How fit do you have to be for (insert group exercise class here)?

I've tried:

Les Mills BodyPump:

I've tried this at totally different fitness levels, so I think I have a good sense of it. The first time, I was truly starting from 0: completely sedentary student, no weightlifting or cardio whatsoever. I got about 15 minutes into the workout and felt really faint and had to go sit down outside haha.

The second time I tried Body Pump, it was the next class in the studio after a different group thing I was already doing. At that point, I'd been doing veeery beginner-level weightlifting for a month. I was/am familiar with the major lifts, but felt weak at them (can barely bench-press the bar, squat about 60 lbs/27 KG). I was also doing the first week of Couch to 5k 3x/week (for multiple weeks lol). I really enjoyed the second time, but definitely overestimated the amount of weight to put on the bars. I needed to start w the lowest they had for most exercises (I think 10 lbs on the bar?) but successfully completed it and really enjoyed it.

My recommendation for Body Pump is to be familiar with the form for the major barbell lifts (and some dumbbell accessory movements), and have the endurance to make it through a similar duration of pure cardio, either HIIT or low-intensity (it's not billed as a cardio class, but you're definitely moving nearly the whole time).


This kicked my ass. At that point, I had been following the first part of Strong Curves BB for a few weeks (with maybe 1-2 consistent weeks of jogging and walking per Couch to 5k). I tried their beginner class to get oriented with their machine and I just. Could. Not.

I couldn't finish out the times for ANY of the exercises we did (squats, lunges, planks, cable kickbacks, tricep flys). To be fair, it was somewhat quad-heavy and I'm fairly weak at quad-focused exercises, but even the stuff I identified as being good at was a struggle. I found myself bracing on the machine for squats/lunges to take some of the strain off my poor quads. I was sore for a week after.

I do feel like since the design of solidcore is to push your muscles to failure, it's okay if you're not fully "ready" for this, as it's not ever supposed to feel easy. I'm not the best equipped to advise on this, but for me to try it again, I would want to first:

  • Be able to hold a plank for 2:00-2:30, and maybe a 2:00 side plank (I've been able to do this in the past, but have taken August/September off from the gym and really need to get back into it)
  • Improve my cardio endurance and be able to jog for longer intervals without walking (I can currently jog maybe 2 min max before needing to start walking) (apparently solidcore, despite not billing itself as cardio, actually really works your cardiovascular system)
  • Be way more comfortable with doing weighted squat and lunge variations (1 & 1/4, pulses, holding at depth for extended periods) (previously never did any of this stuff in my regular workouts)

Hope that helps, happy to answer more questions about either of these!

/r/xxfitness Thread