What Is BodyPump?

26 September, 2020
BodyPump is a workout program that's here to stay. Each class helps to work out all of the main muscle groups to music, making it fun.

Are you looking for a fitness program that’s fun and yet demanding at the same time? Why not give BodyPump a try? It’s a program of physical training that combines all kinds of aerobic activities to exercise various muscle groups. Get to know all about BodyPump here, including the benefits.

In the first place, we need to define this type of exercise program that they named BodyPump. Basically, it’s an aerobic routine combined with lifting weights. It’s a type of physical workout that’s becoming more and more popular, especially among women who want to tone and shape their bodies.

What should you know about BodyPump?

BodyPump is an exercise program that was created in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1991. Currently, it’s present in over 100 countries by means of the group Les Mills International. This company puts together music, routines, and choreographies, which are known throughout the world.

BodyPump classes last around an hour and are generally in a group format, with an instructor. During this time period, you’ll hear between eight and ten dynamic songs to go with the exercises, and you’ll work out a different muscle group with each song.

There are also options for shorter BodyPump classes, of either 30 or 45 minutes, with fewer songs and more specific workouts.

The class structure is similar to other cardio or aerobic classes. During the first song, the class will warm-up and stretch. Later, they’ll go through a thorough workout of the legs and glutes, pecs, the back muscles, triceps, and biceps.

Next, the class will work on the lower body and shoulders and finish up with exercises for the abs. The last steps are the warm down and relaxation of the body. As you can see, the training is complete, high intensity and there are also brief rests between each section.

A woman using a disk weight

What are the benefits of BodyPump?

Firstly, what’s the main objective of BodyPump? We’d have to mention increasing muscle mass, or at least a thorough toning of the muscles. This benefit, however, isn’t seen so much for people who are overweight, but rather for those who already have a lower amount of body fat.

Another benefit of this exercise method of course is that of burning calories. When it goes hand in hand with an appropriate diet, and with following the recommendations of your specialist, that’s when it can help you to lose body fat.

In the classes, repetitions of exercises are the main theme to work each muscle group. For instance, some of the reps will be of squats, presses, deadlifts and curls.

Barbells, hand weights, and disks are indispensable items for a BodyPump workout. Some instructors also add other items such as a box for box jumps.

Each person in the class will lift the weight that they’re capable of lifting; it all depends on the capacity and exercise goals of each person. It’s also important to point out that you can even do the class without any weights at all. This will however of course decrease the intensity and will take longer to reach fitness goals.

Thanks to the aerobic aspect of the classes and the type of exercises, BodyPump is also useful for improving posture and strengthening joints. It can help in avoiding pain that’s typical of daily life – neck, back, and lower back pain, among others, thanks to an increased fitness level.

One of the advantages of BodyPump according to those who do it two or three times a week is that the results come fast. Some other good news about this workout is that the exercises are simple and easy to follow. It’s not necessary to follow a strict choreography as in other aerobics classes, such as aerobox for example.

Triceps exercises in an aerobics class

How often should I do this exercise?

As with the majority of aerobics or cardio routines, it’s recommended to do BodyPump two or three times a week. You should always include a rest day in between sessions. With the shorter classes of 30 or 45 minutes, four a week will be fine.

If you’ve never done high-intensity exercise before (whether BodyPump or another kind) it’s a good idea to start slow at first. Use small weights and don’t force your body to go all out during the first few weeks.

With time, you can gradually increase the intensity, making sure you follow the directions of the class instructor. You can also progressively increase the weight of the disks or hand weights you use, to reduce the risk of injury.

Lastly, here’s another important tip. Make sure you have the right form when you’re doing the exercises, just as the instructor will show you. In that way, you’ll get the most out of the class and will avoid injury.

  • Rustaden, Anne Mette, et al. “Effects of BodyPump and resistance training with and without a personal trainer on muscle strength and body composition in overweight and obese women—A randomised controlled trial.” Obesity research & clinical practice 11.6 (2017): 728-739.
  • Steven N. Blair. 1993. Evidence for Success of Exercise in Weight Loss and Control.
    Annals of Internal Medicine. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/0003-4819-119-7_Part_2-199310011-00015
  • Johnston, B. 2018. Beneficios del ejercicio. Merck Manuals. https://www.merckmanuals.com/es-us/hogar/fundamentos/ejercicio-y-forma-f%C3%ADsica/beneficios-del-ejercicio
  • Recomendaciones mundiales sobre la actividad física para la salud. Organización Mundial de la Salud. https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/factsheet_recommendations/es/