Les Mills BODYPUMP release 95 group fitnesss review

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

Les Mills BODYPUMP 95 review via A Lady Goes West

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 …

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 trackThumbs neutral.
  10. 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.

For instructors

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!

For participants

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!

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Read more Les Mills-related posts

If you want to hear some more talk about my favorite group fitness company, check out these other Les Mills posts.

Questions of the day

Have you ever taken BODYPUMP?

What are your thoughts on BODYPUMP 95?

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  1. I totally agree with you that this is one of my least favorites as far as music is concerned. I rely heavily on singing to the lyrics to get me through the squat track and there is no doing that with this one. I hope they listen to their instructors and get some lyrics in the next squat track!!

    1. Hi Brittney! I haven’t seen what’s in store for the next release yet, but I’m also hoping for more lyrics heheh! You’re not alone! πŸ™‚ Happy pumping!

  2. I don’t understand the move to squats in the back track, especially since you do squats again in the lunge track! You’re right, that squat song is awful.

    1. Hi Jed, When you do the squat overhead push-press and hold the plates in front of your body like we do in this track four, you do have to use some of your backside muscles, which is why that move is in the back track. (And it helps get the heart-rate up.) But honestly, most people feel it more in the legs, so it should probably be in the lunge track instead hhehe! Hope you are doing well, my friend! How’s life??

      1. Life’s good. Moved on from the morning TV job. I did some stuff for the Golf Channel and then the Mayor of Orlando. Now I’m doing video marketing for Seminole County Schools. Still doing Body Pump three days a week and loving it. I’ve lost 35 pounds this year. Finally got a chance to check out your blog and I’ve loved seeing your thoughts on the new releases and finding new health foods to check out. Keep up the great work!

        1. Hi Jed! So glad you stopped over to say hi! And congrats on the weight-loss and commitment to working out! Hope all is well! Stay in touch. πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Jen! Well, we will see if the instructor is still teaching it, because I’ve switched back to older stuff now that it’s been out for a month. Let me know what you think! Hi to you, lady! πŸ™‚

  3. I’d agree … this is one of my least favorite releases as well, for many of the same reasons. Some of the songs just don’t do it for me, and then the songs that ARE fun should have been done like 3 releases ago. I do like the warm up track, chest track (but I agree, the song has been way overplayed), biceps track, and lunge track, and the back track isn’t bad, but the rest are just “eh” in my book. And YES to having lyrics in the squat track!! I value your honest opinion – thanks for sharing! Hopefully BP 96 makes up for this one, eh? πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks, Ash! I rarely like to “put down” anything from Les Mills, but I have to keep it real here. SO glad that you agree with me! I bet it feels good to be back to teaching though, even if you aren’t loving the release! πŸ™‚

  4. Definitely a fair assessment IMO. I don’t teach pump so I only take the occasional class. The consensus with the members is that track 2 sounds like they’re saying “Moo cow.” And I’m with you on the A press. Members are going to do flys no matter how you cue it.

    I’m excited to see BP96 in 2 weeks at quarterly.

    1. Hi Gen! Yay for you going to Quarterly. And yes, it does sound like Moo Cow hahah! Funny stuff. Glad you agree with my thoughts! Happy pumping to you! πŸ™‚

  5. Have to agree with you, I am not a huge fan of this release either. Actually not a fan of instrumental style music . I mean some of it is OK but on those hard intense tracks I think having lyrics to sing along to help take your mind off the pain. But as you know, we all have our favorite tracks from certain releases that just seem to rock the house. If you love the music and moves it makes it feel more like fun than work πŸ™‚

    1. I think a lot of people like lyrics, but for some reason they keep choosing squat songs without. Overall, it’s a totally fun workout no matter what’s on the stereo, because most of us are just in love with BODYPUMP in general. πŸ™‚ Have a great day, Dena!

  6. Least favorite track is the squat track for sure. It seems to last forever and the song lacks a lot of build up for me. Lyrics help, but I think the song would be meh even with lyrics.

    My favorite track is the biceps track by far. You get a good burn, but the catchy tune makes it easier to ignore. I find myself wanting to dance along.

    Overall, I pretty much agree with you. Except I love the shoulder track! I personally listen to hard rock, so every once in a while it’s nice to hear a song that I know. I think it’s nice to have variety and I think the moves go with the song pretty well. It makes it easy to follow along.

    1. Hi Amanda! I’m glad you enjoy the shoulders track, and I can relate to how you feel when doing it, because there are some tracks that make me feel that way. Rock on! πŸ™‚ Happy pumping!

  7. Thanks for your review! I’m an instructor in Virginia and I’ve taught this release several times now and am actually going to AIM1 this Sunday with this release. Totally agree on the squat track’s music and also that the lunge and shoulder tracks are the most challenging. I don’t mind the shoulder track music though. One of my complaints with the new releases is that they are longer and it makes it difficult to get in and out in an hour when you have a class immediately preceding and following your class. I also wonder if some of the “hit tracks” weren’t so overplayed when they were selected, but we end up teaching the releases many months (or a year?) later.

    1. Hi Jamie, Of course, we teach the release WAY after they are chosen, but I think that LMI should be taking that into account, and I bet they usually try to guess what will work. Oh man, AIM 1, you’ll have these songs in your head forever. Good luck to you, lady! Enjoy the day!!

  8. In my review I also mentioned how it’d be nice to have lyrics for the squats track, but I love the workout. Lunges, back, & chest are my fave, but I actually do NOT like the triceps at all–not tough enough & kind of boring. I actually like the shoulder track & song! It must be hard for LM to find something to please everyone, haha πŸ™‚

    1. Of course, Annette. They will never be able to please everyone! I’m usually happy with everything that they do, and this is the first release in which I’ve felt I was being extra critical. Oh well, there’s always the next one!

  9. I love reading BodyPump release reviews. My club released 3 weeks ago so I’ve done this release like 4 times already.

    This release felt easier than 94. Maybe I’m fitter, I don’t know… I liked the chest track a lot because we don’t use the bar a ton so I can add more weight on it. It’s a good track to increase weight on. The squat and lunge tracks at the end are killer, too. I love the abs track but agree that the song is very last year.

    If you really want to challenge the participants, once you can swap songs out, go with a tricep track with the barbell. We haven’t had one of those in a couple releases and my instructor did that on Wednesday of last week. My arms didn’t stop hurting until Saturday.

    1. Hi Amy! Yes, your body is getting fitter! Good job, so make sure you keep trying to add on more weight. πŸ™‚ And you are totally right about pulling out the bar for triceps – I will do that soon! It will kill me too. heheh!

  10. One of these days I hope to give Body pump a try! I’ve heard nothing but great things πŸ™‚ you’re a rock star for being able to teach so many classes!!

  11. The squat song is growing on me. I like the movements so the song is getting better. I am really surprised that uptown funk is in here, doesn’t seem like a pump song and it’s on the new attack too. I like the I am machine in the shoulder track too! Overall you’re right, you feel the burn! It’s a challenging release, and I love it. I like that Les Mills releases are challenging and pushing you to be better.

    1. Hi Kirsten! I teach ATTACK too, and the Outside song (BP warm-up) is used as a remix on ATTACK for the running track as well. They seem to do that overlap sometimes. But yes, overall, Les Mills keeps pushing us to be better! Gotta love that! πŸ™‚

  12. Oh gosh, I love these reviews because I get to know how the Instructor feels too! I love this release, it is SO TOUGH! From the squats, to back to lunges and shoulders, by the end I’m smoked. Lunges I have always had difficulty with and used to think Fireworks and Grenade were the hardest lunge tracks but I might add this one to the list! I hope that our instructors keep it around for a little longer because I love it so much and I don’t usually love every track…

      1. It’s because they are engrained in my memory! Once I start hearing them I know I’m doomed ! I also love ‘work hard play hard ‘ by Akon ( I think ) and Burn by Ellie Goulding – I’m telling ya lunges are my worst exercise lol I dread those tracks !

  13. I love this new release! The music I think is amazing and I feel they have really stepped it up to push us more and more. The tracks are hard and they should be! I like songs that I know as this way I can sing along and not think about how much my muscles are burning. Sorry but I have to disagree.

    1. Hi Natasha! Thanks for saying hi! I’m so glad you love this release. And that’s the beauty of the diversity of Les Mills and opinions, we all like what we like — and there will always be another new release with different stuff! πŸ™‚ Happy pumping, lady!

  14. Greetings – a Les Mills gym member from Auckland, New Zealand here! Came across your website through a quick google search and was quite excited to learn that there are LM classes in the SF bay area (as I am about to transfer to the bay for a short 3-month work assignment). Where do you run BodyPump sessions, if you don’t mind asking? Are CXWORX, BodyCombat and Grit sessions available as well?

    Many thanks!

    1. Hi Jason! Your best bet is to become a 24 Hour Fitness member, because COMBAT, GRIT, PUMP and RPM are offered in the City at some locations of 24. I teach at 24 Hour in the East Bay area, across the bridge. Would LOVE to see you in class one day and can give you more details when you arrive!! πŸ™‚

      1. Superb – many thanks for this Ashley. Will certainly look into 24 Hour Fitness and hope to cross paths soon! πŸ™‚

  15. I enjoy reading your reviews solid points, but regarding the music it really varies depends on the crowed (gender, culture,….etc). the fact that squat track has no lyrics, served me well on teaching more technical talking to the audience, given the slow base gives the participants good chance to master the technique. In addition, I agree with you regarding the shoulder track and chest track, the length and the amount of upright row, but thats a plus. First, it is a change. second, you have slight different level of intensity from release to another, which you can use to improve and challenge your regular audience.

    1. Very fair points, Majed! Changing things up is always good for our bodies on a workout. Thanks so much or weighing in. Happy pumping to you! πŸ™‚

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