Archive for February 2009
Well we’ve only just had the last bunch of filmings and already here are the dates for the next batch of releases (note it’s highly unlikely these dates will change but if they do I’ll keep you posted):
May Masterclass Filming Dates:
Friday 1st May 2009
Saturday 2nd May 2009
Now this all forms part of the massive Les Mills GFX on May 1st and 2nd. The GFX is one massive Group Fitness Xtravaganza which combines the filmings with a massive party! If you are thinking of making a trip to NZ the that is definitely the time! I’ll keep you posted as I know more! 🙂
Had workshop on the weekend – the official release of BODYCOMBAT 39 – the quarterly was HUUUGE! Absolutely loved it. I’ve done BODYCOMBAT 39 a fair few times now and feel I’m in a position to give it a decent review – so here goes.
As discussed in my first post after the filming, the theme for this release is Ultimate Fighting (UFC). At the filming I noted that the complexity of the release was way down (little note here: this depends on how you define “complexity” – Andreas makes some good points in the comments below). What I mean by that is that almost all of the “advanced” moves were gone; no gingas, no esquivas, no evasive sidekicks, no jump knees. To be honest, I wasn’t too excited about it. Especially after attending the BC40 filming – I enjoyed that release a lot more. BUT (yes there is a but!) – in the DVD Dan & Rach explain they purposely did this based on the releases theme. That is, they dropped the complexity down, dropped the lateral movement down and concentrated on repetition and double combos because that fits with the UFC. Am I buying that? Well, nah. But (again with the but) having done the release many more times now I do have to say I like it much more than my initial impression. Here’s a track by track play for ya:
Okay – mega mega cheesey warmup. The One & Only has gotta be one of the least “combaty” tracks ever released! (yes I did just make that word up…) However, much as I hate to say it but I like it! It’s a nice happy, cheery start to the workout and that’s what you want before jumping into the heavier stuff. To be fair, my favourite warmup ever is Amazed from BC35 so maybe I’m a big cheese fan 🙂 Not too much more you can say about this track. Couple of interesting points – there’s cross-jacks in the first half where we’d normally have the ol’ scissor, and the reps on the left and right differ during the upper body warm up which makes life interesting – but yeah, much as I hate to admit it I do like it! As for the lower body warm up – well, hmmm, yes, not a big Rogue Traders fan actually. Last seen in both BC36 and BC37 we did get a single release away from them before they’re back. Happy to report no sign of them in BC40 🙂
Combat 1: Cum On Feel The Noise – Group X
Okay, truth time. I HATED this track at the filming. Not a fan of the song (at all) and I recall being suitably unimpressed. However, I really like it now! Great combos (there’s two of them as per usual) and it’s quickly become one of my favourite track 2’s of recent times. First combo is simple, builds to back knee, front kick, cross, jab, cross – the second combo is better, double front hook , body rip, jab, body rip, round house. We have a lower block front kick to the side in betwen the right hand and left hand halves. Bit of a performance opportunity in the second half “c’mon – ROCK IT!” and a great track to have a bit of competitiveness between the males vs the females in the class.
Power training 1: Come With Me (Unique Mix) – Styles & Breeze
Not to be confused with the Power training 1 track of the same name from BC28 (completely different song!) this track builds into what has got to be one of the longest combos in combat history. Two sets double uppers, 8 jab cross, two sets double jabs and eight scissors. Certainly it takes the participants a couple of sets to get it right – but once they do it’s awesome! Builds into a fantastic peak which has participants wooping and working their guts out. Great song, great progression, great track!
Combat 2: Jump That Rock (Whatever You Want) – Scooter vs. Status Quo
I LOVE this track. The music is awesome and it has a fantastic powerful backfist – side kick combo that you can really sink your teeth into. I mean you can really just launch into the move with a massive “aarrgg!!!”. Tonnes of knees also as well as the obligatory track four jump kick. Awesome awesome track – with the exception of the muay thai for me this is the highlight of the workout.
Power training 2: Johnny B. Goode – The Undertow
Still haven’t been able to find this track on youtube but it is very true to the original. Again, truth time – much like “Cum on feel the noise” I did not like this track based on the music alone. But it is a really fun track and has a “new” move – the jump squat. It’s essentially exactly as it sounds, you jump out on a 45 degree angle into a squat position (on the 3rd set each side there’s an optional jump instead). Now I did this track twice on Saturday, once on Sunday and also yesterday (it’s Tuesday today) and boy do my quads hurt this morning – it works! The chorry for the track is very fast, loads of double jab-cross sets, speed balls and running on the spot. Again, surprisingly this track has grown on me!
Combat 2: So What – Pink
Nice to have a break from the esquiva in this release before we have it again in BODYCOMBAT 40 (if you didn’t know that you read about it here). My first impressions of this track stand. After the filming I wrote: “Track 6 (So What by Pink) had simple but effective chorry – double uppers, hook-hook, back kick, double knee, front kick. I found myself getting into a really good rhythm coming from the back kick into the knees and really enjoyed this track.” – and that’s exactly how I feel now. Pink as a track 6 is nothing new to combat (U + UR Hand and Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)) so really no surprises – solid “active recovery” and nice nice break before all hell breaks lose in the Muay Thai!
Muay Thai: Hardcore Angel – Nick Skitz
Okay – this track is for me possibly the best Muay Thai ever! I absolutely love it. The music is perfect, and the new move – the ‘step over cross’ is awesome for building a tonne of power and then really launching into your “opponent”. Loads of treble elbows, loads of knees and loads of step over crosses. A huge amount of attitude from Nick Skitz – the words are “HYPER HYPER!!” before launching into a massive combo. I can’t say enough about this track. The final phase (just when you think the track is over) has another massive burst of knees – that’s especially great since at the quarterly jump knees were added (my favourite!) – perfect!! If you haven’t done it yet you’re gonna love it!
Power training 3: Cry For You (Weaver Remix) – September
Okay, this track is a fricken marathon. It is officially the LONGEST TRACK 8 EVER at 6:45. It just goes on and on (and on and on…). Starts with four body rips, two hooks – building into a full combo with the addition of 8 jab-crosses. Three sets of those in total with a set of three jabs two hooks to the left and right in between (all on the same arm just to really hammer the shoulders). It’s a great track – possibly a little too long? Each time I’ve taught it the class have literally breathed a sigh of relief at the end – it really is marathon! Great finish to the workout though; not quite a “What Hurts the Most” but a solid track 8.
Conditioning: I Won’t Be Crying – Infernal
Good track – no situps nor crunches. Loads of hovers (or planks if you prefer) and also side planks for the obliques. Loads of press ups too. Makes a nice change actually (mind you there’s no situps or crunches in BC40 either so if you don’t mix you’re going 6 months without any!)
Cooldown: It’s All Coming Back To Me Now – Meat Loaf feat. Marion Raven
Not my favourite cooldown but a nice finish to the workout. Quite a lot of kata – and not and easy kata either – does require a bit of attention to master at first. Not too much you can say about a cooldown so will possibly come down to musical preferences as to whether you like it or not. Me – I have no problem with a bit of Meatloaf, and this track definitely serves its purpose of bringing the heartrate down and relaxing you at the end of your workout. Nice 🙂
Overall I’ll say this. BC39 is a good release. Yes a lot of the more, shall we say, “advanced” moves are gone (as I mentioned the esquiva is back in BC40 but apart from that there’s no e-kicks, jump knees or gingas in that release either so maybe that’s where combat is going). The real stand outs for me are tracks 4 and 7 – both are powerful tracks (heck any release with both Nick Skitz AND Scooter has gotta be good!). I do think the release will get old a little quicker than usual due to the repetitive nature of the tracks, however, still being in the first 2 weeks of doing it I’m still loving it. If I had to rate it side by side with BC38 I’d probably rate 38 as a better release, but to be fair (based on first impressions) I think BC40 is going to better than both! But I’m getting way ahead of myself (for a change!). My final thought would possibly be this; Give it a decent blast before you judge it. I definitely am A LOT happier about this release now I’ve done it half a dozen times as compared to my first impression. Anyway, that’s my $0.02 – as always love to hear your thoughts 🙂
Hi guys, well today officially marks the day this blog hit 100,000 visitors in just a few short months. Just goes to show how much interest there is in the Les Mills programmes – it’s awesome! Seems like a few days ago I was saying we hit 50,000! (well actually it was about a month ago but who’s counting – oh yeah – it seems that would be me…) Thanks for your support – I’ll be sure to keep as much info coming as I can.
On that note I’ve got a really busy couple weeks coming up so they’ll be a lot to report on. Have workshop this weekend so I’ll be able to give my full appraisal of BODYCOMBAT 39 and BODYPUMP 69 – received both DVDs a couple days ago and I’m especially excited about Pump – the release looks awesome! (and if you look closely you can see me in the Combat DVD so yay!… though I admit you do have to look really closely!) I’ll be sure to take pics at the quarterly as well.
Following that we’ll have the local releases at gyms here, possibly not all that exciting for you guys but a lot of fun for me haha. And then in mid March I’m off to the BODYPUMP Module – really looking forward to that! In the midst of all this I’ll be teaching about 11 Combat classes per week at 3 gyms on top of a full time job so there goes my life! Ah, who needs a life when you’ve got Group Fitness right?? 😉
Below are the video sizzlers for the latest bunch of releases – is it just me or are these things getting crazier!! 😉 ENJOY!
BODYBALANCE 44 / BODYFLOW 44
Had a few requests for other Les Mills programmes track lists so here ya go – the complete list for the latest batch of releases (use the following links for BODYCOMBAT 39 and BODYPUMP 69 – all other programmes follow).
01. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Mike Stone
02. Don’t Give Me Your Life – Romy Koolhouse
03. Do You Wanna Funk? – Linda E & Trance Pacific Express
04. Crank Dat – MC X
05. Hot n Cold – Katy Perry
06. All I Ever Wanted – Daytripper
07. C’Mon C’Mon – Norwegian Wood
08. Something Good ’08 – Club4life
09. I Need A Hero – DJ Capricorne feat. Lisa Lowe
10a. Cry For You – September
10b. Disturbia – Rihanna
11. Just Stand Up! – Various Artists
01. Can You Feel It – W.L.E.M feat. Anya & Pl Joe
02. How Far We’ve Come (Rosario & Craig J Rock Mix) – Matchbox Twenty
03. Walk This Way – Danger Crew
04. Free Your Mind – TTC & Powerhouse
05. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Ronni Reactive & Ant P
06. Start All Over – Carla Cross
07. 4 Minutes – Martina Lorene
08. Turn It Up – DJ Zoom Zoom
09. Holiday – Maximum
10. When I Grow Up – Sadie Mack & Reflex
11a. No Stress – Double Time
11b. Dangerous Remix feat. Sean Paul – Kardinal Offishall
12. One Step At A Time – Jordin Sparks
BODYBALANCE 44 ／ BODYFLOW 44
01. Make A Wish – Conjure One
02. Desert Rose – Sting
03. The Heart Of The Matter – India Arie
04. Immaculate – Seal
05. Valerie – Amy Winehouse
06. Disco Lies – Moby
07. The Look Of Love (Madison Park vs Lenny B remix) – Nina Simone
08. Love Remains The Same – Gavin Rossdale
09. Lift Me Up – Kate Voegele
10. L’Origine du Ki – Vincent Bruley
BODYJAM 48 ／ BODYJAM 48+
01. Closer (Stonebridge Club Remix) – Ne-Yo
02. Dance Wiv Me – Dizee Rascal feat. Calvin Harris & Chrome
03. Pa-Kumpa!! – Daddy Yankee
04. Krazy – Pitbull feat. Lil Jon
05. In Person – The Pussycat Dolls
06. Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet
07. Minnie The Moocher – The Blues Brothers
08. Danc’in Fool – Gary Wilmot
09. Nobody – Ne-Yo
10. Hi Friend – Deadmau5 feat. MC Flipside
11. When You Touch Me (Bart B More Mix) – Freemasons feat. Katherine Ellis
12. Where’s Your Head At (Klass remix) – Jean Elan
13. I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight – Robert Palmer ＆ UB40
01. I Could Have Loved You – Lighthouse Family
02. Dance Floor Anthem (I Don’t Want To Be In Love) – Good Charlotte
03. Right By Your Side – N-Force vs. Darren Styles
04. Human – The Killers
05. New Future Weapon – Billy Idol
06. Going Wrong – Armin Van Buuren & DJ Shah feat. Chris Jones
07. Because The Night(Manox Remix) – Cascada
08. With You – Chris Brown
09. You Make It Real – James Morrison
Hey team! You may or may not recall at the end of December I wrote a post stating that I’d done several classes as a participant in Auckland over the holiday period – noting specifically one class that was pretty, ummm, I think the word I used at the time was; “interesting”. I’m not going to name names but the instructor I was talking about would cue one set of movements and then stop and just wander back and forth on the stage and talk, and at most probably did a grand total of 20% of the class movements. What this meant was that anyone new (and even I found this as a couple of the tracks were very old) had significant trouble following what we were meant to be doing because there was no instructor to follow. The instructor would cue one combination then drop their hands and walk backwards and forwards on the stage talking about anything and everything (Christmas, partying, drinking, specific members – basically everything except the actual class!). The only thing I could put it down to (at the time) was laziness and I’ll be honest it got very frustrating. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one finding this, in fact Raina was there also and to quote her blog “I definitely had a more fun time taking my lead from him [meaning me] and PJ than I did from the actual Combat instructor”. But, in saying that the class was busy and many people seemed to be having a great time – so certainly there were people who weren’t finding this teaching style as frustrating as I – in fact many seemed to be enjoying it.
This got me thinking about the different types of instructors. Obviously because we all follow the key elements/guidelines set by Les Mills, and follow the chorry set by LM there are consistencies from class to class – but, different instructors have different styles of teaching. Here’s a couple of examples:
The Mongrel: I’d probably put myself in this category. This type of instructor is there to push you to the next level – and motivate you to go harder and further than you could go on your own. They use a tonne of motivational cues and phrases, yell, scream and do anything they can to ensure you leave that class happy yet exhausted. And, in reality they are probably there to get a great workout themselves as well so have a vested interest in pushing everyone in the class to the next level. The work their butts off with you at the same time so the entire class finishes strong and finishes hard. They most likely encourage you to yell and kiai, epitomise the Les Mills’ motto “Turn It Up!” and probably play the music loud and have their mic even louder!
The Entertainer: The “Entertainer” is the instructor who almost puts on a comedy show during the class. Constantly cracking jokes and having a laugh this genre is popular with a certain demographic and their motto to is ensure their participants have a ball during the class. On paper they may be ideally suited to programmes like BODYJAM they can of course can successfully teach any programme. They are great at connecting with their class, and probably tell a lot of stories and know a lot about their members. You may not get the best workout or the hardest workout, but you will have a great time and definitely come back for more! These instructors may well be full time, which means they aren’t necessarily there to get a great workout in themselves. Their members absolutely love them.
I’m sure there are other types that occur to you right away but these are the two classes that seem to be most common. Now not everyone is one or the other – they may be a combination of both (that’s probably ideal actually) or, they may be different instructors for different people. For example I tend to teach a 6am weekday class much differently from a 9:30am weekday class. Chances are the 6am participant is more hardcore, and has got their butt up that early to get a great workout in – whereas the 9:30am participant may be a mother looking for an hour of fun or an hour for themselves before going back to looking after their children – quite possibly this person doesn’t really want to be screamed at by a crazed instructor! It pays to bare that in mind!
Of course I’m generalising but you get my point.
The danger however, which is kinda where I was going with this post – is when you become too much of one genre and not enough of the other. The instructor I mentioned at the start of this post was definitely an entertainer. They talked non stop – and it was obvious they weren’t there to get a workout in themselves as they spent more time wandering around the stage chatting than they did training. This frustrated me – who was there specifically to get a great workout in. I left feeling a little discouraged and basically thought I may as well have stayed home and done the workout alone in my lounge!
But maybe I’m in the minority here? If you are a participant I’d be really keen to hear what do you expect from your instructor? What elements really make you want to come back? If you’re an instructor what category would you place yourself in? Food for thought anyway…
Right, before I begin let me start by saying I had a fricken fantastic night. I really enjoyed this class – now, slight disclaimer here: This may be because I am probably in the best place personally I’ve ever been in my life and I’m so deliriously happy that it would probably be impossible for me not to have had fun. So – I’ll try and write about the release objectively – but bear in mind I may have slightly rose tinted glasses on! Review follows:
What a night! Finally got home last night about half midnight (the filmings were all running late) so I’m pretty shattered today – but I promised you guys an update and some pics so here ya go (by the way – I tend to upload more pics and get them up slightly faster to facebook so if you’re not on join and add me as friend)
We were never actually specifically told what the official “theme” for this release was – but since this is the 10th birthday of BODYCOMBAT it’s a fairly safe bet that that is the theme. There was a heavy push on the international flavour of BC so perhaps that was it… regardless it was obvious from the start that this release was all about one big combat party! Presenters were D&R, Hernan and Tanya Walker from the UK (she looked fricken AMAZING!!!! Her abs were literally the star of the show! – see pics)
Okay, so important stuff first: Overall I really enjoyed this release – a lot more than BODYCOMBAT 39 actually. It’s complexity is a little higher than 39 (well, that wouldn’t be hard at all!), but again we have no evasive side kicks, no jump knees and no gingas. The esquiva is back – and unusually it’s in track 4 (which means all you esquiva fans could do two esquiva tracks per class when you start mixing if you really wanted too! – let me say you won’t see that happening in my classes – ouch!). Track 4 sees the jump kick as well – it’s a pretty cool esquiva – lunge – knee (or was it a outer knee block?) – jump kick combo which was hard but no where near as hard as the lunge kick combo from No Good in BC38.
Okay so music wise (and yay I’ve done A LOT better job at remembering the tracks from last night than I did at the 39 filming – again that wouldn’t be hard I only remembered 2 after that one!) – let’s see (I’ll link to these on youtube a bit later right now I wanna get this thing published before I have to race off and teach another class in half an hour…)
Bear in mind these are from memory so I may be wrong but at this stage this is what I can remember right off the bat (note this has been updated since and is current to March 30 2009) :
1a. Layla (Caribbean Mix) – DJ U Hey vs DJ Minagawa
1b: Hot n Cold – Katy Perry
2. I Know Kung Fu – Shitdisco
3. Sweetheart (Squad-E Remix) – Rezonance-Q
4b. Tubthumping – Chumbawamba
5. Tutti Frutti – Little Richard
6. Burn It To The Ground – Nickelback
7. Speed –
8: Set you free (Hixxy Remix) – N-trance
9: Let it Rock – Kevin Rudolf
10. Use Somebody – Kings of Leon
Hey I didn’t do too badly!!! 🙂 I can’t recall track 2 (yay got track 2 now thanks to Raina’s help!), 3 or 6 at this stage – can anyone help?? Again thanks to Raina’s fantastic memory we can recall that track 3 had the words ‘You can be my sweet heart’ – Tanya said Hernan thought it was ‘You can be my sweetcorn’ – and to be fair it did sound like that! 🙂
Highlight for me was track 6 (and that’s odd because track 6 is usually one of my least favs). Track 5 was great too – TONNES of performance opportunities with the Tutti Fruitti “a-whap-bap-ba-loo-bap a-whap-bam-boo!” (with everyone in the room throwing their arms up on the “WHOOOO!”) – felt a little like BODYATTACK but heck that’s forgivable in a track 5. It had loads of jump jabs going forward and shuffling back. As I mentioned above track 4 is a rock track with an esquivas/lunge/jump kick combo on the right hand side, which then goes into tubthumping in the middle – before going back into the rock track for the esquiva combo on the left (think a la We Will Survive from BC37).
The Muay Thai was probably the only track that perhaps was a little disappointing, the song was good (“Speed” – no idea who it was by but could be Nick Skitz or similar) but the chorry/music simply did not hold a candle to BC39’s muay thai. It was literally just knees and descending elbows (addition – there were some streetbrawler downward punches in there too actually now I think about it). I found it one of the easiest Muay Thais I’ve done (if not THE easiest). Track 8 was a blast (in fact I’d have to say out of the last 5 or 6 releases the only track 8 I haven’t liked is Good to me – they are always a climatic end to the workout)!
No crunches in the conditioning track again (weird two releases in a row) but again we have the hover and a new move the “komodo dragon” (think press up position bringing your knee to elbow). Cool down was beautiful (love the song “Use Somebody”) and has a lovely soft kata to lower the heartrate. Fantastic end to the workout.
Tracks 2 and 3 have completely slipped my mind at this stage (which probably means they weren’t bad nor fantastic) – I recall thinking they were both solid tracks.
As for my theories? Well, they were all waaaaaaaaaaaaaay off base! There was no gingas at all (let alone a change in technique!), no switch roundhouses and no circuit track addition. But, let me qualify that by saying I did say we could expect those changes at release 40 or 41 – so luckily I have bought myself 3 more months before I’m eating my own words 😉
The filming itself (although running late) went without a hitch. They had a cool overhead camera present that swept across the heads of all the participants and will look awesome on the DVD itself. The only, ahem, “hiccup” came during the conditioning when the track had to be restarted from the top… ouch! You may or may not see in the DVD (depending on how cunning the editing is) Rach actually stopping early – but bear in mind they’d literally done the track twice so you can hardly blame her! Tanya took this track and powered through – it’s just testimony to what a fantastic job she did – in my mind she really stole the show!
Overall, a great release. Nothing new (save the “komodo dragon” I guess), nothing revolutionary but a decent workout and not totally basic chorry as was the case with 39. IMO the release is definitely not as hard as 38 nor 37 for example – no killer kick katas with 200 or more kicks but I think a solid release. I’ll add more to this as it occurs to me – look forward to your comments! Pics follow!