BodyPump is a 60-minute group exercise class that focuses on resistance training. Participants use low to moderate weights to perform a huge number of repetitions of each exercise. You will burn fat and gain strength quickly through a variety of strength-training exercises that will strengthen and tone your entire body. BodyPump is professionally choreographed to high-energy music that makes it fun and promises you the same solid workout at any facility where you take the class.
According to Les Mills, a BodyPump class burns an average of 411 calories per class. Males burned slightly more calories, at an average of 483 calories per class while women were lower at 339 calories. Following a BodyPump class, participants continue to burn calories at a higher rate. This period of time is known as Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption. In the case of BodyPump, the EPOC is approximately 15 percent of the total calories burned in class, which is 60 calories. The total calories burned for BodyPump would be 472 for the average person.
While the Les Mills study claims BodyPump burns about 411 calories in a 50-minute class, a 2000 study published in the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" found that number to be high. In their study, participants burned only 265 calories, with men burning slightly more and women slightly less. Conversely, Harvard Medical School reports that a 155-pound person burns 446 calories in one hour of vigorous weight training, much closer to Les Mills's estimate for BodyPump.
Body Weight Influences Caloric Burn
The difference between studies could be attributed body weight. Body weight is the biggest factor determining how many calories you burn during any exercise. Heavier people burn more calories. Males typically weigh more than females, which likely explains why men burned more calories than their female counterparts. In the Les Mills study, the average weight for the males was 200 pounds, while for the females it was 159.
BodyPump is a group exercise class, but you are in control of how much effort you put into the workout. How much weight you choose to lift and how many repetitions of each exercise you choose to complete is up to you. Differences in your effort level can equate to differences in the amount of calories you burn. Increasing the amount of weight you are lifting or completing more repetitions of each exercise will help you to burn more calories during each class. Be careful not to lift too much weight too quickly, to allow your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints time to adapt to the stress being placed on them. Gradually work up to more repetitions and, finally, higher weights. Always consult with your physician before beginning BodyPump or any other new fitness program.
- Les Mills: About BodyPump
- LesMills: BodyPump Research Report
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: Physiologic and Metabolic Responses to a Body Pump Workout
- Fitness and Sports Medicine: A Health-Related Approach; David C. Nieman
- Harvard Medical School: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images