Once you’ve watched the BODYPUMP one, check out all the other program sizzlers. They looks awesome!
Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category
Hello and welcome to the all-new BODYPUMP 82. Here is my usual quick preview / review of the program.
Ok, so what is release 82 all about ?
According to the presenters BODYPUMP 82 is more friendly, more inclusive and more accessible than ever before. What does that mean for us though ? In a nutshell, it makes it easier for newcomers to get into the program. And that has to be a good thing!
Now, i know what you’re thinking: ‘Hang on Patrick. If it’s easier for newcomers, doesn’t that mean they’ve made the program softer ?’
Absolutely not! You see, what they’ve done is tweak the set and repetition structure ever so subtly that the regulars will only just notice the difference, but for new people it makes it possible to actually complete a class and want to come back for more. The secret: Short, Sharp and intense rounds. I’ll tell you more about it as we get into the review.
So here it is, my review of BODYPUMP 82;
Warmup: Straight away, you’ll notice a difference. We still have the same style of introduction and happy, big-beat music. Within about a minute though, you’ll notice that the moves change quicker than usual. We start with the usual deadlifts but then quickly go overhead for a minute before going back to more deadlifts and rows. Another quick change tot eh squats and lunges before we head back to the front. Everything is smooth and deliberate, but by the end of this track, you’ll know that something is different…in a good way.
Squats: Let the work begin. We get a nice slow start with a dance remix of ‘Someone Like You’. Good chance to set up your posture because you just took on more weight than you usually would. Today, we only have two rounds, but each round is split into two parts. We start with the usual 2’s and 3’s before a big set of singles. Quick breather and you’re straight into part two. We meet our ‘move of the day’, the quick-down-slow-up squat. You’ll see this move in pretty much every track today. IT sets the atmosphere nicely before we explode into big sets of singles and bottom halves. Lather, rinse repeat. Here we get our first taste of the subtle difference. The rounds a more intense, but slightly shorter. If you’re new to the game, you’ll get through it. If you’re a regular, this one will smash the legs because you just took on more weight. Awesome.
Chest: Allright, the pushups are back! With a difference too! First though take more weight than usual on the bar and get set of three quick rounds. Nothing too revolutionary here. 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, a quick set of quick-slow’s to set the mood and then a big push of 8 singles. So ti a bunch of times and then get on the floor for the pushups. Oh, and bring a big plate. A plate ? yes, a big plate. We’re going to put the plate under one hand to offset the shoulders and target one side at a time. Don’t worry, both shoulders get a go as we switch over half way with a quick hand-walk. As the song says : I like how it feels!
Back: What an awesome remix of ‘Bring Me To Life’! Big bar with big weights. Only two working rounds plus the warmup. The massive bass beat will carry you straight through this. Rows and triples to start us off before the beat drops away completely for the recovery. Shake, release and grab your bar in time for the massive guitar build-up. Be careful with the timing though. It’s a LOT slower than you think. We’ve got all the time in the world to make our way through the deadlifts, rows and triples. The beat gets faster and faster. More rows, faster beat, more rows, faster beat. Finally, explode upstairs with clean and presses, rows and more presses. Break, release and do it all again. Once again, here we have a track with short and super intense rounds. This sort of workout will definitely help you smash through any plateaus you’ve been stuck on. Don’t be shy. Stick an extra kilo on the bar. You won’t regret it.
Triceps: Well, here’s a blast from the past. I would have expected to hear Robert Palmer’s Bad Case Of Loving You back in the 50’s releases, not in 82 :) Seriously though, this song is a nice contrast from the intensity of the back track and it actually works really well. Keeping the short-and-sharp theme alive, we get a quick set of triceps dips before we change very quickly into the seated overhead extensions. As expected we see our move of the day in every set. Once the overheads are taken care of, we’re left with two big sets of kickbacks. Grab yourself a nice decent size plate for the kickbacks. The song is lots of fun and the moves work really well with the beat.
Biceps: Ok, call me a redneck if you like, but I’m a huge Nickelback fan and their new one Bottoms Up does not disappoint! This would have to be the shortest biceps track ever at 3:29 seconds. We don’t even get a chance for a break. Like I’ve said on every track so far, grab your normal weight, add another kilo and hang on. Guitar kicks in and we lift. I don’t think you even need the choreography notes to learn this one. Your body will just more in time. Two rounds of 2’s, 1/3’s, singles and 1/3’s before the optional break. If you must, put your bar down and stretch. Otherwise, follow me on the super slows. ‘This is what it’s all about’, the lyrics scream as you head into the last round. Yes it is!
Lunges: What ? Did I just walk into a Body Attack class ? Lucky you’re still on an adrenalin high from the biceps track, otherwise you’ll run away scared from this one. Let me introduce you to the propulsion squat jump. He feels as fierce as he sounds! Think squats without the bar, but swinging your arms by your side to give you more momentum. Then, jump as high on the spot as you can. Do a bunch of them and then do it twice as fast. Oh, and once your legs have exploded, give me a quick set of 24 lunges. Ouch ? yes, but we’re only half way, so suck it up and do it all again! Oh and yes, there were a bunch of squats and lunges with the bar at the start of the track too. I just forgot about them already because the second half of the track fries your brain. At least we get to listen to Sash’s Ecuador to get us through the insanity.
Shoulders: Another blast from the past and a pretty Cool track to boot :) Everything I’ve said about this release still holds up true. Lots of short rounds, lots of high intensity bursts. Once again we start with a good set of pushup and quickly transition to some rear delt raises. Throw in some side raises before the hard work begins with the rotator raises and the pec deck press. The music works really well for the song. The lyrics are fun and the build-up works really well. And, there’s a nice finisher taht we haven’t done before. Normally, the bar at the end is round about warmup weight or a slioght bit more. Today, the bar is a bit closer to your chest weight. That means we have to use our whole body to push the bar up. Watch out for it. This one feels more like another back track than a shoulder track. It’s a massive way to finish off the ’standing-up’ part of the workout.
Abs: This one is quote similar to the previous release in that we get a couple of short rounds of crunches and bicycle crunches followed by a big round of mountain climbers. Not much else to report on this one.
Cooldown: Wow, I can’t believe they haven’t used this track before. What a perfect way to end the workout. No need for words during this one. If you’re an instructor, announce the move and then let the class enjoy the song. You can’t help but feel uplifted by the end of this cooldown. The timing is a bit tricky, but I couldn’t think of a better way to finish off the day.
Overall impressions: This is the release to re-ignite your passion for BodyPump. It is cohesive, it is fun, it is achievable and most of all, it will make a difference to your body. For the regulars, the extra weight will shock your body up to a new level. For the newcomers, the short, sharp rounds give your enough adrenalin to get you through them and be able to walk away wanting to come back for more. The team at Les Mills have really stepped it up a notch with this one. Well done guys. Looking forward to the next one already.
Are You Ready ?
It’s that Christmassy time of year again. And what a way to finish off the year with a big bang. BodyPump 80 represents the next evolution of the BodyPump program. You can probably tell from the past few releases, the program is getting a little harder and little more intense. This release is no different. The focus is on high-intensity circuit-style training with lots of rounds and minimal recovery and break time. For you, that means a higher heart rate and more muscle activation, two of the primary factors that drive fitness and strength.
So what does it feel like ? Well, I can tell you that this is the first time in a few releases that im actually sitting here writing this with whole-body muscle soreness after launching two Pump classes yesterday. There is not a single track in this whole release that doesn’t push your body right to the edge.
Let’s get a feel for it:
Warmup: I love this warmup. The beat is as lively as you’ll find in a warmup. It’s an absolutely fantastic way to set the mood for the workout with some great Magic Moment opportunities. Don’t get lulled into a false sense of security here though. Yes, the moves are the same as you expect from any warmup, but remember that this is just the start of the day. Well get the usual taste of what’s coming up and you’ll leave the track warn and ready for the real work.
Squats: Let the games begin! Three rounds of high intensity cardio training to smash the legs. The first round begins nice and easy with the usual set up moves followed by a gently set of 2’s and 3’s. Find your rhythm with a repeat of what we just did and then launch into a massive set of singles, bottom halves and more singles. Quick shake out before we start on the second round. Now we shake hings up a bit. It’s basically all singles and bottoms. We get a breather with a 4×4 thrown in there somewhere just for good measure, but then it’s all high intensity singles.The big bass beat of this Lady Gaga remix works really well in this track, especially the last 8 singles when the legs are about to catch on fire :)
Chest: Oh yeah, how long have we waited for the original version of Smells Like Teen Spirit? No dance remix, no re-sequencing, just one of the biggest rock tracks of all time. Let’s Go! I reckon you could predict the moves without ever having seen it. You know this song off by heart. You’ve probably worked out to it in the weight room before this. With The Light Out.. It’s Less Dangerous. So, how does it go? 4’s to set the tone, 3’s to build the pace ,2’s to get the heart beating and a huge set of singles, pulses and bottom 4’s for the chorus. Get a bit grungy and do it all again. The rounds are a good length so that by the time you get to the end of the second one, the muscles are pretty much smashed. Lucky we get a quick break before we head into the final round. 2’s to set the body up and then 20 singles to the end. Grab as much weight as you think you can handle, then add another kilo. If there’s one track that will take you there, it’s this one.
Back: Well, here’s a blast from the past. We haven’t heard from E-Type in a little while. Euro pop at it’s cheesy best. We see the return of the power press. That’s the one where we clean the bar up, catch with that little squat and follow it up with three little presses to the top. This one is a little more challenging than usual because we join the first two rounds together without a break. Let’s head straight into it. Rows and deadlifts start the day before we launch into the power press, triple row combo. Do it a couple of times, follow it with a couple more sets of triple rows and the repeat the whole lot for round two. This is a perfect way to shoot the heart rate right through the roof. After a quick break, we head into rounds three and four where we skip the deadlifts at the start and launch straight into the big presses. Oh, and we get to meet our old friend, the 7-row again a few time too.
Triceps: You only barely get a chance to drop the heart rate from the massive back track when we get straight into the triceps. It’s a really good ‘Till the Word Ends’ remix with a bit of a dubstep feel at the start. First off, go a little heavier on your bar than you normally would as we only have two rounds on the bench for our extensions and presses. Then, a surprise in the middle with 16 big tricep pushups to isolate the muscles. Let me assure you, they bite! Especially the second set of 8. You’re still up on your toes, right ? Also get yourself a big plate for the overhead extensions at the end. The advice for this one is: Atatck every set as if it’s the only one. The track has a very groovy feel and nice quick transitions to keep the muscles under tension the whole time.
Biceps: Another iconic track. I don’t think there will be anyone reading this that hasn’t wanted to lift weights to Eye Of The Tiger! Again, no dance remix, just the original rock beat in its full glory. Now, as you expect from this track, you’ve gotta fight for this one to get to the end. We start with a nice dramatic stagger lift to the guitar riff. When the verse starts, set up your body and get strong for the 2×2’s and 1×3’s. We do this three times to fatigue the biceps before we step into the ring for the real fight: 2 bottom halves & 2 singles * 4. Sounds easy here, but once you’ve done the three preceding sets, your arms are already tingling. Quick stagger& roll. Fake a break. Bang! Surprise! Knock out round! Muscles burning, breathing heavy.Bite down and take the last round like a champion. I think I’ve just found my new favourite bicep track.
Lunges: First, let me tell you, we’ve never done a lunge track like this before. Prepare yourself to get a new set of legs as your current set may just melt during this track. Start the track with just over a minute of squats. Not just any squats though. After a slow setup squat, it’s all singles, bottoms and bottom holds. This set alone would be enough by itself, but here it’s just the first course. Get rid of your bar and set up for lunges. Two rounds each leg. Normal lunges first, and just like the squats, it’s all about the singles and bottoms. Now the fun part. dynamic backward stepping lunges. One slow one. 8 big singles. 8 knee lift lunges. 8 Propulsion lunge. Sounds OK right ? But what’s a propulsion lunge ? Think knee lift lung but then jump into the air as you raise the other knee. You barely get enough time to ponder why the evil minds at Les Mills would punish us like this before we launch straight into the other leg to do it all again. Ouch!
During the workshops, I’ve never seen a bunch of instructors groan and moan as much as this.
Shoulders: Ok, so you think the pain is over for a couple of minutes, right ? Wrong! Not only do we get punished with 4 rounds of non-stop circuit training, we also get two rounds of 16 pushups and a whole new move thrown in for good measure. Let’s start the workout with the bar set to come cool dancy/techno sounds. Some work above the head before we quickly ditch the bar and grab out plates. We see the return of the bent over rear raise before a nice set of side raises, rotator raises and our new move where we start with a rotator raise and add 2 overhead presses before returning to the bottom. It’s a nice addition because it moves the shoulders in every direction. Follow that by 16 pushups and you’re halfway through the track. Yup, halfway. Ouch. Suck it up and do it all again. The track finishes with a decent sized set of overhead presses, just in time for the shoulders to give up :)
Abs: The smooth, slow sounds of Rolling In The Deep fit the ab work for this release perfectly. Even this track has a new move thrown in. It starts as a quick crunch-pulse, modifies itself t add the feet in the air and then morphs into a bicycle crunch. We spend a significant amount of time with our feet in the air to really engage the mid-section. After two rounds of crunches, we transition into a moving hover followed by a couple of side planks with a raised leg option. My body was definitely shaking by the end of it.
Cooldown: Oh, thank goodness, the stretches are slow and long and spend most of their time on the ground. After those propulsion lunges, I need all the recovery I can get.Nothing terribly new or complicated here, just a great opportunity to stretch out your weary muscles and reflect on the incredible workout you just went through.
As I said at the start, BodyPump 80 represents a milestone and evolution in Group Fitness. We have raised the intensity to a new level with the emphasis on high-intensity circuit training and constant innovations in virtually every track. The release is amazing for instructors to present and an absolute knock-out for everyone to participate in. Make sure you get to a gym as soon as you can and be a part of it.
The way we’re going here, we can probably merge BodyPump, Attack and Combat into the one class within a few releases :)
Wow, seems like the Christmas quarter lasted a bit longer than the previous ones. Either the good people at Les Mills took an extended holiday, or recording the cover version of the music for Australia took a little longer than usual.
Either way Ladies and Gentlemen, the way was well worth it. BodyPump 77 is one of the best releases we have seen in a while. The music is great, the exercises are a bit harder and the new move innovations take BodyPump 77 to a whole new level.
The easiest way to describe it: It’s BodyPump, but turned up to 11!
Let’s get straight into it.
Warmup: Wow, this is easily my new favourite warmup track. Normally, you wouldn’t get that excited about a warmup track, but this one has an awesome beat and really sets the mood. The exercises are the same as we would normally expect to see, with the usual intro of wide lifts and rows. It’s when the chorus hits that the room really livens up. It almost feels like an interval track. We get smooth, controlled moves through the verses and then big explosive movements through the chorus. Turn it up and get set for one massive workout.
Squats: Let the onslaught begin. It’s time to hit the legs with 4 rounds of massive work. The first two rounds start us off with a nice set of two by two’s followed by massive singles and bottom halves. Then, it gets interesting. You’re not even half way. The second half of the track is where the real work comes in. Singles, Bottoms, to the bottom quick with a little stop and plenty more bottom halves to follow up. Sounds reasonable but let me assure you, by the end of the third round you may get a little worried that your legs could actually explode during the fourth round. Just clench your teeth and hang in there. Oh, and it’s all set to Bon Jovi’s - It’s my Life, so you have no choice but to go big :)
Chest: Little change of pace here. We leave the big rock tune of the squat track and hit the club where the DJ will have us falling in love. Ramp up the weight a little bit from usual, draw your belly in and get ready to work. Nice easy start with twos and threes followed by singles and bottom halves through the chorus. Halfway through the chorus, check your feet… you’ll be tapping your toes :) Straight into the second round to do it all again and a nice long third round that starts with some magic moment super slows. Once again, at the end of the third round you’ll be pretty keen on a break and thankfully we get one. It’s only a quick one before, Bada-bing Bada-boom, we’re back to work in the last round to build maximum pressure in the chest.
Back: Uh-oh.. When the master trainers in the workshop tell you that you may want to go a little bit lighter on the weight for the first time doing this track, you know you might be in trouble. We have a new move; it’s called the Power Press. One Clean followed by three (yes, three!) presses from the chin to the roof. Prepare to take your heart rate to new heights. The work begins with a quick warm up round with a nice thumping beat to get the heart rate up. When the work begins in the second round, prepare yourself with a few deadlift, then hold-and-brace and power on to the top for a massive set of Power Presses. Follow that up with never-ending triple rows and you’ll be gasping for air by the end of this round. Now, do it all again two more times and you’ll see why I said that this is BodyPump turned up to 11!
Triceps: After that back workout, we need to hit the bench a little just to be able to breathe. Thankfully, Enrique will get us back into party mode with a little ‘I Like It’. The song is deceptively happy, so you won’t even notice the three huge rounds of extensions, presses and pullover-combos. Now, your shoulders may be a bit wobbly from the previous track, so be sure to pull the elbows right into the body to isolate the triceps and keep the work where it’s supposed to be. After the bench work, we’ll finish this one with a set of overhead extension with a large plate. Oh yes, I like it!
Biceps: Oh yeah, I love this one. The bicep tracks have been a bit hit and miss lately, so I’m real happy that the BodyPump team have taken us back to some good, solid rock for the biceps. The track comes in three rounds, with each round getting longer and harder. Ouch. The start of this track just sets the mood perfectly with slow moves and super intense guitar to get us moving with purpose and intensity. Actually, the whole track is a bit slower than usual to keep building pressure in the muscles. Two tough rounds composed of 2×2’s, bottoms and our power move combo before a quick break and recovery round of bicep rows. Round three is where we turn it up a notch. Stand strong and smash through three combos and a big set of singles.
Lunges: For the first time in a little while we start the lunge track with a quick stretch on the ground. I like the stretches, they give you a good chance to find your posture and get a quick breather. Trust me, you’ll need it. As soon as the beat hits, we’re up for static lunges on the bench. Slow ones, a little quicker and a whole bunch of singles. After that, you’ll get about half a second to drop your plates and go straight into the dynamic backward stepping lunges and some awesome ‘knee it in the guts’ power lunges. The quick transition helps keep the heart rate nice and high. Hit the same quick transition and now do it all again on the other leg. Love it! Just when you thought it was finished, grab your bar for the last round of squats. There’s a beautiful ‘calm-before-the-storm’ moment as we breathe through the super slows before the insane onslaught of singles and bottom halves. If you can still walk at the end of this track, you need to check your weights :)
Shoulders: Scooter in the house! ‘24 hours a day, 12 months a year, It’s all about the sound, You’re about to hear’. You want some intensity in your shoulder track ? Come and get some right here! Scooter’s Ti Sento is the perfect finish for the big muscle groups as we start with pushups and migrate straight into a super long set of one-knee reverse flys. I love how this track keeps going just when you think each set is over. It builds massive pressure in the muscles and pushes you further than you’ve ever thought your shoulders could go. Grab another super-extended set of side raises and rotator presses before heading for the bar to scream a loud Scooter “Yeah” at the end as your arms are about to explode.
Abs: Hmm.. Odd song, but great moves. I think the choreography team that are producing the new Les Mills CX30 core program have been sneaking some moves in here to see how they can punish us the most :) This time around, we get to try out the new side oblique crunch in a combination of slow, quick and pulse moves. Super effective. Just make sure you open up and really lift that top shoulder off the ground. After that we also revisit the walking hover with both hands and legs. To make it even more interesting, we’ll finish this one off with a nice hover combo that is guaranteed to leave you gasping.
Cooldown: Perfect song for a perfect workout. Good, long, slow stretches through all the major muscle groups to bring relief to tired, exhausted muscles. Not much else to say here. By now, you’re too exhausted to care anyway :)
Overall, BodyPump 77 well and truly delivers what it promises. It’s a fantastic high-energy workout with great new music and fantastic new moves. I’ve instructed it a few times now and my classes absolutely love it. Get out there and give it a try straight as soon as you can.
Welcome along. Has it been 3 months already ? Apparently so. It’s time for a new release of our favourite Les Mills programs.
Get Ready. get Set. it’s time for BodyPump 74.
* Timing - We have new timings and tempos.
* Supersetting - Lots of exercises on top of each other to attack the muscles from every angle.
* Transitions - Super short to keep the heat in the muscles
The good news is that this current crop of cover versions is really quite good. I know a few people weren’t too happy with some of the covers in the last release, but all those concerns are gone now. Well done guys. It’s up to all of us now to show the greedy PPCA that we can do quite well without them.
What’s in store for us this release ? Let’s have a look:
Warmup: As usual, the warmup gets us in the mood for the work. This one gives us a nice slow start with a great windup. When we hit the first set of dead rows, the music rises and fills the room with energy. Nothing terribly new or unusual this time around in terms of moves. If anything, because the music is so uplifting, it feels like we’re flying through the song in no time.
Squats: Ok, we’ve seen a few tough squat tracks in the past few releases and this one does not let up. 5 Rounds. Short breaks. Extra weight. And a new, punishing tempo: 1 down, 1 hold and 2 up. We don’t even get the usual easy warmup round to get us going. Right from the word go, we’re straight into it. Huge singles in a massive chorus before we hit the bottom-hold move. Then, straight into round 2. Would like a quick break. Sure… How does just under 5 seconds sound ? No, i’m not kidding! Rounds 3 and 4 smack you in the face with more 2’s, 3’s, singles and bottom-holds before we get another measly 5 seconds to stuff our hearts back into our chest. Here’s a tip: suck in as much oxygen as you can in your break, you’re going to need it. The last round is only a minute long, but it drags every last bit of energy out of you. Just wait for the singles at the end. Ouch.
Chest: Ahh yeah, some great rocking sounds from Bon Jovi (cover) to push the chest. This one is once again about the timing and quick transitions. 4 Rounds with a quick break after the third. We get the usual assortment of 2’s, singles and bottom halves. I like how the rounds really flow into each other without missing a beat. By the time we get the break, your chest is on fire. As always, the last round is the hardest. Just when you think you’ve pushed through the last set of bottom halves, we still have another half a round to go.
Back: Oh man, what a great start to a back track. You know the song, that’s a guarantee. You’ve never heard it with that beat though. I don’t think we’ve ever started a back track so gently. The slow deadlift at the start makes those little hairs on the back of your neck stand up because you know what’s coming up. 3 simple but powerful rounds of clean and press combos, wide single rows and triple rows. Not much else I can say about it. We’ve done it a thousand times before. Doesn’t mean it’s any less fun though :) It’s the sort of sequencing that an instructor can learn with one listen to the song :) My only complaint about this one is that I think it could do with a little more ‘body’ in the clean and press phase. There’s a lot of bass, but not as much personality as we normally get.
Biceps: Remember the mid-range pulse from the mid-sixties ? Awesome move and it’s back today along with some bicep rows. I know we have bicep rows and normally we would go heavier when they’re in the mix, but not today. If you’re an instructor, you’l know… during the workshops, everyone likes to show off and we all stick an extra kilo or two on their bar for the big tracks. This time around though, there was this quiet whisper that went out before the track started and everyone noticed that noone was going heavy for the bicep track…why ? Let me tell you why.. Because this is the bicep track from hell! That’s why. It’s only a bit over 4 minutes long but we don’t let up. When a track starts with bottom halves, you know you’re in trouble. Oh, and instead of a break, you’ll just get some bicep rows and maybe a shoulder roll if you’re lucky. Thank goodness the massive bass beat of Boom Bom Pow gets us through this one. The bottom halves and mid range pulses just don’t stop. I don’t think there is a single second in this track where the arms are not under tension. Oh, you know how normally the super-slows are 4 up and 4 down ? How about we finish up with 8 up and 8 down ? Ouch.
Lunges: What would a BodyPump release be without Cascada (or at least a good sounding cover version)… it’s time to get Dangerous. The title of the song should tell you something about the track. This is easily one of the most intense lunge tracks we have ever done. A couple slow moves before we hit a set of 32(!) singles delivered as a combination of full range, bottom pulses and bottom 8’s. at the end of those, there are still a whole set of 2’s and 3’s to go. And that’s only a quarter of the track. No kidding. How about some backward stepping alternating lunges off the bench. 24 you say ? Sure, why not. You didn’t really need that leg to walk with anyway…Uh oh, we forgot that we’re only half way there. Do the whole thing again on the other leg and then see if you can still stand. You may like to lean up against a wall at the end of the track when you do your stretches.
Shoulders: I love the supersetting and super short tansitions. We’ll be working for the whole duration of the track. Pushups to get moving before the rear delt raises take over. More pushups, side raises and more pushups to finish off the first phase. It’s not often that we get three sets of pushups in a single track. Make sure you keep your timing tight so that you don’t miss any. Next, grab your bar as quick as you can for upright rows, a short break and a whole heap of overhead presses.
Abs: How do you make a grown man cry ? Make him do this Ab track with the correct posture. We start on the bench with a new move. It’s called a Lower Ab Alternating Leg Extension. What does that mean ? The deepest burn you’re going to feel in your abs for a long time. It works just like a normal leg extension, but this time we’re lifting our tail bone into the air at the same time. It’s feels like hovering in mid air and holding your whole body up with your abs. When you add that to the walking hover at the end, this is easily the hardest Ab track we have ever seen in BodyPump.
Cooldown: After that workout, we need to cool down properly. No new moves or timing today, just time to relax and recover. Great duet from Guy Sebastian and Jordin Sparks to take us home.
So what’s the verdict ? You’re probably sick of me saying this, but it’s another awesome workout from the Les Mills team. If I had to pick on anything, I would have liked a different mix for the back tracks with a bit more oomph in the power phase.
Aside from that, I love this release and can’t wait to launch it. The beat is great, the moves are punishing and even the cover versions of the songs are great.
Well, I have finally gone and done it. I am now an actual LesMills RPM instructor as well.
I know a lot of people like my So you want to be a BodyPump Instructor page, so I have written up something similar on my experience in becoming an RPM instructor.
Here it is: So you want to be an RPM Instructor
Let me know what you think. send me an email or leave a comment.
Quarterly workshop time again in sunny Australia. Wow, what a day. We had the pleasure of having Glen Ostergaard with us on stage today. Glen is the head choreographer and program director for the Les Mills Body Pump program. He’s the guy that makes it all happen. Because of this our usual attendance lifted to the point where we were struggling to contain 200 odd instructors in the same room. Awesome atmosphere, heaps of energy and lots of fun had by all!
So, what about the BodyPump 73 release itself ? Well, today is all about the pop tunes. This is by far the most easily recognisable release we’ve had in a long time. Almost every song is straight out of the recent Top 40. When I say Top 40 though, I do of course mean Top 40 ‘with a twist!’. Pretty much all of the songs are remixes or re-recordings to make it a little harder. Be warned right now: Every song starts easy and almost lulls you into a false sense of ‘Yeah, I can do this easy’ before it hits you with a muscle-melting endurance final round. No doubt about it, this is going to be one of the biggest releases we’ve had in a while!
(Note to instructors: Make sure you check out the DVD in your kit. Somehow they managed to convince Wolverine to come up on stage and present a few tracks. He’s French. You’ll know who I mean when you see him. He’s awesome :) )
OK, let’s get straight into it:
Warmup: An easy and very uplifting start with a great version of ‘Release Me’. Even without ever having done the track before, you can just tell the choreography that’s coming up. All the usual moves you would expect to see here and none that you wouldn’t. This is simply a perfect warmup song. Use this one as your chance to get your form right and timing spot on. Quite honestly, you just can’t help but be smiling by the end of the warmup.
Legs(Squats): Time to get moving on the real work. As the sizzler for this releases promises, Body Pump 73 is challenging to the point of punishing. Our squat track for today is a massive rock track to really push the legs. Each round starts nice and easy before belting into a big set of singles. The first rounds come and go and you’re thinking, Yeah, I can do this’… but you forgot about the killer last round. It starts the same, but quickly degenerates into a never ending set of singles, bottoms, twos, threes, more singles, more bottoms, more singles and more pain. I reckon you could just about do this track with an empty bar and your legs would still burn like crazy. (Disclaimer: Don’t try to actually do a BodyPump class with an empty bar!)
Chest: ‘I’ve got a feeling’ that this chest track is going to become a favourite with many of us. Not only is the beat super catchy, but the workout will get in deeper than any chest workouts we’ve seen a while. The kicker here is that after we do our standard twos and threes, we hit the bottom halves before we go for the big singles. By the time you go for the big moves, the muscles are already nicely pre-fatigued. Like with the squat track, the first couple of rounds are manageable and fair. Quick break. Uh-oh.. You already know the song well enough to know that there are a good two minutes left. The wind up begins. It hurts even before the big beat kicks in. Did I say that ‘tonight was going to be a good night’ ? Maybe not for your chest :)
Back: If you’re thinking of challenging yourself and going a little bit heavier, this is the track for you. Four(!) rounds today, with four continuous clean-and-presses in a row. Once again, very familiar song to keep us moving and keep the energy high of. The music changes beautifully to the moves. When the power comes, your bar shoots up along with your heart rate. The choreography is as straightforward as you can make it. Cleans, rows, triples and we’re done. I like that we come out of the break straight into the clean-and-press. I reckon it keeps the heart rate higher. Make sure you use the breaks between sets! Once you’ve done the first two rounds, you’re probably thinking that you only have one more round to go… Nope… two down, two to go. Breathe, dig in. Explode out of the breaks straight upstairs. Oh, and watch out for the last 5 seconds…
Triceps: Hang on… am i in the wrong track here ? It’s Cascada… They’re our friends from the back tracks. What are they doing in a triceps track ? I love the energy in this track. Normally, the triceps track is a little toned down after a big back track. Not this release. This one is as big as the back. We meet the usual variety of moves with extensions, bottom pulses and a few pullover combos thrown in for good measure. Two rounds on the bench before the break. Another quick round before we grab our big plate for standing overhead extensions. Now, normally, there are just a few overheads because the arms are already shot. Apparently, they forgot that bit when putting the choreography together in this release. Tricep-melting fun :)
Biceps: Ahh yeah, you just have to love a bit of Linkin Park for the Biceps track. Even if it is a re-recording with female vocals :) My advice: If this is your first time doing this release, today is probably not the day to go too heavy and try to show off like I did at the workshop. There’s a good chance that your arms may actually explode. Seriously though, everything seems quite ok for the start of this one. Two well-sized rounds to get used to it, nice big break, and then a final round that feels at least as big as the first two rounds put together. To make things even more painful, instead of full range singles, we’re moving three-quarter range today. That means the arms don’t even get those little micro-breaks at the top and bottom. Simply massive workout for the arms here today.
Lunges: As we’ve seen plenty of times before, two kinds of lunges today: The normal static up-and-down lunges on each leg, followed by dynamic stepping lunges. We get to hit the singles very early on, although the beat is probably not quite as big as I was expecting given the last 5 tracks. Don’t let that fool you though. There are more than enough bottom halves to keep the intensity in the legs. By the time you’ve finished each leg with the static lunges, you’ll be wishing the song is over. Not so. Time to step forward slowly. Push and then back. Full speed and kick it hard for the last minute!
Shoulders: ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ ? Heck yeah! This mix is quite similar in style to the one we saw some time ago in RPM. You just can’t help but go massively big in this one. Some slow push ups to set the mood, then a big set of singles and doubles. Don’t even think about dropping to your knees. Kurt wouldn’t be happy :) Each set of moves today is a little longer than we’re used to. The rear-delt raises for example have more 2*2’s than you expect. Stand up and do it again for the singles. Be careful with the plates you pick up today too… we have a new move, the slow top half side raise. It does exactly what it says. It’s a slow pulse at the top that just simply burns like heck. Hook into the music and grab your bar to finish it off at the top.
Abs: Uh, I like the new compound crunch we’re getting into. We’re using both the upper and lower abs to bring the body together. It’s probably not quite as hard as the ab track in BodyPump 72, but that’s not really a bad thing, is it ;) Once again, the music helps us though the workout. Helped by a sampler mix of pretty much every move we’ve done in an ab track over the last few releases, you’ll be screaming by the end of it.
Cooldown: There’s ‘No Surprise’ you’ll need the cool down at the end of the work out to back down to earth. No odd moves like we saw in 72. Just old-school stretches and nice music to relax and reward the body for the workout. Nice way to finish a very challenging workout.
So, what is the overall impression ? I love it. If you like your Top 40 music, this one is right up your alley. Even if you don’t, the beat and energy in every single song is big enough to lift you through the workout. We were challenged, we were punished, we grew, we strengthened. If BodyPump keeps getting harder with every release like this, we’ll all end up being elite athletes before too long!
The other big question is about the cover versions of most songs. As you probably already know (because i’ve posted about for the past few reviews), Les Mills is preparing for the record companies to increase their grab for royalties by very significant amounts. This has the potential to cause serious harm to the Group Fitness industry at least in Australia as fitness centers will simply not be able to afford the fees. So now, most of the Les Mills programs feature re-recordings of the original songs that are not covered by the same royalty structure. Naturally, the down side is that we won’t get to hear the original artists any more. There is an upside to all of this though. Finally, the choreography teams get the chance to remix the song to fit the exercise better. You probably noticed a lot of the songs in previous releases used to have little pauses as they restarted the song to give us more time for the track. Now, they can just repeat a verse and/or chorus or restructure the song to fit the exercise. Plus you’ll get to hear interesting new mixes. For example, a different ‘Evacuate the Dance floor’ cover features in three different Les Mills programs and they sound totally different so that you wont get sick of them too quickly. So, in effect, this all works to keep BodyPump the unique and fresh exercise program we know and love.
Once again, a fantastic release from Glen and the team. Can’t wait to get stuck into it.
As always, leave your comments below and let me know what you think. Do like the songs and choreography ?
k, before we get started, I know I haven’t posted in a little while, but I do have good reasons… I’ve got them somewhere here, I’m sure :)
I’ll be posting up the sizzler for BodyPump 71 soon, stay tuned.
Now, I just read an interesting article on a friend Kat’s website here. She’s a personal trainer. It starts off saying that up to 80% of her clients do not like sweating and are even embarrassed and apologetic when they do. Ok, maybe I’m being a bit too much of a guy here, but this seems absolutely incredible to me. When I work out, I strive to be a sweaty mess by the end of it. I love to sweat. To me, it means my body is working at its peak and is achieving results. Why else would you work out ?
Kat also points out what I think a lot of people find a bit of a paradox. You actually sweat more as you get fitter. It’s just your body working more efficiently to keep you cooler as your workout intensity increases. It means you can train harder and longer. I have found that to be absolutely true in my workouts too. These days, I start to sweat a lot sooner into a workout, but I also cool down a lot quicker afterwards.
Basically, if you’re working out, the more you sweat the more weight you’re likely to lose. (I wont count the sauna or steam room in that as your body is trying to cool you due to external factors rather than internal ones, reducing the benefit).
So, what can we do about our attitude to getting a bit wet ? It sounds like it’s hurting the performance and results of the majority of gym goers out there.
If you’re a personal trainer or group fitness instructor, maybe explain what it actually means to sweat and the benefits to your clients and classes. Even is it’s just little snippet and factoids to make people feel a little better and less self-conscious about it. (I wont go as far as suggesting a class competition to see who can get the drippiest…)
In my Pump and especially Cycle classes, I always encourage people to train to a level that works up at least a ‘medium sweat’ (You decide what that means to you). Naturally, I always get the odd person telling me that they just don’t sweat. To them, I say: ‘turn up the resistance a bit or add an extra kilo to the bar and watch what happens’ ;)
Get out there, get wet and be happy about it. It’s good for you :)
Time to celebrate 70 big releases of the world’s best and most popular workout program. I’ve just come back from the workshop and I can honestly say that this is one of the best releases in a long, long time. It’s not that the other releases are not fantastic, it’s just that this particular combination of music, choreography, weight selection and feel works extemely well.
So, what’s the general feel ?
- Lots of big dancey beats. Right from the first track, you can feel the energy in the room.
- As in the previous release, easy to learn choreography with simple, big supersets.
Let’s check out the specifics. Here is my preview / review of BodyPump 70
Warmup: What’s this ? A male vocalist on the warmup track ? Ok, different. First thing you’ll notice is that the beat is a lot bigger than the warmup tracks you’re used to. You could just about mistake this one for a squat track. Lots of big moves to get the body warmed up. No usual ‘Love’ theme here either. Strong lyrics, strong beat, good, solid warmup. No new moves, and none needed.
Squats: The first of our three challenge tracks. It’s a short one, so load up. We start slowly and work up the intensity today with a big set of 4’s and 3’s. Just when you think this is going to be OK, the singles hit and the heart rates shoots up. 30 seconds later and we’ve slowed down again. Bang, there come the singles again. And now they don’ stop ! The second half of the track is basically and extended set of 46 singles (!) that come at you either as full length or bottoms. I’m not kidding, this is intense.
(Note to Glenn O: Mate, I know you’re a big fan, but seriously brother, it’s time to retire your ‘Best of Pink’ CD for a few releases…)
Chest: Once again, a short track. Make sure you stick an extra kilo or two on each side. It’s our second challenge track. Ok, check this out… There are two moves in this track: 4×4’s and Singles. Yup, nothing else. You want a chest workout? Here it comes ! You know the song. It’s Infinity 2008 (Klaas Vocal Edit). ‘Relax… Take your Time…’. You can’t get a bigger dance beat than this. It’s an odd beat too to give you more time under tension. The 4×4’s get an extra two beats added to them at 3/4 height to burn the chest and tri’s. Oh, and how many singles would you like to do in a single set ? 10 ? Sure! How about 15 ? Let’s do it!
Back: Back to something more conventional in this back track. Three big rounds. Long one, Medium one and one short one. E-Type is back once again with the big euro-pop dance beat they’re known for. No new moves today. Deadlifts, Cleans, Triple Rows. You can actually predict the next move from the vibe in the music. I wonder if E-Type write their songs specifically for Body Pump :). The sneakiest part of this track is that the music finishes after the second set so you think you’re done. 2 seconds later, the beat comes back and you realise there’s another round to go. Nice touch :)
(2nd note to Glenn O: Same goes for your E-Type and Cascada CD collection…;)
Triceps: Remember a couple of releases ago when we did the triceps track without a bar? Remember how much all those triceps pushups hurt ? Well, get set for a whole heap more. BodyPump 70 gives us a very similar choreography set with 24 triceps pushups (!) and 44 kick backs before we stand up for some overhead extensions. Make sure you position your body correctly on the bench so that you don’t pre-fatigue the supporting arm before it has to do the work. Hint: Start on your weaker arm. You’ll be thankful to have your stronger arm ready to go when you get to the end.
Biceps: Ahh yeah. Proper rocking singles are back with Nickelback and a track that’s a bit longer than the last couple of releases. Nice lyrics and a huge guitar backdrop motivate like nothing else. Pretty familiar format for this one. Three rounds with a quick recovery after the second round. It’s a nice long last round too. You feel like you’re not going to make it, but the music just takes you there. Connect with it. Let it carry you through the work.
Lunges: Time for the third challenge track. Rack up some extra weight. Chest weight will do just fine. ‘Feels like the raindrops..’ BOOM! Sash! is in the house with the biggest lunge track there is. This one is for the clubbers. Try to contain yourself during the build up and go absolutely crazy when the beat hits. If this one doesn’t get the little hairs in the back of your neck standing up, nothing will. I’m going to hae to force myself not sing along to the whole song when I do it :) ‘You make my body come alive…’ Like in the previous release, we have a combination of lunges and squats. The squats component in this one is a longer than last time around. It’s all singles, pulses and bottom halves in the squats. Ouch! Can’t stop, Can’t stop! Best. Lunge Track. Ever!
Shoulders: ‘Aa aa aaaaa Thunder!’. Hinder’s cover of AC/DC’s Thuderstruck. Classic Track.. Classic Track. TURN IT UP !!! Grab your plates, grab your bar. Think Side Raise Staggers for ‘Thun-der’. Be careful with your weight selection though.. there are 26 Side Raises before we even hit the Mac Raises. Don’t fight it, just sing along. It’ll help you get through this one. As you’d expect, one of the biggest rock songs of all time gets one of the biggest workouts you can find. As I said, side raises, mac raises, back to the side raises and then the bar for the final chorus. What a way to finish off the big muscle groups.
Abs: Wow, finally, our little abs track has graduated to a fully grown workout. Three rounds of three moves. Not just normal moves either. The Leg Rotation Extension Combo sees us extending our legs while they are at 45 degrees through a rotation. Follow it up with some plate crunches and then hit it with a wicked set of Vertical Lifts. Haven’t done vertical lifts before ? Glenn borrowed them from Body Balance :) Ok, you’re on your back. Lift your legs straight up in the air. Now, lift and extend your arms and use your abs to push your hands towards your toes. Sounds hard ? That’s because it is! Finish this one off with some quick Rotator Planks and you’re done. This is probably the most effective abs track I’ve done in a long while.
Cooldown: Ahh.. Needed this one. What a massive workout. Slow song with good long stretches. A bit more upbeat than usual and a great way to finish off the debut release of the 70’s.
Seriously, this is one of the best BodyPump releases ever. The music is rocking, the intensity is huge, the choreography is perfect and the whole workout is as effective as you can possibly make it. If you walk out of this one without sweat dripping down your shirt, you didn’t try hard enough :)
Thanks go once again to the Les Mills team for consistently delivering the world’s premier group fitness program. What a fantastic start to the 70’s.
It’s that time of year again. We are at the end of January and the new year has well and truly settled in.
So, you set yourself a New Year’s resolution, didn’t you ?
How is that going for you ?
If you’re like an all too large number of people, there is a good chance you ave already given up on it and slipped back into old habits. The most common resolutions are of course to loose some weight, get fit and, for some, to quit smoking. For now, I’ll focus on the first two since I’ve never smoked, but i;m sure you can apply the same principles across all resolutions.
First of all though, if you did set yourself a goal and are still striving for it, Well Done! You have done better than a lot of your peers and you should be congratulated. Keep it up.
If you’ve fallen off the wagon a bit, let me suggest a few things that may be able to help. Here are a list of things that I have applied to my life to make some massive changes:
1. Why are you doing this ?
Why are you doing all of this ? Do you have a real, solid & believable reason for putting yourself through this ? I believe that the reason you have for achieving your goal is by FAR the most important factor in determining whether you will succeed or not. I’m not talking about a weak little ‘because smoking isn’t really good for me’ reason here. I’m talkig about a ‘If I don’t give up now, I will probbaly never get to see my kids grow up because i’ll be dead from lung cancer’ kind of reason. If you want to truly achieve your goals, they need to change from ’shoulds’ to ‘musts’!
Look into your life as it is right now and imagine how it would be different if you had already achieved your goal. Now, look into you life 5, 10, 20 years from now as if you did NOT make that change. How different would your life be ? Would you be happy or miserable ? Let leverage on yourself. Make it hurt. now imagine your life in 5, 10, 20 years time with your goals chieved. It’s a bit differnet, isn’t it. Which life would you rather live ? I’m sure you can take a few minutes to think up a few reaon why this resolution/goal must become a must.
2. Was it a vague resolution or a defined goal ?
You may or may know know this, but i struggled with my weight for many, many years. I, like many other people, set resolutions like ‘I’m going to get fit this year by joining a gym’. These kind of goals tend to set us up for failure because they don’t clearly define the outcome. For a new Year’s resolution (or any decision) to stick, you need to have a definable goal. I will loose 10 kilos by the 1st of September. I will be fit enough to take part in the Ride Around the Bay cycling event in October. Whatever your resolution was, redefine it as a distinct goal with a deadline. Make it real, and most importantly, write it down somewhere visible. A post-it note on the side of your monitor can help. I use a marker pen and write my goals on my bathroom mirror. That way, I see my goals and get re-motivated at the start of every day!
3. Is your goal measurable ?
Once you have defined what you want to achieve, create yourself a path to get there. We already know that people who weight themselves regularly are more likely to loose weight than those that don’t. Use this to your advantage. Set yourself milestones and measure your progress in small, achievable steps. It is amazingly motivating to see yourself hit a target every week. If your goal is to loose weight, create a weekly weigh-in chart and stick it up on your bathroom wall above your scales. Then, every Monday morning go for a weigh-in. Record the date and weight and feel good about your progress :) Whatever the goal is, write down your achievements and congratulate yourself.
4. Burn the Boats !
The best way I found to get myself serious about a goal is to tell as many people as possible about it. that way, you can’t just quietly back out of it when the going gets tough. As some famous army general once said: ‘If you take the island, burn the boats’. As in, if you want to be sure you’re going to achieve your goal, remove any other possibility. No retreat, no surrender!
5. Reward yourself !
Did you hit a target ? Reward yourself ! the human brain works amazingly well on positive reinforcement. If you hit a weight target, reward yourself with a new piece of clothing that you can now fit into. Naturally, pick a reward yourself with something that motivates you even more. Don’t go an have a big tub of ice cream because you lost half a kilo this week :)
6. Surround yourself with success.
The easiest way to start is to surround yourself with imagery of what your goal looks like. If they are physical things like a new car, put up pictures of them around your home and work area to constantly remind you. For fitness goals, it might be a bit harder since you may not want to (or can) have pictures of hot looking guys and girls around the office and home :)
The more important step is harder and his one may be a bit difficult to get used to but it is absolutely vital. Someone once said: ‘You will always rise to the level of your peers’. These are your friends and family you hang out with day to day. Do they share your goals and dreams or do they think it’s just some unrealistic fantasy ? If it’s the second option, then you are more likely than not to fail in your path. Your peer group has a very direct influence on what you will achieve. It’s very simply psychology. We want to be accepted by our peers and that means behaving in a similar manner with common beliefs and goals. If you’re overweight and hang out wit other overweight people who are not motivated to loose weight like you then, then guess what… To fit in, you’ll probably give up on your goal fairly quickly. what’s the chance of you quitting smoking if you continue to hang out with other smokers ? I know this sounds like an impossible choice, but you may have to find yourself a new set of friends that share your new goals and ambitions. At least, find yourself a new peer to hang out with that can give you constant, regular motivation. Talk to the people at the gym. Maybe you can set yourself up a lunchtime walking/workout group where a few of you get together regularly to motivate each other.
7. Have Fun!
This goes hand in hand with some of the other points, but it’s easy to forget sometimes. Go back to your reasons for doing this in the first process and think of all the good things that will come from you achieving your goal. Smile. I regularly walk around with a silly grin on my face because I imagine myself already achieving my goal :)
Ok, I think i’ve ranted on enough now :)
I hope some of these tips turn out to be useful to you. I know they have changed my life.
I would love to hear about your success stories, hints, tips or anythign else on the subject, even the setbacks. Heck, even post your resolution and progress for all to see. It might just motivate you enough to get back on the wagon and post a followup comment to tell us all how well you did.
Now, enough time at the computer, get back in the gym! There’s a BodyPump class starting somewhere. Be There! :)
Wow, where have the last 3 months gone? Time for the BoduPump workshops again. This time, we have BodyPump 68, and it promises to be a big one.
As usual, the Les Mills Super Workshops manage to gather about 300 BodyPump instructors into one stadium for one massive workout. I always wonder… where do you keep 300 people’s worth of bars, benches and weights ? It looks like they would need a fleet of forklifts to set the place up. But anyway…
Ok, so what is BodyPump 68 all about? Well, if you read the Sizzler, you already know that this workout is going to be a little different. Let me assure you, they were not lying! This release of BodyPump feels completely different to the last few releases. There is innovation everywhere with new moves or new sequencing in pretty much every track. The focus has shifted from the normal strength workout to include a massive cardio workout in this release. Most tracks are structured with shorter, harder rounds to peak the heart rate multiple times in each song and muscle group.
While the focus has changed, the general feel of the music in this release feels very similar to the last release. Tracks 2, 4 and 7 have the big dance beats. 3, 5 and 8 are big rocking tunes. There is something for everyone here.
Now, I know there are lots of track lists floating around on the internet for this release already, so I won’t bother listing them here. If you want a generally spoiler-free preview of BodyPump 68, read on:
Warmup: Let’s get started then. The warmup song is meant to be light and uplifting and this one is as cruisy as a cruisy song can cruise. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear it was the Pet Shop Boys at the start. Great beat, nice lyrics and finally a song not centered on Love :). Because it has a deep bass beat, the moves can get in nice and deep to really warm up the core muscles. All the usual moves you know and love here, nothing out of the ordinary.
Squats: The first big working track is in the house. Ok, this is a challenging track. Six rounds with a heap of singles and bottom halves. When the master trainers tell you not to go too heavy on the weights, you know it’s going to hurt! Right off the bat, massive beat with a Nick Skitz remix. The slow moves at the start give you a false sense of security that make you think you can actually do this track :). Then the singles hit. And then the bottom pulses. Ok, we can do this once or twice, but six times ? Oh boy! I really like this track because it is quite different to our normal squat tracks. The focus is on the cardio component of the workout rather than just strength. The singles almost come out of nowhere to bite you. We really lift the heart rate with those six peaks.
Chest: Grungy rock track all the way to really get deep into the chest. We’ve got a new move to help work on endurance. Imagine a bottom pulse but slowly with a 2 count in each direction. If it sounds hard, that’s because it is. In principle, the track is quite similar to the squat track. A few slow moves and then the heart rate peaks with a big set of singles. I love the rock music for the chest tracks, it just works. We’ve got two big rounds here with one break. Because we have the slow pulse, don’t go too heavy on the weights. Good chance you’ll burn out during the second round. There’s some real slow stuff at the end to test what you’re made of.
Back: Well, you can’t go wrong with Cascada on the back track. It’s got everything you know and love in a back track… but there’s a change. This time around, the clean-and-press move does not have a row in it. It’s just 4 cleans in one hit. The rows come later. Quick warmup round to get us started. Bar down break. Here comes round one. Deadlifts and then we explode. Rows, Triples, Done. Once again, quick rounds with a quick spike in the heart rate. Not much else to say here. If you’ve done a Cascada back track, you pretty much know what to expect.
Triceps: Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Who came up with this one ? Very different track this one. No bar at all. It’s all about the tricep kickbacks and the pushups. The difference here is that we’re on the ground with our knees, leaning into the bench. Why are we doing this ? It makes it a little harder to cheat because you have to hold the arm a little higher. So, kickback galore, then straight into the pushups. Think you’re done ? Nope! More kickbacks on the same arm. Argghh… this is an awesome tricep track. In the past, I’ve found the kickback tracks a little easy. Not this time around. Once again, don’t even think about going to heavy on the weights for the first few times. Oh, and there’s a nice surprise at the end. You think you’re done, but you’re not. Swap over to the biggest plate you can see and watch what happens.
Biceps: Party time for the front of the arms. What an awesome track. Happy, bouncy song. Definite toe-tapper here. You’ll be way too busy getting down to the music to notice that your arms are about to catch fire. We keep the theme alive with the quick, sharp rounds that get deep into the muscle belly. No shortage of bottom halves here today… especially at the end… how about 16 to finish it off ?
Lunges: My new favourite lunge track! We have a new move too. The Front Squat. The bar goes on the front of the shoulders. Cross the arms over and sit the bar at the top of the arms. What does this do ? It lines up your spine and stops you hunching over. It makes you push all the weight into the legs. Before we get there though, we have a nice set of normal and stepping lunges. You’ll have to ‘listen to you heart’ to get though this one ;) Awesome techno remix of the classic. My legs haven’t burnt this much in a long, long time at the end of a lunge track.
Shoulders: Another big rock tune to make the shoulders burn. We start off with the usual rear delt raises and follow it up with a big set of side raises. The thing is that there are probably quite a few more than you’d expect. More reps and more variations. As we have with the last few releases, we finish off at the top with the bar. Nothing really new here, just a good solid shoulder workout to finish up the major muscle groups. The one piece of advice I will give though: Have some extra weights handy and go a little heavier during the rear delt raises at the start. You can always swap to some smaller plates during the side raises later on.
Abs: Let’s finish off the workout with some abdominal conditioning. Once again, we get a new move with an overhead plate extension. I was actually a bit disappointed that we did not see a return of the plank crunch from the previous release. I always got an ‘interesting’ response from my participants with that one. Not to worry, this one can be just as good by employing a decent weighted plate. The nice thing about this one is that you already have the plate in your hands so it’s quite natural to keep it on one shoulder when we start the twist crunch. That will be a new option for a lot of participants that normally chose not to go with a plate in the ab track.
Cooldown: For me, the most important thing in a cooldown track is that we get enough time to do each stretch. This was one thing that bugged me with release 63 (otherwise the best release ever…). Nice slow song by Andrea Bocelli called ‘Dare to Live’. Very appropriate at end of a massive workout. It’s quite a short song, only 4 minutes long, but we get a good length 2 * 8 count for every stretch. No new moves here and none needed I guess. You’ll walk away relaxed and uplifted.
So, overall verdict? I love it. It’s quite a different workout to the last few releases and it is exactly what we need to keep the program current. I know a lot of us can get into a rut easily and stick with the same weight for every workout no matter what the instructor says. This one will change that, that’s for sure ? ‘m sure there will be a few old-school pumpers out there that have been doing the program for years that might not be comfortable with the new moves and the little bit of extra intensity. To them, I say: This is exactly what you need to take you to the next level. Get in, load up and Turn It Up!
Once again, thank you Glenn O and the Les Mills team for taking BodyPump to the next level. I think it’s safe to say that we have seen more innovation in the last eight releases that we did for the previous twenty. Release 68 will challenge you in totally new ways. What could they have in store for us for BodyPump 69 and beyond?
Have an awesome workout!
Ok, the first week of the new BodyPump release is over… So, what’s the verdict ? In a couple of words, this release rocks. No question about it.
First, we have the warmup. Like we already know, nice cruisy song that changes the sequencing around from the usual warmups. I really like the 2/2 lunges we do at the start of the leg warmup. It’s quite different to normal and really allows you to stretch the muscles before moving into the squats. The extra bicep rows are a nice introduction to the bicep track later on.
The real work starts in the squat track… and what a track it is. I know it’s a hard one, but don’t go easy here. Normal squat weight please! The bass beats hit us from the start with a nice big first round and lots of singles. Quick break and we’re straight into the second round. Normal stuff, then we meet our new best friends, the 24 bottom halves… Now, they come in a 4 * pulse + 4 * 4 configuration, but I think a nice ‘option’ would be to offer to combine the last 4’s in the first round to make it an 8 and then combine the 4*4’s into 2 * 8’s to really make it hurt. I had a few people try it the other day and the difference was huge. It’s of course only something for the seasoned Pumper. Give it a try though… Your legs will thank in that special way… ;)
Chest next and for this one, I think you do need a little more than usual to really feel it. Yes, I know the breaks are only 5 seconds long, but the track itself doesn’t seem as hard as some we’ve had in the past. Really try to stay low on those bottom halves, especially the ones at the end.
Back comes in big with a nice tune from E-Type. I like that we get straight into the workout without the little warmup round we normally get. The two sets of clean and presses work really well together, especially combined with the quick wide rows. I just wish the second and third round were a little bit longer. You’re just getting into the track and it’s over already.
Triceps are set to a rather familiar tune from the radio, but that’s ok. It’s a good song with a lot of hard work. The first two rounds on the bench need a little more weight than usual to do their job, but then the triceps kickbacks only need a couple of kilos to do the damage. If you’re doing these properly (arm tucked into the side, elbow not moving, pushing the plate behind you, etc), you will not need any more weight. This one has massive burn potential. Use it!
Oh man, how much do I love the bicep track! I said in the review that I wasn’t into country music, but this one changed my mind. The first two rounds are a heap of fun because they are achievable with your normal weight. Then, we add the extra weight… ok, no problem so far… we can do bicep rows with the extra few kilos on.. what, you want me to go all the way up with that ? and do bottom halves ? and then top halves ? Are you insane ? That’s basically the expression on the face of every participant I’ve been getting :) If you ever wanted a challenge for your biceps in BodyPump, this is the one for you. I have found my new favourite bicep track.
For the lunges, we get an awesome remix of a dance classic. You’ll know this one. The workout flows quite smoothly form the static lunges to the dynamic lunges. Fun, achievable but hard. I reckon it could have done with a few bottom halves at the end to increase the burn.
Nice pick on the shoulder track. As we’ve seen on the past few releases, we get a whole range of different moves for the shoulders. Pushups, rear delt raises, front raise, mac raise, side raise, rotator press, shoulder press….. Sounds like a lot, but the massive beat carries us right to the end. Challenge yourself and go with the instructor suggestion to grab a slightly heavier weight for the first couple of moves. It pre-fatigues the rear delts nicely for the rest of the workout. Awesome track overall. I love the faster beat. Oh, by the way. The pushups at the start… there are only 8 of them so you’ll be doing them on your toes, thank you very much.
Ok.. Hardest. Ab Track. Ever. The plank crunch can make a grown man cry. The look of disbelief I’ve been getting at the end of this track is priceless. Unless you have a lower back issue, do yourself the favour and stay on your toes… Don’t go with the knee option. Tough it out to the end. There are only 16 of them. Your abs will thank you later. Just keep that butt at shoulder level. I’ve seen a few people try to do it from a ‘downward dog’ yoga position. Needless to say, they were corrected rather promptly :) Keep it low and keep the abs locked in place. We all want that six pack… work for it!
After all that, the recovery/stretch track is a welcome relief. Nice big song with loooong stretches. Thanks Glen! Nothing better than being able to take a few seconds to slow the heart rate in one position before moving on the next one. You really feel properly recovered at the end of this one.
So, overall, this is another massive workout. BodyPump66 was huge and this is as good or even better. We have heaps of opportunities to increase our weight or try something new to challenge ourselves. Seriously folks, throw yourself in the deep end with this one. If ever there was a BodyPump release to really help you change the shape of your body, this is the one!
As always, Enjoy The Workout!
A new quarter, a new BodyPump release. I’ve just come back from out latest workshop for BodyPump 67 in the city. It was cold and rainy outside, but we turned up the heat inside. It felt like one of the biggest workshops ever. We had 293 instructors doing the masterclass at the same. Talk about energy! Nothing quite like the master trainers yelling ‘Are You Ready!’ and 300 instructors yelling back at the top of their lungs.
Ok, so what do we have here. The theme for BodyPump 67 is ‘The New More Powerful You’. No doubt about it too. By the end of this workout, you’ll feel… something… maybe not new, but certainly trashed :) This is seriously one awesome release. With the last few releases, it has usually taken me a few listens before I liked a few of the songs. Not this time. As soon as they hit play, I liked what I heard. The whole release has a similar feel to release 63. Big beats, nice grungy raw sounds when you need them and new moves to get deep into the target muscles.
Oh, and if you’ve been checking out the tracklists for this release on the internet, let me tell you, they’re wrong! Wrong mixes, wrong artists, wrong feel.
** Edit 29/9/2008: Now that all the quarterlies are over, here is the tracklist for BodyPump 67:
1. Bleeding Love - Jamie Knight
2. Piece Of My Heart - Jan Wayne
3. Paralyzer - Finger Eleven
4. Eurofighter - E-Type
5. Cuz I Can - P!nk
6. We Got It Going On - Bon Jovi
7. I Need A Miracle - KLM
8. Now You’re Gone - DJ Alex - Basshunter
9. B Boy Baby - Mutya Buena
10. Angel - Aerosmith
As you know, the secret to any good exercise program is variety. Different moves, different weights and different intensity. The choreography team have really taken that to heart and given us a completely new and different workout. With Bodypump 67, We have new moves and new sequencing to keep it exciting and effective.
So, without further delay, here is my (non-spoiler) preview and review of Bodypump 67:
Warmup: Ok, you’re thinking… I know what’s gonna happen here… Nice light song about love, a few deadlifts, deadrows, Upright rows, etc, etc. Well, you’re right about the first part. It is a light fluffy song about love. You already know from the sizzler that the song is called Bleeding Love. I know i’m a bit silly, but i couldn’t help giggling to myself, thinking “if you’re bleeding love, you’re doing it wrong” :) Anyway, back to it. The general sequence is what you would expect, although they have moved a few of the moves around to mix it up a bit.We also do moves that we would normally see in the back track. I really like the warmup. It’s lively and really gets the body warm for the main onslaught.
Squats: Bring! The! Bass! Ahh yeah! I love my dance music and this one is right up my alley. Once the bassline hits, you know you’re in for one helluva workout! You’ll hear the rhythm and think and it’s a particular song, but you’re wrong :) Three big rounds with two breaks. You’ll need them too. Big sets of singles and LOTS of bottom halves.. is 24 in a row enough for you ? No need to go heavier than normal on this one. Put on your normal weigths and pray you get to then end in one piece. This is a perfect example of changing the intensity to keep the muscles from adapting. I love this one. Close you’re eyes and imagine the strobes and coloured lights in the club. My new favourite squat track.
Chest: If you liked Enter Sandman (Metallica) or Famous Last Words (My Chemical Romance) from 63, you’ll love this one!. Again, familiar beat but a different song. Raw. Energy. It’s a bit slower than usual, so you can add at least an extra kilo or two. I did and believe me, I felt the difference. Nice sequencing of slow and fast work to let you get through it. Something new too.. Two breaks!. But, they feel like they’re about 5 seconds long each. You have long enough to stretch the arms back and then it’s straight back into it.
Back: E-Type is back in full euro-electro-pop goodness. Cheesy as it is, it works perfectly as a Back track. High energy beats and lyrics you can really work with. We get a different track layout too. Gone is the usual small warmup round. We get straight into the workout. Four sets of Clean and Press sets in total with a couple of breaks. There are some real quick changeovers too, so you’ll have to pay attention. If you’re looking to get the heart rate up, this is the perfect song. I reckon you can go a little heavier tha usual because of the sequencing. It works perfectly if you want to challenge yourself a bit more.
Triceps: Ouch! It hurts! Make it Stop!.. They’re just a few of the thoughts going through my head towards the end of the tricep track. P!nk is in the house with a funcky attitude track that hurts like all heck. We start on the bench with a nice heavy weight (heavier than usual) and end on the floor with a wicked set of tricep kickbacks for each arm. One tip though, do the tricep kickbacks properly if you really want to feel this one. No momentum swing. Stop at 90 degrees. I’m a big fan of this track. The only way it could be any harder if if it had dips in it. Thank goodness it doesn’t :)
Biceps: I’ll be the first to admit that i’m not usually a big country music fan, but the bicep tracks tend to work really well with it. This one is no exception. Bon Jovi gives us just over 4 minutes of party time. Big, toe tapping energy tune with a heap of work. To keep things fresh, the choreography team give us new moves and a weight change half way through the track. I really advise you take them up on the challenge and add that extra kilo or two when called for. It makes a massive difference. Don’t worry, the new move allows you to carry the extra weight to the end. You’ll make it.
Lunges: This is one of the all time classic dance songs andwe get an awesome new remix of it for our lunges. Definite Ibiza feel to it. We’ve been enjoying the bench lunges over the past few releases and this one once again gets us up on the step. Maybe it was just the intensity of the rest of the workout, but I could really feel this one get in deep. We start with a nice slow set of weighted lunges and then explode into the dynamic stepping lunges. As usualy, one leg at a time until you’re about to crumble :) Not much else to say here. The music rocks, the lyrics work and the workout hurts. It’s everything you could want from your lunges.
Shoulders: This is the shoulder track ? We normally save the fast techno tracks for the lunges, but this time we get a massive bass tune to hit the shoulders hard! Huge variety of moves. Pushups, Front Raise, Mac Raises, Side Raise, Rotator Raise, Overhead Press! Grab your plates. Are you Ready ? We haven’t had a tune as big as this for ages. I love it. The shoudler track is usually my favourite becuase they hit us hard when we’re just about out of energy and this one fits the bill. The beat is much faster than normal so you don’t even get tiem to think about the pain :) Empty the tank on this one. It’s a big as it gets!
Abs/Core: Ok, you’ve probably checked out the tracklists on the internet and thought “What the heck is this?”. Don’t worry… Yes it is that song, but it is a really good new R&B remix by a different artist. It’s a short song, but it’s worth it. We keep the innovation going with a new move they told us about in the sizzler. Plank Crunch.. It’s basically what it says, a plank and an upside down crunch at the same time. It sounds odd but it feels awesome. And by awesome, I of course mean painful. Everything about this track is slow and deliberate. You can feel evrything contract as you move.
Cooldown: Ahh, you’ve made it! What a workout. And what better than to finish it off with a big Aerosmith ballad. I really like this one becuase the stretches are nice and long. A few releases back, we had a tendency to make the stretches 2*8 counts, whihc I thought was a big quick. This time around, everything is 4*8 counts, which gives you plenty of time to feel the muscle relax, bring the heart rate down and focus on breathing.It’s the perfect way to round our a massive workout.
So, what did I think of it overall ? Love! It! This is one of the most powerful and fun releases of the 60’s. The music captures the workout perfectly. The moves give us variety. The fitness magic is there in every song!
Honestly, every release the Glen Ostergaard (program director adn choreographer) and the team have done has been better than the last. These guys are pulling out all stops to give us the perfect workout every time. The amount of innovation we have seen in the 60’s has never been done before. Every time you step into the group exercise room, you’re in for a totally different workout. No wonder bodyPump is now the most popular group exercise program on the planet.
After having listened to the release3-4 times now, I like it more and more each time and I know you will too. Let me know what you think of it.
Have a fantastic workout!
Do you ever get one of those moments when you look at something and think to yourself: ‘Why are they doing this ?’
The other day I was leaving the gym and I saw a couple of things that made me think. My gym is on the first floor with about 3 meters worth of stairs. We have a lift for wheelchairs and prams and things, but on this particular day, there was a guy that was waiting for the lift to go downstairs. Now, this guy was quite overweight (>150kg). I did watch him work out, so I was pretty sure he wasn’t injured and needed the lift. A few minutes later as I was walking down the stairs myself, there was a young lady rummaging through her handbag for a cigarette which she proceeded to light as soon as she cleared the door way.
Now, the thing is: I don’t think either of those two even thought about what they are going before they did it. It was totally subconscious and out of habit. And that’s what struck me. Here we have people that a making a conscious effort to do something good for themselves by going to the gym but then immediately slip back into their subconscious habits to undo it all.
I have posted on this topic before here, but I want to touch on it again. I am a firm believer in the thought that it is your habits that determine your life, not what you do ‘on purpose’. Yes, you can go to the gym a few times a week because you know you should, but what you do when you get home is just so much more important. Is it just a habit to grab a beer or a glass of wine when you get home ? Or a muffin for morning tea ? I don’t want to preach or judge here, I am just as guilty as everyone else. I love my deserts. A bowl of ice cream or a cookie after dinner was just a normal thing to do. However, it was also stopping my from achieving my goals. I was working hard to lose weight but I was sabotaging myself without even realising it.
My turning point came when I worked out that point about habits determining the rest of your life and more importantly that your reality is really just determined by what you focus on and what you decide it means to you. I wont bore you with all the details, but the point of the story is this: It’s All In Your Head!
If you find yourself held back but can’t explain why, do yourself a favour and just spend a day (or a week if you can) and check in with yourself every time you do something our of habit or routine. Ask yourself: Is this really helping me ? Do I really want this ? Is this really aligned with my goals ? There is a good chance that, just like me, you’ll find a whole lot of little things that you do that are not serving you as much as they could. Once you’ve done that, the important part is replacing them with new habits that will actually help you. I did it by using little post-it notes in all the places that led me astray. On my fridge, on the inside of my wallet, on the dashboard of my car. It worked too, but that’s a whole other post :)
That’s all from me for now. I’m getting ready for the new Pump workshop and putting together my next cycle class.
Have an awesome workout.