When I first learned about Body Pump in 2012 from Julie @ PBFingers, I knew it was something I wanted to try. I love group fitness classes that hold me accountable and get me out of my comfort zone.
Coincidentally, my gym at Ithaca started offering the class in January of 2013, and I was immediately sold. My friend Sophie and I would attend class together twice a week, and I loved what the strength training added to my routine.
Since then, I’ve been a regular Body Pumper for the last two years. I feel like I’ve seen a ton of new releases, but every once in a while a teacher throws a curveball and plays an old song or a new-to-me track. I love it!
The newest Body Pump release has got to be one of my favorites. Other bloggers like Running4Cupcakes and A Lady Goes West review the class as an instructor, but I thought I’d add my perspective as a student.
I’d love to hear your thoughts as well — have you ever tried Body Pump? Have you done the new release? Let me know!
If you don’t know much about Body Pump, it’s a total-body weight training workout. You use a barbell and various weight increments to take you body through a “low weight, high repetition” workout, completing about 800 total reps by the end. The format of the class is always the same – warm up, squats, chest, etc.
Every few weeks, Les Mills sends out a “new release” with all new music, and new choreography. The choreography is different combinations of 8-counts that always matches great with the music. For example, when the teacher calls out “2 and 2” for squats, you’ll spend two counts squatting down, and 2 coming back up. Same applies for bicep curls, chest presses, etc.
Here’s my breakdown of Body Pump 92, from a student’s perspective.
#1: Warm up – “All We Need Is Love” (7.5 lbs on each side)
Pretty straightforward, nothing new or crazy.
#2: Squats – “Go!” (22.5 lbs on each side)
Woahhh, new combo. Three singles, hold, then work from the bottom up. My legs don’t typically feel sore after Body Pump, but the new combo left me burning in alllll the best ways. I also feel like this song is a perfect length, and the perfect amount of work to get that “elbow sweat” going without making me want to die.
# 3: Chest – “The Phoenix” (10 lbs on each side)
The chest track is always a secret killer for me, so I started going lighter. We revisit the same combo in this track — three singles, hold, then work from the bottom up. It’s a whole new burn, and I love it.
#4: Back – “Letting Go” – Alternate (10 lbs, 12.5 lbs, 15 lbs on each side)
Pyramid training is a new addition. There are three sets to the song, and it’s suggested that you increase weight between each set. By the end, I feel like I’ve reached a perfect threshold of difficulty with triple clean and presses.
#5: Triceps – “Problem” (10 lbs on each side + a 10 lb weight for extensions)
Woo! This one burns. Twenty bottom halves in a row will wake you up for sure. Right when you’re ready to give up, bar work is over and you switch to overhead extensions with the plate.
#6: Biceps – “Come with me now” (7.5 lbs on each side)
No breaks! Ouchhhh. It’s a good song, and makes you feel kind of bad ass. Plenty of mid-range pulses, which is kind of a relief from the singles I’m used to. The song feels long, but the burn is just right. Someday I’ll go up in bicep weight… someday. : )
#7: Lunges – “NRG” (15 lbs on each side OR 10 lb plate)
Option to use the bar or hold a plate — I’ve done both. The bar gave me more of an intense workout, more like the squat track, but the plate felt like it gave me bigger range of motion. I’m also a big fan of the squat-lunge-squat-lunge-repeat pattern. Just when you’re about ready to give up on lunges, you switch back to squats for a sec and the timing is really nice.
#8: Shoulders – “Ping Pong” (10 lbs on each side + 6-7 lb hand weights)
Once again, we revisit the combo from squats & chest, but this time in push up form. Push ups from the bottom up, also called negative push ups, are tough! But 3 in a row is a perfect amount before you switch to a different move. Love it.
#9: Core – “Fancy”
Not my fave core track ever.. leg extensions don’t make me feel the burn as much as plank work does. But I’m kind of not complaining, after a class full of tough tracks, I’ll take the little break. : )
#10: Cool down – “Chandelier”
Same as always – nothing stands out, really. Just glad to be done with class, by this point.
And that’s my recap! I guess if you’ve never taken Pump, this doesn’t mean much to you. But if you can, you should totally stop in and try a Body Pump class. I’m a huge advocate for it – it really leans out your muscles and it’s fun!
- Have you ever taken Body Pump?
- What other group exercise classes do you swear by?