To say I was nervous might be the understatement of the century.
Saturday morning, I was scheduled BODYPUMP Release 84 by myself and, for the first time, I felt completely unprepared. When I teach a new release, I try to know it so well that I can hear a different mix of the song on the radio and give Miles the cues as we drive. Obviously he doesn't do two-two squats while in the car seat.
The music in this release, though, has had some trickier beats and transitions, and I just don't feel like I've gotten it. The release also has some new innovations that use plates (front squats, hammer curls with a twist) that require Les Mills' SMARTBARS or plates that can be easily held, and our club doesn't have those. I've had to rehearse with the bar and practice along with the background folks on the master class DVD. It doesn't help that the time I would have normally spent rehearsing has been devoted to cross-training or running because I don't want to get up early.
But if I've learned anything in the past six months as an instructor, I have learned that you have to be confident and make it work. And that's what I planned to do.
As is often the case, I quickly learned that I had worried for naught ... mostly because no one showed up.
I had pre-written this post under the notion that I would have taught the release twice, done it a dozen times and feel like I could give a few thoughts. Fairly. I thought of scrapping it and getting uber whiny that if I want to take some big steps toward becoming a fitness professional that I should be able to pack a BODYPUMP class but I figured I'd save the "It's my blog and I'll bitch if I want to" card when it's a bit more warranted.
So here are my thoughts on 84. If you have taught it or done it as a participant, I'd love to know your thoughts!
1. While I'm a bit sick of Adele - she's been featured on the last three releases - I totally dig the squat track. It's two big sets with a mix of bottom halves and holds that really build tension. I went heavy on legs last week (but nothing I hadn't done before), and I was sore until Wednesday.
2. I was never a big fan of Guns n Roses. When they were popular, I was still young enough to be grossed out by Axl's nipple ring and thought Donny was definitely better than Jordan. And, as of this release, still not sure I'm sold on them and "Welcome to the Jungle." The song just doesn't flow for me, and the last set - with five super slow presses, a set of 2/2's and 16 singles - is enough to make you get out a bush knife and hurt someone.
3. Triceps. Love. Seriously. It makes me want to say "Scream" all the time. (Big thanks to Usher for signing off on the track.) I also like that it includes a new move, the row to kickback, which is more functional and targets that back a bit more.
4. Biceps are dumb. Well, the song for this track is. There's very few lyrics for me, as an instructor, to key into it and I think the techno sound gets repetitive as a participant. I might like it more if we had plates to perform the hammer curl with a twist but we don't. I will say that it burns the heck out of my arms.
5. They need to call the lunge track "Legs, Part II." You do more squats than lunges, and the releases have been that way for the past three. I do enjoy that there's only one set of jump squats so it's easier to execute proper form for the second set of lunges.
6. With the exception of triceps, this might be my favorite track. I really like the music ("Welcome to the Club") - it has a fun beat and catchy lyrics. And every time I hear "Open up the door, Mr. Frankenstein," I smile and secretly wish that there was a Halloween theme release. Who wouldn't love to do squats to "Thriller"? Wait, that song is like 123 minutes long. Nevermind.
7. Abs. Holy abs. I have been working on my core but the 16 walking planks at the end have me on my knees. Literally.
8. Eff you, Nickelback. ("Lullaby" is the cool-down song.)
8.4. If you live in northeast Indiana and want to try the class (for free-ish), shoot me an email and I'll see what I can do. A little sumthin-sumthin, you know. Since you are awesome and read this far.