REVIEW: LES MILLS BODYPUMP #89

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I have been following the Les Mills Bodypump now for about 1 1/2 years and honestly, I do not remember with which release I started. In my gym they offer several Les Mills classes, including CX Works or Bodycombat. The one class that I have been following religiously has to be Bodypump. My gym released the 89th release about 4 weeks ago – enough time to get a proper opinion about the routine.

So without further ado – let’s get to it!

Music

Let’s start with the tracklist for this release. Taken from the official Les Mills Website:

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Although I see how the tracklist and the liking thereof is a very individual thing, I will still add my 2 cents.

I truely like the beginning of this release, meaning the warming up and the squat track. Especially the squat-track is a very high-impact song, which i believe is truely needed when challenging and pushing yourself during this section. For the chest part of this release, they chose a track by Fall Out Boy “Where did the party go” which is less of an energizing song, but still fits the chest-routine. Let me put it this way, the exercices do actually match the beats of a song, and even newbies will manage to get their timing right. The back-track is also relatively easy to follow and the rythm does match the exercise most of the time. My only problem here are the plate lifts combined with squats. In my opinion the beat is not appropriate to do a properly deep squat followed by a plate life in time. I personally do sacrifice the impact of my squats, simply to not fall behind. In my opinion, more time is needed, especially to ensure your strength is actually taken from the core – not from momentum.

Applause by Lady Gaga (the triceps-track) is up until here the first song I know – must be a European thing (or maybe I’m just too boring a person). And let me tell you – this track is a definite improvement from the last relase, which was a total desaster triceps-wise. “When you were young” by The Killers is a nice refreshing song, it is easy to follow although its more Rock-Alternative-nature. The lunge-track is the worst from where i stand. It does not match the movements at all – especially given the routine. I cannot see how most people should remember the timing without the instructor’s counting . The shoulder track is once again given to Brooklyn Bounce – what is up with that? Does Brooklyn Bounce have an official right to the shoulder-section? This must be the third or fourth shoulder track in a row taken by Brooklyn Bounce. I don’t mind that much, but there’s a ton of good tracks out there – why not switch it up? Naughty Boy’s “La La La” and Imagine Dragon’s “Radioactive” form the closing of this release, which form a nice end to the release being relatively low-impact songs.

Conclusion: Not my most favorite ever playlist. Out of the 10 tracks, 2 or 3 would it make onto my personal playlist, which is not a lot. They have hit the mark with most of their tracks, whereas the lunge track is quite off-beat if you ask me. For a next release, I just hope there are more up-beat, high impact songs. If I needed to give a mark, it would be a 5/10

Difficulty

Althought there are a few new moves, I think it is easy to follow even if it is your first ever Bodypump routine. Right in the warming up, they have introduced a double-row, which is not very difficult to master. At the same time, the lunge track now includes pulses, which somewhat differ from the regular bottom-halves. I think it is a nice new move – if only the music was a better fit.  Being a practiced Body-Pumper, you shouldn’t have any problems following the routine.

About the moves itself, I think they have introduced a nice mix of different routines. The back-routine has a nice mixture of a barbell-part and a free-weight part, which I love. Same goes for the biceps routine – you can chose to do the first half with free weights. This way I feel you can push yourself harder during the barbell-parts and slowly work yourself towards increasing the weights. It also creates a feeling of variety – so well done here! My personal highlight during this release is the free-weight combination during the back-routine. Your combination being 2 squats followed by a plate lift. Watching your fellow pumpers during this part is absolute bliss. Even regulars seem to get this combination wrong, and it makes me smile to see plates popping up here and there. One more downer I would like to mention are the triceps-push ups, which they have decided to keep in this release. I would really hope they would get rid of it as most people – including me – do get it wrong. I am doing these push-ups on the floor now, which is a lot harder but at least I get the technique right this way. For the rest the triceps routine really is not that bad due to its variation in moves.

Conclusion: I think the mix of moves they have gotten very right in this release, it is not difficult to follow and I get the feeling of variety in this 89th release – two thumbs up! My mark: 8/10

Effectiveness

Does this release cause muscle pain? – Yes it does. But not as bad as usually. When finishing this release for the first time, I did experience musle soareness, which is a good sign! In the course of about 4-5 weeks I have managed to increase my weights for chest and back, while reducing a bit on the squat-front. It is very difficult judging a single release on its effectiveness, however I would definitely recommend checking it out as summer is just ahead of us.

Overall

This is surely not my favorite release ever, but I feel they messed it up with the tracklist. The routine itself is definitely fun and challenging to do. When doing it right, you will be absolutely exhausted and tired after doing this routine and you will feel and see results after  short amount of time. My wishes for the next release: please Les Mills – leave out the triceps push ups for the sake of “normal” people and please decide for a new shoulder-track band. I would hope they could bring back jump squats in the next release – that would be my personal request.

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