BodyPUMP Weight Selection

Happy Friday, indeed! What an incredible week it’s been, eh?

Body PUMP Weight Selection

As a BodyPUMP instructor, I get asked questions all the time about the format, why it works, how much weight to lift, what kinds of changes are to be expected, how the music is picked, what the class looks like, and much, much more.

While I love answering these questions, each one is actually quite personal.

You see, we are each at various fitness levels (YAH fit!)and have different exercise experiences. However, BodyPUMP is a class designed to challenge the body through various weight lifting moves, and for each person that is where the variety plays its part.


Each music piece, or track, is designed to target one specific group of muscles, and take that to muscle fatigue. As such, it is important to know what kind of weight to lift……or else the class could turn into boring monotony and unrecognized goals.

The class is done with a bar, with plates added on the ends (= barbell). The plates can be removed and changed, which allows the participant to alter his/her weight selection dependent on his/her goals, the muscle group being worked, fitness status, and exercise experience.

BodyPUMP works because as the research supports, doing resistance training (i.e. lifting weights) for long periods of time with less weight offers the same, if not more, fat-burning, toning, and strengthening benefits than does lifting a huge amount of weight for short periods of time (think bodybuilders).

where the learning-the routines- happens (for me)!

BodyPUMP seems to appeal to women because it allows for muscle endurance training, muscle strength increases, increased fat burning (it’s how to shed body fat!!), high calorie output, a fun atmosphere, and an opportunity to see changes and advancements in weight amount (on the bar) and definition of the muscles. Not to mention the great music! **Men like it too, but they might be scared away by all the women, and think it is a wimpy class (which is completely false–the creator of BodyPUMP is in fact, a man.)

All weight selection in BP is based off of a warm-up weight (and a ratio for each track), and can change from release to release, so choose what is best for you. However, below are some ideas of weight selection for various groups.

Suggested Body PUMP weight selection for BEGINNERS (brand new to BodyPUMP):

*this is the weight of the plates combined (not including the 1-2 lb bar weight)

  • Warm-up: 10 lb. (5 pound plate on both sides of the bar)
  • Squats: 30 lb. (heaviest weight of the class)
  • Chest: 10 lb.
  • Back: 20 lb.
  • Triceps: 12 lb.
  • Biceps: 10 lb.
  • Lunges/Hamstrings: 20 lb.
  • Shoulders: 10 lb.
  • Abs: 10 lb

Suggested Body PUMP weight selection for Regular Attendees (go to BP 2x/week)

  • Warm-up: 15 lb.
  • Squats: 40 lb.
  • Chest: 25 lb.
  • Back: 30 lb.
  • Triceps: 15 lb.
  • Biceps: 12 lb
  • Lunges/Hamstrings: 30 lb.
  • Shoulders: 10 lb.
  • Abs: 10 lb.

messy hair usually means BodyPUMP was involved…

Suggested Body PUMP weight selection for Advanced (i.e. instructors or those who have been going 3x+/week for at least 3 months)

*this is where I am at now, when teaching (as opposed to a few months ago)  (<—-for those who are interested);

**as is the case for everyone, we can always increase in muscle strength & add more (plates!) as we continue to weight train (overtime)

  • Warm-up: 25 lb.
  • Squats: 55 lb.
  • Chest: 35 lb.
  • Back: 40 lb.
  • Triceps: 30 lb.
  • Biceps: 25 lb.
  • Lunges/Hamstrings: 40 lb.
  • Shoulders: 25 lb.
  • Abs: 10 lb.

Hopefully that answered some questions as to where you might want to be on your first BodyPUMP class in terms of weights, and where you might want to head as you continue to go to BodyPUMP!


I can only add my personal experience and observations that BodyPUMP has done more for my muscles, my overall (better!) toned look, confidence levels, greater fat loss, and metabolism boosts than any other exercise class or regimen I have ever done or taken.

Happy lifting!

To see more tips on why lifting works (for men AND especially- women), check out weight lifting for women and weight training for females part 2!

Have a GREAT weekend :)

What was YOUR first impression of BodyPUMP?? For those of you who go often, have YOU seen any positive changes?? Weekend plans—anyone?!?

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  1. YOU ARE A BEAST! (in a completely sexy, ultra-feminie way!) I seriously could not believe the weight you were lifting in BP, while teaching the class. It was unbelievable. Now if only we could bring your class to a different gym… I love everything about BP! And now my weekend plans are wide open thanks to one particularly crappy fitness organization! (won’t mention any names… afaa.. cough cough)

    • Haha– I guess I am a sexy beast then? 😉

      LEt’s convince Brooke to bring BP to the J, eh??

      I am SO sorry about that fitness organization junk. That seriously blows—-so GO treat yourself to a mani/pedi 😉

  2. I love Body Pump! Went today actually. :) The new release is pretty awesome. I try to go 2-3 times a week and was actually considering getting certified in it, too. Except, my gym has SO many BP instructors it seems sort of pointless to do so. I am looking into other Les Mills classes, though.

    • I love the new release too!

      You should TOTALLY do it! BodyPUMP is my favorite, so I might be biased, but there is a need for instructors anywhere. No matter that there already are some!! If you wanna, go for it :)

  3. I like body pump to switch things up, and I think it’s a great no-think way to get in a good weight workout :)

  4. OK Here’s a question: If I have been doing the following weights for a couple of months now, a new instructor pushed me to go up in my warmup weight. If I go up to a 2.5 in my warmup will I then have to increase all my other weights as well?? Shoulders, triceps and lunges are already uber hard…

    warmup 1.25 each side
    squats 6.25 ”
    chest 2.5 ”
    back 3.75 ”
    tricep 2.5 each side
    bicep 1.25 ”
    lunges 3.75 ”
    shoulders 2.5 each side (if I’m feeling up to it!)
    Abs 5 (if applicable)


    • Hi there! It is recommended that yes, you could/should go up in weight elsewhere as well. However, if a certain muscle group is harder (i.e. on lunges), then don’t increase during THAT track.

      The whole thing with BodyPUMP is ‘playing’ around with the weights. Les Mills (who created BP) encourages participants to increase weight–as that is where the strength building, lean muscle creation, and ‘changing’ the body occur.

      I would say to try it out! we are STRONGER than we think. Promise :)

      Is the bar light(er), like 1-3 pounds, or is it a heavier bar that you’re using?

      Have a great day–and let me know how it goes!

      • Thanks for much for the advice! You are right – I am stronger than I thought. I upped my warmup and bicep to start with, just to see how it went – and although I found it tough and definitely worked up a sweat, I managed to do the whole tracks within the full range of movements!

        I think I’m ready to go up in squats and lunges too, I have been inspired!


  5. Raphael says:

    Hey Annette… did you know that Bodypump is very famous in Switzerland as well? I live here and I did my first body pump session yesterday (my body feels still torn up) and I really enjoyed it! I wonder if the Bodypump we do here in Switzerland is the same as the Bodypump in other countries… Sorry if I sometimes do mistakes in my english, I usually speak german or italian…

    Greetings from Switzerland,


    • WOW-that is awesome!! I am sure it’s the same–as Les Mills (BodyPUMP’s provider) is all over the world. On the DVDs they always have instructors from all these great countries. YAH for BodyPUMP being in a land I love <3

      Die Schweiz ist etwas schoenes. Hab dieses Land Lieb!

      Alles Gute, Raphael!

  6. I’ve been doing pump since it started about 20 years ago.

    I’m in my early 40’s now and have been slowly increasing my weights in pump since I began.

    I’m 6′ tall and 83kg (182 lb) with low body fat (visible defined abs)

    I usually get to one or two pump classes a week and do other weights sessions with free weights two or three times a week and depending on the time available I try and do at least one spin type class a week and the occasional swim. So I’m in the gym for an hr 6 days a week. Working at a university in Sydney with a great gym makes this easy.

    Doing free weights I currently squat 120kg (264 lb) from the power rack, bench 85kg (187 lb) and curl 22.5kg (49 lb) dumbbells.

    In the pump classes I generally do about half my free weights.

    So in pump, with good form and getting every rep I:
    Squat 50 kg (110 lb)

    Chest 35kg (77 lb)

    Back 35kg (77 lb) or 40kg (88lb) depending on the track – the recent releases with the shorter movements make moving the heavier weight hard and a few times I’ve had to drop the weight a little half way through

    Biceps and triceps are very dependant on the track but i’m usually doing my warm up weight ~20kg (44lb)

    I do take it easier in the squat track, I’m already fairly buggered by that point so I only do ~30kg (66 lb)

    There are a few guys at the gym that are doing similar weights or a little less – I seem to have motivated them to do more. On a trip down to Melbourne in an inner city gym there were some blokes doing about 10 – 20 % more. – I recon that is about the limit of what you can do in pump.

    • Funny, I also work at Sydney Uni!

      The weights are impressive for pump. I have been doing it for 3 years and my maximum (not for every release) is

      Squat 40 kg

      Chest 30kg

      Back 30kg

      Shoulders 15Kg

      Unfortunately the lunch class does not have biceps or triceps.

  7. Is there a starting point to work on range of motion, balance and core stability? Because I seem to lack
    all of these three things and my Wed night teacher does nothing to help.

    • A starting point would be attending a class and doing it without weight, and then listening to the teacher’s cues carefully. Then adding in weight when you feel you have the right range of motion.

      Core stability can be trained–look for a CXWORX class or core class at your gym.
      annette recently posted…Summer Readin’ (And a BIRTHDAY!)My Profile

  8. Is there a starting point to work on range of motion, balance and core stability? Because I seem to lack
    all of these three things and my Wed night teacher does nothing to help.

  9. Is there a starting point to work on range of motion, balance and core stability? Because I seem to lack
    all of these three things and my Wed night teacher does nothing to help.

  10. G’day Annette,

    Great piece, good to see you pumping out quality content. Keep it up.
    Chris recently posted…#22 Eating Addictions, Disorders & Weight Loss w/ Vera TarmanMy Profile

  11. Thank you for this! This is really great information for beginners. I recently took a few BP classes and really love it. I am thinking of going for a Les Mills training this year and really love what the BP workout offers people of all fitness levels. I currently teach Spin and ZUMBA so this would be a great addition to my class rotation! So glad I found your blog! :)
    Erin recently posted…Repost: Pass The NASM CPT Exam: A Study GuideMy Profile

  12. Rosie Danekz says:

    Thank you for this information, I’ve been looking everywhere for suggestions on the amount of weight I should be lifting. You rock!

  13. I see your page needs some unique & fresh content. Writing manually is time consuming,
    but there is solution for this. Just search for – Masquro’s strategies
    IslaGuajardo recently posted…IslaGuajardoMy Profile


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