NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Archive for June 2009

I’ve held off publishing this post for the better part of two months now at the request of Les Mills. However, a lot of this info is starting to appear elsewhere on the net so I don’t think they’ll mind too much now, especially given that the filming of BC42 is just around the corner (next month even!). Bear in mind while reading it that this is all from memory and whilst I’m fairly sure what I’ve written is on then mark it was so long ago reading through it now I just have to take my own word for it (if that makes sense!). Anyway, enjoy 🙂

Well what a weekend! The BODYCOMBAT 41 filming formed part of the Les Mills’ GFX – a full weekend of workshops, releases and filmings! I did 9 classes over two days including BODYPUMP 70 and 71 and BODYCOMBAT 40 and 41 – so my head is a little overflowing with tracklists and choreography… so you’ll have to excuse me if this post isn’t quite as thorough as some of my previous filming posts… just too much running through my mind to list!

Couple of points. You’ll notice there’s no pics this time. There was a complete ban on all cameras at Les Mills during any class. They made this VERY clear and quite frankly I wasn’t about to test how serious they were. Plus I know they read this blog (hi guys!) hehe. Also the links below are obviously not the exact mixes used in the class, they’re just to give you an idea of what to expect.

Finally, before I start if you don’t wanna know this stuff please don’t read on – and please don’t moan to me about my providing the info. There’s a lot of people from all around the world who do appreciate this – I know before I could make the filmings I used to eagerly search the net for any info on upcoming releases and loved every piece of info I could get. Heck that’s why I started this blog in the first place – as one place people could come to find out more. We’re all one tribe and one team and I hope those that do read this get as excited as I do writing about it. As you may know there’s a tonne of blogs and even some official Les Mills sites that list this info as well so I’m not really giving the game away – if anything I’d like to think I’m wetting the enthusiasm of all the other BC fanatics out there by giving you a taste of what to expect… am I right? Anyway, I had to say that – now, on with the show…

BC41 filming - Image courtesy of PJ's blog

BC41 filming - Image courtesy of PJ's blog

The theme for this release is “Backyard Brawl” – as I mentioned we weren’t allowed to take photos because of the GFX, however PJ managed to get some so check out his blog for those. Presenters were just Dan and Rach for this release, both as per usual looked tanned, toned and ready to go! Due to the fact this was the GFX there was an INSANE amount of peeps at this filming. I mean it was just cwazy! A friend of mine dragged me (okay – maybe dragged isn’t the right word!) right up to the front and I’m kinda glad he did as there were fewer people in front that I could accidentally kick! (that was the plus side – the downside is that there were more people behind who could kick me! And I did feel a couple kicks fly very close to me many times… ah, all part of the fun!). The atmosphere was absolutely electric and I’m sure this will come across on the DVD.

BODYCOMBAT 41 is a bit of a landmark release in my mind for a few reasons. Firstly, as you’ll read the e-kick is back – if you’re not sure what an esk or e-kick is it’s an evasive side kick which made its appearance in combat for several releases and then just disappeared almost two years ago (last release that featured it was 34). It stems out of the ginga where you effectively step to one side while side kicking to the other (hence evading your opponent). Its presence in combat has always been controversial as there seems to be little middle ground; instructors and participants alike seem to either love it or hate it (there is even a facebook group calling for its return to combat!) Well, all that is moot now as like it or not IT’S BACK! You can read a lot more about that below. BC41 is also a fairly revolutionary release in my opinion as it features a new kick (well, more accurately it’s a modified front kick – keep reading for more on that) as well as some pretty interesting choices in music. And lets face it – you’re probably reading this to find out more about the music so let me cut to the chase!

Track 1a is a Nick Skitz remix of Numa Numa, I didn’t think I’d like this but it’s so cheesy it’s fun! 1b is Kelly Clarkson – My Life Would Suck Without You, this has the back kick in it which I can’t recall us having in a warmup for a little while. I really enjoyed this warmup – it’s very easy to learn and the music is so uplifting and fun you can’t help but smile. The chorey also perfectly fits the music, even now 2 months after the filming I can remember it whenever I hear the Kelly Clarkson song as it fits it so perfectly.

Dan demonstrating the evasive side kick

Dan demonstrating the evasive side kick

Track 2 to the best of my recollection was a remix of Operation Blade though there was so much going on I’m not 100% certain on this (whatever the track it was very similar – in terms of feel – think about We Will Survive from BC37).

Thanks to my great friends Andreas and Raina we now know track 3 is Slow & Steady Rush by Hixxy & Unknown, a remix of Faith Hill’s Breathe. Great track!!

A remix of Enter Sandman by Metallica was track 4a. Track 4b has a kinda watered down evasive side kick and although I didn’t recognise the track it had a very similar rift as Light’s Out from BC34 – update! Well I was close! Thanks to JW we now know 4b is Boom by P.O.D. (same group that did Light’s Out) – thanks heaps for this info guys, you rock!

While on the subject of the evasive sidekick I got talking to Dan in the changing room after a BC41 trial run and I mentioned to him it was great to see the e-kick back. He said they were introducing it slowly, and toned it down as in the past some instructors were jumping so high it was unobtainable for an average participant to achieve. As much as I hate to admit it he is right – the jumping evasive side kick as demo’d by Dan himself in Rock Me Amadeus (although it looked AMAZINGLY impressive) was kinda crazy in that he leaped a good 5 feet in the air! In BC41 the e-kick is done with a “hop” as opposed to a jump (if that makes sense) so although I’m sure some instructors will go back into old habits and fly into the air I think the idea is to try to keep the level a little lower. Will be interesting to see how it pans out…

Track  5 is Ballroom Blitz (or a remix of the same) which was one of my least favourite tracks of the release. If you listen to the song you can almost picture the chorey – while we were waiting for class to start this track was playing and I said to my friend ‘I can pretty much guess how this track will go’ – and my guess was bang on. I’m sure you’ll be able to do the same (hint there’s a tonne of running forward and back across the room!!). Bit of useless trivia for ya: Funnily enough Ballroom Blitz was also in BODYCOMBAT 6 – which means this is the second release in a row in which a track from BC6 has been reused (the last one was Tubthumping in BC40)

A remix of Let Me Entertain You by Robbie Williams is track 6, think a kick kata very similar to Shut Up and Drive from BC34 but instead of side kick, knee, back kick this time there’s another knee.

Muay Thai which is normally my fav track I didn’t enjoy too much and the track itself has escaped my memory – however I recall being surprised as it seemed more of a rock track than the usual techno tracks we’ve come to expect as track 7.

Track 8 was Cascada’s What Do You Want From Me… A hugely climatic track 8 that just WENT OFF and was one of the highlights of the release!

Right Round by Flo Rider was the conditioning (aptly featuring a lot of circular crunches) and Halo by Beyonce was the cooldown.

In terms do chorey there’s no esquivas but they do seemed to have taken the complexity up. There’s an emphasis on the ‘push kick’ which is a modified front kick and of course the evasive side kick returns.

Traditional ginga tech

Traditional ginga tech

You may recall months and months ago I wrote about some theories I had about changes we could expect in BC40 or 41. Now I was off the mark in a couple of aspects (okay – more than off the mark!) but I did write about some changes I thought we’d see to the ginga technique: “There’s no gingas in BC39 so I’m picking from BC40 we see it back, and with some changes. Dan did hint that this could be the case. As far as I can guess they’ll be no lifting of the toe, less wrapping of the arm around the back of the body and it will be much truer to authentic capoeira form.” Okay so it didn’t come back in 40 after all but it is in 41 and from watching the way Dan and Rach are performing the ginga in this release my guess wasn’t too far off.

So, how did I feel about BC41? Well, critiquing a release after only having done it twice is difficult as I almost always find the releases grow on me the more I do them. I will say this, it has a lot more innovation than any release of late and I think it may be one of those releases that people either love or hate. For me personally the music isn’t totally my thing, I’m not a fan of Metallica or Robbie Williams (though music is such a personal thing there’s no way D&R can be expected to please all of the people all of the time); regardless there’s so much happening in the choreography that I don’t think that will matter at all. In closing definitely BODYCOMBAT 41 is something you look forward to learning and teaching, and I can guarantee you this much; they’ll be no complaints of this release being boring that’s for sure!

My word, barely six weeks or so ago I wrote we’d hit 200,000 visitors – and now outta no where we’re on 300K!

Very shortly I’ll be allowed to give you guys a full update on BODYCOMBAT 41 – I’ve written the post I just need to hit submit! And you won’t be disappointed, BC41 is a bit of a landmark release – a lot more innovation, the reappearance of an old move we’ve not seen in quite awhile, and even a brand new kick! Can’t wait to let that all outta the bag (just promised I’d hold off a little while but it’s coming!). I also recently posted the latest info on BODYPUMP 71 – so if you didn’t catch that be sure to have a look.

As you may have read yesterday the filming date for BODYCOMBAT 42 has been announced next month – so that’ll be exciting! I’ll be there with bells on and hopefully LM are a little less strict re photos and revealing info than they were at the GFX so I can give you guys all the goss 🙂

Finally I just wanna thank you from the bottom of my heart for your interest and all the great feedback you’ve given me. I’ll try and return the favour by keeping this blog as updated and cutting edge as I can. I’ve made some amazing friends through Les Mills and it’s wonderful to be part of such a motivated, happy and healthy group that truly makes a difference in the world! Quite simply YOU GUYS ROCK! 😀

Hey guys, here’s the filming dates for the Q4 2009 releases (Q3 were filmed last month at the GFX). As per these will be filmed in Studio 1 at Les Mills Auckland (exception is RPM of course which will be in the RPM studio… funny that! 😉 ) If any of you are planning on coming do let me know as I’ll be there with bells on!

Thursday July 30th 2009

  • BODYPUMP 72
  • BODYATTACK 67
  • BODYCOMBAT 42
  • BODYVIVE 13

Monday 3rd August 2009

  • BODYSTEP 78
  • RPM 45
  • BODYBALANCE 47
  • BODYJAM 51

Wednesday 5th August 2009

  • BODYJAM+ 51

I’ll let you know the exact times as soon as I have them – until then these dates could be subject to change (though it’s a fairly safe bet they won’t be)

If you’re really organised it also looks like the dates for Q1 2010 releases will be filmed on Thursday 29th October 2009 & Monday 2nd November 2009 – but again I’ll confirm that MUCH closer to the actual dates (good grief no one needs that much notice surely!! 😛 ) As for the July filmings – really hope to see you there!!!

Niamh McGuirk & Dan Murphy feature on this awesome poster for BODYPUMP 71

Niamh McGuirk & Don Murphy feature on this awesome poster for BODYPUMP 71

Hey team, I’ve been meaning to post this since the GFX but thought I better hold off as Les Mills were a lot more protective of this info this time round. I wrote this some time ago along with a post on the filming of BODYCOMBAT 41. I’m going to hold off on posting the BC41 info (by request), however, as a lot of the BP71 info is now starting to float around the net I think this should be kosher – in any case I’m sure LM will let me know quick smart if it’s not!! 😉

As you’ll recall from my GFX post the filming of BODYPUMP 71 was absolute madness. Raina’s post paints this in a far better light than I ever could… to quote her:

“For regular filmings, you can rock on up to the studio like any other class and then go in and set up your gear, like any other class. Naturally, there’s a whole lot more demand for things like steps, risers, bars and plates – sometimes you can get crushed by the large number of people clamouring for stuff – though GFX takes it to a whole other level… Because of GFX, however, there was a massive line of instructors that wound down through the stairs of the group fitness studio, even going down outside onto the street. I was absolutely slackjawed at the number of people waiting to get into the room.”

Slackjawed is right… it was crazy! I was with a group of 6 friends (all fellow instructors from my gym) and we barely made it in even though we were there over an hour before! We managed to secure a possie about 4/5’s back – if we’d arrived probably ten minutes later we’d have been turned away – and A LOT of people were (unfortunately cameras were strictly banned so I have no pics). Presenters were Glen Ostergaard (well duh!), Susan Renata and Mark Sinclair – and it of course goes without saying they did a fantastic job. I could write a heap about the happenings in the filming itself – but you can read a brilliantly written blow by blow account on Raina’s blog so I’ll just get down to the nitty gritty; the music!

Now bear in mind this is only from memory so I may have made a mistake (I think I’m correct though!) – if I track isn’t listed it means I’ve forgotten it but I’ll post it as soon as I can remember (or more likely when someone reminds me!). Also the links to youtube may not be the exact mixes – but they’ll give you a fair idea.

Warm up: Magnetized (Original Mix) – James Sampson

Squats: Summer of 69 (Picco, Jens O & Maddin Original Mix)– Mega-mania

Chest: Right Round – Flo Rider

Back: When love becomes a lie – Liz Kay

Triceps: Black Fingernails, Red Wine – Eskimo Joe

Biceps: What I’ve Done – Linkin Park

Lunges: Doesn’t Matter – Hypasonic vs. Jorg Schmid

Shoulders: Operation Blade 09 – Public Domain

Abs: Circus – Britney Spears

Cooldown: Sober – Pink

Yes I know more Pink…. aren’t we lucky!! 😛 And Britney even (whether that’s good news or not I’ll leave up to you!)

For you keen combaters one of the tracks above is also in BC41 – but I’m not gonna tell you which one… just yet! (I know I’m evil!) – combaters will also recognise Summer of 69 as the warmup from BC37 – and it is the exact same mix too from what I could tell.

As for the release itself – I loved it. But, that may have had a lot to do with the electric atmosphere of the GFX. In any case I’ll post more as I know more and be interested in hearing your thoughts on the music thus far. Enjoy! 😀

Ever since my “BODYCOMBAT and fat loss” series (part one and part two) I’ve had a lot of questions as to what my exact training programme entails. Many are very surprised to learn that for about 18 months now I get pretty much all my exercise exclusively from group fitness classes. Most ask – “is that enough?” – especially when it comes to weight training. The big question is; “Can you build muscle and lose bodyfat from group fitness alone?”

The answer is a resounding YES as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been in the fitness industry in one capacity or another for over a decade. Now, that’s not to say I’ve always been in shape. I used to own a sport nutrition company here in NZ. When I sold the company at its peak a few years back I took a loooong lay off from all exercise. And I paid the price – about 2 years ago I was close to 20 kg (50 lbs) heavier than I am now – and none of it was muscle! To get back in shape initially I started on the treadmill – but that got old really quick. Then I discovered BODYCOMBAT and the rest as they say is history.

To give you some idea take a look at the two pics below.

Two pics taken 10 years apart; me in 1999 and 2009

The first (on the left) was taken ten years ago back in 1999 in my bodybuilding days. Back then I training everyday at the gym as a bodybuilder. The second pic was taken earlier this year on my way to an event dressed as the wrestler John Cena. I know which exercise programme was more fun; close to two hours a day battling it out lifting weights and reluctantly slugging it out on a treadmill as I was back then – or an hour a day doing a BODYCOMBAT or BODYPUMP class!

My point is this; without question I’ve transformed my body almost exclusively using group fitness. I’ve lost about 50 lbs of fat – toned and built muscle, and more importantly I wake up every day looking forward to getting into the gym rather than dreading it. I used to bust my gutt at the gym to achieve the result on the left – and yes whilst I feel I was in good shape I never ‘enjoyed’ my training. Given I’m in my 30’s now (and let’s face it the ol’ metabolism probably isn’t what it was when I was in my 20’s) I feel I’m in the best shape of my life – and I’ve had an absolute ball doing it!

If you wanna know or see more post a comment below or add me on facebook, and hopefully this post helps answer this seemingly age old question! 🙂


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