What is BODYATTACK: BODYATTACK 101 overview and first-timer tips


With a name like BODYATTACK, it better be good. This post is going to tell you everything you need to know about the Les Mills BODYATTACK group fitness workout class, which just happens to be one of my favorite cardio-based programs to teach and to take.

(And by the way, if you don’t have a gym near you that offers Les Mills BODYATTACK, you can try it at home using Les Mills On Demand. Here’s a special link for a free 30-day trial of that streaming workout service.)

What is BODYATTACK: BODYATTACK 101 overview and first-timer tips

What is BODYATTACK_ BODYATTACK 101 overview and first-timer tips by A Lady Goes West

BODYATTACK is a group fitness program created by a company based in New Zealand, called Les Mills International. According to Les Mills:

“BODYATTACK is the sports-inspired cardio workout for building strength and stamina.”

BODYATTACK is a pre-choreographed program that is done in more than 80 countries around the world. Just like the other Les Mills programs, whenever you go to a BODYATTACK class, you can expect it to run in a certain format.

What’s a standard BODYATTACK class like?

There are always 11 songs, and the class usually runs 55 minutes with the following track order. (EDITED TO ADD: As of 2015, BODYATTACK started featuring 11 songs. Before that, the upper- and lower-body conditioning tracks were separated out for a total of 12 songs.)

  1. Warm-up
  2. Mixed Impact
  3. Aerobics
  4. Plyometrics
  5. Upper- and Lower-Body Conditioning
  6. Running
  7. Agility
  8. Intervals
  9. Power
  10. Core
  11. Cool-down

The class has two big peaks. The first peak happens during the plyometrics of track 4, then you have the chance to recover a bit before working up to the second peak, which happens during the power of track 9. The peaks are a great way to break up the class and feel the highs and the lows of the workout.

The class is also taught in 30- and 45-minute Express versions, featuring a shortened line-up.

What equipment do you need?

The only thing you need to complete a BODYATTACK class is a mat. You keep the mat off to the side of the room and pull it out for the Upper- and Lower-Body Conditioning, Core and Cool-down tracks only. Other than that, all you need is yourself and your energy. Well, maybe a towel, some water and some good shoes too. And after class, you’ll be smiling like this group …

BODYATTACK class after launch in Walnut Creek by A Lady Goes West

What do you wear to BODYATTACK?

Think sporty. BODYATTACK is all about sports-inspired moves. Because there is the option to do a lot of running and jumping, cross-training sneakers with padding are ideal.

You may feel most comfortable in shorts and a dri-fit shirt that provides plenty of wicking for sweat, because you will be very sweaty. I prefer loose-fitting tank tops and shorts, so my body can breathe. 

One of the number one things I suggest for women is a high-impact sports bra though, because there’s a lot of impact. (For more tips on what to wear, check out my thoughts on how to dress for success at the gym.)

What types of moves are there in a class?

BODYATTACK is taught in 3-D, or three dimensions: Aerobics, Sports and Strength, incorporating your entire body.

The moves throughout the class fall into those three categories. Step touches, marches, high-knee runs, lunges, plyometric lunge jumps, hops, squats, plyometric squat jumps, knee lifts, kicks, push-ups, burpees, tuck jumps, ladder runs, snowboards, skaters, ski jumps, side flicks, jumping jacks, crunches, hovers, planks and mountain climbers, to name a few.

You don’t have to know what any of the moves are to make it through a class, because the instructor will coach you during each move sequence and offer follow-up cues to make sure you’re doing the move right.

Let’s be clear that BODYATTACK is no dance class. Most of the moves are fairly easy to master, and while they go with the music, there’s no tricky choreography or rhythm required. It’s sports-based. It’s challenging. And it’s not Zumba. Far, far from it.

What are the benefits of BODYATTACK?

There are so many benefits to BODYATTACK including:

  • You can burn tons of calories, sometimes more than 700 in a single class.
  • You can improve your coordination and agility.
  • You can increase your lung capacity and heart health through all of the cardio.
  • When you complete a class, you feel like you can conquer the world. And it happens every single time.

One of the best things about BODYATTACK is it provides more options than any other class for success. It’s for anyone to try. You can do the entire BODYATTACK class without ever running or jumping off the ground if you want. We call these “low options” and the instructor will demonstrate them for all moves.

Another great thing is that BODYATTACK provides you the opportunity to go really hard during the peak tracks and intervals. You can jump high off the ground, fly through the air and get your knees up to your chest during all the high-knee runs.

What to know for your first BODYATTACK class

To see people running around the room and gasping for air can be scary. But everyone has to start somewhere in their BODYATTACK journey. Here are some of my recommendations for your first time:

  • Show up a little bit early and introduce yourself to the instructor, that way they can tell you what to expect and keep an eye on you.
  • Set up close enough to the front so you can see the instructor’s full body.
  • Be open-minded and loose. You won’t be able to get all the moves perfectly the first time and that is totally okay. Just keep moving.
  • Take the low options. Take the low options. Take the low options. Even if you’re a superstar sports-cardio champion, you don’t want to push yourself too much during your first class. Unlike most high-intensity interval programs, BODYATTACK runs just under an hour, so you want to save yourself to make it through the class.
  • However, feel free to leave halfway through your first class, then come back again and add on a track or two. Because BODYATTACK can be so challenging, it’s okay to just give the first five tracks a try (which takes you through the first peak and the upper-body portion).
  • It’s been said that you can run more than six miles in a typical BODYATTACK class, so be prepared for a little soreness in the ankles and knees if your body isn’t used to that.
  • If you are having trouble with the moves, leave out all the arm-lines. You can go through an entire BODYATTACK class and keep your arms low, if you want to focus on getting the motion of the feet right first.
  • If you ever get super confused, just take it back to a march in place and keep your body moving until you’re ready to jump back in with the choreography.
  • Please don’t worry about your neighbor or feel competitive. Nobody is looking at you and noticing if you are all over the place. In fact, most people are so busy worrying about themselves they won’t even glance in your direction until it’s time to motivate each other.
  • There are a few times during class where you will run around the room in a big circle and then run into the middle of the room together. Don’t be scared of these times, but embrace them. You’ll see all of your classmates sweating and working hard, and they’ll see you too. It’s not competitive, it’s teamwork. Enjoy it!
  • Personal space: you can keep your own. But beware that you will change your spot on the floor throughout class at times.
  • Have fun. Unlike other Les Mills programs, BODYATTACK is not a serious, still, precise program requiring perfection. It’s more about energy, fun and movement. So get moving!

I like to say that BODYATTACK really puts the “group” in “group fitness.” While that may seem intimidating to you at first, you’ll come to love the setting.

For more information on fitness or Les Mills, please visit my Fitness + Workouts page. 

You can also try BODYATTACK at home for free by trialing the Les Mills On Demand streaming service. Head to this link to get your free 30-day trial. Have fun!

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Disclaimer: While BODYATTACK is open to everyone that does not mean it is for everyone. If you’re just starting a workout routine, you may want to check with a professional to make sure it’s right for you.

Questions of the day

Have you ever taken a BODYATTACK class?

If you have been to BODYATTACK before, what’s your favorite track? Do you like to do cardio in a group setting?

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  1. I always like the agility track when I take Attack, but you’re much more likely to find my in Combat than at Attack.

  2. Haven’t tried Body Attack! I don’t have a gym membership at the moment since we have one in our townhouse complex, so I’ve been relying on self-motivation (sometimes it’s hard, I tell ya).

    1. If you get the chance to try a class you should. 24 Hour Fitness gyms may have the class, if there is one nearby. Until then, keep up the great home workouts.

      Yes, that can be hard, but at least you can wear completely unacceptable attire without judgment. 🙂

  3. I would probably love Bodyattack when I’m back to my “fighting’ form”. Right now I would probably throw up and definitely pass out, and that would be no fun for anyone. But intense classes with lots of variability are always super fun!

  4. I am still very scared of Body Attack. But I promise next time I come visit you I will go to a class with you!

    <3, brother

    1. Brother, first of all, thank you for commenting on my blog. 🙂
      Second of all, I would pay for your ticket to San Francisco if you agreed to come to a class. I would LOVE it.

  5. I love BodyATTACK! It’s probably my favorite Les Mills format, especially now that they’ve changed it up and made it more athletic. Although, I don’t always love the tuck jumps! I especially love the new dynamic warm up they’re incorporating. I’ve been doing Attack for about six years but had to take a one year break when I moved to Hawaii because it wasn’t offered, but now my gym offers it and I couldn’t be happier.

    1. Hi Alison,

      Thanks for stopping by. BODYATTACK is definitely one of those programs you would miss. That’s great you now have it in Hawaii.

      And nobody LOVES the tuck jumps, but we sure are glad we did them when they are over. 🙂

      Happy Attacking.


  6. I was in love with BODYPUMP. That has changed because I have found my new loved BODYATTACK. My favourite track of the 101 songs is “push”.
    About the low options I had done them for the last 2 months and recently I start to try harder.

    1. It’s so hard to pick a favorite between BODYPUMP and BODYATTACK! I love them both! SO glad you are a fan and adding more intensity as you get fitter! 🙂 Thanks for saying hi!

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