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 :)