a workout hiatus for whatever reason. I can also see how it would be great for pre and postnatal mothers too. This program is flexible enough to work with just about everyone in just about any condition.
This workout is all about how much you put into it. Most workouts are that way to some degree, but this workout can be done with very low resistance and with very little movement, which might be what someone needs when new, when injured or if they are older. If you add more resistance, lift your knees higher and jump around a bit more (like the instructor shows), you will get a great workout even if you are fit.
Like other Les Mills classes, every quarter there is a new release with new music and new moves. The class will use the new release faithfully the first four weeks and then the next eight weeks the instructors will switch out tracks with older songs to mix it up a bit. Each release of BodyVive™ follows the same format. There is:
- Cardio 1
- Cardio 2
- Cardio 3
- Peak Cardio
- Active Recovery
- Dynamic Strength
- Integrated Strength
- Core 1
- Core 2
Since I am at a fairly decent fitness level now, I did big movements. I applied more pressure on the ball during the cardio, I added hops and I lifted my knees high. My heart was racing at the end of the cardio section and I was sweating enough to want to use my towel.
During the toning portion of the routine, you will need a resistance band. There are four different levels of resistance to try. Green is the easiest, red is medium, purple is a bit harder and then blue is the hardest. So, choose a band that will work for you and challenge yourself to move up in resistance level as you get fitter and fitter.
I’ve been lifting weights for a year, so I thought any and all of the resistance bands might be too easy for me. Not true. I found that I couldn’t keep good form with the blue band for some moves, the band with the most resistance for some of the movements. So if you think working with resistance bands might be easier than lifting weights, you could be surprised!
I also found the core work in this class one of the toughest I’ve tried. Two days later, despite exercising regularly, I have sore abdominal muscles and I know it’s from the BodyVive™ workout.
I left feeling I wanted to do this exercise routine again and I think I will add it into my rotation. For someone like me, who likes to do heavy workouts, this could be a great breather class as it’s not an hour of cardio or an hour of strength, it’s a little of each. And it’s fun. And fun is key in my book.
BodyVive™ is not just for those over 50 (though it is great for the older set), which is what I think people jump to immediately when they read the description of low impact. Low impact just means it’s easier on the knees. It doesn’t mean it’s easy. If it were easy, would the instructors who teach other Les Mills classes be breaking a sweat? I don’t think so! Come check it out and see for yourself.
Melissa Sinclair works in the Communications & Engagement Division at Columbia Association (CA). Melissa recently moved to Columbia with her three-generation family. She has lived in more than a dozen cities and is looking forward to making Columbia, Md., her permanent home! Click here to read more of Melissa’s Getting to Know CA series.