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!
12 Comment(s):
On 06 July, 2005, Blogger SSCare said...

I agree!!! Group Power and Group Ride music are both awful! I feel sorry for the clubs that had the choice and signed with BTS. What were thinking!!! There is a reason why Mercedes cost more than Pinto.

On 07 July, 2005, Blogger IBMocha said...

Okay so I'm not alone. I also thought BTS was okay, at first. I had never experience anything but BP and I got hooked on it many years ago. In fact it is the reason I decided to start teaching again. Step was my first love. I saw members of the gym doing this weight class while I was on the Smith machine and it looked very interesting. The rest is history.
I work for 2 different gyms, one went LM the other BTS.
I was excited at first to finally get a chance to see what the other LM formats might be like. Hey, how far from the orginal can it be?
Although I loved "I Believe" the other tracks put me to sleep. The Group Power Video team had me rolling on those syncronized steps in squat!!!!
So today I (attempted)to played GP in its entirey. OMG! Oye chest track!!! Lacked the fire of the BP track. By the time it was over, forgive me, I slipped in a BP track for #4!!!! I went back to BTS for the duration but it was BORING!! I am going to have to take an acting class for this!!!!
S.S. do you feel me on this one?

On 07 July, 2005, Blogger IBMocha said...

P.S. Just wanted to let you know, I was in Dallas TX for Les Mills Quarterly and it was fantastic! I got to meet Les Mills, Emma Berry, Steve Renault and many other international presenters. They were the most down to earth people I ever met. Steve helped me with my pedal in the RPM class. After the event everyone was invited to a big party in Fort Worth to mingle with them!

They will return to Dallas to host another event August 28 at the Fairmont Hotel. This is the same week as Dallas Mania and at the same site!

Tickets for LM (all formats) is $49 plus tax. If you book 7 days before the event tickets go up to $75. I already have mine!!!!

I have always wanted to experience all formats and I was not disappointed!

This will be my second Dallas Mania event!

I hope I see you there!

On 07 July, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's amazing that we have "found" so many negative reviews. I say that as a Power instructor who just left BP. The members absolutely LOVE power here in the area of NC where I live. I also gave about 10 passes to members at my former LM club to check it out. They liked power so much more that they are petitioning the club to switch to BTS. But, I guess to each their own. I just know that the clubs where I work made the right choice to switch based on class numbers and member feedback.

On 07 July, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why can't we just let this subject go. Enough already! Let's move on and get people in shape, since that is EVERYONE'S goal, right?

On 07 July, 2005, Blogger Tami W. said...

I couldn't agree more! I'm tired of hearing about it as well.

We went to Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta this past weekend and it amazes me at how many obese people are out there - not just a few pounds overweight - but lots! One would think with all the overwhelming info we have on fitness these days that it wouldn't be such an epidemic problem. What really concerns me is the overweight children. Its no fun being the fat kid. So yes - I agree with anon - lets get busy motivating to get...and STAY in shape!!

Thanks for reading!

Tami W.

On 09 July, 2005, Blogger pipera said...

I cannot say anything about Group Power etc as I live elsewhere on the planet. So I guess I will never be able to do Group Power and the other BTS Group of products as I do not live in the USA. I have nothing to compare it. I do however see the following. I used to be able to talk to Les Mills Instructors in the USA and Canada about the releases. Now we have nothing to talk about. They have moved on with BTS and their range of products and I am with Les Mills and their range of products. They now are off talking about Group Power and how good it is. I cannot discuss Group Power with them, as I have nothing to say anymore. Likewise I will talk about Bodypump 54 and 55... and they cannot talk about them with me as they no longer instruct in Bodypump.

What I am getting at is now they are off in a new direction and we had no choice in the matter. We no longer share the same programs Bodypump etc...

We will slowly drift in new directions!

On 09 July, 2005, Anonymous Erik said...

I can only comment on Group Power, as I have only taught Group Power. (I have taken Centergy and Step)

If you cut me, I'll bleed BodyPump Black and Red, but our group of clubs chose BTS at the corporate level. This has not been an easy transition for me. As scheptical as I am, I can't get over how the members REALLY enjoy the fresh look and feel of Group Power. We have all talked it up, got behind the club, etc. But they really love this stuff. I have only had one student approach me and say that they preferred BodyPump. Quite frankly, that surprises me. Here is my take on Group Power.

Workout Routines
The BTS Routines at first glance seemed a little lame, but try doing them. They have a good flow. The music doesn't have the same feel that BodyPump did but after some practice, you learn the new feel.

I thought that I would miss the pushups (and I do), but the shoulder track on Summer 05 is very challenging, working new areas that Pump did not touch.

The abs workout is nothing but lame pilates moves.

The second legs track, called "More Legs" (formerly Lunges) is okay. They have added a midrange lunge in there that is a little different. It starts out with dynamic work including a lunge/squat combo. When you and your students get done falling all over yourselves, it smooths out.

Biceps is faster with a cool tune.

Triceps is about the same, added a mid-range overhead extension and a cool combination on the bench with the press/forhead extension.

Back & Legs adds a slow-motion staggered clean and press that is very beneficial to newbies in the class. Great form builder, excellent coaching opportunity.

Chest,same moves, cool tune, long break.

Legs (squats) adds a 1-3 squat that has a different feel to it and an 8 count drop,4 count hold @ the bottom, 4 count rise on the end to really put a stinger on it.

Warmup includes one of those slow motion-staggered clean and presses, along with a few regular clean and presses.

Cooldown is okay. Some new stretches are always welcome.

Some of the tracks end a little abruptly. Overall, the music is more recognizable by the crowd. I'm a jazz fan myself, so none of it is recognizable to me ;-) They state that there are no objectionable lyrics, but there is a song that talks about waking up and getting myself a beer (objectionable to many) and another one that uses the d_mn word??? They must be using CBS's standard for acceptable.

Instructor Notes/Video
The notes come with 6 pages of abbreviations that are used throughout the release! Sit down with a cup of coffee. There were 3 or 4 typos in the choreography, usually the number of reps.
The video was so choreographed it looked like a Richard Simmons movie. The three presenters were in incredible shape but I would not enjoy their class. First of all, they all lack a degree of masculinity and it shows. I can't stand to have a male instructor with a lisp, or one who refers to the eye line as opposed to the forehead on triceps. It was truly a dog and pony show. (the bonus release was worse)

Customer Service
Right after the announcement in May, I ordered some items from LMI's US store online which is actually in France. Something happened and the customs papers from France were not filled out, and my package did not get here in time. LMI folks bent over backwards to fix this issue.
Once we found out we were going BTS, I ordered my release. There was a wrong number on the credit card or something, but BTS didn't call me, email me or nothing. When I called them, then they told me about the card. We got them the right number and the release was sent. When it came, it was the bonus release. Again I had to contact BTS, to get the Summer 05 release. Our team of instructors STILL has some that have not yet received their complete package. I also had to ask for a receipt! Horrible customer service. Maybe that is why their releases are only $25.

Pipera, I want to hear about BodyPump releases. Keep telling us about them. I didn't have a choice either. Tell me your stories.

Tamie and Craig, thank you for such a wonderful blog. I really enjoy it. BTW, this blog is linked from LMI's Blog too.

Keep the faith, keep fit!

On 11 July, 2005, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Erik - Thank you for writing such a thorough and balanced review!


On 04 January, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My club is a former BodyPump club that went to BTS. Since we had two BTS national trainers on staff, it was really a no-brainer! A good friend of mine who teaches BodyPump was outraged because he just couldn't get passed the music! My BodyPump training was an incredible experience. I had participated in the class for about 18 months before my certification. It truly changed my life! I trained on BodyPump 52 and it will ALWAYS have a very special place in my heart! My trainer was Jeff St. Laurent and he brought the whole experience and I remember saying that I want to be as good as he is and give my classes that same experience.

I agree that the BTS music isn't like BodyPump, but once you focus on the exercise and NOT the music, it is a wonderful program. Yes, the music helps, but what are we there for, a sing-a-long? No, we are there to get THE best workout in the 60 minutes. Yes, there may be typos in the choreography notes, but, duh, you'll figure it out and adjust accordingly! I think the cry babies who scream about the music should consider the exercises first. They are fantastic and getting better as time goes on! I'm really glad my club made the switch for its members! It isn't about me and my needs, it is about what is best for the participants!!! Lets not forget that. Carter

On 27 February, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When our club switched to BTS (just over 2 months ago) I was somewhat excited, as I had heard nothing but positive comments. Unfortunately, I have been nothing but disappointed. Besides the “Studio Artists” we have to listen too, the choreography is more complicated, the notes are terrible and the workout is not any better. GroupCentery is frustrating to me. In the Winter 06 release they don't hold one pose long enough to be effective. It's as if they are trying to show off with as many moves as possible in one track. To say it caters to a wider age group is ridiculous….a revolved swan pose, 3-legged dogs, cow pose...come on! Not to mention the DVD’s are terrible. The "lead" for GroupCentery (Molly Fox) is painful to watch...where did she learn yoga? She is stiff as a board and has little grace. GroupPower is a little better but even my husband won't let me watch the DVD's as he refers to BTS as the "Wiggles" teaching BodyPump. For GroupPower I find the choreography to be more complicated than necessary and I have issue with the safety. The slow clean & press has not improved anyone’s form. The bicep track in Summer 05 is WAY too fast. No one wants to lower their weight as recommend (no matter how much to tell them to do so) therefore participants form is awful. The squat tracks, chest tracks, and “more leg” tracks are easy. I've put 10 more pounds for squats and “more legs”, and 5 more for chest --- I still don't get a burn. I also have issue with 8 single tricep extensions using the bar (member’s hyper-extend at the top to do singles) and the double kickback extensions (participants shoulders are in their ears). I do not believe this program is better for the participants. LMI has been doing this for 15 years (Internationally, I might add) they clearly know what they are doing..and for good reason.

On 19 July, 2006, Anonymous Scott said...

Good site guys... This is your new General Manager, Scott. Keep up the good work!


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