As a fitness instructor, it amazes me how fast 12 months can fly by sometimes.
This has certainly been a whirlwind year on the BodyPump stage, filled with plenty of ups and downs and hardcore releases. The best moment, obviously, was launching Release 85 just a couple days after my mother in law kicked breast cancer in the ass, and a ton of emotion poured out as the boys of Union Street Athletics donned pink. And I must say to this day she is doing extremely well!
We’ve had four releases to launch this year, 84, 85, 86 and 87. With help from my members and colleagues from around the globe, it’s time to unveil the best, most challenging tracks of 2013. Team USA will see these tracks through the end of the year, at least in my classes, leading up to our launch of 88 on Jan. 11. Without further adieu:
Warmup: Heartbreak on Hold (85): During the warmup track, you’re not supposed to be barking out instructions and acting hardcore. This is a time to smile, welcome newcomers and veterans into your class and maybe act a little cheeky. This song fits those traits perfectly, and the choreography was easy to follow with no fast transitions.
Squats: Antidote (85): There was a lot of debate between this one and “Black Betty” from Release 87, but Antidote got the popular vote. While there are only two working sets, they are long and there are a ton of combinations which work those legs hard! The song is also extremely popular among my members, as the song drives and motivates the participant to push through the challenging choreography. Black Betty is an excellent track as well, and garners honorable mention.
Chest: Uprising (85): One of only two chest tracks this year that did not include chest flies, and this one included two sets working from the bottom, which isolates the muscles differently. Similar to Antidote, the music drives the participants to push hard through tough combinations of fast and slow work. Starting from the bottom loaded the muscles a lot more, that’s for sure! Welcome to the Jungle was a close second.
Back: Campione 2012 (86): This release brought us the Hang Clean for the first time. It was a close call between this one and Again and Again (87), but the fact that there’s only one recovery and the challenging power presses at the end put this track over the top. Since the Hang Clean has been introduced, I’ve been noticing far better technique in the clean and press.
Triceps: Light ‘Em Up (87): This song just gets me fired up! It doesn’t hurt that the choreography in this track was challenging, either, mixing 19 pushups in with tons of kickbacks, dips and overhead extensions. Not to mention the transitions are extremely fast, so recovery time is minimal. Let it Roll from 85 was a close second, but nothing beats a long superset for the triceps. Got another one coming in Release 88!
Biceps: Bom Bom (87): I could’ve gone either way with this one, between Bom Bom and Crazy (84). Both tracks work the back of the arms in similar fashion – using hammer curls – but Bom Bom has almost no recovery time and tougher supersets, with more singles and bottom halves. Coming in close behind was Blow Me One Last Kiss (85), as that is a challenging track as well.
Lunges: Sweet Nothing (87): Another close call, between this one and Spectrum. In Spectrum, we’re jumping on and off of the bench – a track which sparked a debate earlier this year – and in Sweet Nothing, three sets of power with almost no recovery time. This was the one I had the harder time with, but Sweet Nothing was the close winner. Your glutes will never be the same! I may have to throw Spectrum in there once as well…too close to call!
Shoulders: This Is How We Rock (85): Crush On You never had a chance, as push-ups were a requirement! The shoulders were definitely rocked in this one, with walking push-ups in the beginning, a big set of plate work in the middle and plenty of overhead presses to finish. Another song that just screams “go hard or go home.” One of the best, most challenging shoulder tracks I’ve seen.
Abdominals: One More Night (85): Thought this one was kind of a no-brainer. I know, I know, there’s no planks or hovers, but they aren’t needed here. Combinations of leg extensions and plate crunches are plenty to get the abs cooking, and we finish them off with a combination of a double-leg extension and a plate extension at the end. With a heavy enough plate and proper leg alignment, your core feels this one!
Cooldown: Lullaby (84): Couldn’t leave anything from 84 out! Great song to end the workout, and connect with your participants one more time and congratulate them on a job well done.
There you have it. The “Best of BodyPump” for 2013. I know Christmas is still a few weeks off, but hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season, and looking forward to a strong 2014!