Sunday, March 20, 2016

Review of Beachbody Les Mills Pump: Pump Challenge

Beachbody Les Mills Pump: Pump Challenge

I want to start this post by saying that this is a Beachbody program that you can't buy from Beachbody anymore. I thought I should mention that up front. I bought this program over a year ago I think, and I've never actually done the program. I got scared because of the lunges with the barbell. My balance sucks and I thought I would end up hurting myself using the barbell during lunges. I've only done one 20 minute program so far in this, so I'm not going to say that the uncoordinated should jump up and start this program, but I did okay in in Pump Challenge. Once I got my stance wide enough, I didn't have too much trouble. Chalene Johnson taught me about a wide stance during PiYo.

What is Pump?

Pump is a Beachbody program that uses weights and a barbell to get you ripped! I'm not sure how ripped I'll get since I still have like 100 pounds to lose and I'm not following the 90 day program. I'm still giving this Wild Movement plan a try. Although, I have to admit that it's been a couple weeks since I've done strength training or the 7 Minute HIIT workout from the book.

Hubby's schedule changed and now I have Sundays all to myself which means.......more food prep, more blogging and more working out! We're still going to do our walks during on the weekday mornings and hopefully hikes on Saturdays, but Sundays are all about me!

I got a little sidetracked there. Okay, so Pump is all about weights and the rep effect. This one was a bit different than I expected. I thought the Rep Effect was doing reps super fast to some really upbeat musing. The commercials always look like they are going crazy fast and that's why I was afraid for the lunges with the bar. However, the Rep Effect is more about changing up the speed you use for the reps. For example, they have Singles which are one count up and one count down, 4/4 which is four counts up and four counts down, 2/2 which is two counts up and two counts down, 3/1 which is 3 counts up and one count down and 1/3 which is one count up and 3 counts down. They also had something called Bottom Half. I think we only did this in lunges and squats, but we went down and then only came up halfway and then back down. During the lunges, we did the bottom half for 4 reps and then came all the way up. These bottom halves are killer!

Why am I writing about a discontinued program?

The main reason I'm writing about a discontinued program..........Because I did the workout and I blog about my workouts. It keeps me accountable. It keeps me motivated to get up and workout. A second reason for writing about it.......You can still buy it off of ebay. You might also find it at a garage sale one day. A third reason for writing about a discontinued program......Maybe someone out there bought it before it was discontinued, but hasn't pushed play yet just like I hadn't. Maybe if they read about me doing it, they'll push play.

The Workout

There wasn't a warm up or a cool down with this one, but they did do little stretches between segments. The workout was led by five different instructors. There were five different segments for different parts of the body. One of the people in this one was also in Les Mills Combat which is another discontinued Beachbody program. It's actually the first Beachbody program that I did back a couple years ago. It got me hooked. The workout has a short commercial about the Beachbody Challenge and then the trainers are all clapping for us because we did the hardest thing and that was to show up. It's a bit dorky, but it's true, showing up is the hardest thing to do! 

The workout was just under 25 minutes, but give yourself about 35 minutes because there is way too much talking at the beginning of this thing. 


The first segment is all about squats. It lasts just over 3 minutes. We did regular squats with a 4/4 count. Then we did a 2/2 count. Then we did single and then a 3/1 count. Then we did a wider stance and went down with a 1 count and then held it and then up for two and then more singles. Then we ended with bottom halves. Oh these suck, but we only did a few reps of those. The modifier did these with the barbell held with one end on the floor to form a bit of a tripod position. I had never seen that type of modification before. I thought it was interesting and would have liked that idea when I was just starting out working out! I used 5 pound weights on each side. It didn't really seem like much at the time and I kinda regretted it when the segment was done, but after the workout, my legs were shaking pretty good so I guess it was a good weight to use. This was my first time doing squats with a bar. I'm not sure if my form was spot on though. I think I did better with keeping my chest up though. 

Chest and Triceps 

The second segment was Chest and Triceps. This one was done on the floor. I think I would have preferred to do it on my weight bench, but I didn't think about that until it was too late. You get a better range of motion if your elbows can go down below your back. We weren't supposed to let our elbows rest of the floor, but it just felt like I had no range of motion that way. The segment was about 3-1/3 minutes. We did chest presses with a 4/4 count and then a 3/1 count. Then we did a 2/2 count. Then we went back and did a 4/4 count again. Then back to 3/1 again. Then we did a 2/2 count again. Then the singles! I did these with just the bar because they said to use less weight than we did with the squat section and I was only on 5 pounds. I don't have weights less than 5 so I ditched them and just did the bar. I didn't really feel any of this in my chest. Next time, maybe I'll use the 5 pound weights, but I'll have to pull them off to the do tricep section. 

We did skull crushers! I love skull crushers. It's way better doing these with the bar than it was with my Bowflex weights! I really felt these even without the weights on the bar. Then we did tricep presses. Instead of the elbows being out wide, they are in close and your squeeze them in as you press up like a chest press, but it's kind of a little further down your body. 

Back / Butt / Hamstrings

This segment was around 4 minutes. I put the five pound weights back on for this. We did deadlifts first with a 4/4 count. I like deadlifts, but they can be dangerous. We did a 2/2 count pretty quickly after we started. It was like a 4/4 count for one rep and then a 2/2 count. That was weird. I really felt this in my hamstrings! Then we did a 3/1 count. Then we did a deadrow. We went down into a deadlift position and then did a row and then back up. We did them slow to start and then it was kind of at a singles pace, but they didn't really talk about it. Then we did a wider grip with the same move. I liked these. I love anything that works my back! Then we did a triple row. We went down into deadlift position and did three rows before we stood back up. Then we did the Clean and Press. I can't really describe it well, but just Google it and you'll find a video or two I'm sure. I had some issues with remembering to squat down. All the body parts are moving at the same time, and that's always a challenge for me. We did them a little slow at first and then sped things up. Then we added the deadrow to the clean and press. This really taxed my brain. I liked them, but I was beat after this round was over. 


This section started off pretty slow. We had to find our stance first which was time consuming. I feel like this would get pretty old after doing this workout a few times. Maybe this should have been covered during the training video. I used the five pound weights again. The modifier did the tripod version again which again would have been helpful in the beginning! This section was just under three minutes. We did singles on one leg for several reps. Then we switched sides which was really weird because we stayed on the other leg way longer. We did a 2/2 count. The bar was up over our shoulders which was new for me with lunges. I thought it would be hard, but it wasn't. We did a 4/4 count and then did bottom halves. We did the bottom half of the range for 4 reps and then went all the way up again. I had to take a break during these and I couldn't keep up with their speed. Then we did singles. Then we switched legs and did that seconds section all over again. That's why I thought it was odd that we did that one small set on the one leg. I had to take a couple breaks during the second leg too. Oh and my legs were shaking like crazy by the time I was one with these! 


The last section was just under 5 minutes. We used the weights, but not the bar. I kinda liked this, but it was also a bit awkward at times. The modifier didn't use the weights. We started these down on the floor. we did a rear delt raise for a 2/2 count. We were leaned forward a little bit and lifted our elbows up to the ceiling. then we did a 3/1 count. My shoulders were killing me during these! Five pound weights for my shoulders are hard! Then we stood up and did Upright Rows. We did a 2/2 count on these. Then we did a 3/1 count. Torture! If you've read any of my strength training workout reviews, you know how wimpy my shoulders are! Then we did side raises but they were different than I'd ever done. We had our elbows bent at 90 degrees with our hands out in front of us. Then we brought our elbows up to the sides. We did a few tempo changes. These were hard since my shoulders are wimpy! Then we did the Mac Raise which is named after a guy from New Zealand. I can't really describe these, but one arm went straight up in front and the other came straight up, but the elbow was bent so the hand was kind of back by the body. We did a couple temp changes with this and then did a shoulder press with a split stance. I'm not sure why we did a split stance, but we did. We did a 2/2 count and then singles. The music was pretty upbeat for this, but it wasn't a song I recognized liked the other ones. 

Then we were done! We shook it off, but we didn't do a cool down or any stretching. I should have stretched on my own, but I didn't. Oh fun fact! At the end of one of the leg segments, they did a quad stretch by reaching back to grab a foot and then pull it in towards the butt. I've always had to do these on the floor because I can't grab my foot while I'm standing up. However, today I just did it and grabbed my foot! I did it on each side. I didn't even think about it until I had done it! Woot Woot I'm getting more flexible. Go me! Super excited. 

I'm really bummed that I forgot to hit start on my heart rate monitor! I wore the stupid thing. I got it set up to go. I forgot to hit start! 

Want to learn more? Watch the video!

You can't buy this from Beachbody anymore, but you can still buy it from ebay so if you want to learn more about it, just check out the video that still exists even though you can't buy it. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I found your blog by accident searching for a replacement set of Les Mills Pump dvds since they aren't sold anymore.

    If you ever don't want yours, I would love to buy them from you. I have a pretty substantial ankle injury that allows for no impact, and this was the one workout I could mostly do and be successful at, but I let someone borrow my set, and the dvds won't play sadness! Just checking to see if you would keep me in mind if you decide you aren't ever going to use them. Thank you, Tammi