What is body pump?
Les Mills body pump is a mix of cardio, high intensity interval training, and high rep weight lifting. This class will leave your arms and legs feeling like jelly. After my first class I could barely lift my two year old son into the car.
I was really nervous going into this class because, as much I like weightlifting and agree that it is a quick and effective way to lose body fat and gain muscle, I am not that strong. I struggle with 10 lbs on biceps for goodness sake!
I went anyway and was immediately even more intimidated by the amount of equipment everyone had in front of them. After asking someone what I needed, I went around and collected a little of everything. A bench, two mats, 7 lb dumbbells, a barbell with an array of weights to add on the ends and clamps to hold the weights on the barbell. I was definitely nervous as I really didn’t know how to add weights on the bar and hoped that I used the clamp correctly. I guess I did it right because nothing fell off as we started. One point me!
According to the Les Mills body pump website, their are two unique things about the body pump class. The first is the use of the barbell and the second is the bodypump tracklist. In each song you will work a different set of a major muscle group. So, for example, the first song was the entire body warm up. Then there would be a song for lunges, squats, biceps, triceps, and abs at the end with a short cool down. Their are about ten songs on the bodypump tracklist.
The key to the success people find through body pump is that the class is designed for over 800 repetitions (quoting from the Les Mills body pump website again, I did not count). The repetitions went along with each song so that when a song hits the faster part the reps would go faster or maybe be a combination of fast and slow and even with holds. According to a video I watched on the Les Mills body pump website, this is an efficient way to build muscle, bone strength, and bone density. Who knew?
My review of body pump
You do a lot of changing weights which makes sense as sometimes you’re lunging, sometimes squatting, and sometimes using your arm muscles. However, as a beginner to weight training I found the changing of weights confusing and time consuming. However, I think with more classes and time you would get used to this.
Every time I went to this class I had total muscle burnout and was sore the next few days. The best part for me is using the high intensity interval training (HIIT) techniques. This can help your body continue to burn calories for 8-12 hours afterward. (Shameless plug: Check out this post to learn more about how to make any workout a HIIT workout.)
If you have an opportunity, the Les Mills bodypump group class would be a great addition to your exercise routine. Incorporating two to three classes a week would amp up your fitness and help you reach your goals sooner. You can even search on YouTube and do your first video from home. You may have to modify the equipment if you don’t have a barbell or bench but you should still get a great idea of what the class will be like. Good luck!
Do body pump classes at home!
Like I said, there a plenty of YouTube videos that you can follow along with if you prefer to workout in the comfort of your home. I believe you can also access body pump classes OnDemand, although I have not checked that out.
If you want to do the class with the right equipment then the 105 lb weight set is exactly what you need . It has the coveted barbell with an array of weights so that you can continue to challenge yourself once you begin to improve in the program. It also has dumbbells, which are needed especially during tricep work. It is expensive but you can use this equipment forever and with body pump you will learn effective moves that you can incorporate into any workout. This product does qualify for free shipping.
I also included a lower priced barbell with weights in case you don’t need dumbbells. You can save some money on the price but I think you’ll have to pay for shipping.
Lastly, you will also want a sturdy bench to lie down on and do chest presses. This is the best one I could find with adjustable height, best price and free shipping.