It’s a group exercise that’s taken the world by storm since its launch in the early 90s, and now, some 25 years later, Les Mills International is looking forward to launching Body Pump 100 on January 14.
The internationally-acclaimed weight training program was devised by New Zealand-born athlete Philip Mills in 1990 and today can be found in 17,500 health clubs around the globe. Comprising 30, 45 or 60-minute sessions, the workout involves choreographed moves to music, focusing on the leg, chest, back, bicep, tricep, shoulder and abdominal muscles. New workouts are released four times per year, and this time, Body Pump 100 promises to deliver during its official global launch this month.
So what can we expect from Body Pump 100? “That would be telling!” says Martin Franklin, CEO of Les Mills UK. “What we can say is that our 100th track list is full of inspiring and high-energy songs from artists including Calvin Harris and Rihanna.”
One thing that fitness fans can be assured of is a continually effective workout, which has been confirmed by thorough scientific studies. “All of our classes are steeped in research. For example, the Body Pump Squat Study, as published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, concluded that lifting lighter weights at a faster tempo will burn more fat and increase muscle strength and endurance,” says Franklin.
Of course, in 25 years of scientific development, the programme has inevitably changed, and Franklin adds that it will continue to evolve as Les Mills welcomes a new generation of instructors. Kirsty Whitlock, a Les Mills-trained instructor based in York, has witnessed these changes since she began teaching in 1998. “In the beginning the set position was slightly wider and there were big shoulder rolls,” she says. “Today we see more pulses, and the music is more contemporary than the former 90s rock and cheese!”
Whilst the 10-track format has remained consistent, Franklin says that toning comes as a result of “keeping the muscles guessing.” This is supported by constantly updated routines which put the muscles under tension, helping to build strength through repetition.
The myriad benefits of Body Pump have been endorsed by fans and trainers alike, including group fitness instructor Jenna Barker, whose passion for group exercise came as a result of her own personal weight loss journey. “After losing a lot of excess weight from childhood, I was introduced to Body Pump by a friend and loved it. I went every week and it helped me to tone up and lose excess skin – I’ve now been teaching for four years and have never looked back! If I can do it, anyone can.”
Despite the prevalence of mobile workout apps and stars such as Joe Wicks ruling social media, the team at Les Mills International remain confident that Body Pump will continue to prosper. Franklin says: “Studies* have shown that group exercise is preferred by nine out of 10 people, and we’ve seen a 26 per cent increase in class participation over the last three years. 100 releases is a testimony to the success of the programme itself, and we’re excited to see where the next 100 releases take us.”
Gyms across the globe will be working out in unison on January 14, including a Body Pump Masterclass as led by Les Mills Regional Training Coordinator Denice Burr in London. These events will also serve to raise money for the Les Mills Fund for Children, which aims to improve children’s mental and physical health and access to education.
As fitness fans and first timers continue to see out their New Year’s Resolutions, there is no doubting that Body Pump 100 will live up to expectations, and Franklin is looking forward to a huge turnout. “With Body Pump 100 it’s about bringing together everyone who takes our classes, along with our community of instructors and trainers from across the globe.
“On January 14, they will all come together for the first time to celebrate this famous fitness movement and raise money for the next generation to get involved and enjoy exercise – a very fitting way to mark such a significant milestone.”
* Dr. James Annesi, Effects of Minimal Group Promotion on Cohesion and Exercise Adherence
More information on the global launch of Les Mills International’s BODY PUMP 100 can be found at https://www.lesmills.com/bodypump100. To find out more about the company’s chosen charities, visit http://lesmillsfundforchildren.org.uk/.
This was a personal piece of freelance journalism that I researched myself, having consulted the PR team at Les Mills and local fitness instructors. It was published on The Huffington Post.
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