Body Pump Exercise Routine

Pumping up biceps

Body Pump is a strenuous, weight-oriented exercise program designed by Les Mills International. Incorporating specific audio tracks designed to guide students through the hourlong exercise, Body Pump focuses on strengthening eight separate muscle groups by lifting, thrusting and squatting with various weights. If you want to receive the health benefits of this highly demanding workout without attending one of the 10,000 gyms offering the service, you can learn the basic techniques while practicing in your own home. With dedication and a willingness to safely experiment with weight lifting, practically anyone can learn the Body Pump exercise routine.

Eat a meal rich in protein and carbohydrates at least two hours before beginning your Body Pump exercise. Drink at least 32 oz. of water before the routine to make sure that your body remains properly hydrated throughout.

Prepare the exercise bench, mat, dumbbells and loaded barbell in a safe exercise location. Select an equal dumbbell weight for each hand that is roughly 60 to 70 percent of your one-repetition maximum. Try out the different weights until you have chosen a weight that poses a challenge after a few repetitions while not immediately exhausting you.

Turn on the stereo so that the exercise CD is playing and begin by doing biceps curls with your dumbbells, holding the weights so that you can smoothly lift each dumbbell up to reach your shoulder and back down. Alternate sides while performing eight repetitions for each set, slowing the lifting sequence as you feel your biceps begin to burn. Complete three to four sets before moving on.

Complete three to four sets of the single-arm seated overhead triceps extension by sitting on the exercise bench and lifting a dumbbell over your head. Carefully bend back your arm so that the weight comes down behind your head in a straight line. Straighten your arm once more. Alternate arms until you have worked out both your right and left biceps and triceps muscle groups.

Perform the standing barbell curl by lifting the loaded barbell with both hands until the bar rests immediately below your hip bones in front of you. Grip the bar with your hands one to two feet apart and slowly lift the bar as if you were completing a bicep curl with two dumbbells at the same time. Complete three sets of eight repetitions before moving on.

Finish your Body Pump exercise routine with the barbell squat power lift. Carefully place the barbell on your shoulders immediately behind your neck. Make sure the bar is comfortably resting on your shoulders as you jut your head forward to create a resting place for the bar. Slowly squat down by bending your knees and sitting down with your hips as if you were sitting in a chair, while leaning forward to maintain balance. Complete two sets of eight squats.


For barbell safety, enlist an exercise partner or “spotter” to help guide your squats and lifts. If you seem too weak to finish a repetition at any point, your spotter can safely remove the weight from you, allowing you to safely reach your maximum potential in the exercise.


Always consult your personal physician before beginning any exercise regimen involving free weights. For individuals who have never lifted weights before, attending a Body Pump class is the safest way to learn how to hold, lunge and lift with your weights under supervision. If you experience severe pain during any point of the exercise, stop immediately and contact your doctor if symptoms persist.