DISCLAIMER: I did this workout at 6 a.m. yesterday so it’s entirely possible that I dreamt the whole thing and there actually is no Body Pump 79.
Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, on to my review of Body Pump 79 (or at least what I remember of it).
Warm up – I missed half the warm up because the instructor didn’t bother waiting for everyone to set up before starting. I understand starting without waiting for latecomers, but in this case the class starts a few minutes after the gym opens so there isn’t a lot of time to set up before class. She could have waited like an extra two minutes for everyone to get their weights (I wasn’t the only one not ready when she started).
Actually, I’m not a fan of this instructor in general – she always screws up the choreography and she’s not nearly as fun or motivating as some of my favourite Pump instructors. But, with my new work schedule, I’m stuck with her on Monday mornings. That kind of ruined the warm up for me but I think under different circumstances I would have liked it (the warm up song was a remix of Taio Cruz’s “Higher.”)
Squats – my main complaint here is that the music was kind of underwhelming. This is always the most difficult track for me so I like a good, high energy song to get me through it. “Closer to the Edge” just wasn’t doing it for me. I do like the combo in this one though – four single squats with four bottom halfs. I hate it when there are too many singles in a row because I can’t get deep enough into the squat without falling behind after a few reps; four in a row is manageable and the bottom halfs are always a nice a challenge.
Chest – set to Sean Kingston’s “Party All Night (Sleep All Day).” Finally, a song that didn’t make me want to go back to bed (which is saying a lot given the ungodly hour. Sean Kingston = guilty pleasure). The first few sets of this were fun and by the time the break came, I was thinking, “really, that’s it?” Yeah, don’t be fooled by the easy first half. The last set went on forever and I was dying by the end of it.
Back – this one is set to a dancey version of “Written in the Stars.” Here we see the return of the power press from a few releases ago (one clean followed by three presses). I had an “oh shit” moment when we first started when I looked around and realized I had more weight on my bar than anyone else in the class, instructor included. But I’m glad I didn’t chicken out because it turned out to be the perfect amount of weight for me. The power press wasn’t nearly as hard as I remembered it to be although there is a challenging set of seven wide rows in this release. This used to be one of the most difficult exercises for me but I’m getting better at it.
Triceps – there are two versions of this track - ”Born This Way” and “If We Ever Meet Again.” We did the Lady Gaga version. This one starts off easy with two sets using the bar for overhead extensions and presses. Then you get a painful set of tricep dips and overhead extensions with a plate. The last two sets are hard but Gaga got me through it
Biceps – set to “Livin’ on a Prayer,” this one felt really challenging even though there’s nothing new here. I just sucked. There was a long set of singles at the end that for the life of me I could not complete. I hate not being able to complete sets. Next…
Lunges – this one is very similar to the lunge track in Body Pump 78. You start with squats, do a set of lunges on one leg, squat again, lunge with the other leg, squat, lunge, etc. Your legs will burn by the end of it. Aptly, this track is set to Bruno Mars’ “Grenade,” a song about loving something even when it brings you torturous pain. Kind of how I feel about Body Pump.
Shoulders – I’m usually ready to call it a day by the time this track comes around but I actually really like the shoulder track on this release. We get the Arnold press in this one, which is one of my favourites.
Abs – we start off with weighted crunches only here we hold the plate in a different position because it apparently activates your core better. I found the positioning awkward and it ended up tiring out my arms more than my abs. Luckily, we weren’t there for long and moved on to side planks pretty quickly. There are no hovers in this one so it was a nice break from the more challenging ab tracks of the last few releases.
Overall, this wasn’t my favourite release but that could be because of the time and the instructor. I’m going to try it again on Wednesday night when my favourite instructor teaches and re-evaluate how I feel about it then.
What are some of the qualities of your favourite (or least favourite) instructors?
For me, my favourite Body Pump instructor gets me, well, pumped about the workout. She makes jokes, yells out motivational phrases (from “Yes you can!” to “Earn your dinner!”), gets us amped between sets (especially the back track; whenever we put the bar down, she starts jumping around on the stage to get us pumped for the next set of clean and presses) and encourages us to challenge ourselves with the weight. She’s also ripped so I feel oddly powerful just doing the same exercises as her. I’m looking forward to re-visiting Body Pump 79 at her Wednesday night class.