Blog - Introduction to BodyPump

Posted by Northumbria University

Blog - Introduction to BodyPump


BODYPUMP is a resistance-based or weight-training group fitness program, created by a company called Les Mills International out of New Zealand. According to Les Mills, BODYPUMP is:

“The original barbell workout that strengthens and tones your entire body.”



A standard BODYPUMP class has 10 tracks, or 10 songs, running about 55 minutes long. Each song, outside of the warm-up and cool-down, targets a main area of the body.

Because BODYPUMP is a pre-choreographed program, every single BODYPUMP class, no matter where you take it in the 100 countries around the world where it is offered, will run in this order.


1. Warm-up

2. Squats

3. Chest

4. Back

5. Triceps

6. Biceps

7. Lunges

8. Shoulders

9. Abs/core

10. Cool-down

There are also 30 and 45 minute express versions of BODYPUMP, which feature just a few major muscle groups, beginning with a warm-up.




To do a BODYPUMP workout, you will need a barbell with weight plates, a bench-top with risers and a mat. During the chest and tricep tracks, participants lay back on the bench-top. All the equipment needed is provided at our gym of course.



The moves include a variety, aimed at targeting every muscle group. A typical class will feature deadlifts, deadrows, upright rows, squats, chest presses, clean and presses, tricep dips, overhead tricep extensions, tricep push-ups, bicep curls, plate curls, lunges, push-ups, overhead plate presses, rotator raises, crunches, hovers and of course, stretching at the end.

You don’t need to know what any of the moves are to be successful in BODYPUMP, because the instructor will describe what you need to do with your body for each during the class. Once you start going to class regularly, you may start to remember the names of the moves and the choreography, making it that little bit more easier.



Because there is a lot of equipment needed, it can be scary to enter your first BODYPUMP class. There’s no need to be intimidated, because even the regulars and the instructor (like me), has been there as a first timer before.

I recommend that you go in with an open mind and consider these tips:

  • Show up a little bit early and introduce yourself to the instructor, that way they can tell you what to expect and keep an eye on you.
  • Set up close enough to the front so you can see the instructor’s full body.
  • Don’t worry about the weight other people are using during class. Stay light with the weight on your first few visits, maybe starting with one small or medium plate on each side of your bar, with a couple of extra small plates. Be mindful of your limits and try not to over-do it as this may put you off from coming back. (I couldn’t walk for a week after my first ever squat track as I tried to copy the instructor’s weights!)
  • Feel free to put the bar down at any time. Even if you do the entire first class with just a bar with no weights, or with no weights at all, you will still get a good workout.
  • Please don’t worry about your neighbor or feel competitive. Nobody is looking at you. In fact, most people are so busy worrying about themselves they won’t even glance in your direction.


The beauty of BODYPUMP is that you can make it as hard as you want, by increasing your weight as you get stronger. You can also take low-option moves, which will be demoed by the instructor if they are available during a particular track. And if you don’t feel right doing any particular move, you can skip it, or do your own slight modification.

During class, we do typically 70-100 reps per song, with a total of 800-1,000 reps per class. While there is a break between each song to stretch and regroup, you do spend most of the time working under tension.

As an instructor, I do the full workout along with the class, standing in the front of the room.


It’s been called one of the fastest ways to get in shape, as it challenges every major muscle group with high reps during each class. If you don’t lift weights, it’s a great way to get into resistance training with the help of the group vibe and an instructor at the front doing it with you also. If you do lift weights, the class offers you a chance to challenge yourself with longer sets, in which you may move quickly from exercise to exercise and improve your overall fitness.

For me personally, it’s the feeling I get when I look out and see the effort everyone is putting in. I get a great sense of pride when I see the same individual that couldn't finish one track, come back every week and is now getting through a full 60 minute class with twice as much weight on the bar as they had at the beginning!


Our Group Exercise Timetable features BODYPUMP 7 times per week in the Sport Central Studio.

The times for these classes are :-

Monday 12:15 – 12:45

Tuesday 12:15 – 12:45

Wednesday 17:15 – 18:15

Thursday 16:15 – 16:45

Friday 12:15 – 12:45, 17:15 – 18:15

Sunday 12:15 – 13:00

We look forward to seeing you there!


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