BODYPUMP Release 91 Review

I’ve been teaching the latest BODYPUMP release (release #91) for about 2 weeks now, so I’m ready to review it & share my thoughts about it.

See other Les Mills’ posts here!


If you’re unfamiliar with Les Mills or their most popular fitness class, BODYPUMP, check out some info here & here! And find a class near you here.

Basically Les Mills’ BODYPUMP is a kick-butt barbell class pre-choreographed to popular, upbeat music that incorporates all the major muscle groups and gives you an incredible workout. Les Mills is the company that produces and releases these classes to instructors all around the globe. And every quarter we get a new one….now we’re at 91!

BodyPUMP Release 91 Review

Each 1 hour class begins with a warm-up, goes through each major muscle group, and ends with a core track and cool-down.

{lots of practice and learning choreo, cues, & coaching happens before we actually teach the release!}

Track 1 – Warmup. Song: “Ten Feet Tall” The song is pretty mellow, sadly, as I feel like more upbeat songs tend to lead to participants being ‘primed’ to really work their hardest. Or maybe it’s just me? The chorus is catchy though! The warmup moves, technique, and choreo are all great! I especially love how in this release we also use light plates at the end to warm the shoulder stabilizers (which help prevent injury as we use those & other muscles during weight training). The change up is nice! My weight selection: 20 lbs. & 2.5 lb plates

Track 2 – Squats. Song: “Somebody Told Me” This squat track is pretty brutal right off the bat, and I like it! The song isn’t necessarily something I’d choose, but with time I’ve really grown to like this track, music included. There are a ton of bottom halves & a lot of single squats, so watch out! Singles burn the most calories, and the bottom halves contribute to a really nice burn in the quads/hamstrings/glutes, so the overall result is really great fitness training for your lower body.  This squats track we use 2 different stances to challenge the body & overload the muscles, and there is almost no recovery in this track, so as I said, watch out, it’s a burner! My weight selection: 50-55 lbs.


Track 3 – Chest. Song: “Goodness Gracious”  This song is also mellow (like the warmup), so for some reason, it’s harder for me to really love, but I do like the workout that is this track: A-Press (isolation work with plates), and pushups with hands on the bench (compound work with bodyweight only). I feel like the A-Press is hard for the newer members to understand (they always want to do the chest fly), even if I show it and explain it before & during the track. Any suggestions fellow pumpers??? I love the pushups in this track, and the fact that we switch from isolation work to compound, and then back again to both. Such a great way to overload the chest muscles without killing ’em all off too quickly! plates: 10 lbs per plate

Track 4 – Back. Song: “Beautiful Life (Mikkas Remix)”  This track is simple, the music has a pretty good beat/chorus, and I love the exercises in it. Definitely a good track! I like the focus on simplicity in the exercises (deadlifts, deadrows, clean & presses), and how that relates to training for a more athletic body. It’s helped so much to coach the members on how to get more out of these exercises that seem simple in theory, but are somewhat complex in practice. I’ve totally felt my back working harder in this track as I’ve pulled back to the basics! My weight selection: 40 lbs.

Track 5 – Triceps. Song: “Hey Brother”  The song is catchy because the chorus repeats so many times, but the timing is definitely hard to get if you focus on the lyrics, as are the transitions (they’re super quick!) so fellow instructors, watch out! I really like the workout that is this track (do I sound like a broken record yet?) but the song isn’t my favorite, although it’s okay. This workout for the triceps is great because we not only use just bodyweight & a plate, we use compound exercises like triceps dips and triceps pushups, isolation exercises like the overhead triceps extension, and a move that puts that all together, the tricep kickback row, to overload the triceps in new & exciting ways throughout the track. It does a good job on getting our muscles to fatigue, so that we change!  My weight selection: 10 lbs & 5 lbs. plate(s)

Track 6 – Biceps. Song: “Bad Company First off, this track, if done with the right amount of weight for you, is really challenging! I really like the combination (mid-range pulse bicep curl & singles), because it does a great job of maximizing the biceps’ muscle contraction; creating change faster! I can totally feel it. However, the song is definitely one of my least favorites; I’m just not a hard rock/gritty music lover.  My weight selection: 20 lbs.

Track 7 – Lunges. Song: “Find You”  This lunge track is interesting in that we use one plate (only) throughout the track to do plated front squats, plated squat with press, and plated lunges. It does seem like an ‘easier’ track at the outset, but it’s very challenging because the load is held in the front of your body, causing your quads and glutes (and whole body, actually) to have to work harder & fire quicker. It gets the job done! The plated lunge is okay, but I prefer barbell lunges. Also, the song is somewhat mellow (again!), so it’s not my favorite song at all.  My weight selection: 10 lb. plate


{Reebok top / Puma capris}

Track 8 – Shoulders. Song: “Eat Sleep Rave Repeat (Calvin Harris Remix)” This is a really tough track! And I like it a lot because not only is the song fun, the exercises and the sequencing of the workout, are just perfect. I love that we start with the barbell and work the shoulders during upright rows (with top halves, ouch!!), overhead presses, and push presses. The pre-fatiguing that goes on in that set is key to working the muscles to change in the final two sets when we only use plates.  The plated work involves side raises, rotator raises, and pec dec presses….basically, killer work for the rotator muscles & shoulder stabilizers! Then we do it all again! It is intense, but the precision that we create in these final exercises hammers the shoulders to finish stronger & work harder, and boy, do I love that type of work. :) my weight selection: 20 lbs./barbell, 5 lbs./plates

Track 9 – Core. Song: “Trumpets”  The song (melody & the singing) is amazing and so catchy (love it!), but the lyrics are a bit naughty, so watch out. We start with basic crunches, then we involve the obliques as we twist during the crunch. Hovers (yay!), side hovers, and pulsing side hovers finish us off. I love this core workout! It is a great one because it’s pretty short & it involves a lot of the abdominal muscles & surrounding muscle groups to create a solid workout for that isolated area.. My weight selection: none

Track 10 – Cooldown. Song: “Burning Bridges” Not a song that really ‘sings’ to me, but it does it’s job to help us stretch, think, and be glad we did it but are done now. :) I really love stretching it out with my peeps, and congratulating them on a job well done. My weight selection: none.

Overall I totally love the workout of this release, but the music, in my opinion, was subpar. I usually really connect to several songs in a BP release, but this one just hasn’t ‘done’ it for me like others have. I know that Les Mills does cater to all music tastes, so it was only a matter of time until most of an entire release had music that just didn’t sing to my soul. I totally get that they have a lot of people to make happy, but I owe it to my readers to share how I truly feel.

However, this release 91 workout itself is killer! I really, really like the direction Les Mills is taking BODYPUMP, and I feel blessed to be a part of it and along for the ride. :)

Once again, thank you for reading, and sharing your thoughts below as well on the latest release!

We LM lovers are a part of the Les Mills’ tribe, and I hope that if you haven’t tried an LM class, that you will soon! <–class locator.

It might change your life (actually, it probably will!), just like it did mine. <3


Have a WONDERFUL day! <3

Those who’ve done or taught 91, what are YOUR two top-favorite tracks??! What type of songs really ‘sing’ to you typically??!

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  1. every single one of your BP posts makes me wish even more that you were back in st louis teaching!! or just back in st louis, period! :) :)
    Linz @ Itz Linz recently posted…Thursday ThoughtsMy Profile

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on 91. I love Bodypump. I helped launch 91 at our gym last weekend.

    I love the warmup, chest, and lunge songs. I like a lot of the songs on this release, actually, but I guess I like the mellow ones the best for some reason.

    The more I do it, the more I like the chest track (all those pushups- Goodness gracious!), the back track (repeating the segments over and over and really feeling my back muscles like you said), and shoulders (by the end of the workout, my shoulders are DONE).

    I also prefer the bar in the lunges, but I like how quickly and smoothly we can move from the squats to the lunges with just the plate, so it’s a trade off, right? I love coaching the squat-squat presses-and dynamic squat presses in that track.

    I like the bicep workout as well, but also like you, I don’t prefer the heavy rock. I can get into it for a workout, though, but I definitely don’t relish that style.

    Thanks for your blog. It’s always nice to “visit.” :)
    Veronica recently posted…I’m Preparing for Bodycombat Training and CertificationMy Profile

    • That’s awesome you like the mellow ones–you’re right, this release must be a fave of yours! 😉

      I see your point on how the transition is a bit faster with the lunges & the plate. And in Les Mills’ defense, it is good to change things up! But, my first true love is barbell lunges. hehe :)

      You’re doing BODYCOMBAT!! Wahoo!! I train in ATTACK next week. Way to continue your Les Mills’ tribe journey! Kia Kaha!
      annette recently posted…BODYPUMP Release 91 ReviewMy Profile

  3. Alex @ therunwithin says:

    YES you nailed it. this release is tough tough tough but the songs are just meh.. which makes me sad. I think the shoulder track music makes up for it but I was bummed to see the music not be up there with such a great choreographed release. like you, I really enjoy high energy warm up songs. this one fell flat for me. And 20 pounds for biceps??? Yep, that is my goal but I am still working up to that one…

    • We’d be BP buddies it sounds like! Mellow music = not my fav

      Yes, I had to work hard to get to 20 lbs on my bar for Biceps…bicep curls are so hard for me! I started at like 5 lbs on my bar at training 4 years ago, so it’s been a work in progress. I’ve especially worked on grounding my body harder so there is no swing, and that’s helped with my strength, enabling me to lift more. Some b. tracks are harder than others though to use that weight!
      annette recently posted…BODYPUMP Release 91 ReviewMy Profile

  4. Fiona says:

    I love hearing your reviews before I try it so I’m sort of ‘in the know’ when it comes out! I am with you on the upbeat tracks, I was obsessed with the last few releases just for their more techno ‘go get ’em’ type beat and really helps you stay focused and motivated, especially in those early morning classes!

    Can’t wait to try it!

  5. Deb D says:

    I agree with you Annette, the workouts are great but the music isn’t the best. I wish Les Mills would incorporate more upbeat, dance music into their workouts and less hard rock….

  6. My gym officially launched last night, but our morning instructors gave us a peek this week (I go on Mon/Weds). However, I haven’t done the ab or cooldown track yet. I thought the shoulder track was hard as well as the back track. I really didn’t find the squat track TOO hard although the last round of singles kinda got to me.

    I forgot heavier plates for the chest track so I ended up doing it with the bar, which was VERY tough. Next time I will make sure to grab some 8-10lbs.

    I’m usually cool with Les Mills music choices, but I didn’t like that one Nickelback cooldown song. I’m not a huge fan of Nickelback, but I also thought that song was way too upbeat for a cooldown.
    Amy Lauren recently posted…Fall Getaway to Washington, DCMy Profile

    • I didn’t think the squats track was too hard either, until I tried a slightly heavier weight–trying to get back to my normal pre-preg barbell in all my classes….wowzers! Getting the heavier bar to move the correct range that quickly was so tough! Amen to the shoulder track being hard & awesome!

      I bet that chest track was hard with the barbell!
      annette recently posted…BODYPUMP Release 91 ReviewMy Profile

  7. LOVING Pump 91!! Man, that triceps track…..during those final overhead extensions with the 5kg plate I really have to grit my teeth and push through, also during the final plated exercises in the shoulder track. Fortunately our instructor yells at us so much during the toughest parts – it helps a lot! Are you a “mean” BP instructor Annette?!

    • Yes, those final overhead extensions are so tough!! Way to push through it, Kay. :)

      I wouldn’t say I’m “mean” per say, in a drill sergeant way, but I definitely command the room & make my class work for it! I would say I’m more firm & motivating while being encouraging & attempting to be funny (whilst making a fool of myself. haha)!
      annette recently posted…BODYPUMP Release 91 ReviewMy Profile

  8. This sounds cool! Goodness Gracious is one of my favorite songs, though, so I was pretty excited to see that in the list. (I have that whole Ellie Goulding album.) I’m considering picking up Pump again once my work schedule changes next week, and I missed all of 90, so 91 will be my first re-introduction. Do you think I should go lighter on my weights once I start going again to get re-adjusted to the workout?
    Ali recently posted…Weight Loss Update and a Trip to the BarreMy Profile

    • That is a fun song, but it is definitely mellow!

      I would say to go lighter on your weights yes. You don’t want to stress/overload the body too much when coming back from a hiatus, because injury is more likely to occur.

      Have fun going back to BP!
      annette recently posted…BODYPUMP Release 91 ReviewMy Profile

  9. Yes!! The triceps timing is super tough. That one took me a while to get down. For the A press – that’s a tough one too. I que people during the song to slide the weights down the sides of the A and keep their elbows out wide, which seems to help them visualize where their hands and arms need to be to stay away from doing the chest fly!

  10. Loved reading your thoughts! I’m still in the midst of learning it (I started procrastinating because I learned we were launching later than normal), but my favorite tracks are: warm-up, squats, triceps, and shoulders. I actually like some of the songs, but I guess I wouldn’t necessarily choose them for BodyPump. For example, I really like the chest song, but like you said, it’s pretty mellow, especially for chest. I, too, am not at all a fan of the bicep track song, but it looks like it’s an intense workout. As for the A-press, I try to demonstrate the differences between the chest fly and A-press. For the fly, I explain that the weights are facing more to the ceiling as your arms come out, and you’re coming in to give a big bear hug. For the A-press, you’re outlining a capital A, and your palms are facing one another the entire time.
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted…Four YearsMy Profile

    • Those are great ideas! I’ve totally said similar things, but in a different way, so I’ll try some of what you said & see what happens! <3 muah!

      True, the songs are good for like other stuff, but I'm surprised they chose some of them for BP. Good luck learning it!!!!
      annette recently posted…BODYPUMP Release 91 ReviewMy Profile

  11. Hi Annette! I was waiting for your review to pop up — I need to get one more teaching of BP 91 under my belt before I write about it. But I’m pretty sure I agree with everything you said here. Of course, Les Mills needs to make everyone happy and that’s not easy, so there will always be songs we don’t like. For the lunge track, I’ve been adding an extra 10 lb. plate so I hold two for the front squat (KILLER!!!) while gripping the insides, and then I take a plate to each side during lunges. I’ve had my members who want more try that as well. Happy Thursday!!! ONE TRIBE!
    Ashley @ A Lady Goes West recently posted…Top 10 ways to grow your group fitness classesMy Profile

    • I’ve thought about adding an extra plate, but it wasn’t an option in the notes….but I can see how it’d add a bit of intensity in the right direction if people are safely coached on how to hold it. Thanks!
      annette recently posted…BODYPUMP Release 91 ReviewMy Profile

  12. I found a gym right by my parents house that offers a ton of les mills classes. Next time I go visit I will have to check it out!
    Angela @ HonestlyAngela recently posted…Frustrated with TechnologyMy Profile

  13. I really loved the core track too but was surprised when they picked that song! It is naughty for BP, LOL 😉
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted…A stress-free dayMy Profile

    • haha! Yes, it is, but I love the melody & the way he sings it. < --I've heard that is how Glen chooses the music anyways, he hardly listens to the lyrics, it's all about the beat/melody/highs & lows. 😉 A good song for the bedroom, instead of the car with kids in it, I suppose 😉 annette recently posted…BODYPUMP Release 91 ReviewMy Profile

  14. Breanne says:

    I feel like I’m one of the few that really likes 91, haha. I mean, the workout is obviously killer. I don’t think my shoulders have been that challenged in a long time – and right of the bat too! But overall I like the music too (well, not triceps… haha). I love the Ellie Goulding and the contrast of the pretty with the intensity. The shoulder track is an earworm, but I like it anyway. It was SO fun to do at the Quarterly – the team sported wigs and tossed lollipops into the crowd. :)

    Obviously I don’t teach Pump, but I agree with the struggle in getting participants to see the difference in chest flys and A presses. I think one of the things that stuck out to me when we did them the first time was that wrists are over elbows at the bottom and your arms should look like a goal post. I guess it’s the football fan in me? Haha.


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