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Our BODYPUMP instructors

Chris Blachford, YMCA Hawker

Chris Blachford has been teaching BODYPUMP for three years at YMCA Hawker and believes that if you’re looking to make a difference to your fitness levels on a long-term basis, then BODYPUMP is the answer.

BODYPUMP is the original barbell workout that tones and shapes the entire body. The high reps and low weights combination creates lean muscle which helps with everyday life activities.  All the science is out there, weightlifting is the answer to achieving your fitness goals,” says Chris.

The different releases have brought changes to the BODYPUMP sessions. “The focus has definitely moved towards lots of pulsing movements which make the body turn to anaerobic respiration quicker in order to see greater results.  It’s definitely got harder, but the great thing about Pump is it retains its accessibility to everyone – from serious athlete to newbie,” explains Chris.

And of course the music is so important to motivate class members says Chris: “I like the quirky tracks, ask any of my participants!  Peanut Butter Jelly and 1941 were both brilliant lunge tracks.  And Every time We Touch from BODYPUMP 56.  Anthemic and awesome.”

Chris goes on to say: “I spoke to two girls in a cafe the other day.  They said they had thought about trying BODYPUMP but they were scared it was hard.  Do not be scared to give it a go!  It might look intimidating from the outside, but on the other side of the door is an instructor who will welcome you with open arms.  We all started once upon a time.  Try it.  It might be the best thing you ever did.”

Pat Baker, YMCA Surbiton

Pat has been teaching BODYPUMP for around 14 years. She’s an experienced instructor with a passion for fitness. She also teaches Pilates, Body Combat, Body Balance and Legs, Bums & Tums. She wants her class members to get the most out of the sessions, so she will encourage them to leave the weights off the bar, or start very lightly with just 1 kilo while they get the hang of it.

I like to make sure people exercise safely and with good technique – it’s crucial with the fast repetitions to have this right, to ensure the movements are toning your body,” explains Pat.

The choreography and music make BODYPUMP a high energy, dynamic class. “With each new release, we try it a few times and then mix and match in tracks that class members request and enjoy. If you love the music, you’ll want to come back,” says Pat.

But it’s not all about your body, a great workout leaves you with an incredible feel-good factor and one that Pat believes is important: “I believe that exercise is not only essential for toning your body but it’s also a great way to boost your wellbeing.”

Maria Castelo Branco, YMCA Wimbledon
Maria has taught BODYPUMP at YMCA Wimbledon for the past 13 years. She also teaches cycling and Aerotone classes. She advocates starting with a light weight and building up as you get used to the moves. And to trust your body – don’t push too hard. “I try to encourage people to go for quality, not quantity with the weights. There are a lot of reps, and you need to do them well,” explains Maria.

I always encourage people to talk to me afterwards if they are new to BODYPUMP, as it’s a dynamic, fast-moving class. They may want to talk through the moves, and I’m always happy to do this,” says Maria.

Over the last few years, with each new release of BODYPUMP, I’ve noticed the transitions are quicker and smoother. And what people have to remember is that it’s not a gym workout with weights, it’s a fast-paced fitness class.”

Sarah Ahanchi, YMCA Hawker

Sarah has been teaching BODYPUMP for almost a year at YMCA Hawker and recommends it for everyone. “It’s a great full body work out using plates and a barbell along to great music. It’s a class for all abilities, and you don’t need very much co-ordination so it’s easy to pick up!

I attended BODYPUMP for two years before I qualified, so I’ve seen the movements and research behind the programme change. It’s always been filled with great current music though: the 1941 Lunge track for the vintage feel or Bounce Lunge track for fun and challenging choreography.”

Sarah believes that in  a matter of weeks you can see your body change from the workout. She says: “I was never strong on my upper body, couldn’t even do two press ups on my knees when I started. Now I can do press-ups on my toes. If you want to improve your fitness and strength quickly then there’s nothing like pump!”















Chris Blachford, YMCA Hawker















Pat Baker, YMCA Surbiton















Maria Castelo Branco, YMCA Wimbledon













Sarah Ahanchi, YMCA Hawker













Nicky Clowry, YMCA Wimbledon









Barbara Zatloka, YMCA Surbiton









Valdena Jarasova, YMCA Surbiton













Zoe Watson, YMCA Hawker