Les Mills International Series Part 4: Spotlight on BodyPump

Happy Friday!

I love Friday’s even when I’m not working and they signify the end of my luxurious week of vacation. There’s just something about ’em. I have to admit that I haven’t gotten nearly as much done as I would have liked on my week off. I’m actually seriously concerned that I’m going to crash and burn next week after living life in the slow lane for the past little while!

What I HAVE got done this week is lots of work on Goal # 3 to get started on my Christmas shopping! I’m still way out of ideas for what to get for Matt and for my family…but I’ve got most of my friends and extended family done, or at least started!

My Visa is feeling very fit and strong after it’s week of hardcore training. It is now in need of a “rest day”. Or a “rest year”.

If only I could ride my Visa card all the way to the finish of the Half Ironman.

On the topic of training, this week I’ve taken some detours from my Training Plan, simply because I just didn’t feel like doing the workouts that I had scheduled. I know, I know.

I did get out to RPM on Monday morning, and I did get a swim in on Tuesday morning, but Wednesday I replaced my run with an extra BodyStep class, and yesterday I replaced what was supposed to be another RPM with a CXWORX class. (Stay tuned for a run down of CXWORX and what it’s all about as part of my Les Mills International Series). I do have plans to get out for a run today, and I’ll get to another RPM tomorrow morning, so all is not lost. 🙂

Today I want to give you a sneak peek into the last Les Mills program that I trained in back in January 2009. That would be the grand-daddy of all LMI programs, the one that started it all:


If you missed any of the prior posts in the LMI series, you can catch them here:

Part 1 – Les Mills International Series

Part 2 – Spotlight on BodyAttack

Part 3 – Spotlight on BodyStep 

You may recall from my first post in this series that BodyPump was the first Les Mills program to catch fire back in the early 90’s. First launched as “Pump” in the late 80’s, “BodyPump” was officially launched under it’s new name in 1990. It was trialed in Australia and New Zealand over several years before it was showcased globally in 1997. BodyPump paved the way for all of the other Les Mills programs to follow, it set the bar (literally ;)) for Group Fitness, and it’s still a total industry leader today.

So, what the heck is BodyPump anyways!?

BODYPUMP™, the original LES MILLS™ barbell class, will sculpt, tone and strengthen your entire body, fast!

Great bodies aren’t born, they are transformed, using the proven BODYPUMP™ formula: THE REP EFFECT™ a breakthrough in resistance workout training. Focusing on low weight loads and high repetition movements, you’ll burn fat, gain strength and quickly produce lean body muscle conditioning.

BODYPUMP™ is one of the world’s fastest ways to get in shape as it challenges all of your major muscle groups while you squat, press, lift and curl.

Essentially, BodyPump is a 55 minute weight-training class that focuses on low weight-high repetition training to give you long, lean muscles, and burn fat along the way. The Rep Effect is a fairly new term that they just introduced in the past year or so. They figure that we do approximately 800 repetitions in a 55 minute BodyPump class! Oh mama.

A typical BodyPump class is structured like this:

Track 1 – Warmup (a couple of reps of each move that you’ll see throughout the rest of the class)

Track 2 – Squats (just what it sounds like. Load up your bar, and squat until your legs fall off)

Track 3 – Chest (laying down on the bench top in bench press position)

Track 4 – Back (lots of dead-rows, dead-lifts and the big calorie burning Clean & Press move)

Track 5 – Triceps (extensions to the fore head, presses to the ribs, tricep push ups, tricep dips, you name it!)

Track 6 – Biceps (get your tickets to the gun show. That’s all I’m sayin’ ;))

Track 7 – Lunges (kind of a combination of lunges, squats and more recently propulsive lunges and squats to really smash your legs for the last time)

Track 8 – Shoulders (pushups, side raises, over head presses, and a bunch of variations in between)

Track 9 – Abdominals and Core Strength

Track 10 – Beg for mercy Cooldown

Each track is choreographed using different tempos, different weight loads and of course different music to keep us energized and motivated. Oh yea, and I guess the instructor should help with that too 🙂

Strength training is so important for us as we get older. Did you know that after you hit puberty, you begin to lose about 1% of your bone and muscle strength every year?

I don’t know about you, but that scares the hell out of me.

Strength training helps to combat this loss, and even reverse muscle and bone loss that has already taken place. It also goes without saying that strength training improves overall muscle strength and body mechanics. Think things like posture, balance, coordination. So in addition to looking great in your jeans, you won’t be tripping over your own two feet walking down the driveway while you’re carrying all of your groceries in in one trip.

Not that I’ve ever done that or anything….

Strength Training has also been shown to improve energy levels and improve your mood (although I think this goes for all exercise). Finally, if weight loss is your goal, strength training realy contributes to calorie-burn because your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate even after you stop working out in order to re-build muscle fibres. That means, while you’re sitting on the couch with your feet up an hour after your strength training workout, your body is still reeping the benefits of your hard work. Everydayhealth.com calls this “physiologic homework”. I call it awesome.

BodyPump was the last program that I certified in. I’ll confess right now to you that I am a “cardio junkie”. I love sweaty, go-go-go, plyometric, screaming cardio workouts that make you want to cry while you’re doing them. Switching over to teach a weight-training program was a little hard for me at first. I kind of felt like I was just standing there. I very quickly discovered however that you can still get that “I want to cry”, pouring sweat, over-the-top, go-go-go kind of workout from weight training. Boy, did I ever discover that quick.

I adore BodyPump now, and I owe all of my strengh gains to this program! You will never find me in the weight room, or lifting free weights on my own. Ever. I just find it hard to stick with, for me, I need the group atmosphere, the pounding music and the challenge set out for me. I teach BodyPump twice a week, and have noticed enormous improvements in my strength and body composition since I picked up the program back in 2009. I foresee BodyPump playing a big role in triathlon training as well.

If you’ve never done a BodyPump class, you’re missing out BIG TIME. If you do nothing else, please, I beg of you, stop what you’re doing right now, call me right now and I’ll make sure you get what you need to get out to one. Check out the sizzler for our upcoming release, but be careful…BodyPump fever is highly contagious!!!

700 BodyPump Instructors in one room at the Can Fit Pro Conference – Summer 2012

3 thoughts on “Les Mills International Series Part 4: Spotlight on BodyPump

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