I couldn't resist the urge to make an ol' reference to Hanz & Franz (old SNL sketch, if you are unawares)...
In all seriousness. I'm sure that many people have heard of Les Mills, if not, then now's the time to learn! To just steal a simple biography from Wikipedia, "Leslie ('Les') Roy Mills (born 1 November 1934 in Auckland) is a retired New Zealand athlete, who represented New Zealand at Olympic Games and Commonwealth Games over two decades. He competed in shot put, discus and weightlifting events. At the 1966 British Empire and Commonwealth Games he achieved his best result, a gold medal in discus. After retiring from active competition, Mills became a gym owner in 1968 and a businessman. He was Mayor of Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, from 1990 to 1998. He gives his name to Les Mills International, a company founded by his son Phillip Mills."
Les Mills International is now responsible for 10 different group fitness formats that are used in clubs worldwide. I had heard of his classes years ago, but it never really got in my face until one of the places where I teach (Northwestern University's SPAC) picked up Body Pump as a format. Despite having that class on the schedule for over a year, I never went... mainly because it was on the same day that I taught Turbo Kick and I was already quite spent! I did, however, get to watch part of the class, and I was intrigued.
My butt finally got kicked into trying PUMP when Team Beachbody released a home version of the program, titled Les Mills Pump. I actually ordered it earlier this year, and then left it sitting in the boxes on my floor for months (I sound like a lot of people who order home fitness programs... hahah), but that's not because I didn't want to try it, it's because I was currently working on doing P90X2 at home (which is pretty awesome, I must say). Despite teaching classes in gyms, which I adore, I'm still a big advocate of working out at home, hence this blog and my philosophy. After getting over bronchitis (which I developed due to second hand smoke in the Bahamas... seriously, people, quit the cigarettes, you are killing yourselves!) I finally popped open the box and laid out all of the equipment (yes, there is a lot of equipment with this program, so it may not be for everyone due to that). In went the first disk I wanted to try, "Pump & Burn" (I admit that I skipped "Pump Basics" since I'm already pretty big into working out and weight lifting form)... LOVE!
The premise of PUMP is on "The Rep Effect," so, you are, literally, working the same isolated muscle group for 4-5 minutes, each one goes nicely in time with the music track (and the music selections are great!). It may seem easy 1 minute into the set, but by the end you are crying to be done. In fact, the first time I did it I did almost cry at the end of each track because I was so happy that it was over, but at the same time I felt AMAZING from the muscle burn that was created. The workouts range anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour (Strength 3 times per week, and cardio of choice 3 times per week). I'm happy to say that these workouts are now on my "soul mate" list... meaning that I look forward to doing them! I've been so motivated by the home based program that I'm actually going to get Body Pump certified in July so that I can start teaching this as well. I love this program for the mere fact that it's getting more people to pick up some weights and pump some iron. I don't care if you are a man or a woman... lift... those... weights.
On top of Les Mills Pump, I know that Team Beachbody will be releasing a home based fitness program version of Les Mills Body Combat as well, simply titled, "Les Mills Combat." I got a sneak peak of these workouts, and I have a feeling I'll be falling in love with them as well.
I challenge you to find a program that becomes your LOVE! There is one out there, you just need to find it! Keep trying out different formats until you find your soul mate, because it's out there... just waiting for you!
Before I let you go, a few tips I have if you choose to do Les Mills Pump (or any home based fitness program):
1.) Get permission from your doctor if you have ANY medical conditions or injuries you need to be working with.
2.) Read EVERYTHING that comes with the program. These programs are designed as if a personal trainer put together a program for you. The fitness guides and nutrition guides are there for a reason. If you want results, read those book and follow the program as it's designed.
3.) SAFETY! If you've never lifted weights before, I encourage you to do the workout the first few times using ONLY the bar w/o any weight on it... that will give you a chance to really practice your skills and get your form right. In fact, use a mirror so that you have a way to check your form visually.
4.) Ask for help. If something is not working right for you, and/or you need a modification, ask for help. If you get programs through Team Beachbody you will be assigned a coach who can help you with this (or find a live class near you and ask the instructor for tips on how you can improve your form and performance, and then take that info back home with you to work on). I am a coach myself, actually, so if you want me, personally, to be at your side helping you, consider going through my website to order so that I am assigned as your coach (and then send me an email to let me know how I can help you!) http://www.beachbodycoach.com/turbomelanieb
5.) Kia Kaha... BE STRONG! That's the motto of Pump. There will be times when life gets hard and you want to quit, and/or results are happening as fast as you wish, but remember, we don't live in a world of "The Biggest Loser." Our bodies aren't really supposed to lose weight as fast as they do on that show. So, strive for 1-2 pounds per week and track your progress in many ways, not just the scale. How do your clothes fit? How are your measurements changing? How do you feel? Are you sleeping better? Do you have more energy? Are you happier than you used to be? There are SO many ways to measure success!
Tags: beachbody, Beachbody Coach, body combat, body pump, body pump at home, DVD fitness, home DVD program, home fitness, kia kaha, les mills, les mills combat, les mills pump, melanie bolen, northwestern university spac, team beachbody