Archive for May 2009
Les Mills have a pretty cool new addition to their website – the Wall of Fame. This details every BODYCOMBAT release from 1-40 along with a little bit of trivia about each one. If you’re registered on lesmills.com you can add yourself to the specific release you trained on (for me it was 34). It’s really interesting, take a look here!
If you’ve added me as a friend on facebook then no doubt you’ve seen these pics but thought I’d post a few of them here as well (there are more on fb too). For this BODYCOMBAT 40 release we followed the example set at the filming and went with the martial arts gi. Although I’ve achieved a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and Karate I haven’t practised in many years so borrowed a couple of uniforms and off we went. I think it worked quite well!
Well it’s that time, I finally feel like I know BODYCOMBAT 40 well enough to write my opinion on it. Apologies for the delay in writing this – I actually went to write it two weeks ago… BUT, I held off a little as like every release it’s definitely grown on me a lot; although I did love the filming (heaps!) my enthusiasm actually waned slightly at first – but now it’s right back up there again (phew!).
Being that this release is the tenth birthday of combat D&R have tried to include a wider range of strikes and blocks – and that’s definitely the case. There’s lower blocks, mid-blocks, outer leg blocks, knife strikes, open palm blocks… the list goes on. This release also features the return of the esquiva, and the jump kick (in the same track even!)
Anyway, here’s a play by play (note this is only my personal opinion – feel free to disagree!)
Upper body warmup: Layla (Caribbean Mix) – DJ U Hey vs DJ Minagawa
Great start to the release. Uplifting track – a dance remix of Eric Clapton’s original track with the backing vocals “put your hands up in the air, put your hands up in the air!”. Unusually the upper body warmup features the outer leg block, and is done entirely in front stance (meaning no left right changes with the jabs/uppers/hooks). Loads of performance opportunities with the air guitar (of course!) – really like this track.
Lower body warmup: Hot n Cold – Katy Perry
As much as I hate to admit it I like this track too! Mega cheesy pop song but again loads of performance opportunities and a chance to have some fun with the entire class. Truth be told I’m just happy we have a release with no Rogue Traders!
Combat 1: I Know Kung Fu – Shitdisco
I couldn’t stand this track when I first did it but it’s really grown on me. Loads of knees and knife strikes, as well as the roundhouse challenge (low kick then high without touching your foot to the ground) – great for the ol’ leg conditioning. If you’ve seen the DVD you’ll see what a great job Hernan does in presenting it. I’ve tried his Bruce Lee impressions “waaaaaaaaaa!!!” and I just can’t pull it off – the class look at me like I’m mental!
Power training 1: Sweetheart (Squad-E Remix) – Rezonance-Q
LOOOOVE this track! Was a real stand out for me right from the start. The chorey and level changes match the music perfectly. The entire track builds into a huge final combo (double upper – speed ball) where you can really drive your “opponent” through the ceiling and hit maximum cardio output. This is one of those tracks that gets a round of applause every time it’s taught. Possibly my favourite track 3 ever!!! Highlight of the release.
4a. Power Of The Mind – Headhunterz
Quite a dark track (similar in feel to We Will Survive from BC37). Super simple chorey (two side kicks, outer knee block, front kick all same leg) and to be honest possibly goes on a tad too long. The timing is a little odd to get off the bat but probably only the first couple times you try it. Really not much more to it! Track 4 actually starts with this track right hand side (RHS), then goes to 4b RHS, then 4b LHS then back to this track LHS.
4b. Tubthumping (Everybody Handz Up In Japan Remix) – Hi End Attack
Tubthumping is back! (well it was in BC6!) This track features both the esquiva and then the jump kick. Basically prepare for pain!! Hammers the legs – especially if you concentrate on really lengthening your esquivas right out and pulsing on each one. Hammers one side before restarting and hammering the other and then going back to track 4a. Again, quite repetitive – and not my favourite track. As a side note for those of you that are big esquiva fans as the esquiva is in track 4 you could actually have two esquiva tracks in the same class if you wanted to! (but seriously are you fricken crazy?!)
Power training 2: Tutti Frutti – Mike Hardy & The KooladeSingers
Hmmm… not sure I’m loving this 50′s revival trend in the last couple combat releases. Structurally very similar to Johnny B. Goode from BC39 – effectively lots of identical rounds of chorey. Loads of performance opportunities with the “ooooo”. I enjoyed this track at the filming but I think it could possibly be one of the first to be subbed out when instructors start mixing. Others may feel differently perhaps?
Combat 3: Burn It To The Ground – Nickelback
Well, track 6 aint a recovery in this release that’s for sure! As per usual we have the back kick – however it’s not the “feature move” of the track as we’ve had in the past. This is another track that’s really grown on me. The combos flow really well and fit the music – I especially like the last hook-knee combo – if you really drive the knee and hip you can burn a monstrous amount of calories with this one.
Muay Thai: Speed – Atari Teenage Riot
In general the muay thai for the me is the climax of the class. It’s where my heart rate peaks and I really go balls to the wall knowing that there’s no kicks in the last cardio track. However this muay thai for me disappoints. The chorey is okay – you can really launch your entire body on the rear descending elbows – but the music. Uggg… I can’t stand it. And it definitely lacks the intensity of the muay thai’s of the past. I haven’t had a chance to wear my heart rate monitor to grab a fair comparison to previous releases but I suspect my heart rate/caloric expenditure doesn’t reach anywhere near that of most other muay thai tracks. HOWEVER… as I pointed out this release doesn’t really have a recovery track – so perhaps this was intentional? That is if we did have a Party non stop or Hardcore paradise type muay thai we may see members keeling over from exhaustion! Guess we’ll find out when we start mixing (he says in his evilest voice!!)
Power training 3: Set you free (Hixxy Remix) – N-trance
LOVE it. Fantastic end to the cardio portion of the release. Every class has wooped and cheered during this track. Work the levels and send your fitness levels sky high. What the muay thai lacked this track makes up for!
Conditioning: Let it Rock – Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne
Second release in a row we’ve had no crunches – but we do have the plank and the “komodo dragon” (simple move bringing your knee to elbow working the core). First half of the track has loads of pressups – including the challenge portions on your toes. Decent conditioning track and decent song.
Cooldown: Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
Love the music and love the chorey. Nice simple soft kata that doesn’t require much thought or co-ordination for participants (unlike the kata from 39 which did take some a couple classes to get right). Beautiful end to the release.
So… all and all a solid release and one that rates a solid 8 out of 10 in my books. To my mind not quite a BC38 in terms of fun but a decent length (56 minutes I believe off the top of my head) and given there’s no real recovery tracks you’ll definitely get a decent workout! I’ll post some pics from our big local release later in the week – it’ll be a blast! If you haven’t done it yet then it’s certainly something to be excited about. Enjoy!
The video above is the promo vid shown at the BODYCOMBAT 40 filming. It starts with the original choreographers (Nathan and Gaby) who did the first 20 releases, followed by the legendary D&R. The soundtrack has been changed as youtube keeps removing it due to licensing concerns (not quite sure how that works!) – but it’s still a great vid. My review of BC40 will follow in the coming days – in the meantime enjoy!
BODYCOMBAT 40 Sizzler
Celebrate 10 years of your favorite Martial Arts-inspired program with BODYCOMBAT® 40! A great mix of Martial Arts disciplines will ensure you’re challenged both physically and mentally with a larger variety of Strikes and Blocks to really keep you on your toes. There’s a great mix of old and new styles of music with a couple of bring-backs, a nod to the past and a hint of the future.
By the time you reach Track 2, you’ll have experienced Kick-boxing, Karate and Tae Kwon Do, and you’ll be ready to pull out your best Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan impersonations to I Know Kung-Fu. The Boxing ring reckons in Track 3 before your legs are challenged in Track 4 with three conditioning blocks – first the Kick KATA followed by the Esquiva, then the Jump Kick is unleashed. Let loose and have fun in Track 5 with Tutti Frutti but don’t be fooled by the sing along nature of the song – you’ll be firing up the energy and throwing some power shots.
Refocus your technique and re-center in Track 6 to Nickelback’s Burn It To The Ground before the onslaught that is Track 7. Speed by name, speed by nature – you’ll be unleashed in the Descending Elbow Sequence. There’s one goal in Track 8 and that’s to completely empty the tank – you’ll punch until you can’t punch any more. In Track 9 there’s a new move – the Komodo Dragon. It’ll challenge your core to the max but fear not – recovery is near with soft KATAs to Kings Of Leon’s hit Use Somebody. Stay with the fight!
Well the big weekend is over, and what a weekend it was! For those that aren’t aware (how could that be?!) the GFX is the biggest Les Mills group fitness event of the year – 2 FULL days of programme releases, DVD filmings and fitness seminars attended by, well, seemingly everyone! Every single class from BODYVIVE to BODYCOMBAT was packed to capacity – if anything the classes were almost too full! There were deep deep queues of peeps waiting desperately to get a space, and although I managed to get there early enough to make every class I planned to I know of many that didn’t. In 48 hours I hit 9 classes, including BODYPUMP 70 and 71, and BODYCOMBAT 40 and 41. I also went to the latest BODYBALANCE and BODYVIVE (I’ve only ever done those classes once before!) – it was an absolutely awesome weekend and I had a fricken blast!
Tell you what it’s Monday morning here now and I’m bloody sore though! (Darn you BODYPUMP!!)
Now I know that you’re all waiting for info on BODYCOMBAT 41 and BODYPUMP 71. Well, as this was the GFX we all got notified that there were no cameras allowed in the filmings (in fact the email sent out said the camera would be confiscated and images deleted). So, I’ve got no pics! (I know – but I have to play by the rules!) However, PJ (God bless him) managed to take a few from the BC41 filming which you can view here.
As for a full update on BC41? Well it’s coming but you will have a to wait a little bit! I will be keeping this blog as updated as I can but details of BC41 will have to remain under wraps (just for now) for reasons that I’m sure you’ll discover in due course. I know I’m a tease!!
As well as that I’ve got loads of other updates to write about including a full review of BC40 as well as BP70 and local releases… but before that maybe I should concentrate on trying to walk properly again!