Hey guys! How are you? Today, I’m talking all about one of my favorite things in the world — Les Mills group fitness. As you know, I’ve been teaching Les Mills group fitness classes for almost six years, and I’m a huge believer in the power of working out in the group setting. In case you’re not really into this topic, you can at least click on the links below to listen to some great music. Otherwise, please join me back here tomorrow for some talk about food. But for those of you who are along for the ride, let’s start with a little background information.
Les Mills group fitness and the tribe
Les Mills is the international brand that creates so many programs that I enjoy teaching as well as taking, including BODYPUMP, BODYATTACK, GRIT, CXWORX and more. But Les Mills is more than a brand. It’s a whole community of instructors and members all over the world. And we call ourselves the tribe.
If you’ve never tried a Les Mills class, I highly recommend that you do one day. Take a look on the class locator to see if there are any gyms near you offering any of the more than 10 programs. And now, let’s get to BODYPUMP.
What is Les Mills BODYPUMP?
BODYPUMP is my original group fitness love. It’s the class that got me started as an instructor nearly six years ago in Orlando, Florida. For a full overview of what the class really entails, head on over to a previous post I wrote: “BODYPUMP overview and tips for first-timers.” But really, all you need to know to get through this post is that BODYPUMP is a one-hour resistance training class done in the group fitness room with a barbell, bench-top and various sizes of weight plates. Participants follow along with an instructor in front of the room (like me), who leads the class through 10 songs, set to popular music. By the time the class ends, you’ve hit all the major muscle groups and completed around 800 reps. Not too shabby!
What is a class release?
Every three months, Les Mills releases brand new music and moves to instructors in more than 80 countries around the world. The 24 Hour Fitness gyms in San Francisco where I teach “launched” or “debuted” the latest Les Mills releases during the first week of January. I’ve been teaching the latest releases for a few weeks, so now I’m ready to share my feedback with you.
Overall feedback on BODYPUMP 92
- The music is great. From pop to rock to dance, there’s a little bit of everything in this release, featuring a lot of current songs and some I’d never heard of before.
- We use the barbell for most of the class, which is completely different from the previous release, which had a lot of single-plate work.
- There are many repeated patterns in each track, as well as throughout the whole class. A new combination of tempos is used in squats, chest as well as shoulders. I definitely like the repetition, because it makes it easier to learn the release and easier for members to grasp the counts quickly.
- This release is hard. Some of the tracks are super challenging, especially back, triceps and shoulders.
- It’s a full-body workout. You definitely feel the burn and get a little cardio kicker with some of the faster tracks like squats, back and lunges.
- While this isn’t my favorite release to date, it’s one of the better ones. Very strong.
BODYPUMP 92 class review
- Warm-up: “All We Need is Love” by Ricki-Lee. I think this is a welcoming and friendly warm-up. The song is upbeat and it really sets the tone for a great class. This warm-up features a lot of repetition, so it was easy to learn and is easy to teach. As we have in the last few releases, we do slow clean-and-presses and slow deadrow patterns, which is a good chance to teach participants the proper form of some important moves early in the class. I like it.
- Squats: “GO!” by Autoerotique vs. Marc Noir. Cool song with absolutely no words. The big change in this squat track is that we keep our legs in the mid-stance position the entire time. There are three sets, which are very similar. During this track, participants are introduced to the new combination that they will see over and over again, during each squat set, as well as during the chest and shoulders track. The breaks between sets in this track are super short, so I’ve seen a lot of participants miss the first top-halves of the start of each set. Overall, I think this is a good one. However, I tend to prefer wide squats, so I don’t enjoy that we don’t get into any of those in this track. Normal weight suggested.
- Chest: “The Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy. This track is challenging. It’s five-and-a-half minutes, which is definitely long. The entire track is performed with the bar. There are also some very fast top-halves, which is new. The song started to grow on me, and is more on the rock side. Normal weight suggested.
- Back: “Letting Go” by BT, Fractal & JES. Holy hard track. This is the hardest back track I’ve ever experienced in my many years of teaching BODYPUMP. Right off the bat, we start this one out with three clean-and-presses in a row, followed by a deadlift. That combination repeats four times in each of three sets, which makes for a lot of clean-and-presses in one track. While the breaks between sets are long, the clean-and-press combinations come one-after-after during the sets. Although the choreography notes call for adding more weight between sets, I have not done that. I’ve used my normal weight and found this track incredibly challenging. I’m huffing and puffing during this one. And on the instructor video, this one is taught flawlessly by new-kid-on-the-block Emma. She’s amazing. Good stuff!
- Triceps: “Problem” vs. Ariana Grande feat. Iggy Azalea. Once again, I find this triceps track to be one of the hardest in a long time. We start with the bar from the bottom of the press move, which is new, and we bring back the pullover, a great exercise for the triceps and lats. There are two times where we do 20 bottom-half pulses, which is just killer. I love this song, I like how the moves go with the music. And I like the burn that goes along with it. Also, I’m a big fan of ending triceps seated on the bench facing the class, it’s a great time to connect with the participants as an instructor. Normal weight suggested.
- Biceps: “Come With Me Now” by KONGOS. This isn’t the hardest biceps track ever, but it’s a good one. We use the barbell the whole time and repeat a triple-bottom-half pulse and hold pattern throughout. While there are five sets in this track, it’s still under five minutes. I think participants can definitely go up on barbell weight with this one, even though there are no breaks. This song is catchy.
- Lunges: “NRG” by Guiltless Happy. I think most people will either love or hate this lunge track. It’s not the hardest out there, and features nothing but front squats and lunges. I have liked the variety in the past with jumps, push presses and the other moves we have incorporated into the lunge track in the past year or so, so this one may be a little boring to some people. We use only one plate, which just isn’t quite enough weight. I like this song, because it’s very happy and different. However, this track is probably the weakest link to the whole release.
- Shoulders: “Ping Pong” by Armin Van Buuren. This one is good. We start with the bar doing upright rows, move to push-ups, bring back the combination from squats and chest, and do side raises and rotator raises using just the plates before ending each half with military presses and push presses. It’s pretty hard to do push-ups from the bottom-up, so I like the addition of that to this track. The song is a little strange, but fits so perfectly with the moves, so I like it. I’m a big fan of this track. It’s tough, but doable. And those military presses are always a good challenge. Normal weight suggested.
- Core: “Fancy” by Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX. Two Iggy Azalea songs in one release? It happens. This song is great. And this track is pretty good. I am in love with the optional crunch to keep your arms straight back and by your ears as you slide your ribs to your hips in the combination. It’s a tough one. However, I don’t think that members get as much as they should out of the leg extensions in this track, because it’s pretty difficult to get the form just right without lifting your lower back. I find that many people are so tired at this point they give up a little. This track is not the hardest, but it flows well and ends with some nice rotating hovers. No equipment needed.
- Cool-down: “Chandelier” by Sia. Good cool-down song. I really like this song as a way to close class. And this cool-down was very easy to memorize, because it has a long set repeated twice. I like when cool-downs are easy to learn, because for some reason it’s always the song I have the hardest time committing to memory. This one is short and to the point, however we don’t stretch the hamstrings, which is a major miss. I always feel like I need more stretching after class is done. Anyone else feel that way?
*There are also alternate core and back tracks, which I have not taught. I generally stick to the original line-up with every release.
Overall thoughts: There’s some great challenge and great music in BODYPUMP 92. It’s a hard workout, and it’s well done. The instructor video is excellent too. I’m a big fan of Emma, one of the fabulous presenters in this release.
The biggest thing I would stress when teaching this release is to demonstrate the combination before squats and make sure people understand that they will be pushing from the bottom up. It’s imperative they get this combination to make it through the release. Other than that, move quickly because this release seems pretty long. And 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.”
If you feel like this release is extra hard, you’re right. BODYPUMP is not an easy class, but you still need to make sure you continue to challenge yourself and add more weight to your bar. You could probably go up in biceps for this one, so that’s a good place to start. Enjoy it! By the way, are you getting the most out of the group fitness classes you attend? Check out my tips on “How to get better results from group fitness.”
All things Les Mills
If you enjoyed this review, please check out my previous Les Mills posts:
- CXWORX Initial Training
- BODYATTACK Initial Training
- BODYPUMP Advanced Instructor Module 1
- BODYPUMP Advanced Instructor Module 2
- Les Mills Groundworks
- BODYATTACK Certification
- How to learn Les Mills choreography
- BODYPUMP 101 overview and tips for first-timers
- BODYATTACK 101 overview and tips for first-timers
- BODYPUMP 89 review and launch
- BODYATTACK 84 review
- CXWORX 101 overview and tips for first-timers
- BODYATTACK Advanced Instructor Module 1
- BODYATTACK 85 review
- BODYPUMP 90 review
- BODYATTACK 86 review
- BODYPUMP 91 review
- Most popular Les Mills questions answered
That’s it, guys! I hope you have a fabulous day!
Questions of the day
Have you ever tried BODYPUMP? Instructors or members, what are your thoughts on BODYPUMP 92?