Eat, sleep, Pump, repeat: BodyPump 91 will challenge you from start to finish

Whenever I teach BodyPump, I always say the most challenging tracks are the ones where you load your bar with heavy weight, and give the muscles the challenge they need.

I’ve practiced the newest release, BodyPump 91, numerous times, and have to say that this is one of the hardest releases I’ve seen in quite some time. The direction this program is heading is outstanding as far as the training stimulus changing.

Here’s my take on the release – so far anyway – leading up to my club’s launch in two weeks.

Warmup: Sometimes, I feel ten feet tall. But all joking aside, Les Mills kept it simple with this warmup, which is the first one I’ve seen where we put the bar down and pick up light plates to warm up our shoulders. Very mellow song and a great start to the workout.

Squats: This is certainly a throwback squat track, with big blocks of singles and almost zero recovery time. The quads and glutes will be loaded from start to finish, especially with two blocks of 24 singles to end the final two sets. I like how this one really puts a pure load on the legs and torches calories with the big blocks of singles. A challenging squat track for sure.

Chest: I’d have to say this is the most challenging track of this release. All I have to say, is HOLY PUSHUPS! There are 56 of them in all – don’t worry, there are two sets of 28 – and we’ll be pre-fatiguing our chest muscles with A-presses. Probably the toughest chest track I’ve seen since “I like how it feels” and “What A Feeling,” both of which have monstrous blocks of pushups at the end. Oh, and did I mention the final 16 pushups of each set are maximum-speed pushups? Love it.

Back: Like explosive training and spiking your heartrate? Well, this is a great track for you then. You’ll have plenty of chances to train like an Olympic weightlifter with big blocks of clean and presses – three in a row followed by a deadrow to be exact – with the final two blocks containing three of the aforementioned supersets. Jeremiah Evans, one of the young presenters I look up to, did an awesome job presenting this one on the instructor DVD.

Triceps: Want more pushups? And some dips, kickbacks and overhead extensions, too? Well, you’ll get a heavy dose of all four in this tricep track. I’ve always favored the tracks where the bar is left out, because these four moves engage the triceps a lot more, especially with fast transitions. Make sure to pre-cue early and often here, as the beats are tricky. This was the only one I messed up the first time I practiced it without the DVD’s aid.

Biceps: Remember the challenging mid-range pulses from BodyPump 90? Well, there’s a lot more of them in this release, and as was the case in the previous release, there is no break. We throw a lot more singles into the mix this time, making this a very challenging track.

Lunges: I’ve always been a proponent of some sort of plyometric work in the lunge track, and it makes its triumphant return here with dynamic squat plate presses. And there’s a lot of them. If you use a heavy enough plate, you’ll really feel this one deep in the glutes. The transitions are fast and there isn’t much of a break, so the glutes will be loaded from start to finish.

Shoulders: All I have to say here is this shoulder track does not need any push-ups. The first two minutes are all bar work with a TON of overhead presses, so by the time you pick the plates up for rotating shoulder work, your shoulders are going to be feeling it. Eat, sleep, PUMP, repeat!

Core: Challenging core tracks have been few and far between the last few releases, but this one is pretty tough, since we’re in hover for a good two minutes at the end. The hip lifts make this a challenge for the obliques, and we spend a lot of time in side-hover. The obliques will be feeling it!

On a personal note, there’s a lot for me to look forward to with this release, with my club’s fundraiser coming up on Oct. 4, and I’m doing AIM II in Boston the following weekend. This marks my 18th BodyPump release and it’s one of the toughest yet from start to finish.

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.