BodyPUMP Explained!

I heart BodyPUMP!! ‘Give me some BodyPUMP lovin’ is the tune I dance/workout to :) After teaching BodyPUMP this morning, I was talking to some of the gym members about the class and what they love most about BodyPUMP. One member commented that her husband was like, “whoa honey, you look so toned. Where is that coming from?” The answer, my friends? BodyPUMP!!

What IS BodyPUMP? Les Mills BodyPUMP is a barbell weight lifting class designed to tone and strengthen the entire body, and enhance personal fitness. The class works every major muscle group and all moves are choreographed to music; the class is always done in the following order:

  • Warmup
  • Squats
  • Chest
  • Back/Hamstrings
  • Triceps
  • Biceps
  • Lunges/Legs
  • Shoulders
  • Abs
  • Cooldown

Les Mills releases a new release 4 x per year (about every 3 months). Each release has completely new music, moves, and tempo changes. At the club I teach we release a new release and then we are required to teach that new release for a period of 3 weeks, without interchanging with previous releases. After 3 weeks we are free to mix and match from any release we have in our possession.

For example, today I did Warmup, Squats, Chest, Lunges, Abs, Cooldown from release 75 and Back, Triceps, Biceps, Shoulders from release 76. I only have 2 releases thus far (I started teaching in November), but just received 77 in the mail so I need to learn it! We launch it at our club in a few weeks.

What I love about BodyPUMP:

  1. As a teacher I don’t have to spend tons of time planning a class, finding music, etc. once I learn the whole release. Yes, Les Mills requires all teachers to learn the ENTIRE choreography perfect before teaching it.
  2. As a participant/teacher it WILL change the way your body looks because it works all major muscle groups to fatigue. You will “feel the burn” in every muscle group if you perform the reps, moves, and form correctly.
  3. There will ALWAYS be a challenge awaiting you! It keeps your muscles/body guessing (i.e. overload principle I wrote about) so the muscles have to work harder, thus becoming stronger and more toned. (Just like my friend’s husband noticed!) You can always go up in weight (without sacrificing form!) or perform the movements at the correct pace. BodyPUMP is designed to move through different speeds to work the muscles differently-thus producing faster changes in the body than otherwise could be accomplished with some other weight training programs.
  4. It is a fun, upbeat, and motivating atmosphere! This all depends on the instructor, but I try and do this so people come back begging for more–to feel that “lovely burn” :)
  5. It challenges your mind AND your body. As you perform the moves correctly and with the right form, you get to make your MIND decide how your MUSCLES move. The body likes to cheat. Yep, the body WANTS to cheat, so the mind has to take over and decide that no, the muscles will slow down and perform the proper speed with the proper form.
  6. The music, moves, and tempos are ALWAYS changing! It keeps you guessing and is fun to find out what the teacher has in store for you that day. It can help get you out of an exercise rut, my friends!
  7. It is the best way (I have found) to work every muscle group without boredom and without having to have a lifting partner. It is a muscle strength AND endurance class, so remember, it will work the entire body, it does have a slight cardio component in some tracks (depending on how fast the movements are), and you WILL burn an average of 450-650 calories per class (ALL dependent on body size, weight lifted, body weight, fitness level, and correct form).
  8. It will help create toned muscles you never knew you could have! I used to be pretty weak in my upper body, but now after teaching for 3 months, I am toned, strong, and fit in my upper body! I still am amazed at what I can lift now!

If any of you are curious, this is my current weight selection for BodyPUMP, NOT including the bar weight of about 1.5-2 lb):

  • Warmup: 20 lb
  • Squat: 50 lb
  • Chest: 35 lb
  • Back: 40 lb
  • Triceps: 25 lb
  • Biceps: 20 lb
  • Lunges: 45 lb
  • Shoulders: 20-25 lb (depending on the release)

I hope this helps! Please let me know if you have any questions. I personally am a HUGE fan of BodyPUMP (obviously, I teach the class at least 3x/week!!) and love when others are great proponents of the class as well. Check out these other posts as well that help explain BodyPUMP: HERE, HERE, and HERE

If you go, what do YOU love about BodyPUMP? How has it changed your body?

p.s. after taking a class, make sure you fuel up with plenty of water, good protein sources, and whole grain carbohydrates to help fuel the muscle breakdown and rebuilding process (best to do this within 30-45 minutes of a workout!)

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  1. I’m working up my courage to actually go to a body pump class! I feel like I may be too weak, haha.

    • You can totally do it- I was super weak when I started the training and now I am much stronger. Going/doing it gives you a lot of confidence too- I’d go test it out, and then come tell me about it :)

  2. I keep reading more and more about body pump. I don’t think they have it here on the west coast but I defiantly want to find something like it around here. It sounds great.

  3. Thanks for the link! I’m such a huge fan of BP – Started teaching in 2005 and never looked back! =)

    • You’re welcome- wow, you’ve been teaching a long time! glad to hear it only gets better :) And you’re welcome, I liked your content!

  4. I love to be with my sister and I went to focus overhead and press and chest press and body pop and Release shoulder and I love when she is amazing about how she is good about her moves


    Sara bailey

  5. Majkss says:

    I love the explanation, also I do bodypump a lot, and I’ve learned some of useful information here. You can read more about equipment, music… for body pump here

  6. I’m a BP fanatic. I also take Arobics as well. I LOVE the challenges.

  7. Shannan Erickson says:

    I love when you teach body pump, your energy is awesome and helps me start my Monday mornings. I am glad I found your blog! You look amazing, especially for a hot mom with a young baby!!!!

  8. I tried bodypump today and I picked the lightest weight but should just have done it without weights because my muscles feel so weak now. I am not used to this kind of exercise 😛 I am really good at endurance and dancing and zumba, but never really focussed on weights. So my muscles were trembling at a certain point

    • That’s great that you tried out BodyPump! It is definitely a ‘new’ kind of exercising, for sure. It makes everyone tremble! When is the next class that you will take!? :)

      Also, at any time, it’s encouraged to put your bar down if it’s too much, and pick it back up when you’re ready. Cheers!
      annette recently posted…Our Inner AthleteMy Profile


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