There was a lot of anticipation among my clients at Union Street Athletics here in Maine as we prepared to dish out BodyPump 89 over the weekend.
This release, along with all the new RPM, BodyCombat, BodyAttack and GRIT series workouts launched this weekend, left Team USA feeling accomplished, sweating and basking in the glory. BodyPump 89 marked the 39th PUMP release my gym has launched, and it may be the best – and most challenging – release yet.
Warmup: 7/10. Little strange to not see any bicep curls and some funky combinations in the warmup, but the music gives this track a high rating. Numerous transitions make it challenging to connect with participants, but so long as the cues are short and sharp, you’re OK. Great lead into the workout.
Squats: 5/10. I had no problem with the choreography here – three sets with minimal recoveries and killer combinations of singles and bottom halves – but the music is what gives this track such a low rating. Bad music aside, this track gives the glutes, hamstrings and quads quite the burst, especially with the minimal recovery time. While the music kind of sucks, this is a great, challenging track.
Chest: 7/10. Not bad but not great. The choreography essentially follows that of the chest track of the prior release, with two barbell sets followed by two sets of A-presses. Again, the key to maximizing the effort in the chest, arms and shoulders is to really load the bar up. There’s a little more pressure with bottom halves preceding the singles in the first two sets, so once you pick up those plates, your members should be feeling it. Pretty catchy song, too.
Back: 9/10. My clients were quite flabbergasted when I mentioned right off the bat that this track had zero clean and presses. But every so often, we have to mix up the training plan in BodyPump, or else we won’t see change. In terms of strength training for the back, there is nothing like the barbell row, and in this track, there’s a lot of them, and provides a good chance for members and instructors alike to challenge themselves. The heartrate blast comes from the plate-press squats. A lot of metabolic stress happening here, combined with the tension in the bar work produces the results you dream of! Great track here.
Triceps: 8/10. No barbell here? No problem. Four blocks of work that challenge the back of the arms, including 11 pushups in the first two blocks. The tension truly comes from the quick transition from pushups to overhead extensions with a heavy plate in the first two blocks, then we hit dips in the third block and finish with more presses in the final set. One of the best tracks of this release.
Biceps: 10/10. I’m very picky about bicep tracks, but the last few – including this one – have been outstanding. This one is the epitome of challenging, as we fire the biceps up with open-plate curls in the first three sets, but the challenge comes in the end with combinations as we pick the bar up. Lots of top-half curls trap the pressure in the muscles and create fast change, as we come up quick, go halfway down smoothly and then transition into the top-halves. You’ll feel the PUMP here for sure!
Lunges: 7/10. After a couple of challenging lunge tracks the last few releases, this one was so-so, but the challenge comes in holding that bottom range in the slow work. The longer you hold, the more fatigue builds into the muscles, thus creating more change. The key to making sure your members get the most out of this track is encouraging them to stay low when the burn starts to creep in.
Shoulders: 9/10. One of the toughest shoulder tracks I’ve seen! The PUMP creeps in right away with 32 pushups right from the get-go, and from there, the burn gets even hotter! Top-half upright rows before we get to the overhead presses – and there are two sets of these following the pushups – really set the fire into the shoulders! Minimal recoveries make this track an extreme challenge. Make sure your class maintains control in the rotator raises and presses in the fifth set as fatigue sets in.
Core: 8/10. Very simple core track featuring leg extensions, top-half crunches and some rotating hover work at the end. Make sure your class executes the hover properly, as that move trains all the core muscles at the same time. Great way to end class.
Overall, I give this release an 8 on a scale of 1 to 10. Quite a few challenge tracks, outstanding music, and even better, a very challenging release! The next time I’ll be reviewing a release will be Release 90 from New Orleans in two months! Anybody else getting excited for the biggest group fitness party in U.S. history?