Les Mills PUMP Challenge: A “Weighted” Review

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Les Mills Pump BannerLes Mills PUMP Challenge Review.

This is the first workout in the Les Mills PUMP routine.  It is just under 28 minutes in length, but the actual workout time is about 20 minutes.  With this being the first introductory workout, there are quite a bit of fundamentals discussed throughout the video.  The reminder for everyone starting a new workout of any kind, not just Les Mills PUMP,  is that good technique is the key to success.

Each individual Les Mills PUMP workout video has an instructor that shows the “modifier” for each section.

There are various levels of experience for these workouts.  Beginners might start off without any weights at all, using the barbell only, or using the 5 lb. weights on the bar.  Intermediates might use 5-10 lbs.  And, advanced users might use 15 or more lbs.  It all depends on what muscles group you are using.  A person might use 10 lbs. for squats, but 5 lbs. for chest and triceps.  The larger the muscle group, the more weight you can use.

So, let’s talk about each section of the Les Mills PUMP Challenge video:

  1. SQUATS: this section is about 3 minutes, 15 seconds long.  The modifier in this section is using the barbell only.  This is called the “tripod” option.  Also, beginners could start with 5 lbs. on the bar.  The various tempos performed throughout this section are: 2/2, 3/1, 4/4, singles, down & hold, and bottom halves.  During this workout, remember to drive from your heels.   Also, rest the bar on the “meaty” part of your upper back.  You can also go barless, and hold one weighted plate of your choice in each hand.  The Les Mills PUMP instructors do a great job throughout each section reminding you about your form and technique.
  2. CHEST & TRICEPS: this section is about 4 minutes, 25 seconds long.  The modifier in this section is using the barbell only, no weights.  You will want to use a lighter weight in this section because you are working a smaller group of muscles.  A few key things to remember: keep elbows off the floor, bring the bar to the bottom of your chest, and keep your back pressed to the floor with abs tight.  Various tempos similar to the squats section: 2/2, 3/1, 4/4,  and singles.
  3. LEGS & BACK: this section is nearly 4 minutes, 28 seconds long.  The modifier in this one is Les-Mills-Pump-Headerbarbell only.  You can also use the same weights from Chest & Triceps.  With Les Mills PUMP, it’s all about how much you can do.  Your body will let you know how much is too much, or not enough.  You do what you can at your own pace.  Legs and Back is probably the section that burns the most calories, it’s mentioned that it is the “peak” of the class in other Les Mills PUMP videos.  There are 5 main components to Legs and Back: the dead row, single wide row, triple wide row, clean and press, and clean and press with a dead row.  The clean and press with dead row is the biggest calorie burning move in the whole series.  2 things to remember here: keep the bar close to your body and squat at the knees when “catching the bar”.
  4. LUNGES: the second half of the legs workout is 2 minutes, 58 seconds long.  The modifier in this track is bar only as a tripod, or weights in hand.  You begin by learning the “90/90 rule.”  This is basically one foot out in front, knee over ankle, hip over knee, and a flat back foot.  This should provide you with adequate stride length.  Hips turned forward and shoulder up, back, and down.  Chest should be lifted.  Various tempos similar to before.  The bottom halves are key.  They are 50% of the lunge range, which increases your heart rate.  It’s almost like a mini-cardio workout.  You will notice that the same tempos are used throughout the whole Les Mills PUMP series.
  5. SHOULDERS: last, but not least.  This track is 3 minutes, 50 seconds.  This section is plates only.  The modifier is no plates.  Beginners can do the 2.5 lbs. ( if you have them).  Intermediates can do 5 lbs, and advanced can do 10 lbs.  In this section you will do the following exercises: rear delt raise (kneeling), upright row, side raise, mac raise, and the split stance overhead press.

Les Mills PUMP Challenge is a great beginners workout, or a technique refresher.  Also, it’s great for those days when you might be pressed for time, and want to squeeze something in.  Les Mills PUMP Challenge is comprehensive and thorough, but a time saver.  🙂  Check back for my next review: Les Mills PUMP & Burn!!!




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