It’s about that time to review the latest Les Mills BODYPUMP release 95 workout, which I debuted at the Bay Area gyms where I teach in early October. And I’ve got to admit right away, that this release is perhaps one of my least favorite in my history of teaching.
Let’s step back a minute and talk about what “release” is anyhow … Every three months, Les Mills International officially sends out new music and moves for its many group fitness programs. When that happens, people all over the world, including more than 100,000 instructors in more than 80 countries, get to see what’s in store for their beloved high-energy workouts. It’s a fun time, but also a challenging one for an instructor like me who teaches multiple Les Mills formats and has a lot of choreography to memorize and learn.
Why choose a Les Mills workout?
There’s just something different about a Les Mills workout, and that’s because the moves are choreographed exactly to the music. I’ve been teaching Les Mills classes for six years, and it’s what got me started in fitness. I love the energy of working out in the group setting, and I love that BODYPUMP is all about strength-endurance training with high repetitions.
By the way, if you need a primer on what a BODYPUMP class entails, check out BODYPUMP overview and tips for first-timers.
Overall notes on BODYPUMP 95
- Not my favorite release to date at all. There are usually a few stand-out tracks that I love in every release, and this one doesn’t have any.
- The music is perhaps my least favorite as well. There are some songs that are just too played-out to be featured and a couple songs with hardly any words.
- Yet, with more than 1,000 repetitions in this one-hour workout, the burn is real. The increase in more and faster small contractions (just like the last release) will definitely take your muscles to fatigue, and I find myself huffing and puffing after the tracks a lot more than before.
- There is less use of the barbell in some of the main tracks. We use plates for all of the triceps and biceps tracks, as well as for portions of the chest, back and shoulders track.
- I find that the lunge and shoulder tracks are by far the most challenging, and the back and biceps are my favorites.
- Once again, much like BODYPUMP 94, the workout is a cohesive ride with plenty of highs and lows, but there are no major new innovations or changes.
BODYPUMP 95 class review
Here’s a track-by-track breakdown with a link to most of the songs …
- Warm-up: “Outside” by Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding. Once again this warm-up begins with a dead-lift to upright-row combination, which is a good way to warm the body. However, I’m a little surprised that we so quickly jump into power presses early on in the warm-up. Seems a little too soon for my comfort, although the tempo is fairly slow. All of the major muscle groups are mostly warmed during the rest of the moves though, so it does the trick. The best part of this warm-up to me is the fact that we use the small plates to really get the shoulders ready. The song is pretty good. Thumbs neutral.
- Squats: “Bukem” by Autoerotique & 4B. Why can’t we just get a squat track with some lyrics in it? This song caused a stir in the Les Mills world when it first came out, because a lot of people found it to be immediately annoying. And I’d agree. I do like the fact that this track focuses mostly on slow movements and keeps us in the wide stance the entire time for four whole sets with no break, but I just don’t like the song. People like words. Let’s get some words. Thumbs down.
- Chest: “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars. I was surprised to see this song in this release, because it’s awfully played-out by now. However, I do like that we have a catchy and fun song for chest again, because for a long time they were slow and somber rocks songs. In this very long six-minute track, we have a lot of contractions and variety, which is mostly good. The fast push-ups with hands on the bench happen twice, and they are super tough. And the other work is done with the bar and with the plates for the A-press. I can’t seem to get members to properly do the A-press no matter how much I try, so I’m pretty much over that move. Thumbs neutral.
- Back: “Beautiful World” by Blasterjaxx & DBSTF feat. Ryder. Three sets of work featuring dead-lifts, single clean-and-presses, power presses, triple dead-rows, as well as front squats and squat presses using just plates make up this track. I like this song, and I mostly like this track. I’d love to see more triple wide-rows in the mix like we used to do in older releases, but overall this one is fine by me. It goes by so quickly, but is nearly five-and-a-half minutes. Thumbs up.
- Triceps: “Irresistible” by Fall Out Boy. This triceps track does not require the bar and provides a good burn without it in just more than four minutes. With overhead extensions, dips and kick-back rows, my arms are toast by the end. I love the bottom-half pulses in the dips too. Definitely a tough set of moves, with a catchy song. Thumbs up.
- Biceps: “GDFR” by Flo Rider feat. Sage The Gemini & Lookas. No bar, no problem. This track is done with the plates featuring plate curls, mid-range pulses and bicep rows for six sets with no breaks. I really don’t mind the repetition in this, because it gives us a chance to perfect form and range. The song is older, but totally cool. And yes, you’ve got to add some fitness magic in this one with the chest pop at the end. Thumbs up.
- Lunges: “Burnin” by Calvin Harris & R3Hab. This lunge track has us using the bar the entire time, and it is super challenging. If you use your chest weight on the bar, you will feel it. We do squats, lunges and plenty of bottom-half pulses throughout the six-minute track, and you are working hard from start to finish. Even though the song doesn’t have many words, it’s okay and fits well with the moves. Thumbs up.
- Shoulders: “I Am Machine” by Three Days Grace. I do not like this song, and I do not like the amount of upright rows that this track starts with. However, by the end of the track, it picks up. We use the bar for upright rows and overhead presses, then switch to the plates for side raises and rotator raises. I find this track incredibly tough, which is a good thing. But this song … not good. Thumbs down.
- Core: “Sugar” by Maroon 5. Once again, I love this song, but it’s been out in the market too long by now. This track is pretty boring, with some leg extensions, crunch pulses and rotating hovers. The rotating hovers are really hard, and I see people struggling. I don’t actually like that move very much, so not a fan of this track. Thumbs neutral.
- Cool-down: “Brother” by NEEDTOBREATHE feat. Gavin DeGraw. This is a fabulous song and perfectly suited for the cool-down. This short three-and-a-half minute stretch is not quite enough, but certainly ends our work with a positive and upbeat feeling. Thumbs up.
Just like the last release, this one is all about range with the moves and a whole lot of pulses. You’ve got to hit the right bottom or top range in all the pulsing movements throughout the workout and be sure to check your participants for reaching range as well. If you’re looking for a few tips on how to pack your classes, check out my post on Top 10 ways to grow your group fitness classes. Mostly, have fun and let’s hope for better music in the next release!
Just like the last release, expect to feel a lot of fatigue with this one. And that’s okay. You’ve got to push through that fatigue with all the pulsing movements and try to finish out each track, while keeping in full range of movement. If you want to make sure you’re getting the most of the other classes you take, check out my tips on How to get better results from group fitness. Mostly, have fun and enjoy the burn!Learn about the rep effect and how you can get in shape with Les Mills BODYPUMP release 95 ... Click To Tweet
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Questions of the day
Have you ever taken BODYPUMP?
What are your thoughts on BODYPUMP 95?