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Lift weights with a global heavyweight | LES MILLS BODYPUMP 100

Our friends over at Les Mills are about to launch the 100th release of their iconic workout BODYPUMP in January. We asked them what’s new, what’s cool and how they use Polar products to measure the intensity of the workout.

If you’re questioning the value of lifting weights, perhaps you’ve been living under a rock. Strength training is a must – and there are millions out there who concur that BODYPUMP is the way to do it.

BODYPUMP began as a small dumbbell class in a basement gym, but over the last 25 years its popularity has surged. Every week this globally-renowned weights class packs out gym studios across the planet and now there are thousands who stream it into their living rooms so that they can lift at their leisure.


People flock to BODYPUMP because they want a strength training that works – and there is plenty of anecdotal and scientific proof that shows BODYPUMP is the answer. It’s proven to have strong calorie and fat-burning effects and will improve aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. The transformative results are driven by something called The Rep Effect™, a revolution in resistance training that involves exhausting muscles using light weights, and high repetitions. In a 55-minute class you power through between 800 and 1200 reps – more than four times as many reps as you would achieve in a regular workout.

Getting stronger, leaner and fitter is not the only thing that fuels most people’s BODYPUMP addiction.

Getting stronger, leaner and fitter is not the only thing that fuels most people’s BODYPUMP addiction. The program offers a wealth of psychological benefits, and despite being hard work, most agree that it’s seriously good time. There’s hit music pumping, instructors providing plenty of inspiration and a real sense of energy that comes from working out alongside others.

“When you work out in a group you harness the energy of many. This creates motivation and challenge. It’s a totally addictive experience that keeps people coming back for more,” says Les Mills Head of Research Bryce Hastings.


BODYPUMP – Always fresh

BODYPUMP is kept fresh with new moves and music released every three months. This means that behind the scenes there’s a team of fitness professionals, creative directors, university researchers, doctors, sports scientists and music professionals making sure that every release is better than the last.

“It all starts with the music,” explains Kylie Gates, the BODYPUMP Head Program Coach, who works closely with the Creative Director, Diana Archer-Mills, Program Director, Glen Ostergaard and others to make sure every release is a world beater. “We license the hottest songs, songs we really love, and then add in the movements to match the feel of the music.”  The structure of the workout always remains the same but the team is always trying to create a new innovation, just to have a little new spark.

Bryce explains that while one team look after the musical journey and flow of the workout, there’s another group looking after the training effect.

“Unlike most types of strength training, there is a VO2 or aerobic demand associated with BODYPUMP and we now use Polar devices to measure this. We can determine the intensity levels throughout the class and across the different tracks and then make changes accordingly.”

This is just one aspect of the rigorous testing and refining that goes into each release. “We want to make sure people are getting the best training effect, so we test and trial live classes and then keep tweaking and tweaking and tweaking until we get it right – till we hit the sweet spot.”

BODYPUMP 100 – The 100th release of the iconic workout

Having finessed this formula for 25 years, it’s no surprise that the 100th release of BODYPUMP is set to be the most epic yet.

“This workout features even greater leverage of The Rep Effect”, explains Kylie, who mentions that the rep count exceeds 1000. “We know from many studies that adding more reps and pulses is successful and it does actually burn more calories and you get more results.”

“There’s a massive focus on power and intensity, and some subtle changes that set the scene for the future,” explains Bryce. “It’s the perfect balance of challenge and celebration.”

Whether you’re a fervent pumper looking to raise the bar or you’re yet to pump iron at all, the launch of BODYPUMP 100 is an experience you don’t want to miss. You can find out more about BODYPUMP 100 here.

Remember to come back tomorrow and check out the Polar Holiday Season Calendar post because we might have some cool LES MILLS #swag to give away.

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Please note that the information provided in the Polar Blog articles cannot replace individual advice from health professionals. Please consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.

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