The Launching of 55
We finally launched Body Pump 55 this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Let me fill you in a bit on how we do it at our club in October. We usually launch on Halloween but this year had to do it a week early. The best part is we have to dress up! I though last years outfits wera great - I was dressed as a Groom, and my willing husband was the blushing bride! Complete with wedding dress, veil, garter and flowers! It was a little hard for him to do squats...and chest presses...and...well - just about everything was hard since his dress was a bit too tight! The class loved it too but I had to promise to never make him wear a dress again.
This year we were inspired by our trip to Vegas this past summer. The 'older' folks tend to have a certain look about them. So Craig had to wear some very loud, red plaid, high water pants, white shirt - half untucked, gold chains, a hat that was too small and he waltzed in carrying a cocktail glass complete with cherries and some coffee in the bottom to give it that 'real' look! It was fabulous! I was his side kick. Satin leopard capri pants, black lacy top, frizzed hair, slot machine card around my neck with lots of extra necklaces, gold shoes, bucket with coins....and oh yes - the big belly that kept sliding downward with each upright row! It was hard for anyone to keep a straight face! We did take one photo so maybe Craig can post it somewhere so you can get a good laugh!
I thought the music went over pretty well. As I expected - some did not like the squat music. I still don't. And I felt alot didn't like the tricep song only because of all the tricep dips at the end. In each of the two classes Craig and I launched in - about 60 - 75% did not finish the dips! The bicep song has really grown on me, but I think when you hear it for the first time, like me, it just doesn't hit you. Our whole family has been chanting "world - my finger is on the button"!!!! Craig will get into more of the details of our launch.
We will miss teaching our class for the next week since we will be in Biloxi, Mississippi helping familys to get their homes rebuilt after the devastating hurricanes. We understand they need lots of help - any volunteers? I wonder if there is a BP class in Biloxi...

push the button.

Instructors: Need Some Rut Busters?

So, it's been awhile since you got certified. You're comfortable with the routines, you've got your timeslots set, the participants know you, and maybe you've even got a set of "regulars". New music? No big deal. You can learn a new release in a weekend. So one day you pull out the playlist, and all of a sudden it hits you - it's all old stuff. Sort of like having a closet full of clothes, but there's nothing to wear. What happened?

You're in a rut, that's what. It can happen with anyone, with anything, and at any time. It just happens. But here's the good news: you can bust that rut right now - and we can help! Here's some of our favorite rut busters:
Run a "Form Clinic" - It takes two to do this right, so you'll need to buddy-up with another instructor. Tami and I like to do these on Fridays - we call them our "Form Friday" class, and it's a real big hit with the participants. While one of us teaches a track, the other walks around giving personalized instruction. We begin the class by telling everyone that our goal is to visit each person at least once during the hour, and that we try to tailor the instruction to their level of experience. For newbies, you simply want to help them get the mechanics of squats, clean & presses, and lunges worked out. For regulars, work on fine-tuning techniques such as keeping wrists straight during chest and triceps.

"Everything Old is New Again" launch - If you have an extensive release collection, pick songs that you haven't done in a really long time - or ever. And don't forget the 11th (bonus) tracks on those past releases. Better yet, if you have an instructor on your team who's willing to share some of their extensive collection, pick a release that you've never taught. Now, learn it just like you'd do a new release, and then do the entire set just like you'd do a launch. We did this one time and called it our "New To Us" launch, because it was all old music that we'd never taught before!

The "All Request" Hour - Pick three song titles for each track, and write them down on a sheet of paper. Hand copies out in class, let people circle their favorites - then do the most-picked titles for each track. Or pick 'em on-the-fly - just before a track, name three songs and ask for a show of hands - then do the one that gets the most votes.

The "Hopper" - Take two CDs, put one in the CD player, and the other becomes the "hopper". Now, just before a track, tell everyone the name of the song that's queued up next in the player. Pick an unsuspecting volunteer, and tell them that they get to choose the next track - either the song you just told them, or what's "in the hopper" (but you won't tell them what that one is). This works best when you pick one of your regulars, and especially when they pick the hopper and it's a really tough song! Try it a time or two for a fun twist whenever you need to liven things up a bit.

The "Jukebox" - This is my favorite, because it really puts you on the edge (Tami hates it though!). If your club has one of those "carousel" type CD changers then you're set, but you can also do it with a single-CD player as well. Pick any three, four, or five releases, the number them. Now, just as class starts, tell the class you're going to do something different today. Quickly go around the room and have ten people pick any number between one and five (or however many releases you've numbered). Write the number sequence down as you go - and that becomes your playlist! For example, if you get this: 3-5-4-4-1-5-2-2-5-1 that means your warm-up comes from CD #3, squats from CD #5, chest from CD #4, and so on. You're still doing the tracks in BodyPump's 1-10 order, but neither you nor the class will know what song was selected for each until it starts playing! A variation on this is to do it only with a couple of tracks rather than the whole batch - either way, it's a sure-fire rut buster!
(PS - Listen to the podcast for our disclaimers on this technique...)
The thing about some of these rut-busters is that they put you on "the edge" a bit. So maybe you won't call every move perfectly. So what? As instructors, we shoot for perfection when it comes to the choreography. But what matters more is the energy and enthusiasm you bring to the class - and that's tough to do when you're in a rut. So the next time you find yourself there give one of these little twists a try. You might just surprise yourself at how well you do under pressure!
The Accelerator Class

A key point stressed during instructor training is to keep the gaps short between tracks. Generally, you want 60- to 90-seconds - just long enough to stretch, change weights, demo the next motion, and get the next song queued up. Not only does this keep the class moving (and on time!), it also ensures that everyone's heart rate stays up, and muscles stay warm.

Every once in awhile, we like to push that envelope just a bit with our "accelerator class". It's when we cut the breaks down even further, to about 15-20 seconds - just long enough for the stretch. And, as a bonus, we sometimes toss in a second ab track to take up the extra five or so minutes we've gained at the end of class. Since the weight changes are done extremely fast, and there's no time for demo, it's a format that should only done with a room full of regulars - never when there's newcomers. It's an exciting change of pace, and we often get requests for it!
Did "Save a Horse" Get Burnt?

Every now and again a really good song hits the airwaves. The tune is catchy, people love it, so it gets a lot of airplay. Of course you know the rest of the story.

A song that's been overplayed is what DJ's call burnt. Songs like Devo's "Whip It" and Los Del Rio's "The Macarena" got burnt. Nena's "99 Red Balloons"? Burnt. Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock 'N' Roll"? Toast. And here in the States, "Achy Breaky Heart" got burnt so badly that any DJ who spins it puts their job on the line.

Don't get me wrong - every one of these songs were fresh when they first came out. That's why they got so much play - people loved them. And so it is with certain BodyPump songs. When Big & Rich's "Save A Horse, Ride A Cowboy" first hit the tracklist, it was the first time we'd heard anything like it in a Pump class before. So it got a lot of play at first, and we loved it. Until it got burnt. I bet we have haven't rolled that one for months now.

This past week we dusted off the "Stomp" song - another really catchy tune that finally wore out its welcome. Yeah there were some groans at first, but after a few rounds of squats it freshened up a bit. It seemed that "Car Wash" and "Cross The Border" were starting to wear thin as well, so we've put'em away for awhile - lest they too wind up in the burnt hopper.

So what do you think - did "Save A Horse" get burnt? Any other songs? Click the comments link below and have your say!