BodyPump 87 preview

I had a chance to do BodyPump 87, along with five other new Les Mills releases, in Orlando earlier this month. Prior to doing this release, I had never seen the choreography or heard the music. Following the masterclass, the anticipation of this release arriving in my mailbox just grew higher.

With this release, we put a huge emphasis on strength training, with limited recoveries in each track. It’s a release that will leave you feeling stronger, inside and out. Without further adieu, here’s the preview.

Warmup: Let There Be Love: The choreography in this warmup is a bit scattered in some places, but this is a good time to get a feeling for most of the moves we see in a BodyPump class. It’s also a good time to smile, greet your regulars and welcome the new members to your class. Show them some love, and don’t be too aggressive – yet.

Squats: Black Betty: New innovation coming at us here with the wider stance squat. We’ve got three sets of work with minimal recoveries and multiple combinations coming at us. With the wider squat, we’ll see a lot more recruitment in the glutes. Think of your wide stance for a second: You’ll be one heel and one toe wider than that stance. Really focus on pushing through the heels and bracing the core hard to give the glues some oomph, and don’t forget to push those knees out! Everyone should know this song, so don’t over-coach it.

Chest: Don’t Stop The Party: A recurring theme in this release from a music standpoint is it features a lot of house music, which I personally love! Again, try not to be too aggressive with the lyrics here. Just play with them as this song has great energy to it. We start with three sets on the bench and then finish with chest flies, essentially the opposite of BodyPump 86. Good track to add a little extra weight on the bar as well, since we want to be feeling it once we hit the flies. And the sets of flies are real short, too, so you know what to do!

Back: Again and Again: Once again, we have a lot of hang cleans coming at us. The common mistake people make with this move is not pushing their hips back and engaging the legs. In order to properly execute this move and the clean and press, you must drive through the legs and brace the core hard as the bar goes over your head. We’ve got four sets and three recoveries and TONS of clean and presses, so you’ll need a heavier than normal bar if you really want to feel this one.

Triceps: Light Em Up: Sorry, Team USA, I’ve already got this one claimed! As was the case in BodyPump 86, we’re not using the bar with this track. Dips, kickbacks, pushups and standing overhead extensions make up this superset. Really tie the song lyrics into your coaching here, as we’re not lying done on the bench at all so this is a perfect time to really connect with your class. The pushups in the third set will be the challenging point of the track, with the extensions finishing the triceps off. My favorite track of this release!

Biceps: Bom Bom: We’re bringing back the hammer curls here! The low-intense option is to obviously use the bar, but if you really want to feel this one, you’ll want to try this with heavy plates or dumbbells. Only three sets of work with one short recovery. Again, the lyrics here are funky and club-esque, so don’t be too aggressive, smile and have fun. Another fantastic track here.

Lunges: Sweet Nothing: All the “old-school” lunge fanatics will like this one. Short set of squats to start then two long sets of lunges at the end. This one certainly gave my legs a burning sensation down in Orlando. To top it off, we’re in wide stance for our squats, so we’re really going to get the maximus out of our gluetus here. Personally, I’m a little bummed there is no plyometric work in this track, but I’m hopeful it returns for the next release. Still, not a whole lot of complaints about this one.

Shoulders: Crush On You: Ahh, a shoulder track with no pushups! Another bummer to a certain extent. Only two sets of work here, and in the first round we’re just getting a feel for the work, but in the second, we up the intensity a little bit. We’ve got another new move, the standing T-raise, which will isolate the upper back and rear deltoids. You’ll want to push your hands nice and wide, brace the core hard and open the chest nice and wide to recruit more muscles in the upper back.

Abdominals: Troublemaker: Great finish to the workout here. We start with plate crunches and alternating leg extensions the first two sets, then switch up the combination and replace the plate crunches with hip bridges in the final two sets. Remember, when you’re doing your hip bridges, the plate rests on your lap. Another great song to finish the workout off.

Overall on a scale of 1 to 10, I’ll have to give BodyPump 87 an 8. Needless to say I haven’t taught it yet, but if the music and workout is any indication, my members are certainly going to love it. Over 500 of us pumped strong down in Florida, so the energy will certainly be brought back to all our clubs.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports reporter Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins. In "The Boston Blitz" he'll be sharing his perspective with BDN readers about what's happening on the Boston professional sports scene.