The biggest BodyPump class in U.S. history

Typically, I don’t review BodyPump releases in this space until after my club has launched a new release, but after the spectacle in New Orleans last weekend, I just had to write my review of BodyPump 90 now.

It was by far the best BodyPump class I’ve ever been a part of that I was not teaching. Nothing is more powerful than 2,000 people in the same room all coming together for one common purpose and goal. Oh, and by the way, it was the largest BodyPump class in U.S. history!

Saturday's BodyPump masterclass in New Orelans was the largest BodyPump class in U.S. history

Saturday’s BodyPump masterclass in New Orelans was the largest BodyPump class in U.S. history

This release, presented in the Big Easy by program director Glen Ostergaard, Josef Matthews, Emma Barry, Megan Peterson and Will Pritchard, was off the hook and I an beyond excited to launch it at my club this weekend!

The review:

Warmup: 5/10. This warmup is all over the place in terms of combinations, and the fact that it ends with lunges makes it all the stranger. Not a bad start to class, but it could’ve ended with bicep curls or power presses as opposed to lunges. If not for the song, this track gets a lower grade.

Squats: 6/10. It seems as though the choreography over the last handful of squat releases has mirrored each other, and this one featured some challenging combinations featuring four singles and four bottom halves. Although I didn’t find this track to be extremely tough, it does have its challenging moments. Again, challenge your class to get low. Full range equals full change!

Chest: 8/10. Will absolutely ROCKED this track! He taught this one on the DVD as well, but that pales to comparison of the atmosphere experienced in New Orleans. One of the most challenging tracks of this release, it features isometric holds in which we stagger the bar halfway, all the way down, halfway back up and up to top range again slowly. If executed properly, the chest, shoulders and arms will feel the burn that they should. Challenge your class to lock their backs into the benchtop, thus stabilizing the core and keeping the chest up.

Back: 9/10. When you’re done with this track, if your heart rate isn’t up and you aren’t breathing heavily, you’ll need to put more weight on that bar! We go from clean and press combinations and deadrows to a TON of squat plate presses at the end. Glen challenged us to squat deep in the plate presses to create more power through the posterior chain, so really challenge your class the same way.

Triceps: 7/10. Not a bad tricep track but not an overly challenging one, either. Four sets on the bench and one set of dips, but the challenge will come from the quick transition from tricep presses to dips. Emma challenged us to execute the transition quickly to feel the full effect, and it made for a killer tricep workout

Biceps: 9/10. Even though we did the alternate bicep track in New Orleans, which I would’ve given a 6 had I reviewed it, I’m intending on using the regular track, which I’ve practiced and learned for my launch on Sunday. Even as a Christian I do not find the lyrics offensive. But that’s another topic for another day. The alternate track wasn’t bad but not great. I wish they would’ve used the regular track, despite the fact it has the word “goddamn” in it over and over. It’s just a lyric!

Lunges: 6/10. Not the most challenging lunge track, but Emma’s delivery inspired all of us to work hard. The mixture of top and bottom range work via one set of squats and two sets of lunges gives the glutes and quads a solid challenge, and I’m going to encourage you instructors to get your members to load the bar up a bit more for this one.

Shoulders: 10/10. All I can say about this track is WOW. All shoulder tracks are a beast, but this was as beastly as it gets! I’m not going to give a whole lot away because my members have yet to see this one, but Glen absolutely KILLED it! There was also one point where Kim Ames, my AIM II BodyPump trainer, who was right in front of me from her position on the stage, gave me a “you’re a beast” look, which inspired me to work harder. Do the same for your members! NOLA pix and vids 036

Core: 7/10.  Very simple core track, and the intensity comes from the pulsing crunches. Great way to end the workout and give the core a little bit of a punch.

Final grade: 8/10. Glen and company did an outstanding job with this release, and the fact I was in the front row of the biggest BodyPump class in history made this one even more special. I’m looking forward to presenting it to my members on Sunday.

Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

Ryan McLaughlin is a top-notch BodyPump instructor, who teaches at Union Street Athletics in Bangor. A fitness freak and longtime competitive runner before he got into group fitness, Ryan enjoys helping his participants reach their fitness goals, and motivating them with every class.