Why I love Les Mills BODYPUMP

Sharing my thoughts on my very favorite Les Mills program, BODYPUMP! Take a class for FREE On Demand using my link and you’ll get 30 days of unlimited workouts from the Les Mills platform.

Hi friends! How’s the week going? It’s been kind of a doozy over here. I wrote everything up in a Thursday Thoughts post for tomorrow! The Pilot has been working and traveling quite a bit, I have a full-body rash that thankfully isn’t contagious but may not go away for weeks, and we’re hitting week 9 of this whole situation. If anyone else feels like you’re losing your marbles, please know you’re not alone.

Something that has helped me remarkably in the past couple of months: solid workouts. Even with everything going on, I’ve been dedicated to working out virtually every single day. It feels SO good to move my body, zone out, and almost feel like I’m alone for a little while. 😉 Something that I’ve brought back into my regular routine that I missed dearly: BODYPUMP! BODYPUMP feels like the quintessential Les Mills workout. It was the first one I tried, the first one that stole my heart, and something I find myself coming back to, again and again.

Pic from teaching a class in San Diego when it was a purple theme and I was pregnant with P. (It was the Pilot’s first… and only… BODYPUMP experience haha.)

Why I love Les Mills BODYPUMP

For today’s post, I thought I’d break down the format and why I love BODYPUMP for those who haven’t been introduced to it yet.

Here’s what a typical class entails:

– It’s a 45-55 minute class (depending on if the instructor does the core section and how long it takes to transition between songs) focused on muscular endurance. (There are also shorter 30-minute express versions of the class.) It’s a high-rep workout, designed to completely fatigue each muscle group. The workout is based on “time under tension,” which can help to promote lean muscle and strength gains the same way as lifting much heavier weights for less repetitions.

You can check out this interesting study that suggests that a BODYPUMP class can burn more calories than typical cardiovascular training and positively impact metabolism. When I teach a BODYPUMP class, I easily burn 500+ calories (and feel strong and energized when it’s over).

– It’s music-derived. All of the movements match the songs, which is my favorite aspect of the class! You might do full-range singles for the chorus of the songs, and tempo variations of classic strength moves. Each release is always different and like the other Les Mills workouts, they’re science-backed for maximum benefits and safety. (For example, they study how many squats are safe to do in the squat track depending on the tempo variations and range of motion. It’s truly incredible.)

– It’s barbell-based. Most of the exercises are performed using a barbell, but there are also exercises using plates, a bench, and your own body weight.

– It’s designed to hit every muscle in your body. Instructors may shuffle around the order of tracks, but this is the standard format:

– Warm up

– Squats

– Chest

– Back

– Triceps

– Biceps

– Lunges

– Shoulders

– Core

– Cool down

– Bonus cardio potential. The movements are dynamic, will get your heart rate up, and keep it elevated for the tracks. I feel like it’s a solid combo of strength and cardio work.

Pros and Cons of Les Mills BODYPUMP:


– BODYPUMP is an effective way to switch up traditional strength training. If you’re used to doing hypertrophy work (3 sets of 10-12 reps for most exercises) or max strength (like CrossFit), I absolutely recommend implementing an endurance day, like BODYPUMP, into the routine. It teaches the muscles to maintain strength for longer periods of time, instead of quick blasts, which can come in handy for cardio endurance workouts (like distance runs) or for LIFE (like when you need to carry 18 bags of groceries from the car into the house. No second trips.).

– It’s easy to modify. You can ditch the weights for the leg tracks, and modify the amount of weights for the barbell. It’s also pregnancy-friendly. I taught classes while I was pregnant with P and all I needed to do was angle the bench for the supine work and decrease the weight on the barbell.

– No need to worry about strength training and figuring out a workout/plan on your own. If you’re sick of puttering around the gym from the free weights to the machines (or even just trying to get motivated to work out at home), this is such a great way to switch it up. I feel like it’s difficult to find online or on demand strength workouts that are *fun.* This one is fun, challenging, and insanely effective. Even though I know what I need to do to hit specific muscle groups, it’s so nice to press play and have someone else plan the workout for me. 🙂

– It can make strength training approachable for those who wouldn’t otherwise be lifting weights. It can be intimidating to venture into strength training on your own, and Les Mills takes a majority of that intimidation away.


– Equipment. The workout is barbell-based, which many folks don’t have at home. You can get the full equipment set on their site, but I’ve done the workouts using dumbbells and kettlebells in a pinch. You can absolutely do the workout with what you have available!

– I think because of licensing, sometimes a song or two is overplayed by the time a release comes out. I feel like this is rare, but it does happen sometimes.

If you want to give BODYPUMP a try, use my link for 30 days of Les Mills On Demand for free! They have over 800 workouts taught by powerhouse instructors. Please let me know how you like it!

Have a great day, friends. Thank you for stopping by the blog today and I’ll see ya soon!




BODYPUMP instructor training

Les Mills Barre Review 

Les Mills On Demand Review

Les Mills GRIT

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  1. Katie on May 13, 2020 at 11:23 am

    Les Mills on Demand is saving me while our gym is closed! It has been so nice to mix in Flow, Attack, Barre (which I look hilarious doing), and Step with my normal Pump and Combat classes. As a bonus, I’ve started talking about the presenters like I know them I guess we’ve reached the point of quarantine where I’m on a first name basis with Kylie and Marlon.

    • Fitnessista on May 14, 2020 at 1:03 am

      yes, it’s been such a lifesaver with everything going on! i need to do step… it’s one of my faves! and totally feel ya on the first name basis! haha

  2. Deanna Wells on May 13, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Acupuncture for the rash! I had a rash covering my arms the week before I left on vacation, and my doctor told me it would heal on it’s own in a month or so…thankfully, my BFF is an acupuncturist and had it gone by the time I got on the plane. I think I had two treatments and lots of gross Chinese herbs to drink. (Seriously, why do they all taste disgusting?)

    I used to work with the girl who does the music and licensing for LesMills and sometimes during BodyPump I’m like “such a Kendall song”.

    • Fitnessista on May 14, 2020 at 1:03 am

      my fave acupuncture spot is closed during all of this!! maybe i can get a rec to try someone new because that’s a great idea! and yes, chinese herbs taste horrible but always do what they’re supposed to do for me!

  3. Gina H. on May 13, 2020 at 9:03 pm

    I’m so glad you posted about this! I signed up today for a year with your link. Now I want a spin bike to try The Trip, haha!

    • Fitnessista on May 14, 2020 at 1:02 am

      yesssssss! so so happy to hear! you’ll love it 🙂

  4. Olwen on May 14, 2020 at 8:27 am

    I was given a year’s subscription to LMOD for a gift. I love the barre and the Sh’Bam, too nervous to try BodyPump yet as I only have dumbbells.
    I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on Body Step?
    Thanks, Olwen

    • Fitnessista on May 15, 2020 at 10:31 am

      i can definitely do a post on bodystep! all of the workouts are so good 🙂

  5. Brittany on May 14, 2020 at 11:36 am

    My friend has been teaching a body pump class over zoom and it is amazing! She has modified it to be dumbbells only and some people use canned beans and water bottles if they don’t have dumbbells. It is easily my favorite workout of the week!

  6. Kristin on May 14, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    BodyPump is my absolute favorite workout. I had been doing it 3x a week for the last few years before gyms got shut down. It was my mental break a few times a week. Had to completely shut off everything else to focus on the workout. It’s been really tough not having that outlet. It’s been a struggle to get a really intense workout at home without having any equipment (I think mostly it’s a motivation issue).
    Hopefully it won’t be too long before we can be back in the gym, even if everything is going to look different!

  7. adrianna on May 14, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    body pump was my first true les mills love! it forces me to actually lift, hits the entire body, music is great, energy and other participants and instructors are all top notch… such a fan! i use LMOD but was unable to get the equipment (and didnt want to spend a million dollars… bc i bought a spin bike instead- peloton is MY JAM) but i miss lifting and BP so much. can’t wait until gyms open back up to bring it back to my life. only a few dumbbells just aint cutting it 😉

  8. Bob on November 29, 2020 at 10:53 am

    Where did you get the barbell and weights and step platform you have pictured?

    • Fitnessista on November 30, 2020 at 1:18 am

      it was taken at our gym

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