Launch weekends are always special, but this particular one marked a milestone in my group fitness career.
Five years ago last weekend was when it all started. Three days in Lewiston, training on BodyPump 73, authoring the first chapter in what I hoped to be a lengthy group fitness novel.
Many chapters later, I celebrated my “Pump-Versary” this weekend. Launching BodyPump 93 twice last weekend marked five years and 20 releases of teaching arguably the best group exercise program in the world. It’s been a hell of a ride, and it’s only going to get better.
If the picture accompanying this post (hello, Kevin Garnett) is any indication, this release is fun, but intense at the same time! It’s a fabulous release and my members enjoyed it, and my team did a phenomenal job presenting it. The review:
Warmup: 8/10. If you want it, take it! I love this song and the choreography is very simple to follow and is an outstanding start to the workout. With a challenging shoulder track awaiting us, I liked the side-rotator work at the end of the warmup. It gets the rotator cuff and other shoulder muscles loose and ready for the work ahead.
Squats: 9/10. The combination of working from top-range down and from bottom-range up make this a pretty challenging track, and the 24 singles in that final set really gets that heart rate accelerated! Coaching precision and time under tension is essential in this one to assure that your members do not come up too fast in the combinations (one single, hold one count, work from the bottom-range up).
Chest: 8/10. Whenever you RPM’ers hear this song, you just think about riding as fast as you can. Not the case when we hear it in this chest track. It’s all about precision and time under tension. Again, I do enjoy the change in the training stimulus by adding chest flies. It gives the chest muscles a different feeling than when the barbell is used. Beautiful song too. You don’t really want to use your intense voice here. Focus on timing and precision.
Back: 8/10. Great mixture of power training and strength training in this one. I love the return of the push press, as it adds to the aspect of power training along with the clean and press. Lots and lots of deadrows in this one, a move you can’t beat for pure isolation in your back. Only three sets, so another good one to challenge yourself if you’re thinking about adding some more weight.
Triceps: 10/10. Now here is where you can really start to show off that swagger! The fast transitions and tricep push-ups make this a killer, killer track! I’ve always favored the tricep tracks in which we do not use a bar – as is the case in this one, going from extensions to push-ups to kickbacks and back to extensions – since it puts a little more pressure on the muscles. If you use a super-heavy plate those first two sets of extensions, you’ll really feel that work! Especially when you hit the push-ups.
Biceps: 10/10. I promise, you’ll remember this one for centuries! Another one you can have fun with but maintain that intensity at the same time. Once again, the mid-range pulses make this a very challenging track. Not to mention the fact that there is no break – I gave my peeps the evil Matt Thraxton eyebrow between Sets 3 and 4 – and those muscles are under pressure from start to finish.
Lunges: 9/10. Who doesn’t like to party like it’s 1941? This is a good, old-fashioned lunge track that puts a lot of focus and pressure on the glutes and quads. Of course, there is no break, so weight selection is critical. If you go too heavy, you won’t maintain full range of motion – each leg dipping to 90 degrees – in the final sets, and full range is not something you want to sacrifice.
Shoulders: 9/10. Did anybody else notice Glen sounded like he was saying “side potato” instead of “side rotator” on the DVD? Well, this Mainer and grandson of a potato farmer took full advantage of that and added a little spud-fun to my cues in this intense track. I love the intensity this track brings, with a whopping seven blocks of work, starting and finishing with push-ups.
Core: 7/10. I’ve been waiting for All About That Bass to appear in BodyPump! While I did enjoy the mixture of hip bridges, leg extensions and pulsing crunches, I found that the hip bridges may be a little more challenging if there was an option to put a plate on your lap, like there is in CXWorx. Maybe next time there are hip bridges in Pump, that could be an option. Not the most challenging core track but a solid one.
Cooldown: 8/10. I still don’t understand all the damn Nickelback hate! That said, great, relaxing finish to the class.
While this was undoubtedly a challenging release, it was one that we had a lot of fun with and showed off that swagger. A great way to celebrate my Pump-Versary.