Exercise fans turned out in record numbers worldwide on January 14 to celebrate the 100th release of BODYPUMP™, the group workout that took the industry by storm 25 years ago.
Up to a million people in over 8000 individual clubs participated in the historic workout, crossing time zones and national borders in what one participant said “could only be described as an international movement”.
Using light to moderate weights with lots of repetition, BODYPUMP is a total body workout created by global fitness pioneers Les Mills. In partnership with leading sportswear brand Reebok to rejuvenate the category of studio fitness, Les Mills worked with thousands of fitness clubs around the world to create the world’s biggest workout.
From Auckland, New Zealand, to a mountain top in China; from Dubai to Athens, London,Stockholm, Paris and New York, the workouts followed the sun around the planet, drawing thousands of exercisers in each location.
An army of certified instructors ran workouts all day long, all over the world, in the coordinated global launch for BODYPUMP100. Hundreds of cakes were baked, thousands of champagne corks popped, a million pairs of aching arms performed about a billion reps, and enough sweat was generated to fill more than a few Olympic-sized swimming pools.
“It’s an incredible achievement for all concerned,” said Phillip Mills, CEO of Les Mills International. “It’s immensely gratifying, too, to see how BODYPUMP has been embraced all around the world since it started. I’m greatly looking forward to where we can take it from here.”
Also marking the the historic release, leading sportswear brand and Les Mills partner Reebok unveiled an official BODYPUMP100 apparel and footwear collection that was in hot demand in the lead up to the big day.
“We’re thrilled to be able to give fitness fans around the world a chance to own a piece of this historic milestone with our BODYPUMP100 collection,” added Reebok’s Vice President of Product Marketing Barbara Ebersberger.
When Phillip Mills had the idea of combining barbell weight training with group fitness classes in the early 1990s, he never imagined the result would eventually become a global sensation.
Every day hundreds of thousands of people now take the workout in 15,000 licenced gyms across the world – a far cry from BODYPUMP’s humble origins in the Mills living room and a small gym studio in Auckland, New Zealand.
“Within a year or so of launching it we were in a few hundred gyms, and we just realized that we had a model that worked,” Mills says. “And it just took off around the world – it became huge in the late 90s and early 2000s globally.”
With four updated and musically refreshed versions released every year, the BODYPUMP workout is always evolving and improving. The celebration of release 100 on 14 January 2017 represents 25 years of revolutionising the group fitness market.
“We brought resistance training to the masses,” says Les Mills International Head of Research Bryce Hastings. “People who wouldn’t normally want to lift weights on the gym floor are now doing BODYPUMP.”
The combination of contemporary music, scientifically-proven exercise techniques, and quickly observable physical results that have been the key to the workout’s inter-generational appeal.
BODYPUMP Creative Director Kylie Gates calls it the “group effect”.
l actually want to feel like we belong to something or somewhere. There's a really big connection that comes with group fitness. People are doing it together. They're all going towards the same goals, and there's a real unity that comes with that.”
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EDITOR NOTES: WHAT IS BODYPUMP AND WHY DOES IT WORK?
- Research has confirmed that BODYPUMP™ has strong calorie and fat-burning effects and it improves aerobic fitness, muscular strength, and muscular endurance
- There is also evidence that BODYPUMP classes can have positive psychological benefits
- The key to BODYPUMP is the “Rep Effect”, a breakthrough in weight training that has been proved to deliver a total body transformation. The Rep Effect throws traditional thinking about lifting weights on its head. It exhausts muscles using light weights, while performing high repetitions
- Using the Rep Effect, BODYPUMP classes give participants sculpted shoulders, defined biceps and triceps, strong lean legs, firm glutes and a tight core
- Choreography in each of these areas is specifically targeted to burn fat, burn more calories and achieve more meaningful fat loss and muscle fatigue. The ultimate result is that participants build strength without building bulk
- In a typical BODYPUMP class participants perform between 800 and 1000 reps in a single group workout. That’s more than four times the amount a person can achieve when training alone.
For a fitter planet.