So, what happens when the quarterly BodyPump workshops in Melbourne, it’s 34 degrees outside, you’re in a massive metal building with 300 other instructors, no air conditioning and 2 pedestal fans ? You have one awesome, massive, sweaty workout. Oh, and afterwards you end up with a swimming pool on the floor as a freebie :)
The focus for BodyPump 72 is on isolation and bottom halves and let me tell you, they’re not kidding. Pretty much every track has some kind of modification to keep the muscles under tension just that little bit longer. Whether it be bottom halves or three quarter moves, you’ll feel it by the end.
You may be thinking, ‘hang on… why do they keep making it harder?” Well, and most of the instructors out there know this, a lot of participants tend to under-load their bar by a fair amount and are really not working up to their potential. So, if we can’t get you to put more weight on the bar, we’ll make the workout a little bit more intense so you get a big workout even if you’re a bit scared of the big plates :)
As usual, I’ll keep the review as musically spoiler free as possible. If you want to see the track list, check out the Sizzler, a post or two down.
Warmup: Time to get going. As soon as the beat hits, you know it’s going to be a big workout. We start with our usual assortment of deadlifts and rows. The original track from release 71 as great, but I really like this one because you know the song and it’s a happy tune. Lots of quick change overs, and moves. It’s quite a long one too, so by the, you’re be ready for the real work
Squats: Ok, so we said that this one is all about isolation and bottom halves. They weren’t kidding. This is one of the hardest squat tracks I’ve done in a long time. It’s only 3 rounds. Medium first round, then massive second and third rounds. Not only that, they trick us too. Just when you think the track is finished, you realise you’re only at the end of the second round. Seriously, go with your normal squat weight today. Don’t try to be a hero during the first couple of classes of this release, you may end up regretting it. First round filled with the usual warmup moves plus a good set of bottom halves. Second round starts easy but the gets not-so-nice with lots of singles and bottoms. Think the round is over ? Sorry, it’s just a quick super slow to let the legs breathe before we go again…and again. I think I lost count somewhere after 20 bottom halves just in that round. And we haven’t even hit the third round yet. Ouch.
Chest: Thank goodness we can lie down. After that leg workout, the legs are shot. Once again, it’s all about isolation and bottoms. We have a nice little combo move from a few releases ago to get in deep: The slow bottom half pulse. Four rounds, but be careful…. the break is about half way into the track rather than the usual three quarters. And what a difference it makes. The last two rounds will make you want to cry. Awesome rock track that lets you move your arms nice and smooth during the 2/2’s and then rip it up for the singles and bottoms. By the time you’re two rounds in, you’re happy to get the break and have already forgotten that we still have another 2 rather evil rounds to go. Uh-oh. Now the real work begins. Easy start, combos, bottoms, more, more and more.
Back: It’s a Cascada track. What else can i say? Big Bass Beat, Deadlifts, Clean & Press, Triple Rows. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. And Repeat again. I guess there had to be some Cascada or Pink in the release somewhere :) It’s actually a pretty good track. Typical Cascada high energy sound. No surprises, just a solid workout. Don’t be shy on the weights. With lots of rounds, we get plenty of breaks and time to recover.
Triceps: All right, back to the isolation workouts. The focus here is constant loading for the muscles for a real good burn. Grab yourself a little more weight than usual to get the real feel for the workout. We start with some nice easy triceps extensions followed by a little set of bottom presses. We repeat the movements for a few rounds to isolate the triceps. There’s a new move with the combo press-pullover. Down, pullover, back and up again. I’m a big fan of the pullover move. Uh, how about a few more bottom halves. For the encore, let’s finish this one off with a few dips. The new option today is to keep your bar in your lap to add a little more weight. Believe me, give this option a try. There’s only a few of them, but let me tell you, it works. Instructors, please make sure you demo this option.
Biceps: As usual, bit rock tune to work the guns. I dare you not to tap your foot to this one. Everything we know and love about a bicep track… Lots of two’s, three’s, 1/3’s and bottom halves. After that though, we mix it up a bit some bicep triple rows. Remember them from a few releases ago? They allow you go a bit heavier on the weights because you’re getting assistance from more muscles. The rounds are longer, the weight is heavier. Go hard!
Lunges: Hang on, is this one the lunge track or is it another squat track? For the first couple of minutes, they had me confused. Because we’re squatting for a bit, we need to go heavier than normal. Think chest weight. Pay attention to your instructor too, the transition from the squats to the lunges needs a little attention. But anyway, the track itself it the usual big beat techno sound that will carry you through the workout. Lots of squats to start with. Really… Lots. 2’s, 3’s, singles, bottoms… They’re all there and we haven’t even done a lunge yet. When we do get there though, you can really feel that extra weight. We get lots of slow movements to go deep and feel the burn. Do yourself the favour, load up and really go for it. Word of warning: Even with all the squats to break it up, it’s longer than you think.
Shoulders: Finally, the Michael Jackson Tribute! Honestly, this cover of ‘Beat It’ is the perfect Shoulder track. ‘Beat it….Beat it…..No one wants to be defeated’. It doesn’t get better than this. Pushups to get us going then rear delt raises and side raises to lift the temperature. No really new movements, so we can just focus on the music and the workout. We do get a small, interesting modification with the three quarter range movements. We go all the way up, but only ¾ way down to keep the muscles loaded. By the time you get into the song and get to the break, you wont even notice how much work there is in this track. Quick recovery and then it’s time to grab your bar and head upstairs. Give it all you’ve got.
Abs: Ouch. That’s probably the best way I can describe the ab track in this release. The reverse ab curls from the previous release are back, and in a big way. Slow, medium, quick, every way you’d want them. Since we’re now familiar with the move, it’s really time to focus on form. Make sure you glue your heels to your butt as you lift. Just when you think there couldn’t possibly be any more, we find out that we’re only half way through. Are they for real? This thing hurts. Hit the deck for a walking hover on and off the bench for what feels like an eternity. What’s a walking hover ? You’ll find out…. or rather, your abs will.
Cooldown: This has got to be the coolest cover of ‘Careless Whisper’ ever :). Normally, there’s not much to write about the cooldown since they’re all fairly similar. This one, however, is quite different. We get a whole set of brand new moves including a quad stretch on the floor. This is one of the best cooldown tracks to finish a solid, solid workout.
I can happily say that the Les Mills team have done it again. BodyPump 72 is one of the hardest, most effective workouts I have done in a long time. The program keeps evolving and the music keeps getting better. No wonder millions of people around the world choose Les Mills BodyPump as their workout program of choice. Well done guys.