17 August 2021
Why the workout works, how many calories you burn, and how to get started.
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BODYPUMP
By Emma Hogan
BODYPUMP is a barbell workout designed to get you lean, toned and fit. The combination of scientifically-backed moves, motivating instructors and great music helps you achieve much more than you would on your own.
WHY DOES BODYPUMP WORK?
The effectiveness of BODYPUMP™ comes from The Rep Effect, a proven formula that exhausts muscles using light weights, while performing high repetitions – this is the secret to developing lean, athletic muscle.
HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU BURN DOING BODYPUMP?
While you can expect to burn an average of 400 calories* during a 55-minute BODYPUMP workout, it’s the building of lean muscle mass that provides the long-term benefits. By building lean muscle mass you increase your body’s ability to effectively burn calories in the long term as the extra muscle will raise your metabolism. Read more about this here.
“The music is always great and we work to the beat doing lots of reps. You can expect to burn some serious calories.” Kylie Gates, Les Mills Creative Director
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU DO BODYPUMP?
BODYPUMP challenges all of your major muscle groups so we recommend you do no more than two to three workouts a week, and make sure you have a day off in between. Add two or three cardio workouts into the mix and you’ll shape and tone your body in no time.
WHAT EXERCISES DO YOU DO DURING BODYPUMP?
A 55-minute BODYPUMP workout features ten tracks, each focusing on a different muscle group. You can always expect a good dose of squats, deadlifts, clean and presses, lunges and bicep curls. And, more often than not you’ll find push ups, chest presses, overhead presses and crunches are part of the mix too.
DOES BODYPUMP REALLY GET RESULTS?
BODYPUMP really is the ultimate calorie burning resistance training workout. A ground-breaking new study shows that BODYPUMP generates a long-term calorie burning response that is far greater than a calorie-matched cardio workout. BODYPUMP can therefore be described as a more potent exercise stimulus. This is backed up by research highlighting that the fast tempo resistance training of BODYPUMP expends more energy than lifting heavier loads at a slower rate. Studies also show that the high-repetition, low-load training of BODYPUMP can aid bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
HOW MUCH WEIGHT SHOULD YOU LIFT DURING BODYPUMP?
There’s no pressure to lift heavy in a BODYPUMP workout. In fact, the whole workout is structured around high repetitions using light weights. However, continual progression is the key to getting the most out of any strength training, so you need to lift more weight as you get stronger. If a BODYPUMP workout is not getting you hot and sweaty, and you’re not hanging out for the end of each track then it’s likely that your resistance is too light. We suggest you pick a couple of tracks where you think you can lift a heavier weight and add an extra weight plate to your bar (if you’re using the SMARTBAR™ this is super simple!). Remember, if at any time you feel that the weight you are lifting is compromising your technique stop for a few reps and reset – or simply drop your weight slightly.
HOW STRONG DO YOU NEED TO BE?
In a BODYPUMP workout there are options to suit every ability. If you’re new to the workout start with very light weights (or even just the bar). Perhaps just do the first four or five tracks a couple of times a week. You’ll find your fitness and strength improves over a number of sessions.
WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR A BODYPUMP WORKOUT?
BODYPUMP uses a weight bar and weight plates and a bench. While any barbell or weight plates will do, the Les Mills SMARTBAR is ideal. It has been scientifically-designed to help you increase muscle activation and speed up plate transitions, so you get faster results. The LES MILLS SMARTSTEP™ is also a great option for BODYPUMP.
We also suggest that you have comfortable workout clothes, supportive shoes, a drink bottle and a sweat towel.
CAN YOU DO BODYPUMP WHILE PREGNANT?
Plenty of people do BODYPUMP during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and keen to do BODYPUMP we suggest seeking the advice of your doctor or midwife, as they have the best understanding of your personal medical history. If you’re doing a live class, chat to your instructor beforehand and let them know you’re pregnant – they will be able to coach you through the pregnancy modifications during the class.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A BODYPUMP INSTRUCTOR?
The first step to becoming a BODYPUMP instructor is to connect with a club or your local Les Mills team. We’ll then provide you with plenty of training, you’ll get assessed and then you’ll be ready to lead your own classes. You can find out exactly what it takes to become a BODYPUMP instructor here.
KYLIE GATES’ TOP TIPS FOR BEGINNERS
Kylie Gates, Les Mills Creative Director
– Go super light with your weights and get to grips with the technique.
– Spend your first few workouts focusing on timing and the full range of movement.
– After you’ve done a few workouts, start checking in on how fatigued you feel at the end of each track. Ask yourself, “Could I do any more reps?” If the answer is No, then you’re using the right weight for you. If you feel like you could keep going you need to increase your weights!
– Remember, everyone is different. Find the weights that work for you, and then keep gradually increasing them over time.