I forgot to mention when I reviewed the Les Mills group fitness classes, that these classes are offered around the world! You can find them in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Europe and of course, the U.S.! So, if you are interested in trying a class, visit your local Les Mills website (this link is to the U.S. site) to find where the classes are offered!
And of course if you are interested in training at home, Les Mills has a home fitness program. This actually relatively new and I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I found out about it! I used to participate in Les Mills classes a lot when I lived in Australia because every health club had a robust schedule of the various Les Mills classes, but they just are not as popular in the United States (at least in the Northeast). So when I found out that BodyPump was being transformed into a home fitness program, I jumped on it right away!
The entire package comes with 8 DVDs and the barbell necessary for this weight program. The barbell itself comes in two parts that is easy to assemble. Also included are two sets of weights: 10 lb weights and 5 lb weights. Ladies, this is probably going to be adequate for you but men, you may need to order additional weights from Beachbody in order to get the most out of your workouts. Although if you are new to exercise, I would stick with what you get until you’ve had a chance to better assess your fitness level and weight lifting abilities. A step or bench is not included but this is really optional and I wouldn’t recommend spending the money unless you also intend to do some step aerobics at home (more on that to come in a subsequent post!).
The DVD breakdown is as follows:
1.) Les Mills Pump Basics- this is a 10 minute DVD that gives you a breakdown on what to expect in this workout, including technique. Perfect (and I would say mandatory) if you’ve never done Pump before.
2.) Les Mills Pump Challenge- Now that you have the basic technique down, it’s time to move on to your first workout. This 20 minute DVD will give you a short introduction to a Pump class. If you are a beginner this is a great place to start out. If you’ve done Pump before or are just generally very fit, I would recommend using this DVD in conjunction with another DVD or some cardio, like running. It targets the big muscle groups (think legs and chest) so there is actually a decent calorie burn in this workout.
2.) Les Mills Pump and Burn- This is the first “real” workout DVD in my opinion. You will really get the feel of a Pump class with this DVD. Because it’s only 30 minutes you will not hit every muscle group, but you will get the big ones (legs, chest, butt, shoulders). As with the Challenge DVD, I would use this when you are short on time or you want to add in some cardio or stretching to your workout.
3.) Les Mills Pump and Shred- Now we’re up to 45 minutes and things start to get tougher. Presumably by now you have spent enough time with Challenge and Pump and Burn to both feel comfortable with the workout and to build up some strength and stamina to allow you to progress to a full 45 minute workout. This is when you start to see what Les Mills dubs “The Rep Effect”. Basically The Rep Effect is the effect on your muscles of repeating moves targeting the same muscle group over and over. By the time you make it up to Pump and Shred, each song track is 4-5 minutes long. Because you work each muscle group one at a time for the length of one song, this means that you are now working each muscle group for 4-5 minutes. This is a long time and you really start to feel the burn a.k.a The Rep Effect.
4.) Les Mills Pump Revolution- This is the first full length Les Mills Pump DVD. A regular Les Mills Pump class is 55 minutes in length and follows this pattern: Warm-up, Squats, Chest, Back of Body, Triceps, Biceps, Lunges, Shoulders, Abs, Cool-down. Revolution follows this same format so you are now working every part of the body. Prior to this DVD, some areas were dropped (usually triceps, biceps). This DVD is tough and you’ll burn a lot of calories. I usually burn around 300, which is impressive for a non-cardio class. By the time you’ve made it to this DVD, your stamina and strength should be way up so you can make it through the entire 55 minute class. If you aren’t there yet, you should stick with the other workouts until you build up the strength and stamina for this workout.
5.) Les Mills Pump Extreme- This is another 55 minute class following the traditional Pump format. I love that there are two full length DVDs. I honestly would have felt incredibly deceived if I had bought this program and it contained only one full length DVD. The 55 minute classes are the real deal and they remind me so much of my beloved group fitness classes in Sydney!
6.) Les Mills Flow- This 20 minute DVD is a mini version of a Les Mills BodyFlow/BodyBalance class. This is basically a yoga and stretching DVD. I’m so happy the program came with this DVD because I always need to stretch more and I don’t always want to commit to a full hour of yoga. This is the perfect length! On weekends I might add this in after Pump Extreme or Pump Revolution or if I have less time, I’ll combine it with one of the other DVDs. Flow starts out with a sun salutation warm up to wake up your back and hamstrings and get the body warm. It then moves on to standing strength which means some warrior poses. You then hit the floor to stretch out your hips, back and hamstrings- my three tightest muscle groups. I only wish there was also a full length version included!
7.) Hard Core Abs- This 15 minute workout is focused on the core. It is reminiscent of Les Mills’ new class, CXWorx, a 30 minute core class. You spend the entire 15 minutes on the mat focusing only on the abs through crunches, oblique moves and hover planks. I like this because I always feel like I want to work on my abs a bit more but I’m kinda lazy about actually doing it. I don’t know why but this DVD is great motivation because its short and non-stop.
Along with the equipment and DVDs a nutrition/eating plan and fitness guide are included with the program. The nutrition guide is pretty good. The recipes are basic which means they are easy to make but it also means that they are not exactly layers of flavor! Still, I like the guide for getting me though the week with healthy meals.
Overall, I really love this program and I think it’s worth the money (it’s pricey at $192) but if you really want a high quality weight program, this is it. I love the music and I love that the moves are choreographed to the music and not just all willy nilly (that drives me nuts). You will seriously sing along with the songs. I also love the progression from 20 minutes to full 55 minute classes which allow you to progress naturally as you build strength. The instructors rotate teaching tracks so you don’t get sick of listening to just one person for the entire program. Plus, it has the Les Mills name on it so you know that the people behind this program are super qualified and research is behind the moves your are doing. Plus I just love that I can now FINALLY do Pump at home!
*Links within this post are to Amazon affiliate links. I was not asked to write this review nor was I compensated for it, I just simply love the program.