By Randy Dela Cruz, Sports Editor, Ho’okele
If building a lean, strong physique is on your to-do list for 2014, then Morale, Welfare and Recreation has a program that could get you on track to meet your goal and then some.
Held every Tuesday and Thursday morning from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Fitness Center and Hickam Fitness Center, Power Pump offers a different spin on training with weights.
“It’s total body,” said Power Pump instructor Tricia Howerton. “We work every single muscle and try to work every muscle group to fatigue. We continue with one muscle and then we add in combination movements. If we’re working our arms, we’ll throw in some lower body movements to give it just a little more challenge.”
While the weights being used by the class members are considerably less than the more traditional forms of weight training, the work-outs are certainly tough enough for even seasoned practitioners of heavy metal.
Driven by the constant rhythm of Howerton’s up-beat selection of tunes, the class moves, nonstop, from set to set to not only keep muscles under tension but to also provide a cardio element to the workout.
“We use less weights but more repetitions,” said Heidi Mayo, who has been an advocate of Power Pump for three years. “You get a better toning value rather than a bulk-up value. Mostly, I’m just trying to stay fit and stay toned and this is absolutely what does that.”
Howerton said that although the workout does get your heartbeat up, the focus on Power Pump is mainly on resistance training.
“It’s an increased heart rate, but it’s definitely not a cardio workout,” she said. “This class follows a spin class and a Zumba class, so that’s two opportunities for cardio that falls immediately before this class. We focus on strength, a little bit of coordination, balance, and definitely muscular endurance. Obviously building muscle is going to help you increase your metabolism.”
In addition to the upbeat music, Howerton keeps the workouts fresh by constantly changing up the routine.
She explained that by systematically moving things around, she not only keeps her class from getting stagnant, but also serves to keep muscles growing through a method she calls muscle confusion.
“The way I like to do it is to teach a four-week or monthly rotation,” Howerton stated. “From the first of the month, we go from strength to endurance to stability. You’ve got to keep your muscles confused. Otherwise, you get into your plateau and your body stops changing.”
Although some people may not like the idea of periodically switching routines, Mayo said that the way Howerton conducts her class keeps her wanting to come back for more.
“I like this class because of the diversity of exercises,” Mayo pointed out. “You never get bored. She’s (Howerton) always changing it up.”
Howerton said that even though women mainly attend the class, she knows that Power Pump is a great way for men to work out as well.
In fact, she said that she has had well-trained men come to class and end up being humbled after thinking that the light-weight workout looked easy.
While Howerton admits that most men probably won’t trade in their weight training regiment for Power Pump, she believes that guys could definitely benefit by incorporating the class into their routine.
“Without a doubt, they (men) could benefit from it,” she said. “It’s just a different kind of environment.” For more information, visit the web at www.greatlifehawaii.com or call JBPHH Fitness Center at 471-2019 or the Hickam Fitness Center at 448-2214.