BodyPump 88 review

A little ice and rain certainly didn’t kill a throng of hearty Union Street Athletics members last weekend, who braved freezing rain and icy roads to participate in our BodyPump 88 launch.

Even though our parking lot, like many roads in Maine, resembled an ice-skating rink, it was certainly hot inside our group exercise room.

Without further adieu, my review of this outstanding release:

Warmup: 7/10: One of the best songs of the release, and the choreography was simple and easy to follow. Fantastic start to the workout.

Squats: 8/10: What do you get with three sets – all the same – and some challenging combinations? A killer squat track, which is exactly what this is, no music pun intended, of course. The combination of singles and quick-slow tempos not only spiked the heartrate, but kept our members under tension longer, therefore recruiting more muscle fibers. Challenging track for sure.

Chest: 6/10: The new A-press adds a little spice to the track, but the music just wasn’t doing it for me here. Also, the barbell set was much too short. You’ll really want to go heavy if you want to feel it. Plus, Glen recommended 10KG (22 pound) plates for guys when we hit the A-press, but if you have Don Oliver plates, like we do, it’s nearly impossible to use such a weight unless you have smartbar plates. This one may be on the end of the month chopping block.

Back: 7/10: Not spectacular, but it doesn’t suck, either. Lot of clean and presses and hang cleans here gave us a chance to add some explosive training to the workout. Explosive training reaps benefits in the posterior chain, and there’s a lot of it this track. The power presses at the end add a nice kick.

Triceps: 5/10: The only reason I have this track so low on the scale is because of the fast transitions. This would certainly be a challenging one if you’re going for certification on this release. But the track itself, with heavy doses of pushups, kickbacks and overhead extensions – 140 of them to be itself – presents a strong challenge for the back of the arms. Quick supersets and limited recoveries really make those triceps burn.

Biceps: 6/10: Again, nothing fantastic here, but it doesn’t suck at the same time. Another good chance to go heavy with a short barbell set before we pick up plates to finish. And the hammer-curl set is a short one, so really load up that bar if you’re thinking about a PR here. Not a bad track, but a second set of plate curls could’ve added a bigger challenge.

Lunges: 7/10: Our participants found this one to be more difficult than BodyPump 87. They are certainly right. This track is somewhat similar, starting with squats and ending with two sets of lunges, but the lunges feature more bottom halves and slow reps, therefore firing up those glutes more and more. Music-wise, not too bad either. Work hard and play harder!

Shoulders: 8/10: Finally, no more of this Dubstep crap! The real challenge here is starting with a ton of upright rows with the bar and then finishing with a lot of presses, which include the squat combination (two singles, a quick-slow tempo), with plate work in between. Certainly my favorite track of the release, and a challenging one for sure. Even though there aren’t any pushups, this one will stay for a while.

Abs/Core: 6/10: Back to simple abs training with crunches, leg extensions and crunch reaches. Nothing fancy, which is great. Just working the abs and working them hard.

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Ryan McLaughlin

About Ryan McLaughlin

Ryan McLaughlin is a top-notch BodyPump instructor, who teaches at Union Street Athletics in Bangor. A fitness freak and longtime competitive runner before he got into group fitness, Ryan enjoys helping his participants reach their fitness goals, and motivating them with every class.