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Les Mills Body Pump or Cross Fit …the low down on your training choices

As a fitness instructor specialising in strength training I often get asked by people whether they should be doing Les Mills Body Pump or Cross Fit to build muscle tone and strength.

Some even think there’s a world- wide fitness battle happening between the Pumpers and the Cross Fit fans….not true.

There are Les Mills instructors who also participate in Cross Fit classes and vice versa. The happy truth is that both programs can co-exist along one another and here’s why. It’s simply a case of different strokes for different folks. It really depends what you are training for and what you wish to achieve. Les Mills Master Trainer Mid Thomas puts it well.

“The bottom line is they are two totally different workouts. Cross fit is designed around high intensity full functional movement which is great to add into your life if that’s what your training requires. Body Pump in its traditional form will give long term muscular endurance and ensure that long term you maintain results with reduced range weighted exercises. I wouldn’t say do one or the other I would encourage people to try and maintain a steady mix,” says Thomas.

“It’s never about what workout product is more superior to the other. It’s about what’s right for you in your training right now. The only thing I would ensure people are clear about is that Body Pump is designed around reduced range movement patterns in order to be a safer option for the masses.”

Thomas says both programs help in different ways to reaching your fitness goals.

Both will help in different ways high intensity research shows that you will get quick wins however sustainability is what BP has proven over 20+ year period.

Former Les Mills Asia Pacific Trainer and Presenter Natalie Vulic is a CrossFit convert and supporter of the high intensity program.

Personally, I just do CrossFit now, after teaching group fitness for 12 years. CrossFit is designed for everybody and each workout can be scaled for beginners. However, most cross fitters I know have a training background, either another sport or are personal trainers. Whereas Les Mills caters for beginners really well with shorter ranges of movement, as in Body Pump,” explains Vulic.

I think anything can co-exist, like Pilates and yoga, for example. I think Crossfit and Les Mills classes can too. They can assist each other. The aerobic endurance that u get from Les Mills can help you finish a long Workout of the Day in CrossFit. Also, CrossFit can help you in high intensity programs such as Grit. Body Balance can definitely help with mobility in CrossFit which is so important.

Vulic says there similarities and differences.

What is the same is the great group environment and community culture. Both trainings are supportive of everyone in the class or box.

The differences? CrossFit is very strength based. We do a lot of Olympic Weightlifting technique and also gymnastics and learning new skills can be quite hard. Les Mills is easier to pick up as it caters well to everyone.

I personally prefer CrossFit now, as I am challenged every day with a different Work Out of Day, which challenges all types of physicality and different energy systems.

Vulic says there is absolutely no reason at all why we need to choose one program over the other.

I think any type of fitness is a big plus and don’t think it matters what you do. I think if you are interested in something, go for it. If you are interested in two things, still go for it. It is all good!

Also, checkout the latest article by Suzana Talevski Taking it to the next level on Training Tips.

[Tweet “Les Mills Body Pump or Cross Fit via @SuzanaTalevski #TrainingTips”]

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About Suzana Talevski

Suzana Talevski is a television fitness presenter, writer and instructor from Melbourne,Australia. Specialising in functional strength training, Suzana is passionate about exercise being accessible to all ages, abilities and backgrounds. Suzana is also a strong advocate for the promotion of positive body image display in the media and is the author of the blog Strong is Sexy. She is also an internationally certified Les Mills Body Pump instructor and teaches at various Clubs in her home town.

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