Les Mills – Body Pump 54
Coming fresh on the heels of an awesome BodyPump 53 release, number 54 has some big shoes to fill. So does it make the mark? Let’s have a look:
Warm Up – Tami says this is the best one yet – “It’s not one of those typical girly songs – this one really gets your heart rate up and sets the tone for the rest of the workout.” No kidding – we predict smiles all around the room when class opens with this one.
Squats – While it’s unlikely many will ditch Bryan Adams’ version of “Run To You” in favor of this one from Novaspace, this 5:39 monster has enough singles to challenge even the strongest set of legs. The new super slow “down and hold” looks like a sure bet for future BodyPump squat tracks.
Chest – As a chest track, “Summer Rain” lacks the raw power of “Push It”, “Enter Sandman”, “Stuck In The UK”, and other class favorites. That said, however, this top & bottom combo routine is rich with singles and pulses – check your weights before you scratch this tune!
Back & Hamstrings – If you like dead rows, you’ll love this routine. Your underhand intro includes four sets of triples, followed by seven. And, if that’s not enough, two sets of triples and a seven follow each clean & press set. So why are we doing this to a love song?
Triceps – The backbeat of Gwen Stefani’s “What You Waiting For” takes the intensity of this tricep buster to a whole new level. It’s only 4:13, but the end can’t come soon enough when you hit the floor for the final round of tricep push-ups!
Biceps – Flashy half-singles and stagger moves energize this bicep routine that’s more fun than a barrel full of monkeys. “Car Wash” is a sure bet for the class favorite list!
Lunges – You know you’re in for some pain whenever the lunge routine features a singles-pulses-singles sequence. But if you’re a child of the 70’s you won’t feel a thing, thanks to the funky disco feel of this Shapeshifters tune.
Shoulders – Without exception, every BodyPump release features a track we both lay claim to for the launch – and it’s been awhile since a shoulder track took that honor. So it boils down to this: Whoever gets to the mailbox first gets first dibs. And for BodyPump 54, that would be Tami…
Abs – We saw the introduction of the plate for ab work in 53, and we’re glad to see that trend continue with 54. But it took a strong dose of Steve Miller LPs to cleanse our minds after Fatboy Slim’s rendition of “The Joker”…
Cool Down – Sting’s silky smooth “A Thousand Years” would be right at home in BodyBalance/Flow – and it works brilliantly as a BodyPump cool down. We won’t be surprised if it turns up again in another Les Mills class.
The BodyPump 54 promo promised to be “Different. Better. Yet still the same” with “a fresh new feel to the proven Les Mills formula for getting bodies into shape in record time”. So, did it do this? Here’s what we think:
Music – Re-makes of legendary songs like “Run To You” and “The Joker” have to do justice to the originals. We got that in prior releases with “Walk This Way” and “Lady Marmillade” (not to mention the Robbie Williams tracks), but the re-makes in this release (save “Word Up”, of course) make us long for the originals. That said, this release features some exciting tracks, including Safri Duo’s “Rise” for the warm up, a very cool tricep-bicep-lunges run, and topped off with a mesmerizing cool down. BodyPump 54 isn’t as far out as the techno-heavy 52 release, but it’s not quite in the same league musically as the legendary 44, 47, and 53 releases either. We give the BodyPump 54 playlist a B+.
Workout Routine – As we’ve mentioned in prior posts, the trend in BodyPump releases of late has been toward more intense workouts – and we’re glad to report that BodyPump 54 keeps the heat on! We like the new super slow “down and hold” in squats, plus the biceps half-singles and stagger moves and the continued use of the plate in abs. And while we like the way the BodyPump routine continues to evolve into a more intense workout, we’d definitely welcome a return to some isometric ab work (releases 48 & 49, for example), or something wild like risers with push-ups in “Crack It” (release 50). We give the BodyPump 54 routine an A-.
Instructor Video – In a neat departure from prior releases, Program Director and Head Choreographer Mike McSweeney presents all ten Master Class tracks. The stage is kept fresh with continuous swaps through a team of Auckland presenters as shadows. We definitely noticed a higher degree of emphasis on form and technique beyond that of prior releases, with Mike calling attention to specific coaching cues that instructors need to focus on during their own presentations. The video for this release felt less like a show and more like a class for instructors, and that’s why we give it an A.
So, there you have it. Agree or disagree? Let us know – click the Comments link below and tell us about it!
Posted Sunday, June 05, 2005 by Tami and Craig Warma
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Les Mills – Body Pump 54
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