Fun fact: 3 years ago TODAY we found out we were going to be parents!
It’s amazing how much can change in 3 years, eh? Now with two little girls our lives are just even better than before and definitely crazier too. We just love them so much! And happy Groundhog’s day. I’m pretty sure we peeps in Utah will be having 6 more weeks of winter……. #somuchsnow
Let’s talk about some warm stuff though, like the hot, hot BODYPUMP™ Release 96 shall we?!
I’ve taught BP release 96 now for three weeks, so I want to review it here.
p.s. If you haven’t taken a Les Mills’ BODYPUMP™ class, I highly recommend it. It changed my life, and it can change yours too. If you want to know more about BODYPUMP™, you can read about what the program is here.
Basically though, each 1 hour class uses a barbell & plates, begins with a warm-up, goes through each major muscle group, and ends with a core track and cool-down.
Every three months (i.e. every quarter), Les Mills, the leading global fitness class brand, releases new music, choreography, and education for instructors all over the world. I love, love this! That means that each time we get new stuff, or “a release,” we get to learn it, practice it, and then launch it to our members. It’s tons of fun!
BODYPUMP™ Release 96 Review
Track 1 – Warmup. Song: “Five More Hours” I like this warmup! I think the song is so perfect and I like that we do exercises that get our bodies ready to lift weights safely. I’m always a fan of clean & press/power press in the warm-up because the participants lift less weight & are more likely to get it right in track 4. I also personally like when the warmups are shorter too…. My weight selection: 20 lbs.
Track 2 – Squats. Song: “Blow Your Mind” I have come to really like this track! It’s a tough one with some great tempo changes but it’s also pretty simple & straightforward, just like any great squat track should be. I think the music is great and the stance change to improve conditioning in the various muscle groups (quads, glutes, side glutes, etc.) is always a winner. My fave, the bottom halves, play a big role in creating the muscle fatigue we want in BP. Two thumbs up! My weight selection: 50 lbs.
Track 3 – Chest. Song: “Immortals” I’m a huge fan of this track. I like the A-Press, and I love mixing it with pushups. The combo of bottom half pulses in both exercises creates a fabulous burn that stings in a way that you just KNOW you’re closer to results. I think using the A-Press is a great way to pre-fatigue the muscles so you can do most of the pushups on your toes–which is exactly what I did for a few weeks. Fun fact: I tried the option of using the bar for chest press once instead of plates for A-Press and boyyyyyy was that hard! Try it some time if you haven’t yet. The song is super catchy and perfect IMO. My weight selection: 20 lbs for A-Press (40 lbs on bar for chest press as the option for me)
Track 4 – Back. Song: “The Thrill” This track is okay. I like it because it’s pretty simple and allows room for good coaching to improve our work, but the song isn’t necessarily my fave. I like using the bar for awhile, switching to plates, back to the bar and back to the plates to switch up the type of training and give the body a change of pace. I’ve found that just using a 10 lb. plate isn’t enough for that set of work….I need 2 plates to really feel the burn & the metabolic kicker. I also upped my weight on the bar and that helped to make this track feel/be tougher. My weight selection: 45 lbs. (bar) // 20 lbs. (plates)
Track 5 – Triceps. Song: “Hallelujah” I love this song! I think it’s perfect for a Triceps track and it is an awesome pick for this release. This track is fast and there are a ton of transitions, but I think it’s awesome. As an instructor though, you have to know this track really well and be quick to prep the class to move to the next set of exercises or else everyone feels lost. I love, love triceps pushups (because they’re so dang hard!) so the quick set of them twice feels so perfect. There are a lot of great options for everyone, and that is always fabulous for all sorts of fitness levels! My weight selection: 10 lbs (plate)
Track 6 – Biceps. Song: “Wobble” My new favorite Biceps track! The song is catchy and fun which sets a perfect feel for this track. There are a ton of mid-range pulses which fire up the Biceps and create that burning feeling that is so well-known to BODYPUMP™. I appreciate that the song isn’t super long and there are not real recoveries (just active ones using a Bicep row). This is a track that had my biceps screaming and sore the next day. Big fan! My weight selection: 20 lbs. (I attempted a 25 lbs bar once and I wasn’t able to do every rep with great form. New goal!)
Track 7 – Lunges. Song: “Peanut Butter Jelly” What do you say about a song titled that? Haha. I will admit that it’s kind of a weird thing to sing about (and lunge to!) but it has been okay. It’s not my favorite song, but it’s a pretty good track overall. I like the bottom half pulse lunges (of course), and I love that there are no long breaks and that there is a longer set of squats at the end. If you want to make this track a bit tougher, ensure you’re using a bar (easier: plates). My weight selection: 40 lbs.
Track 8 – Shoulders. Song: “Addicted to a Memory” This is a good shoulder track that makes you feel the burn, and the song is pretty good too. I like rear fly work, and am always a fan of barbell work (especially the push press). The compound work mixed with isolated exercises is always a winning combination! My weight selection: 5 lbs. (x 2 plates) 20 lbs.(barbell)
Track 9 – Core. Song: “Want to Want Me” I am so over a whole track of crunches. That sounds kind of harsh, but after teaching CXWORX™ for so long, I get easily bored with super simple/isolated abs exercises. The addition of the plate is obviously awesome for increasing intensity in this track, and I always love a good crunch with a plate over the shoulders (hello upper abs!) but I wish they would’ve shortened the crunch section & added some hovers. My weight selection: 10 lb. (plate)
Track 10 – Cooldown. Song: “Adore” Not much to say here other than it feels good to reach this point & stretch out. No weight selection.
The goal in this release was to bring some fun to the workout while increasing the rep count (over 1000!) and thus delivering results in the form of tension training, and LM delivered on that very well with release 96! I think it’s a fun workout that is very challenging for all fitness levels. The ‘burn’ you get from doing so many reps is a fabulous feeling that delivers results, and I can already tell that I’ve gotten stronger in a few exercises over the past 3 weeks.
Overall I really like the workout and music of release 96. I love the Squats, Chest, Triceps, & Biceps tracks the best because they nailed it for both music & the actual workout.
Have a FABULOUS day!
What tracks are YOUR favorites from BP release 96? What exercises do you wish were included in a BP release?