It’s new release week at GoodLife, meaning new music and choreography in all Les Mills fitness classes. So far, I’ve done the latest releases for BodyPump, RPM and BodyCombat. Here are my reviews:
I love, love, love this release. Every song got me pumped up and ready to work (no easy feat at six in the morning). The warm up (“Resuscitate Me” by September) and squat tracks (Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory”) are fairly typical in terms of choreography, but the music gets things off to a fun start.
The chest track, set to “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” features a slower tempo than usual, making each rep a little longer. The back track (“The Tide” by Twilight) features a new move – the power clean and row, composed of three cleans and three rows (in case the name didn’t make that glaringly obvious). There are also lots of dead lifts and wide rows here, including the dreaded set of seven wide rows in the second and third rounds.
For triceps (Britney – “Till the World Ends”), we get two sets of extensions and presses with the bar, one set of tricep pushups and one set of tricep overhead extensions with a heavy plate. The biceps track is pretty awesome – it finally occurred to someone over at Les Mills International that “Eye of the Tiger” would make for a badass BodyPump track. If you’re a fan of the “stagger” tempo from past releases, you’ll love this one.
Next up, we get the infamous new lunge track, which BodyPump instructors everywhere have been warning us about for months. It starts with a set of weighted squats, then you lose the bar for some stationary lunges. At first, I was thinking, “Really? This is the killer lunge track everyone has been raving about?” It just felt too easy without the weight. But then we launched into the new move – the propulsion lunge – and my thoughts quickly became focused on the burning in my quads.
Ouch! It’s over quickly though and it’s actually kind of fun in a masochistic sort of way.
After, we get a much-needed break from leg work with the shoulder track, appropriately titled “Hands Up!” We get another new move here – the rotator overhead press. This is mixed with pushups and upright rows and overhead presses with the bar (two sets of each). I really didn’t think I was going to make it to the end of the last set, but I got through it. Finally, the abs track, which seems relatively easy compared to the tracks that came before it. You get some crunches, hovers and side planks – nothing too fancy.
Overall, this is one of my favourite recent BodyPump releases, with a perfect mix of motivational music and challenging choreography.
This release is way better than the last one, which was so blah that I pretty much stopped doing RPM for those four weeks. The warm up track (Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long”) is a lot of fun, as long as you’re cool with exercising to cheesy music (and if you’re not, what the heck is wrong with you?!?). Track 2 takes things up a notch with Britney’s “Till the World Ends.” It’s a standard Track 2 but for some reason got my heart rate up a lot higher than usual.
Track 3 features a song from an older Body Attack release (“Welcome to the Club”) and it’s a tough one – I was breathless by the end. Track 4 is a little different than usual; you spend less time racing and more time in a standing jog. This was a nice change of pace, as Track 4 can be a little tedious sometimes.
Tracks 5 and 6 are your standard interval and race tracks (i.e. really hard and really boring, respectively). I’m not sure what the deal is with Track 7 – it’s the same music (“Wherever You Will Go”) and choreography from RPM 52 (although on the Les Mills site, they have a different song listed for RPM 52, so maybe the instructor just screwed it up? Or maybe it’s different in Canada?). A lot of this track is spent in a seated climb, which is never fun, but always a good workout. I was pooped by the end of it and needed a mid-morning nap to recover.
I’ve only done a few BodyCombat classes so I don’t have much to compare this release to. As with all of the other releases I’ve tried, the music provides a lot of the motivation and energy in this class. Some of the songs that stood out for me were remixes of Usher’s “More,” Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” Madonna’s “Frozen,” Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” (how did it take them so long to feature this song in a mixed-martial arts class?!?) and Pitbull’s “Pause.”
This release features a new move (or so I’m told ) called the Advancing Side Kick. I still kind of suck at high kicks but felt pretty badass doing this move nonetheless. That was really the only choreography that stood out for me; the rest seemed pretty much the same as the other releases I’ve done – jabs, roundhouses, front, back and side kicks, upper cuts, etc. Good workout as usual!
I still need to try the new releases for BodyAttack, BodyFlow, CXWORX and BodyStep. I’m planning to do Attack tomorrow night and the rest will have to wait until next week. Stay tuned!
Have you tried any of the new Les Mills releases? What did you think?