BodyPump 56 Production Date
>>> Updated 11/7/05:
>>> We now have BodyPump 56 in our hot little hands!
>>> Click Here to read our full review...
Our friends at Bodypump Tracks have announced that BodyPump 56 video filming is scheduled for Wednesday, August 10 at Les Mills World of Fitness in Auckland. So, if you happen to need a holiday destination that week, perhaps you'll include New Zealand on your itinerary!
Bolingo: Journey Into Core Strength
If you've had the pleasure of hitting the mat with La Bouche's Bolingo (BodyPump 48 - Download sample here) you'll swear it's the longest ten minutes of any BodyPump workout - yet, at only 4:36, it's not even the longest ab track (Anastacia's Left Outside Alone from BP 52 takes that honor, at 4:49). What is it about this tune that makes even the most hardcore regulars groan as the first beats of its sultry rhythm emanate from the loudspeakers?

Core strength, that's what. As any student of pilates will tell you (I haven't heard of anyone yet who would dare claim to have mastered pilates, by the way) core strength can only be achieved by targeting the deep - and often neglected - inner core abdominal muscles. Since most BodyPump abdominal routines focus on the outer abdominal muscles, this routine's direct assault on those deeper muscles is a real eye-opener.

It's one of my favorites. I like the way it opens with the super-slow reverse crunches, transitions to some slow 2/2 crunches, and continues alternating between those two motions before the core-strength work begins. There's not a whole lot of fast maneuvering going on here, as compared with the ab routines of the last three BodyPump releases - just deep, methodical, focused work. I like that.

If it's been awhile since this track was played in your class - or, if you're a new attendee and haven't had the pleasure/pain (your choice) - then I highly recommend requesting it from the instructor. It'll be the longest ten minutes of your class...
BodyPump 54 Post-Launch Commentary

Well it's out on the street now at most clubs around the world, and our bet is that 54 has been universally well-received. The music really makes this release - there's something in here for everyone. As predicted, the warm-up plays really well with the class, setting the tone for a fast-paced and fun workout. We found many of the tracks to be as tough as expected - squats, chest, biceps, shoulders - all make for impressive workouts. Back and Hamstrings was a pleasant surprise - only two sets of clean & presses means you can really perfect that form. Of course, the biceps and shoulders tracks join our all-time favorites lists.

Surprisingly, the class didn't seem quite as enamored with the lunge track as we were - guess you gotta really love the 70's sound to be so taken with that one. The abs track played much better on the floor than I expected - so even though I still prefer the Steve Miller original to this one for general listening, I have to admit that this was definitely a good pick after all. Finally, as much as we love the cooldown song, we've found it's just a bit short on the holds - there's just wasn't quite enough music there for the choreography team to work with.

At the end of the class, though, we've had many folks say this is one of their favorite releases - and that goes for us too!
Class Etiquette

I decided to let Craig have a break from writing, and besides, I wanted to expess my thoughts - and get yours - on some of my pet peeves in class.

The first one happens while Craig or I are teaching the track - trying to cue and give info on proper technique. What bugs me is when during this time, people are talking, loudly, and not paying any attention to what we are saying. It is not only disruptive to us - but to the entire class as well. I know we, and I speak for all instructors, work very hard at trying to deliver a safe, quality class and it's rude when people feel the need to engage in a conversation instead of paying attention to their form.

Another area is in between tracks. Two things come into play here. One, is the talking and not paying attention to our verbal instructions. I realize most have heard it over and over again, but they need to be respectful of others who are here for the first time and want to get the most out of their first experience. Second is right after the track when we stretch. Most don't stretch - they are too busy changing weights.

Next, is when we finish with triceps - most will start putting away their benches. Then they start with putting up some weights. I understand that some have to get back to work, but what usually ends up happening is they miss important instruction cues, and sometimes the first few seconds of the song.

The next is this - when we do instruct proper technique, and sometimes this has been done on an individual basis after class, some will still do it wrong. For example, we can say till we're blue in the face, when doing clean and presses, NO reverse curls, bring the bar straight up your body. And if your have to jerk the weight to get it up, then you need to come down on your weight. We still have participants who will jerk it up in a reverse curl! Not only does this look sloppy, but it is unsafe. (I'll have Craig do a post on proper form for Back & Hamstrings)

Last, is when people leave after abs and don't stay for the cooldown. This is just as important as the rest of the routine or else they wouldn't have it in there. Your muscles need to stretch after working out so there will be less soreness.

If you are a class participant reading this blog, and you do some of the above, we ask that you respect your intructors and your fellow classmates. Your insructors work hard for you training and learning how to execute safe, proper moves. Have fun in class! But get all you can out of it!

Instuctors, is there something that bugs you? Share it!

Podcasts Are Done!
We finally got the first batch of five podcasts published:You can listen at your computer or download to an Mp3 player using our "download this podcast" links, or subscribe at our iTunes page (you'll need iTunes 4.9, by the way). Enjoy!
Taking Our Site To The Next Level
Although we've explored many facets of BodyPump music, releases, techniques, and other fitness-related topics on this site, two things have become increasingly clear to us. First, we've barely scratched the surface. And second, even if we did cover everything, nobody would have enough time to read it all!

You may've heard about Podcasting. The cool thing about Podcasts is that you can listen with practically any portable audio player, anywhere (our link to Apple iTunes notwithstanding!). Obviously that makes it an extremely efficient medium over which to communicate ideas, because you can go so much more in-depth in such a short period of time. Plus you're no longer teathered to a computer (unless you want to be, of course!).

So we're taking this site to the next level. Right now we're hard at work, converting many of our most popular posts into Podcasts - and adding additional thoughts and ideas along the way based on your feedback. We'll still post everything as text, just like always. But for those of you who like your news on-the-go, we hope you'll plan on taking us along!
Exercise on vacation??

We have had a request to write something about exercising while on vacation. Many say, "I'm staying at a hotel that doesn't have a gym, so I can't workout". Oh really? Lets just see if there is anything you could do....

No treadmills? No stairclimbers? No elipticals? Do you own a pair of sneakers? Bring them! Go jogging, walking, running, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, etc. What? You forgot your sneakers? How about jumping jacks, jumping rope with an imaginary rope, running in place. Do you know how to kick box? Practice your punches and kicks. The possibilities are endless!

And how about strength training? For upper body there are pushups for chest, back and shoulders. Try dips using a chair. Grab your suitcase and do some bicep curls. Sometimes I will take a bag and load it up! You could also use it to do front raises, lateral raises, upright rows... use your imagination! For lower body try squats, lunges, walking lunges, plies, calf raises, dead-lifts holding that heavy bag you used for biceps, etc. You can always do ab work - place your feet on a chair for some crunches. Bring your CD player and do a BodyPump ab song.

If you still need help, there is a book out called Fitness for Travelers - The Ultimate Workout Guide for the Road. I haven't read it but it looked pretty good.

Resistance bands are a great piece of equipment to bring that will easily pack into your suitcase. They come in different resistance strengths and you can buy them almost anywhere. Aqua Bells are great too. They come deflated and you just fill them with water. Here is a website where you can find these items.

If you happen to teach Body Flow/Balance, bring your CD's and practice! That's what I did while we were out West! It is a bit hard though when you don't have a Yoga mat, but I have found the neatest thing - they are called Yoga Paws. They are like a sock with the toe cut out made of a yoga mat type material to keep you from slipping on the floor. If you don't know how to do yoga, at least do some stretching - just remember to warm up about 5 minutes before stretching.

If anyone out there has any tips - please pass them on! No need to become a slouch just because we are on vacation! Now we have NO excuses! : ) Stay healthy!

Tami W.
3-2-1 or 1-2-3?
We drive each other crazy with this. Whenever I count through a rep - such as 3 counts up, 1 count down - I always count backwards: 3-2-1. Tami, on the other hand, counts forward: 1-2-3. When one of us is teaching, the other will sometimes count out a rep or two - and if we both happen to pick the same rep to count... well, you get the picture. What usually follows sounds a lot like Lucy vs. Ricky or The Honeymooners or any of those other husband/wife sitcoms. Our class says the free entertainment gets their minds off the pain. We say it's all about getting the last word in - and that honor usually goes to whoever has the microphone. So what do you think - is it 3-2-1 or 1-2-3? Click the comments link and let us know!
Bodypump ROI: Triceps

To the business community, ROI means Return On Investment. A constant goal in nearly every professional setting is to "maximize ROI" (wish I had a dollar for every time I've heard that phrase!). And so it should be with your Pump routine - going to or teaching class is an investment. Get the most out of it.

A great place to start doing that is with your triceps. Most people don't realize that triceps make up the vast majority of upper arm muscle mass. They'll work their biceps to death and wonder why they don't see much improvement in their arms. Sure, biceps are cool and definitely worth your time, but triceps are where the money's at.

Here's what you need to know:
The key to a great tricep workout is isolation. If you fail to isolate the triceps, you might as well be laying there watching TV. And here's the really sad thing - it's our observation that half (or more) BodyPump participants achieve little or no tricep isolation in their workout. Consequently, those folks are getting a pretty poor ROI on the triceps portion of their workout. Don't be one of them!

Isolation involves keeping the elbows directly above the shoulders during your work on the bench. During routines with kickbacks and tricep pushups, make sure your upper arm stays tight against your side. In both cases, if you find that you can't keep that form through the entire routine - usually this means your elbows start drifting outward - then you're working with too much weight. Reduce your weight and get the form right - that's how you nail the triceps. Again, isolation is the key here. It's all about form.
Our Readers Rate The New BTS Workouts
It's been a couple of months now since the BTS/LMI split became public, and a month or so since the new BTS workouts and music hit the streets. Back in May, we published a rather rosy review of the initial BTS release based on information we'd collected from a variety of Internet posts. Since then, however, we've received a quite a few comments from our readers about the new BTS releases - and most are much less complimentary than the information we had initially found. A sampling of these appear below, with clarification edits denoted by [brackets] and deletions (to shorten) replaced by elipses...

Workout Routines

"The [Group Power] workout was good and the music wasn't as hideous as I'd anticipated, but the abs (pilates) workout was beyond awful... Trying to do the "hover" and "hover with knee bends" is next to impossible (you slip and slide on the floor) and really PAINFUL on the knees -- even with a mat... Alot of us just threw in the towel and did our own moves. (and that's rare!)"

"I had the opportunity to participate in all of the New and Improved programs last week at BTS Headquarters. They were fantastic! True, there is less speed and complexity, but the workouts exceeded my expectations. I am certified in all five programs, so I felt confident about my comparisons, and am excited to bring these programs to my facility."

"I like how you do a slow clean and press in the [Group Power] warm up, because I know that is one of those moves which confuse new class participants. Shoulders has an interesting Rear Delt T move which is different, but what the hell have they done with the push-ups??? There are no push ups in chest, triceps, or shoulders. It appears that BTS has dumbed down the barbell workout."

"Group Ride is longer -- which nobody is happy about... It is slower too."

"I took a preview of Group Step in Atlanta last month and it could not compare to BODYSTEP. The Group Step class actually made the decision b/w LMI and BTS for me and my manager. We wanted to leave half way through! Yeah, it was that bad. The choreo and music lacked the excitement and attitude that BODYSTEP always delivers."

"Though I went to Marietta with the mentality of Les Mills or nobody, I was quickly impressed. So much so, that we signed our club up with BTS the next day. Awesome music and great workout. We're also using this opportunity to remodel our club and lauch all programs."

"I'm now a Centergy instructor and am really unhappy with it. I find it really entertaining that in the entertainnews article (written by a former business partner of BTS) they talk about how they want the BTS programs to work for the un-conditioned. The new Centergy releases have more airplanes/warrior 3s than anything I've ever seen before. In addition, there are 3-legged dogs."

"Group Power was fine and Group Kick was alright but definitely NOT ANY BETTER. Unfortunately, the classes seemed like bad imitations of the real thing."


"I received the Group Power releases, gave them a listen (which was hard to do), and looked for another gym in the Atlanta area at which I could teach Body Pump, which is my passion."

"The music is terrible, though the Summer 05 release is growing on me. The Bonus release has 9 of 10 songs on it which were Body Pump songs, no longer original artist and completely rechoreographed."

"For some reason, LMI - with 25 years in THIS industry hasn't chosen to work with [Power Music]... If Power Music offered the consistent quality, don't you think LMI would use them?"

"IT'S THE SAME AS BODY PUMP except that the songs are mixed to where they are not original artists!!"

"I have to say that the music for Group Ride is AWFUL ,AWFUL, AWFUL!!!!! Blech, yeck, ptooey!!! The instructor asked for opinions afterwards and it was a unanimous complaint."

Instructor Notes/Video

"The choreo notes are terrible, but I see why they need to be different from Body Pump notes so that it is not a TOTAL RIP OFF from Body Pump."

"The [Group Centergy] instructor notes are absolutely terrible--perhaps part of their plan to make us watch the DVD more often??? My major compaint with the notes is that they use the same terms to mean different positions. That just doesn't make sense to me!"

"I don't know what to say about [the Group Power DVD] other than it is a train wreck. The three guys in the video have choreographed their transitions to where they look like they are in an aerobics class. Granted, it is their first release so maybe they need to loosen up a bit."

Well, that's what's been posted to our site in the form of comments by our readers. You can read the full text of all these comments (and more) by clicking through to this sampling of BTS vs. LMI articles in our prior posts:Agree or disagree? Share your thoughts by clicking on the comments link, below!