BODYPUMP 95: More than 1,000 repititions of power

At ONE LIVE CHICAGO in August, BODYPUMP 95 was presented in spectacular fashion by some of the best fitness trainers in the world.

Last weekend at Union Street Athletics in Bangor, Maine, one of New England’s top BODYPUMP teams was on display as we dished out 1,000 reps at our third annual Fit Fight.

This year, our charity was the United Way, and I’m proud to say we raised $1,000 for this outstanding cause. And like the last two years, we took our classes – RPM and BODYCOMBAT in addition to BODYPUMP – outside.

After what had been a warm September in northern New England, fall dropped in on us in a chilly way. Temperatures barely got into the 50’s, and the wind was whipping, but the sun was shining down on us! BODYPUMP 95 is a fantastic release and a lot of our members reported Sunday that they were really feeling it!

WARMUP: 8/10. Solid start to class and the choreography is simple and easy to follow, as usual. Don’t be too aggressive in your delivery. Welcome veterans and newcomers alike, and set them up for a killer workout!

SQUATS: 8/10. There has been a lot of talk between ONE LIVE CHICAGO and now about how much people hate this squat track for one reason: The song. I get it. Some people are sick of Dubstep. We all have different tastes in music. But, once you press play and put the bar on your back, you won’t even think about the fact that this track has no lyrics. There is a LOT of slow work, especially in the beginning. We don’t even hit the combinations of singles and bottom halves until Round 3 when our legs are already feeling the heat. Ohh, and we’re in wide stance the entire time with no break! Very challenging track!

CHEST: 10/10. Easily my favorite track of this release. This was one of three tracks I led at the Fit Fight, and I had a flashback to my rookie year here when the mic cut out early in the track. In 2010, the first time I ever taught a chest track (and I had bronchitis at the time), my mic fell off the back of my head, and I had no voice for a week!
While I didn’t lose my voice this time around, I love the challenges three different exercises – chest press, A-press and bench push-ups – presents with this track. By the time you hit the second round of A-presses and push-ups, the muscles will really be feeling the heat, so it’s important to maintain proper technique (when isn’t it) so the muscles get the proper work. Remember, options are there if you need them!

BACK: 9/10. Another outstanding track and a great one to challenge yourself! I’ve been waiting to see squat plate presses return to a back track, and here they are this time around! This track features a bit of power training with clean and presses and power presses and a touch of high intensity interval training with the squat plate press. Again, a good time to challenge yourself by adding weight to your bar (easier if you have a SmartBar) after each set, as the barbell sets get shorter as we work through. When we pick up our plates, we only have 20 seconds of squats/plate presses, so again, try to challenge yourself and go heavier! My teammates challenged me to “triple fist”, or grab three plates, and it felt awesome! This track is sticking around for a while.

TRICEPS: 8/10. Fast-moving track that challenges the triceps with fast transitions and little recoveries. We start with back to back sets of overhead presses and dips before working into kickback rows. The tempos are fairly fast, and there are a lot of pulsing dips which will really challenge your triceps! Very solid track here and another good chance to go heavy in the overheads and dips.

BICEPS: 9/10. Boy, did it go down for real! I love the direction the bicep tracks in BODYPUMP have been going lately with mid-range pulses coupled with plate curls. This time, we add some plate deadrows to the mix, which is a bit of an active recovery in the midst of all the pulsing. Time under tension equals fast change, and there are a lot of mid-range pulses in this track! The five blocks of work are short but by the time you get to rounds four and five, you’ll really be feeling the burn if you squeeze the biceps properly.

Lunges: 9/10. Definitely a “throwback” lunge track here, as this one has tons of pulses and no break! We start with squats to pre-fatigue our legs a bit, and then we work our way into lunges. The legs will really get a sizzling workout here, as they did in the squat track. Just when you think you’ve got a reprieve after all the pulses, we end with singles on each side! OUCH!

Shoulders: 10/10. This is a track that really captures the essence of what BODYPUMP is all about. Again, quick transitions and no recoveries in this one. While there are no push-ups, there are a lot of upright rows and overhead presses, so think quality over quantity when choosing how much weight you put on the bar. There are also quite a bit of side-raises and side rotator raises, both great moves for strengthening the rotator cuff

Core: 9/10. For the first time in a while, we have some hover work in the core track (yay!) and a whole lot of leg extensions and pulsing crunches to go with it. The entire first half of the track as we extend our legs and crunch, our heels stay below our butt, so a strong core brace is very important here. Make sure your low back stays as close to the floor as possible! When we come up to hover, there are eight rotating hovers on each side which will factor our obliques into the mix. Great finish to an outstanding release!

Cooldown: 10/10. There are no words to describe how awesome this cooldown is. I’m going to encourage you to NOT over-talk it, and really listen to the words in the music. One part stood out to me: “In my weakness, I am strong.” That really captures what BODYPUMP is all about. At the end of the track, I thanked my members for their support through all the AIM II tapings I had to do over the last nine months, as putting up with a camera in the back of the room is not an easy thing to deal with.

Hope you guys enjoy BODYPUMP 95! Best of luck with your launches! Can’t believe we’re only five releases away from 100!

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.