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BodyPump 56 Review
The BodyPump 56 pre-release publicity has had us excited about the prospect of an even more challenging workout to some very enticing tracks for well over a month now. So, will the final product live up to our increasingly high expectations? Here's what we found when we spun it up this evening:
Warm Up - The grip changes from 55's Back & Hamstrings track have found their way into this energetic and motivating warm-up. While some may find the beat a little less intense than the warm-ups of recent releases, we like the message this Joana Zimmer tune offers.

Squats - If 8-rep single sets leave you hungry for more, perhaps this Rogue Traders track will satisfy your appetite: Your first set of 24 work progressively deeper, then a short pause with a with a pair of super-slow and (the only) 8-rep single set round out the appetizer. The 16-rep single sets in the next three rounds are followed by bottom-halfs with no midway breaks; the last of these gets the job done with a second set of bottom halfs. Yes, you'll get your money's worth on this one.

Chest - The first few beats of this Fine Young Cannibals tune will be instantly recognizable to fans of 80's music. After the pressure-cooker chest tracks of the past several releases, we'll gladly rock our way through this number!

Back & Hamstrings - DJ Sammy is well known to fans of trance music worldwide, and his past appearances on BodyPump releases ("Heaven" and "Boys of Summer") have been class favorites. So there's little doubt his cover of this Annie Lennox classic will play well - in fact, you may just like it better than the original! Four sets of Clean & Presses with a 6-rep set at the end - what more could you ask for in a Back & Hamstrings track? How about reverse-grip deadrows for an intro and a couple of breaks thrown in for good measure? Done.

Triceps - When was the last time you had a good laugh during a triceps track? Yep, it's the comic relief tune for this release - but you won't be laughing for long. With a nod to 46's "Rise Up", every possible permutation of tricep kickbacks dominate this routine, topped off with a debut of the Triple Pulse Tricep Kickback and a single super-slow tricep pushup for old time's sake. Still smiling?

Biceps - If you've been following our past reviews, you know every BodyPump release features a track we fight over like a couple of wet cats in a potato sack. So when C+C Music Factory showed up on the Biceps track it was a sure bet that this'd be the one. Final score: Tami - Gloating. Craig - Sulking.

Lunges - Focus, control, power. Tina Cousins' "Wonderful Life" won't be the toughest lunge track in the CD case, but it's definitely one of the more energetic tunes of late.

Shoulders - You probably wouldn't spend a quiet evening listening to BodyRockers' "I Like The Way", but it sure makes a terrific backdrop to one of the most challenging shoulder routines in the BodyPump arsenal. Charismatic instructors will love the performance opportunities; your shoulders will love the Crossover Pushups and Rotator Lifts. Oh yeah!

Abs - How often does your abs routine have you starting and ending on your elbows? If your core workout includes hovers, you'll know exactly where this one is going...

Cool Down - Robbie Williams fans will be thrilled to find BodyFlow favorite "Angel" lands a spot in the 56 Cool Down. If you thought the final stretches in 55 passed by a bit too quick, you'll be pleased to find a thorough set this go-around.

Bonus: Biceps - A Christmas track? Hey, this thing's gonna rock all year round!
The promo said this release will bring participants "face to face with the real essence of BodyPump" putting muscles "under a bigger load for longer". We were ready for a Herculean workout - but is that what we got? Let's take a look:
Music - Maybe it was the promo material, maybe it was the post-filming reviews, or maybe it was just something we made up. Whatever it was, we were so focused on getting slammed by the workout routine that we hardly gave 56's music a second thought. Until we gave it a listen, that is. Without a doubt, this is one of the most playable releases in recent history - fully half of the tracks are either re-makes or originals of worldwide classics from the 60's, 70's, and the 80's - and every one of 'em rocks! Even the stuff we've never heard before sounded great on the first spin, and that's why we give the BodyPump 56 playlist an A.

Workout Routine - As we've been saying for the last couple of reviews, we believe the workouts of the 50's series are evolving much more quickly than those of the 40's and prior. You've got the grip changes in the warm-up, those nifty Triple Pulse Tricep Kickbacks, and Rotator Lifts in the Shoulder track. It's great to have the Crossover Pushups back for another go-around, and to see the plate becoming standard fare for the Abs track. It's an awesome workout, but will it leave you busted like 55 did? Probably not - despite killer Squats, Triceps, and Shoulder tracks, we expect the balance of the routine to be challenging but not brutal. For some that may come as a welcome relief, actually. So we'll tag the workout routine with a solid B - not because it isn't exceptional (it is, actually) but because we know the best is yet to come!

Instructor Video - After two "purely Mike" releases, it was actually kind of nice to have a couple of new faces in the spotlight for awhile. Well, "new" being a relative term - BodyPump veterans will immediately recognize International Trainer Susan Tolj, and no doubt the Portuguese National Training Team is extremely proud to call Luis Cerca one of their own (was it only us, or did you half expect Luis to growl "I'll Be Back" halfway between Squats and Chest routines? Heck, he sounds more like the Terminator than Arnold!) When your release includes a bonus track, coaching tips, a thorough set of execution instructions, and (our favorite) "Chat With The Chaps", you've got to give it an A. By the way, we're absolutely thrilled LMI came back to its senses on the cover graphics - we'll just forget that little deviation with 55...
Well, there it is. Agree or disagree? Let us know - click the Comments link below and tell us about it!
15 Comment(s):
On 09 November, 2005, Blogger pipera said...

We don;t get the music ahead of the workshop here so we have to either wait till the launch date or pick it up there. 3 more sleeps till Bodypump 56 (twice) in one Masterclass.

Looking forward to this release.

Gareth Gates in on it :)

Awesome :)

 
On 10 November, 2005, Blogger Hanichu said...

Still another month to wait in Finland! While waiting I get ready by listening the music, and for sure I'm gonna know the lyrics by heart when the BP56 is released in Finland... :)

 
On 10 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how slow is that warm up track? I must have the wrong mix. Seems more like a cooldown. Tell I am wrong!!

 
On 10 November, 2005, Blogger Craig Warman said...

The warm-up is fine. It's not a driving beat or anything like that, but also it's not as slow as a cooldown either. It'll be okay!

 
On 24 November, 2005, Blogger pipera said...

56 is an awesome release. Love every minute of it.

Not one complaint so far :)

 
On 25 November, 2005, Blogger Tami W. said...

I think it's one of their best!

 
On 27 November, 2005, Blogger pipera said...

It's up there with Bodypump 45. A real highlight from the 50's series of Bodypump. If pumpfrog is reading here. Thankyou verymuch indeed for this release :)

 
On 29 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear pumpfrog has resigned, filmed 57 and thats it!

 
On 29 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike McSweeney resigned? Say it isn't so!!!!

:-(

Maybe that explains why BP 54 & 55 DVD's were dubbed the "Mike McSweeney show" by the instructors at my gym....

 
On 29 November, 2005, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Well, I called LMI USA today and they said they'd know if something like that had happened - and according to them nothing of the sort has taken place. Mike is still the Pumpfrog!

(you guys had me scared there for a minute you know)

 
On 30 November, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey thanks for the info about BP56. love your blog and it has been a great source of BP info for someone new like me. i did my video certification on BP55 and it will be forever my favourite release :-) when we did the training i was assigned the bicep track and i was able to anticipate the challenge because of your BP55 review. BP56 is already here in Toronto and I think we are launching it after the New Year. It will be my first release as a Certified BP Instructor. This would be my second LMI certs in 4 months! I just got my BC cert 2 months ago and it has been a blast to pair both programs together!

Addicted to LMI

 
On 02 December, 2005, Blogger Craig Warman said...

Hey that's really exciting, glad we could help! You'll really enjoy doing the 56 launch now that you're certified!!

 
On 10 December, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the 'pumpfrog' has definetly left the house, word is he resigned and the company is keeping it under wraps till they have someone else. apparently he filmed the last release 57 and we will see him no more. I used to instruct rpm, loved it, he stopped being involved and now its only okay, I hope for my and my students sakes the same doesnt happen to bodypump. I'm not at all happy about this development.

 
On 11 December, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will ask around and let you all know whats going on.

 
On 28 December, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

if he resigned, it doesn't mean that the whole program is going downhill?? maybe he wanted time off to focus on his personal life (eg. being a daddy?). either way, he deserves our support and best wishes for all the things he has done for BP!

 

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