Archive for September 2010
A couple of days ago I was browsing the Les Mills community forums and a post caught my eye. It was on the subject of building muscle doing BODYPUMP. Cut a long story short, one of the posts had the following comment:
Body Pump DOES NOT build muscle mass
Now I did add my two cents because this is a subject I get asked about a lot and feel very strongly about. When asked by men in class as to whether they can build their muscles using pump I use myself as an example. The ONLY weight training I have done since I did the BODYPUMP module in March last year is pump. That’s it, outside the group fitness studio I haven’t picked up a weight at all. Not even once. And, in that time I’ve put on 7 kilograms (over 15 lbs) of muscle.
Take a look at the pics below – the one on the left was taken at the release of BODYCOMBAT 39 in March 2009, the other the release of BC45 in September 2010 (18 months between the two).
The only difference between the pic on the left and the pic on the right is the addition of BODYPUMP to my training routine (three times per week). Normally when I tell people pump is the only weight training I do I get a surprised look but anyone who knows me knows it’s the absolute truth. BODYPUMP works, if you put in the hard yards and really, I mean really bust your ass every class it will totally change your body…. trust me I’m living proof!
Bit behind the 8 ball here as most countries have released this now but for tradition’s sake I’ll write a fairly brief review below. Once again, as always, this is just my personal opinion, and of course you may completely disagree (do tell me if that’s the case!).
To be honest, after I did this release at the filming (around 4 or 5 months ago) I wasn’t impressed and thought I’d be absolutely ‘bollocking’ it (which I absolutely hate doing)… however, my opinion’s changed. It’s very decent (if you don’t love it at first do give it time – it’s one of those “grow on you releases”). Here’s a short blow by blow review of each track:
1. No Easy Way Out (Radio Edit) – DJ Fait / Are You Gonna Go My Way (Ti-Mo Remix Edit) – Kato feat. Ian Dawn
Well I’d have to say musically this is probably my favourite warmup ever – great touch having the theme song from Rocky IV as an upper body warm-up, and, great remix too. Lower body works as well, nice driving beat. My only negative comment is that the track itself is possibly too long. I’m sure the Programme Directors could’ve created the chorey such that is wasn’t necessary to have that last third of the lower body track (side kick sets and side kicks part). I mean to we really have to have back kicks in the warmup? Surely the chorey could’ve incorporated side kicks instead and not have the last additional bit. Back kicks only feature again in track 6 which is so slow there’s plenty of time to cue them. But, that’s just a wee niggle – otherwise great track with a couple of surprises. 8.5/10 (would be 9 if just a minute or 2 shorter in length)
2. Back To Innocence – Stephanie Smith
Grown on me quite a lot this one. Wasn’t a fan at all to begin, and although it’s not a track that I feel will go down in time as a classic it’s fairly catchy and a good length; we’ve had some crazy long track 2s (I was made for Loving You/United Vibe) and crazy short (Love Drunk/Beat It). Was one of the first tracks to get mixed out – but will bring it back at some stage (unlike say Energy from BC44 which is unlikely to ever see the light of day again unless specifically requested). 6/10
3. Because The Night (Breeze & Unknown Remix) – Cascada
Despite being used in BC38 this song has gone down fabulously. Highlight of the release for me. Builds perfectly, pulls back just long enough in the shuffle/double jab portion before slamming into the peak at the end of each half. The jab/cross slip/slip combo is awesome – albeit does take a few sets for the members to time correctly – once they do it’s all smiles. Love it – absolutely love it. 9/10
4. Take A Look Around – Badlands Inc
Much like track 2 this track has grown on me. Really important you stay low in the lunges to get a great workout or the heartrate will drop too much. In my classes because the evasive side kicks just come from no where I’ve found they really need to be precued early and clearly (step left kick right works). I did find this one of the tougher tracks to learn as the chorey is uneven – but yes, members like it and will come back in future mixes. 6/10
5. Proud Mary – Dr John Henry
Low point of the release unfortunately. Obviously this is just my opinion but the cheesy song, dreadful cover, and odd repetitive chorey make for a long, long, long 5 minutes. Gets a few smiles first couple of times you teach it as it’s so silly and uncombat like, but once the novelty has worn off it’s just a bore. I understand why this track was in BODYATTACK 70 – being a celebration release and the track having a 70′s feel to it – but why put it in combat in the same quarter?? I mean I can understand when current hits are in multiple programmes, as they are “current” – but a track from 40 years ago? It’s like Lisa O put it in attack and D&R went – “good idea – we’ll do that too!”. Anyway, clearly I’m not a fan; 2/10
6. Russian Roulette (Blunatix Meets B-tastic Remix Edit) – Felix DJ
First time I did this track at the filming I LOVED it. It blew me away – I thought the music was beautiful and Rach presented it so well. However – after doing it a few times yes, whilst lovely it’s just too darn slow. Loads and loads of blocks, and while if you concentrate on staying really low in your stance you’ll get a decent leg burn it’s too long a recovery heartrate wise. Even if you really power into every block and kick it’s still a big drop for the heart. But, nice track – you can pull back and say very little when teaching and almost just use your eyes to cue the movements which is always nice as a contrast… but, yeah, too slow and a bit long for my liking. 6/10
7. Goin’ Out Swingin’ – Turbo
Other low point of the release for me. Hideous cover of a non-hit by Mötley Crüe. I guess if you’re a Crüe fan you may love it (I was in my teens – not so much now) but it’s not a great track. Kinda cringe worthy really. To be fair I wasn’t a fan of Kickstart My Heart either (another Crüe cover in muay thai just 2 releases earlier), but the chorey in this one is better IMO. Sorry, not for me. 3/10
8. See The Light (Styles & Breeze Mix) – Paradise
Great finish. Musically really good – the power hook is an unusual addition and to be honest not sure if it’ll stay around (might go the way of the “sweep”) – however lovely end to the cardio part of the class. Well used track (attack and pump before) but still works here. The tracks 8s in the last few releases have just been simply AWESOME, Overload, Your Shining… superb. D&R if you do read this keep it up. Love it. 8.5/10
9. I Can Transform Ya – Chris Brown featuring Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz
Two words; Alligator pressup. Yep, I think we all know my opinion on this move. To be fair the adaptation of it in 45 is much better than the way we did it in 44 – but, still would prefer something a little less “clever” (especially in a 57 minute release – not too much time to cue it for newbies to be fair!) 4/10
10. Black Box – Stan Walker
Cooldown is really just down to musical taste so completely personal. Not too much to say here – a little too much kata in this track for me – musically nice finish – just would prefer the last minute or so that we’re doing soft katas to be used for stretches personally. But yeah, nice finish 7/10
Overall as I mentioned this release grew on me over the 2 weeks I did it solidly (teaching it 4 or 5 times per week). It’s not the hardest release in the world, the muay thai (where according to my HRM my heartrate usually peaks at up to 180 beats per minute) isn’t that tough and is pretty short – and track 4 and 6 does see your heartrate drop so cardio wise this isn’t a release that will have you absolutely gasping for air. My only other comment is that it’s over 57 minutes long – if you’re not an instructor that usually follows the “push play and go” philosophy you will now! However, it’s got a couple of outstanding tracks in it and, most importantly the Members have reacted to this release really positively and that’s all that matters!
Because I was overseas for the last filming at the GFX in just over a month I get to see both BODYCOMBAT 46 & BODYCOMBAT 47 at the same time! I’ll keep you posted on those for sure. Again sorry for the delay in writing this guys and as always love to hear your thoughts!
I’m just writing my review of the latest releases (I’m happy to admit BC45 has really grown on me!) but in the meantime I thought I’d post a few pics from our local releases. If you’re wondering about the balloons everywhere well it was the official 1st birthday of Les Mills Group Fitness at my gym – we officially kicked it off in September 2009 and it’s absolutely going off! I had the pleasure of having the awesome Chris Drake from Les Mills join me for BC45 which was brilliant (Chris actually appears in the latest posters for BC45 [he's in the middle] and RPM 48! [left]). And I’d have to say BODYATTACK 70 is the first release where I was literally gasping for air after track 4 – OMG!
Anyway, picture is worth 1000 words as they say so here’s a couple to give you a feel (tonnes more pics on facebook if you’re interested so add me there if we’re not already friends :)). Check back in coming days for more info on the GFX too!
This is the BIG ONE! November 2010 sees the GFX – if you don’t know what the GFX is it’s a Group Fitness Xtravaganza where all the DVD filming classes, workshops and special training sessions are combined into one huge weekend which finishes in a MASSIVE party! The last one (in May last year) was absolutely crazy and this one is looking to be even bigger!
I’ve listed the filming times below – but all the workshop times are listed in the graphic as well if you are interested (click to enlarge). We’ve already booked our accommodation (right across the road from Les Mills – parking will be an issue I’d say and you also don’t want to be walking too far after doing 6 or 7 classes in one day that’s for sure!)
If you were to come to one event at Les Mills NZ – THIS would be it. You’ll need to contact Les Mills NZ to book in. If you are thinking of coming do let me know – and remember to make sure you turn up super early for each event. The queues last year were literally down the street an hour before the opening, and if you do come all the way to NZ to be there I’d hate for you to miss out! It’s officially less than two months away now so the countdown is on! I’ll see you there!
Friday November 5 2010
- 8:10am BODYCOMBAT 47
- 9:30 am BODYVIVE 18
- 10:50am BODYATTACK 72
- 1:30pm RPM 50
Saturday November 6 2010
- 8:10am BODYPUMP 77
- 9:30am BODYSTEP 83
- 10:50am SH’BAM 3
- 12:50pm BODYBALANCE 52
- 1:50pm BODYJAM 56