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BodyPump is a weight-based group-fitness program, created and distributed globally by Les Mills International. Every week 5.5 million people attend a Les Mills class in 17,500 licensed health clubs in over 100 countries.[1]

The first BodyPump classes were created by Phillip Mills and his wife Dr Jackie Mills in December 1991 in Auckland, New Zealand. According to Dr Jackie Mills the idea was to attract men into the group fitness studio while also breaking down the stigma that women shouldn’t, or couldn’t, do weight training.[2]

BodyPump has grown to be considered one of the world’s most popular group exercise classes.[3] In 2015 there were over 51,000 certified instructors who take to the stage and teach BodyPump in 15,000 clubs around the world.[4]


Scientific research shows that BodyPump improves muscular strength and endurance.[5] It offers calorie and fat burning effects,[6] can assist in improving aerobic fitness and offers positive psychological benefits.[7] BodyPump is also proven to improve bone density.[8]

The scalability of BodyPump makes it beneficial for the deconditioned.[9]


BodyPump classes are 59 minutes long and contain eight separate muscle-group specific songs or "tracks" along with an opening warm up track and closing cool-down track. There are also 45-minute and 30-minute class formats.[10]

The classes are performed to music using free weights-plates, barbells and an aerobic step. Participants choose their weights based on the exercise and their personal goals. Major muscle groups are worked via series of compound and isolation-based exercises including squats, presses, dead lifts. The focus is towards muscle endurance by moving light weights at high repetitions, what Les Mills calls the Rep Effect.[11][12]

Like all of the Les Mills group fitness programs, BodyPump is pre-choreographed by Les Mills International, giving it global homogeneity.


BodyPump classes are offered in more than 15,000 health clubs around the world.[13]

In October 2011 Les Mills International announced a partnership with Beachbody in the release of a direct to consumer version of BodyPump called Les Mills Pump.[14] This partnership concluded in 2014 and at-home exercisers can now access BodyPump workouts online via the digital workout streaming service, Les Mills On Demand.[15]


In 2011 Les Mills introduced the Smartbar, a barbell and weight system purpose-designed for BodyPump workouts. Les Mills has subsequently grown its equipment offering by adding the Smartstep and Smartband, a step and resistance band that integrate with the Smartbar. The Smartbar and Smartstep have secured a collection of design industry awards.[16]


  1. ^ "All the right moves". New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. March 2015. 
  2. ^ "A workout with heritage". Les Mills. March 2016. 
  3. ^ "All the right moves". New Zealand Trade & Enterprise. March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Strength training with the rep to match". Les Mills. February 2016. 
  5. ^ "Improvements in metabolic and neuromuscular fitness after 12-week bodypump® training.". The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. December 2011. 
  6. ^ Stanforth, Dixie; Stanforth, Philip R.; Hoemeke, Margaret E. (May 2000). "Physiologic and Metabolic Responses to a Body Pump Workout". The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 14 (2). 
  7. ^ "BODYPUMP research report" (PDF). Les Mills. 2007. 
  8. ^ "Study: Low-weight, high-repetition exercise increases bone density up to 8 percent in adults". The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. September 2015. 
  9. ^ "BodyPump Group Exercise: Does It Work or Not?". Breaking Muscle. 
  10. ^ "BODYPUMP site". Les Mills. 
  11. ^ Smith, Jessica (July 2001). "Safety Principles of BodyPump". American Fitness. 
  12. ^ Pritchett, Meridith (October 2014). "BODY PUMP and THE REP EFFECT: An Instructor's Evaluation Of The Low-Weight, High-Repetition Group Exercise Program". University of South Carolina. 
  13. ^ "A workout with heritage". Les Mills. March 2016. 
  14. ^ "Les Mills Pump". 
  15. ^ "LES MILLS On Demand Streams Popular Fitness Programs". Les Mills. June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Working out the workout with Les Mills' Smartbar". Idealog. February 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Lythe J., Pfitzinger, P. Caloric expenditure and aerobic demand of Bodystep, Bodyattack, Bodycombat and RPM. Auckland: UniSports Centre for Sport Performance, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 1999:15.
  • Lythe, J., Pfitzinger, P. and Ho, D. The Physical and Psychological Response to 13 weeks of Structured Group-fitness Exercise in Untrained Individuals. Auckland: UniSports Centre for Sport Performance, University of Auckland, New Zealand, 2000:33.
  • Felstead, Bishop, Fuller, Jewson, Lee, Unwin. Moving to the music: Learning processes, training and productive systems - the case of exercise to music instruction. London, United Kingdom, 2006:8