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Sample Class: Pump Up!

by Melissa Weigelt1 on Dec 20, 2013

Class Take-Out

Give students an upper-body interval challenge.

If your students want to build upper-body strength while being challenged with intense, calorie-burning intervals, try Pump Up! The exercises focus on muscular strength and endurance, core stabilization and cardiovascular conditioning. The workout also incorporates balance challenges to recruit additional muscles and offer a functional approach to fitness.

Pump Up! Details

Goal/Emphasis: total-body muscular strength and endurance, emphasizing upper body, core and cardiovascular conditioning Time: 60 minutes
Equipment Needed: 9- to 12-pound weighted bars (e.g., a Body Bar®), and steps placed vertically
Music: 130 beats per minute



Additional Details

  • Alternate upper-body resistance exercises with short bursts of high-intensity cardiovascular moves.
  • Encourage participants to use sufficient resistance (enough to overload muscles in 8–10 repetitions).
  • Sequence two or three exercises in succession for each muscle group, to provide additional challenge.
  • Offer progressions to challenge advanced participants while also giving options to students who need less intensity.

Warm-Up (10 minutes)

The warm-up includes simple athletic movements that increase heart rate and body temperature. While similar to some of the movements in the workout, the warm-up exercises are executed with less intensity. Do each of these moves for about 30 seconds, and repeat:

  • basic squats
  • alternating front lunges, reaching arms overhead
  • modified burpees: squat, place hands on floor, step back to plank, step forward to squat, and stand (alternate sides)
  • modified push-ups (knees down)
  • modified plank jacks, stepping feet wide and in (alternating sides)

Work Phase (40 minutes)

Complete 8–10 repetitions of each strength exercise and then perform the cardiovascular move for 1 minute 30 seconds. Take 1 minute of active recovery (march in place or walk around the room) and then repeat the entire sequence on the opposite side.

Round 1

  • Chest fly. Lie supine on bench, with weighted bar held lengthwise to right (R), and do chest fly. For added intensity and balance challenge, lift same-side leg off floor.
  • Chest press. Lie supine on bench, holding bar horizontally with R hand, and do chest press.
  • Push-up to plank with shoulder flexion. Do push-up with R hand on bench and left (L) hand on floor; hold plank position and reach L arm forward.

Cardio

  • Squat and hop with quarter turn R, then back to center.

Alignment Tips

  • Avoid hyperextending spine.
  • When doing squat and hop, turn back in same direction to avoid moving in circle.

Tips for Beginners

  • Do push-up with knees on floor and without shoulder flexion.
  • Do cardio move without hop and turn; simply squat in place.

Round 2

Strength

  • With staggered stance, hinging forward at hips, do one-arm row with bar held lengthwise. Progression: Add rear-leg hip extension.
  • Hold same position and do one-arm rear fly with one end of bar on floor. Progression: Do one-arm fly from plank position with wide legs.

Cardio

  • Squat and hop with half turn R, then back to center.

Alignment Tips

  • Hinge forward from hips and keep spine long while rowing.
  • Maintain neutral spine during plank exercise.
  • When doing squat and hop, turn back in same direction to avoid moving in circle.

Tips for Beginners

  • Do row without hip extension.
  • Do cardio move without hop and turn; simply squat in place.

Round 3

Strength

  • Do one-arm biceps curl with bar held horizontally, R hand in middle of bar.
  • Do biceps curl with both arms, bar off center, R hand in middle of bar and L hand at end of bar.
  • Do biceps curl with both hands, bar centered.

Cardio

  • Shuffle R 4 counts, squat and hop with quarter turn, hop back to center, repeat L.

Alignment Tips

  • Avoid using momentum during biceps curl.
  • Keep bar as steady as possible when doing one-arm curl.

Tips for Beginners

  • Execute each set of biceps curls with bar centered.
  • Step-touch R two times and L two times instead of shuffling, and squat instead of hopping at each end.

Round 4

Strength

  • Do supine triceps extension with bar off center, R hand in middle of bar and L hand at the end.
  • Do supine triceps extension with bar centered.
  • Do triceps dip with hands on bench, body facing away, bar resting at hip crease.

Cardio

  • Shuffle right 4 counts, squat and hop with half turn, hop back to center, repeat L.

Alignment Tips

  • Avoid hyperextending spine.
  • Limit excessive shoulder extension by keeping hips close to bench during dips.

Tips for Beginners

  • Do both sets of triceps extensions with bar centered.
  • Step-touch R two times and L two times instead of shuffling, and squat instead of hopping at each end.

Cool-Down (10 minutes)

Hold each of these exercises for 30 seconds:

  • Standing hamstring stretch. With feet hip-distance apart, fold forward at hips and reach hands toward floor.
  • Chest expansion. While stretching hamstrings, interlace hands behind back and lift arms overhead.
  • Overhead triceps stretch. From standing position, reach R arm overhead, bend elbow, reach fingertips down back, and pull arm in with opposite hand; repeat on other side.
  • Standing latissimus dorsi stretch. Reach R arm overhead and use L arm to gently grasp wrist and reach L, stretching laterally.
  • Standing quadriceps stretch. Balance on L leg and reach for R ankle, guiding foot toward buttocks; repeat on other side.

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About the Author

Melissa Weigelt1

Melissa Weigelt1 IDEA Author/Presenter

I am owner of Flow Fitness Training and provide AFAA and ACE approved continuing education programs for fitness instructors, specializing in strength training, stability training, functional fitness, and interval training. I am a National Master Trainer for BOSU. I have been teaching fitness for 20 years and love helping my students to be fit and healthy. I also truly enjoy sharing my knowledge with other fitness professionals.