With more changes to the training stimulus, BodyPump 89 will leave you breathless and feeling the change

As we all know, Les Mills is embarking on a new era, with a lot of instructors opting to receive their group fitness releases in a digital format.

Before I dive into this preview of BodyPump 89, I’d like to point out that I had no issues whatsoever downloading my materials to my laptop. I think this switch is going to be good for all of us this summer, and will allow us to start learning our releases a lot faster. A lot of my fellow instructors had no issues as well.

Anyhow, here’s a look at a killer release I’ve already practiced once. It’s no joke.

Warmup: Not Alone: A very happy track to kick off the masterclass. Nothing fancy, save for a couple of combinations with our deadlifts and deadrows. Remember to keep things simple and coach each exercise as it comes.

Squats: Raise Those Hands: Another tri-set squat track with very limited recovery time that will give the quads, hamstrings and glutes a fiery workout! The intensity comes in the combinations, which feature four reps of two singles followed by two bottom-half pulses, with two sets in round one and one in the final two rounds. Tons of pressure will be felt in the bottom halves, which fall at the end of the final two sets, making this a challenging track. Remember, every rep counts!

Chest: Where Did The Party Go: The party’s only getting started! Once again, we start with a heavy bar for two sets and follow that up with a pair of sets of A-presses with heavy plates. Recovery time is limited here and the transitions are quick, so the muscles will be loaded throughout the track. Remember, with the A-press, your hands are narrower than shoulder width and the range of motion isn’t nearly as wide as a chest fly. Be sure to load that bar up if you want to feel this one, there’s not a lot of bar work!

Back: Me & You: I’ve never seen a back and legs track without clean and presses or power presses, so this was certainly different, and not in a bad way. We’re using a heavy bar and a heavy plate, the bar for deadrows and deadlifts and the plate for a plate-front squat. Before everyone gets up in arms, let’s remember that sometimes we have to change the training up a bit to get the results we desire. Prior to practicing this release, I did a weight-room set conducive to this track’s choreography, and it was challenging. The key will be using a heavy weight for the deadlifts and deadrows, as there are only two short barbell sets, and exploding with the plate front squat press. remember, mechanical tension plus metabolic stress equals results!

Triceps: Applause: Your triceps will certainly be giving you a round of applause after this one! Once again, we do not use a barbell, with a single heavy plate being the only weight needed. The intensity lies with the short sets of pushups followed by overhead extensions. there aren’t many pushups – only 11 in each set – so if you want maximum intensity, do as many as you can – if not all of them – on your toes. Hey, we can’t change without challenges! The dips and extensions at the end will surely finish those babies off.

Biceps: When You Were Young: The past few releases, we’ve started with the bar and finished with heavy plates. Well, this time, we’re switching it up a bit, starting with hammer and plate curls and finishing with barbell curls. The different styles of curls – plate, hammer, open plate and barbell – will challenge the arms throughout the track, especially the combinations at the end! The top-half curls will trap the pressure into the biceps, creating more fatigue and muscle change. There is a break after the first barbell set, so GO HEAVY!

Lunges: Burn: Your glues will certainly be burning when this one is done! The challenge here comes from timing. For instance, in some cases,we’re going down four counts, holding for four counts then coming back up super slowly. Make sure you have a fairly heavy bar but not too heavy to assure full range motion. Focus on the timing as well, don’t go too quickly. Fellow  instructors, emphasize this in your coaching!

Shoulders: True Hardstyler: Finally, we get some pushups in Track 8, 32 of them to be exact! Once again, we’ll have multiple sets with minimal rest, which will accumulate fatigue throughout the track. But again, if the shoulders are burning, that only means that results are accumulating and strength is building. After two whopping sets of pushups, we jump into two sets of upright rows and overhead presses, and rotator raises and presses in the final set. Extremely challenging track.

Core: La La La: Simple ab track that is challenging, with rotating side  hovers at the end. We haven’t had those in BodyPump in quite some time. Remember, the hover trains all of our core muscles in the way we use them each and every day. We start with leg extensions and pulsing crunches in the first two sets before diving into hover work in the final set.

There are a lot of changes to the training stimulus in this release, especially in Track 4, but again, if we don’t change the training stimulus once in a while, change will not happen. Even though I’ve only practiced it once and listened to it through a couple times, I give this release an eight on a scale of 1 to 10.

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.