It’s been a long, frustrating winter here in northern New England. People have been fearful of turning on the news at night in fear that meteorologists were going to utter that dreaded four-letter word that starts with S.
No, I don’t mean THAT S-word. I’m talking about snow. You know, that fluffy white stuff that can turn a gym into a ghosttown in a matter of minutes and can make the most experienced, seasoned Maine driver look like Danica Patrick spinning into the infield at a NASCAR track.
That said, spring is finally arriving. Snow is melting. I can see bits and pieces of my buried grill and deck. But a sure sign of spring for all of of Les Mills fanatics is the arrival of BodyPump 93.
As most of you know, I’ve been busy doing my first AIM 2 videos, the next step in the long process to becoming an Elite-level instructor. But last weekend, I finally got a chance to do this new workout, and really enjoyed it!
That said, here is my early look:
Warmup: Break Free. Great warmup and a great Top 40 hit to welcome people into class! Remember, don’t be too intense here. Focus on timing and the target zones of each exercise, and use the song to connect. Great chance to engage our rotator cuffs by finishing the track with rotator raises, getting our shoulders primed and ready for lots of presses later on!
Squats: Booyah. Booyah indeed! I hope you guys enjoyed working from the bottom-range up in the last release because we’re going to see a bit more of it this track! Remember, holding one count at bottom-range forces you to drive harder to reach top range, therefore working the muscles harder and recruiting more muscle fibers. Short recoveries and staying in mid-stance through most of the track – save for a 45-second final set – will overload the quads. We’ve had some killer squat tracks lately and this one is certainly no different!
Chest: Kings And Queens. I love the change in the workout with the chest flies, but this track is awfully, awfully slow. While the music is certainly going to have to grow on me a little bit – and I’m sure it well – I do like the muscle isolation the chest fly provides. Remember, the further you extend your elbows and open your chest, the more you’ll get out of it, especially in the bottom-half pulses. Coach timing big-time with this one. Slow work equals more time under tension, which leads to quicker, stronger muscle change.
Back: Here Tonight. A relatively short track, which means if you’re thinking about increasing your weight selection, this is a good time to do so. This track is heavy on speed and power training with multiple blocks of clean and presses and the power press. Remember, the recoveries in this track aren’t very long so the heart rate is going to be high from start to finish, and the muscles are going to be under constant metabolic stress, burning more calories and increasing strength. Find that big intensity in the deadrows (strength) and the clean and presses (speed/power).
Triceps: Bang Bang. The super-fast transitions between exercises – overhead extensions to pushups to kickback rows – make this a challenging track, and with no recoveries, we’re going to be under tension for a full five minutes. But remember, this is a fun song, so make sure your energy matches that of this Top 40 hit! Remember, the best way to coach fast transitions is to pre-cue the next exercise so your members don’t miss a single rep.
Biceps: Centuries. You have the option to use plates or a barbell here, but if you really want to feel the training difference, I’m highly going to recommend that heavy plates be used. We’re going to feel a lot of burn with more combinations of mid-range pulses and singles, so coach your class to feel the intensity in the mid-range pulse. Again, don’t go too too big with your vocals here because the song is very intense. Use your five voices carefully!
Lunges: 1941. This is certainly an old-school track. Five blocks of work and no recoveries will make this a very challenging lunge track. The great thing about BodyPump is that you can tone your muscles with a high amount of repetitions and a smaller amount of resistance, so keep that in mind while doing this track. Quality over quantity wins every time, so don’t go too heavy and sacrifice full range. Technique is going to be vital here, so again, choose a weight that will allow you to feel the tension yet maintain full range and proper technique in the final two sets.
Shoulders: Twisted. There’s a lot of energy in this shoulder track, and a lot of combinations between fast work (singles) and slow work. Use your intense voice in the singles and in the push-ups, but when that slow work hits, be precise and in control. There are a whopping seven blocks of work, starting and ending with push-ups, so when that final block of push-ups hits, use your intense yet motivating voice to get your class through that final 30 seconds.
Core: All About That Bass. Another Top 40 hit that I’ve been waiting to see in Pump! I love the energy that this track brings! Be sure to coach the benefits of the single leg hip bridge, in which one ankle will be on top of one knee as you drive your hips up. Be sure to drive through your heels hard and push through the chest to get the most out of this move, which is a great stabilizer for the posterior chain.
Cooldown: What Are You Waiting For. I don’t understand all the hate that Nickelback gets, but I for one think this is a great, relaxing, soothing finish to class. Postscript: Nickelback is playing in Maine this summer and I can’t wait to see them live!
BodyPump just gets better and better with each release, and I’m looking forward to officially launching this release at the end of this month!