When at home workout programs come to mind, you tend to think about cardio based programs that involve little to no equipment. More recently, programs involving weights and strength training have become popular for both men and women alike. One of the most popular at home strength training workout programs on the market today is Les Mills Pump by Beachbody.
Flat abs. Lean legs. Sculpted shoulders. Strong arms. Tight buns. Great bodies aren’t born, they’re engineered. How? With the LES MILLS PUMP workout and THE REP EFFECT™.
Les Mills Pump is a strength training based workout program designed to get you leaner, with sleek, sculpted muscles, in a short amount of time. How can the program accomplish this? Les Mills Pump is centered around what is known as the “Rep Effect”. The Rep Effect is a method of strength training that uses lighter weights with increased repetitions. Using lighter weights and increasing your repetitions allows you to get leaner faster because your heart rate is accelerated, creating somewhat of an aerobic workout combined with strength training. Most exercise beginners think of strength training and weights as a way to gain weight and get big. They usually try to avoid it because they are under the assumption that lifting weights will make them bigger or bulk them up. This may be the case if you are lifting heavy weights and doing minimal repetitions, but using the Rep Effect actually causes the opposite results. The Rep Effect helps sculpt muscles and bring definition to your body that you cannot get through cardiovascular exercise alone.
When it comes to the program guidelines, the Les Mills Pump is slightly different than most other Beachbody programs. Instead of telling you exactly which workout you need to do each day of the week, it simply suggests that you do at least three Pump workouts per week. In addition to the three Pump workouts, you will also need to exercise an additional two to three days doing any type of physical activity you choose. Since you are doing three day s of strength training with Les Mills Pump, you may want to opt for three days of cardiovascular activity such as running, using an elliptical trainer, spinning or swimming. The key to getting results and seeing changes in your body is to constantly change up your routine. Ideally, you should switch up your workouts every few weeks and make sure you are challenging yourself. With the Pump workouts, it is easy to cheat and fall behind because it relies on you to be accountable and get a workout on your own three days out of the week. It allows for one to two rest days, depending on the approach you take.
If you prefer a program that tells you exactly what to do each day of the week, you should opt for the Les Mills 90 Day Program. This is a much stricter version of the program that is designed to give you quick results. The program is split up into three phases that are clearly explained in the workout calendar which accompanies the series. Each phase is thirty days and you will have one rest day each week. You will be doing the Les Mills Pump workouts six days a week, in addition to also doing any cardiovascular activity of your choice each day.
The general format of the videos is a class setting. Unlike other Beachbody programs, such as Insanity and P90X where there is one main instructor, Les Mills Pump pulled together some of the top Body Pump trainers in the country to join in and lead the program. There are twenty or so instructors and they are all in fantastic shape. The music is fast paced, featuring current contemporary artists, and helps you stay on cue while lifting and pushing your barbell through various exercises. You can adjust the music to be louder than the instructors if you prefer as well. If you are new to Pump, you will definitely want to hear the instructors over the music so you can anticipate transitions and go from one move to another as seamlessly as possible.
When you purchase Les Mills Pump, you will receive a total of seven workouts on seven DVDs, a bonus core workout, a padded barbell, two 5-pound weights and two 10-pounds weights, two safety clips, a Lean, Strong & Unstoppable Fitness Guide, Get Lean Nutrition Guide, tape measure and measurement tracker and free online support. Overall, this seems to be one of the most comprehensive workout programs on the market with plenty of bonus items that you can incorporate into any other workout you decide to do. The program comes with a $199.95 price tag but it seems worth it after reading all that you get for the price.
Les Mills Pump Workouts
Most of the workouts in the Les Mills Pump series vary between 30-45 minutes long. There are several that are a bit shorter as well, but tend to be ones that are done on the same day as other DVDs.
Les Mills Pump Basics
The Basics workout is one of the shortest at only 10 minutes long. It is more of a how-to video than an actual workout in the series. The Basics teaches you how to assemble the barbells with the proper weight for each exercise. It explains which muscle groups will require more weight than others and will explain how to quickly transition from one weight to another. You will also learn proper grip, stance and how to adjust your weight if you deem it is too heavy mid-way through the routine. If you are new to strength training, this is a video that you will not want to miss and may want to watch more than once. Getting used to working out with barbells can be difficult, especially if you do not have a background in strength training at all. You still have plenty to learn, even if you have been strength training prior to doing Les Mills Pump. Using machines at the gym is much different than using barbells and weights during a workout class or DVD. It requires fast transitions in order to get the most out of the workout, and this DVD will show you how to do that. You must also ensure that you use proper form in order to avoid injuring yourself and not be able to complete the 90 day program.
The Pump Challenge eases you into the program by incorporating fundamental strength training moves such as chest presses, dead lifts and overhead presses. It starts working your large muscles right away so you can see results in a matter of weeks. The workout is approximately 20 minutes long and will clearly explain each move prior to beginning the exercise.
Pump and Burn
The Pump and Burn will begin to combine moves for combinations that can be slightly harder to grasp. If you have taken a Body Pump class at the gym, all of the moves will be familiar to you. If you are new to Pump, you will want to turn down the music and raise the volume on the instructor so that you can hear the instructions clearly. The combination moves will work several muscles at one time, giving you a calorie blasting cardio workout while doing strength training moves. The Pump and Burn is approximately 30 minutes long.
Pump and Shred
The Pump and Shred increases the cardiovascular aspect and turns up the heat. In this workout, you will really need to work on building up your endurance to make it through the 45 minute cardio and strength training workout. The Rep Effect is obvious here, with countless repetitions to have you really feeling the burn.
The Revolution is one of the longer workouts in the series at just under an hour. Prepare to work your upper and lower body to the extreme with power moves such as lunges, presses and squats.
The Extreme is under an hour as well and focuses more on each individual muscle group than on larger groups such as legs, back and chest. You will work your triceps, biceps, pectoral muscles, hamstrings and every other muscle in your body to the max. After a few weeks of doing the Extreme, you will be able to see the fat burn and a leaner, more sculpted physique will reveal itself.
The Flow is considered the cool down in the series. It is based on Yoga moves and incorporates a lot of stretching and core moves to keep you limber and strong. Do this workout in the mornings to help kick off your day or in the evenings to help you wind down. The Flow is approximately 20 minutes long.
Hard Core Abs
Hard Core Abs was designed to help you obtain the six pack you have been eye balling on all of those fitness buffs at the gym. It combines a variety of abdominal moves to work every angle of your midsection, including your abs and your obliques. Of course, you will need to make sure you follow the nutritional plan religiously if you hope to obtain that lean, flat stomach. Hard Core Abs is approximately 20 minutes long.
Barbell, Weights and Safety Clips
One of the best features of the Les Mills Pump series is the equipment that it comes with. The barbell features a padded grip for a more comfortable grip hold. It is also more comfortable than a standard barbell when used for squats or overhead presses since it is softer on your back that. The weights that accompany the program are plastic plates. You will receive two 5 pound plates and two 10 pound plates. When loading your barbell, ensure that you have equal weight on both sides and secure them on each side with the safety clips that come with it. The safety clips are easy to use and make it effortless to remove the plates and alter the weight throughout your workout.
Lean, Strong & Unstoppable Fitness Guide
The fitness guide provides you with options in doing the program. You can take the less rigid approach and choose any three workouts to do each week or you can opt to take the 90 day Les Mills Pump Challenge. The latter is the more strict approach and the one that will show you faster, better results. The guide includes a workout calendar for either approach you decide to take, where you can chart your progress and tips and guidelines along the way.
If you opt for the 90 day Les Mills Pump program, you will follow the three phases of the program outlined in the calendar. Each phase is a month long and uses a different technique. The first phase puts more emphasis on shorter workouts to kick start your metabolism. The second phase focuses on making you stronger and working your muscles to the core. The final phase will put it all together, combining the Rep Effect with traditional strength training moves.
Get Lean Nutrition Guide
The nutrition guide takes on the same approach as the program itself. It breaks the eating plan into three phases, clearly describing each one. The guide features a wide variety of recipes and meal plans. You can easily adjust the meal plans to fit your caloric intake needs and tastes. If you want to see real results from the program, you will need to adhere to the nutrition guide. When it comes to weight loss and improving your physique, your diet is just as important as the amount of exercise you get, if not more.
Measurement Tracker Card and Tape Measure
The tape measure and tracker card allow you to monitor your progress throughout your journey with the Les Mills Pump program. Measure yourself prior to beginning to see where you were when you started. Measure yourself again at the end of the first, second and third month once your journey with Pump is complete. This will give you a good idea as to how well the program worked for you. It is also a good idea to keep a food journal, along with a record of your measurements, to see how the two results coincide. You will notice that you will see much better results when you are adhering to a strict diet plan than when you are not.
Free Online Support
Beachbody offers free online support all day, every day of the year. If you have questions prior to purchasing the program, you can log on and ask other Beachbody coaches, fitness trainers and even some of the workout video instructors themselves. There are thousands of Beachbody coaches nationwide, and even worldwide, eager to help you reach your fitness goals.
Les Mills Pump is different than any other fitness class or program you have participated in. It is an innovative workout that increases strength, while also building endurance and giving you a tough, cardio workout. The barbell and weights used throughout the series will help you build lean muscle and sculpt your body, unlike typical cardio workouts. The workout is not boring and you will not see yourself constantly checking the time to see when it is over either.
Although you are weight training, you will still be sweating and keeping your heart rate up with countless repetitions. There are few, if any, breaks in the workouts, so keep your water bottle close and sneak in a drink of water where you can. Most of the breaks you get are spent changing out your plates for the next muscle group and they really are not breaks at all.
Les Mills Pump is a very unique fitness program and, for that reason, it has many positive aspects to it. With that said, the program has a few drawbacks that must be brought to your attention as well.
- The workouts include strength training with actual weights to help build and sculpt lean muscle.
- The program comes with a barbell, weights and a safety clip. These items can be used individually as well once you have completed the workout and want to continue strength training.
- The workouts can be done individually or as part of the 90 day program. Once you complete the 90 day program, you can opt to do your cardio either outdoors or at the gym and incorporate one of the workouts form Les Mills Pump to get your weight training in.
- This strength training program brings the weights to you. It can be done at home and does not require a gym membership.
- Les Mills Pump will give you very different results when compared to programs such as Insanity and other cardio based regimens.
- It is an excellent way for fitness newbies to learn proper form and technique in strength training.
- If you are looking to build muscle and increase in size, this program is not for you. The Rep Effect uses lighter weights and more repetition. You will need to do the opposite (heavy weights and low repetitions) if you are hoping to increase size.
- Many reviews bring up the fact that the videos do not incorporate stretching prior to beginning the workouts. There is a warm up, but it does not involve stretching. You will need to do the Flow workout prior to beginning one of the workout DVDs if you prefer to stretch before and/or after.
I believe strength training is a critical component of anyone’s fitness routine. Adding muscle mass to your body will help you lose weight by helping you burn more calories and increase the rate at which your metabolism works. By completing the Les Mills Pump program, you will undoubtedly help add lean muscle to your physique and burn fat. If you follow the program correctly, along with incorporating tips and foods from the nutritional plan, you will see a more sculpted physique and you will feel stronger all over. Give Les Mills Pump a try and incorporate it into your exercise routine regularly to keep yourself toned and in shape.
After just three weeks, I had lost one percent body fat. By the time I finished, I had cut almost four percent from my body fat and my beer gut was gone!!! It has been almost a month since I completed the program and I still do it two to three times a week to get some weight training in.
Jason Mills – Bowie, MD
By the end of the three months, I only lost six pounds but I dropped my body fat percentage from 21 percent to 18. Muscle weighs more than fat so, when you are strength training, you will shrink in size but it may not reflect on the scale. I continue to do Pump workouts weekly and continue to improve my physique little by little each day.
Shae Paneranda – Raleigh, NC