After two long months of anticipation, BodyPump 87 finally made its debut at Union Street Athletics over the weekend.
Participants flooded the group exercise room Saturday morning eagerly anticipating this new workout, and none of them, including their instructor, left disappointed.
Here’s the review, with a rating of each track:
Warmup: Got to say I love this song, and is a great start to the workout! The transitions in this warmup were a little tricky, so pre-cueing was critical in nailing this one down. It’s a shorter warmup track, but it led the participants into the workout quite well. 9/10
Squats: An old favorite! It’s never a bad thing to work your legs and hear “Black Betty” blaring over the studio! This release has some truly killer tracks and this is only the beginning. The wider-than-wide stance puts a lot more emphasis on the glutes, and the fact that there is just one break make this a challenging track. 9/10
Chest: Wasn’t too sold on this one in Orlando, but after teaching it a couple times, I think it’s a good, solid track. The fact that we don’t do the chest flies until the final set make them that much more challenging after loading the muscles with a heavy barbell, no less after a very abbreviated recovery where there is enough time to put the bar down and pick up the plates. Chest flies allow us to work deeper into the chest and recruit more muscle fibers. It certainly isn’t easy when super-fatigued, but Team USA got a lot out of this one and will continue to do so. 7/10
Back and Legs: The Hang Clean made a triumphant return in this calorie-killing track!! The sets here get shorter as we work but get more intense. The two sets of four consecutive clean and presses build strength and kick the heart rate up, while the hang cleans allowed us to work on the first phase of the clean and press. My participants have been executing both moves extremely well. Excellent track, great music. 8/10
Triceps: The showcase track of this release if you ask me, in terms of music! From the second play was pressed, the energy in the room skyrocketed. The choreography’s intensity matched that of the music, with a tri-set that left the triceps on fire! The 22 pushups are the lone ones in this release and really added lots of fuel to the fire. The transitions from kickbacks to pushups and pushups to extensions is extremely quick, so if you’re not on your toes, you’ll miss that first four-count rep. 10/10.
Biceps: Song is a little strange here but the choreography makes up for it. We’re using plates for hammer curls and plate curls the entire time, and it’s much more challenging than “Crazy” from BodyPump 84, where we also used plates. By the end of the second set, I was certainly feeling the heat, and the participants were as well. The combination of hammer curls (where the plates face each other) and plate curls (in which the plates twist up in the top phase) both hammered the biceps. Still not sold on the song, but the challenging aspect of this track will keep this one in my mix for quite some time. 8/10.
Lunges: I know some of the “old-school” folks may disagree with me here, but this is possibly the toughest lunge track ever choreographed, no disrespect to 74. The combination of squats and lunges with no break really loads the glutes – we’re in wide-stance for the squats – and puts a big focus on strength training in the legs. It’s not really about how much weight you put on with this one, it’s about executing the full range of motion by getting your legs to a 90-degree level. That way, your glutes and legs will see that change! Solid but challenging track. 6/10.
Shoulders: This is the one that will be taken out first. I don’t mind the choreography – the standing T-raise activates more fibers in the upper back and shoulders via executing a rear-deltoid raise by taking our elbows a bit wider – but the music is God-awful. It sounded like nails on a chalkboard. The fact that there were no pushups kind of chapped my behind. If you really want to feel this one, you’ll have to load up that bar big-time. 4/10.
Core: I was skeptical about this abdominals track in Orlando, but it didn’t turn out to be that bad. The plate crunch/leg extension combination lit a fire into the lower part of the core, although I may try it with two plates from now on, as I wasn’t really feeling it with a single 12-pounder. The hip bridges work the core more than people think. You just have to squeeze the heck out of your glutes, and you’ll feel it. 6/10
Overall, I give this release an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. There’s a lot of house music which I like, but I can only pray there are pushups in the next shoulder track.
Oh, a quick note, more than 400 tickets have been sold for the New Orleans quarterly workshop next June. VIP tickets for BodyPump have already been sold out – yes, I have mine – so its only a matter of time before this fills up!