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Les Mills Pump Review: Combat

Les Mills Pump Review: Combat

If you’ve ever taken a Les Mills class at your local gym, you know they’re high-energy, high-participation and crazy-avid sweat parties. The instructors take you through the workout from top to detailed bottom with motivation and a “How are you able to talk right now?” amount of chattiness. To put that in perspective, Les Mills group instructors make Tony Horton look shy. Les Mills Pump loses nothing in translation as it takes one of Les Mills most popular programs (BodyPump) and puts it in your living room.

If you’re not familiar with Les Mills, it’s a New-Zealand based, world-wide powerhouse of group fitness instruction focused entirely on workouts based around kick-trash music. Those workouts range from spin (RPM) to weights to Yoga (Flow) to dance (Attack) to martial-arts based Combat. And while many of these workouts are included as supplements to Les Mills Pump, Combat is the workout we’ll kick off with in HDIGF’s review today.

Les Mills Pump: Combat Review


Much like P90X’s Kenpo workout, Combat is based around martial arts. But if P90X Kenpo was coffee, Combat is coffee with a triple dose of caffeine and smiles. This workout is amped on energy. And while I’m split on the presentation (I tend to think the enthusiasm is theatrically corny on some days and give it a “well played” on others) Combat is FUN. Surprisingly so. The instructors enthusiasm and cheer rubs off pretty quickly as lead by Les Mills worldwide Combat program directors Dan and Rach(ael) Cohen. Actor George “I am Sulu” Takai has also cloned a young, buffed out version of himself (Ben) and shown up for your training as well. Heyo!

Combat requires no equipment. The instructors do wear sparring gloves buuuuut… coupled with the fact you never actually hit anything, the gloves are simply “all show no go”. Chances are they make you feel the part, though.


Les Mills Pump: Combat workout is 44:00 total from warm-up to cooldown.


A huge plus for Combat is the DVD Menu Option “Intro To Combat”. While not a warm-up, it could be considered a “training warm-up” for the uninitiated. This workout isn’t just throwing you in. In true Les Mills style, Dan and Rach huse a separate segment which walks you through every stance and move you’ll be using. Pretty awesome introduction so you’re not just jumping and and flailing until you get it figured out. Love it.

The official warm-up (after about a two minute explanation and introduction by the cast) is roughly 7 minutes of low impact jab, combat stance, front kicks and other low impact versions of moves you’ll use in the workouts to get the body warmed up and ready for punching, shifting and kicking.

Cool down is about 4.5 minutes of static stretch– tricep, hamstring, hip flexor, shoulder, upper back.

The Workout

As tedious as punching and kicking the air could be, Les Mills Pump: Combat brings the fun at fly-by total of (as mentioned earlier) 44:00 minutes. Since Les Mills crafts all of its workouts around sets of single music tracks, you’re looking at about 4-7 minute workout segments. Each segment has a name and martial art inspired focus. Warm-up and cooldown aside, Les Mills Pump: Combat consists of five workout tracks:

  • Combat Track: 4:30
  • Boxing Track: 7:00
  • Muay Thai: 7:10
  • Combat Track “Sword”: 4:10
  • Power Track: 7:02

Throughout each workout segment, the instructors will walk you through each move in total detail. I keep using the word “fun” but it’s the word that encapsulates the personalities and moves and music of Combat. As with most Beachbody programs, you also have varying degrees of difficulty being demonstrated– you can make Combat as cardiovascular as you want… and you can really ramp it up.


Keep it fun. You’re not going to be a pro at these moves or even stringing them together in your first time out. If you’ve done P90X Kenpo or any other martial arts inspired workout, you’ll be a leg up but even so, I’m a gimp when it comes to getting coordinated. I was all over the place a few times but that’s ok. I worked through them and slowly but surely nailed them down. Don’t expect perfection… but have fun working toward it.

Use The Bounce. Want to get more cardio? Add some deeper bounce and hop. Put your body into it and you’ll find your heart rate up in no time.

Don’t take yourself too seriously. There’s a lot of potential in feeling goofy doing these moves with intensity but who cares? You’re in your living room. Jump in and have fun. Les Mills Pump: Combat will deliver.

The Verdict

I went into Les Mills Pump: Combat dreading it a bit after having done P90X Kenpo for so long. It won me over pretty quickly. As a guy who loves the how’s and why’s and clear explanation, Les Mills is exceptional in this aspect. Explanation is everything. No stone of detail is unturned in this workout. The instructors talk you through every single movement with not only “do this” but awesome explanation of WHY and WHAT you’re doing it for as well.

I added intensity to the workout and it FLEW by. Not too difficult in exertion but I was sweating and the heart was pumping. More a moderate/high moderate  cardio workout than an intense one, it still delivers the goods… and I may have been having so much fun Combat never really felt like work or drudgery, despite the heavy breathing and heart rate. If you’re looking for any hybrid action with Les Mills Pump, Combat is the perfect subsitute for P90X Kenpo. I’ll go out and say it… despite my love for P90X I like it much better.

Les Mills Pump: Combat gets four fist-bumps out of five.

If you don’t own the program, be sure to check out the details on Les Mills Pump here. Beginning your Les Mills Pump journey? Have questions? Feel free to email me here or at Better yet, let’s get you the support you need to line up your nutrition goals right now. Make me your (free) Beachbody Coach right here and we’ll get crackin’!

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6 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Dan H says:

    I tried to find this one on the beachbody website (even via google) and had no luck. Do you know where I can find this and the other special addition LMP DVDs? Thanks

  2. Ang says:

    I have a question, I am really interested in Les Mills Combat. I have done Chalean Extreme 3 times and P90X 1.5 times (first time did not finish). I am looking for something new. I really want to know if this will give me the muscle definition that I want seeing as how it does not involve weights. ( I love weights). Anyways any help you can give me would be great.


    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey there! Muscle definition is mostly a result of a layer of fat and/or “water retention” covering the muscles underneath. If you’ve seen the Insanity infomercials, you know the people come out looking more defined but Insanity is not a lifting program– their “more muscular look” is from melting fat to reveal the goods underneath. Granted, your conditioning and toning those muscles by putting them to work and Combat operates the same way– it’s a 60 day program as well. What are your goals?

      That said, variety is the spice of life and Combat delivers just that all packaged up in 100% fun. There’s always the hybrid option which allows you to work in a resistance and weight lifting component from P90X while doing Combat workouts for cardio. You truly have a lot of options and Combat is another weapon in the arsenal (and it’s a surprisingly great price as well)

      You can pre-order Combat here:

  3. grace elkhoury says:

    Hi, im interested in starring Les Mills Pump and Combat as a hybrid.
    Do you have any schedule suggestion ?
    I haven’t bought them yet and i was wondering if I can only purchase the Pump without the barbell (I have plenty)

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hi Grace!

      A Pump/Combat hybrid is a nice and varied way to go. While officially Beachbody recommends incorporating a Les Mills Combat (LMC) workout on your “Walk” days (there’s two) in Les Mills Pump (LMP), they don’t recommend supplementing LMC workouts for the LMP workouts. LMP has a supplemental Cross Training package that includes a Combat workout, Sports Attack and Step (don’t let the step fool you… it’s a KILLER plyometric style workout) which could be used as well in lieu of buying both programs. This recommendation is based on both programs having their specific goals and cycles for maximum benefit.

      However, as designed, LMP uses 3 resistance days a week with one “Yoga/Stretch”, one recovery and two “cardio”. This is a very effective schedule (not dissimilar from a program like P90X). So in that case, I’d recommend rolling with the Pump schedule using Pump Revolution, Pump and Shred and/or Pump Extreme every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while using Tuesday and Saturday for Combat workouts with a Thursday dedicated to the Flow workout in LMP.

      I’d be happy to work with you on nailing out the details based on your program purchase(s).

      That said… unfortunately, LMP does not come with the barbell as part of the program through Team Beachbody. The Deluxe cross training DVDs can be purchased without the barbell but that doesn’t get the whole program, sadly. Either way, you can certainly pick them up here if you’re interested. I’d personally be assigned as your free coach if you were interested in going that route:



      Either way, thanks for stopping by HDIGF. Hope to hear from you soon!

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