This week Reebok invited me to try out a LES MILLS BODYPUMP class.
I’ve heard many people raving about LES MILLS classes before, but I never actually attended one before myself, so when the opportunity arose, I jumped to take it! but first of all I wanted to do a little bit of background research.
So who, and what, is LES MILLS?
LES MILLS is a worldwide series of group fitness classes founded by a guy called Phillip Mills, and named after his father, and four time olympian, Les Mills Snr. The classes are run across the globe in various gyms and clubs, but they also have online workouts series and a YouTube channel. BODYPUMP is just one of the LES MILLS classes. They have loads more including; BodyBalance, BodyCombat, BodyJam, and Grit – which is their infamous HIIT workout.
I signed up to their BODYPUMP class at my local gym as it sounded like something which I would really enjoy – mainly because it involved lifting weights! However, unbeknown to me, the day I turned up for a class happened to be an extra special workout titled BODYPUMP 100. This workout marks the hundredth new release, marking 25 years since LES MILLS founded the class, so fitness clubs all over the world were celebrating the occasion with BODYPUMP100!
Each BODYPUMP workout typically lasts about 1 hour using a barbell, with relatively low weights but high repetitions. Typically you hit about 800 reps in one class – so expect to seriously feel the burn!
Everyone in the class has a step, a mat, a small barbell (called a SMARTBAR), and four sets of plates – 1kg, 2.5kg, 5kg and 10kg. You have the choice to lift as light or as heavy as you feel able to, and you can swap around the plates between exercises. The instructors are pretty good at guiding you on how heavy you should be lifting.
BODYPUMP is a total body workout so throughout the class you work through each body part; Legs and glutes to start, then chest, arms, shoulders and finally core. We worked through exercises such as; squats, deadlifts, bent over rows, clean and press, push ups, and bicep curls.
Music and atmosphere is a huge component in the BODYPUMP classes. All exercises are done to the rhythm of the music – but don’t worry, if you’ve got two left feet because it doesn’t really require much choreography! There were three instructors in the class and each one of them were super energetic. At the beginning I was secretly dreading the cheerleading vibes but as the class progressed, and my energy started to dwindle, I was depending on their cheers of encouragement to get me through!
So who would I recommend this class to?
If you’re looking to improve your strength and fitness, and you’re a newbie to weight lifting, this class is a really good place to start. They use pretty fundamental exercises in their classes which I think everyone should have under their belt such as squats and deadlifts. I also find many people enjoy group workouts as they tend to work harder than they would on their own. It’s also really easy for your motivation to flag when you’re training by yourself and not really following any programme.
For me personally, I train about three times a week following my own personal weight lifting programme and I do the odd HIIT session on the weekend. I like to throw in a class here and there to change things up and give me that extra boost of motivation that I sometimes need!
If you’re keen to try out a class you can find your nearest club here.
Photographer: Jon Payne
This post contains sponsored content. Reebok is a registered trademark of Reebok International Limited, and is used with permission. The views, ideas and opinions expressed here are my own.