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DEEP DIVE: BODYPUMP 119

by Sarah Shortt

DEEP DIVE: BODYPUMP 119
DEEP DIVE: BODYPUMP 119

“BODYPUMP should be a simple, easy-to-follow, intense workout set to great music,” says Program Director Glen Ostergaard. “However, if you closely inspect what appears to be a simple workout, tiny details will emerge that set it apart from the competition. Sometimes we need to read between the lines to understand the benefits.” 

Intrigued? Let’s take a closer look! 

 

Music 

When it comes to choreographing a BODYPUMP® Release, Glen says: “The music always comes first. I'll spend two to three weeks going through all the songs I’ve collected and been given over the round and get them down to about 100 tracks. Diana [Archer Mills] and I will then narrow it down to the main playlist, but I’ll have an idea of what I want to use anyway so out of those 100 songs, I’ll have about 20 we’re choosing from – so two Warm-Ups, two Squat tracks and so on. Deciding on the actual tracks is the hardest bit.” 

Can’t wait for the actual Release to arrive? Here’s a little teaser of a few of our favourite tracks: 

Squats: All You Ever Wanted (Sub Focus Remix) Rag’n’Bone Man 

Super motivating and uplifting to distract you from the multitude of Bottom Half Squats coming your way! 

Biceps: Boom! Shake the Room DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince 

As Glen says: “Yes, we can have fun in BODYPUMP, it can’t all be about the science!” Your members are going to love this 90’s classic. 

Lunges: Girl with the Bat Idris Elba feat. Shadow Boxxer 

We can't get enough of this cool song by Hollywood actor and star of Luther, Idris Elba. 

 

Squats: longer sets of the Front Squat 

BODYPUMP 118 gave us a taste of the Front Squat. Now your participants will be more comfortable with the movement, 119 offers the choice of longer sets of work to increase the intensity (or they can stick with the Back Squat). 

The Front Squat is a great way to strengthen our core and switch up the muscle recruitment of our lower body. Offering it as an option is also a great way to give our members more autonomy over their workout – which we know is a key factor in helping them feel successful. 

 

Triceps: new narrow grip 

Release 119 introduces a brand-new grip for the Triceps: the Tricep Narrow Press. 

Les Mills muscle activation research has shown that narrowing the grip width during the press recruits more tricep and, interestingly, more pec major activation. This increases the challenge of this move and helps give the feel of targeted triceps training. As Glen says: “This gives a pure weight training feel, like training in the gym – more isolation work.” 

 

Lunges: increased muscular activation 

We have a new Pulse Stepping Plate Lunge this round (or "stutter lunge" as Glen calls it), designed to improve our vertical drive for movements like climbing stairs or jumping. 

Recent muscle activation studies from the Les Mills Lab demonstrate the added muscle recruitment we get from a dynamic Lunge versus static. Lunging requires simultaneous contractions of our primary muscles (quads and glutes) along with assistance from hip, knee and lower limb stabilisers. 

What's special about 119? 

The pulsing step in this track acts to temporarily offload the back leg in the lunge and bring the body weight forward onto the front leg. While keeping the front leg flexed at the hip and the knee, the load is maintained and intensified in the muscles of the front leg. This small step may therefore increase the muscular recruitment during this track by increasing time under tension and adding a dynamic element to the lunge pattern. 

Shoulders: the Arnold Press returns! 

bodypump

 

As Arnold Schwarzenegger said in The Terminator: “I’ll be back” (sorry, we had to). The Shoulder track this Release sees the welcome return of the Arnold Press – which yes, was named after the actor! 

So, why do we love it? 

The Arnold press aims to target the key stabilising muscles of the shoulder. In particular: we recruit the deltoid in the press action, the rotator cuff to fix the arm position, and the scapular muscles as we retract and protract the shoulder girdle. This co-contraction trains dynamic stability, helping us develop foundational strength for upper body exercises and mitigating the risk of injury. 

Combined with the Rear Deltoid Fly, the Arnold Press helps us build strength and stability in the shoulders, helping us to move with more control when we work with the bar. Essentially, you'll be able to execute both bodyweight and weighted exercises with more precision! 

 

Core: the most challenging track ever… 

The Core track this round is Glen’s favourite track. He says: “It’s the hardest core track ever since I’ve been the Program Director for BODYPUMP!" 

With a duration of 5 minutes, 18 seconds, this is one of the longest Core tracks we’ve had in a while. Expect Cross Crawls, Mountain Climbers and Hip Bridges – to name a few of the goodies in store… 

Kylie Gates, Les Mills Creative Director and BODYPUMP 119 presenter says: “This track truly pushes us to fatigue. Be sure to offer the different levels in the moves so everyone feels successful.”