BODYCOMBAT 43 review
Posted March 15, 2010on:
Again, better late than never here’s my review of BODYCOMBAT 43. I normally try to get the review out soon after our release, had a lot on in the last few weeks so bit slow off the mark this quarter! I’ve now taught it 12 times in 2 weeks at 4 different gyms so know it pretty well! All up BODYCOMBAT 43 is a fantastic release – Let me put it this way – tonight is the first night I’m going to start mixing and the only cardio tracks I plan to mix out are 5 and 7. That’s saying A LOT! To my mind those are the weakest tracks of the release – the rest are stunning! Read on for a track by track break down and as per usual would love your thoughts!
Well what can you say about a warm up – really it’s mostly dependant on the music and length. I loved the warm up from BC42, and the 43 warm up is okay… there’s a couple of things that I like quite a lot; The push kicks on the “push it baby push it baby” to match the lyrics are a nice touch (we’ve not had push kicks in the warm up before – [okay – apparently my brain farted here!!] but it’s good they are here as they’re in track 4 and track 7 in this release so having them in the w/u gives plenty of opportunity to correctly cue them) BUT, by the same token it would have been nice to have roundhouse set-ups on the “just set me up” lyrics to match them also – there’s 6 round houses there so maybe the first 2 could’ve been roundhouse set-ups to fit with the music (or maybe 6 round house sets then 4 round house kicks rather than 9 side kicks that immediately follow)
The upper body warm up is okay too (though I do prefer the lower body musically). Something personally that I think D&R would be wise to take on board is trying to utilise moves that are in the release within the warm up itself. The push kicks above are a great example of this; as I said they’re in 2 tracks in this release so great they are in the warm up where we use nothing but initial and follow up cues and have a tonne of time to teach them well. So following that theme the backfists in the warmup could’ve been replaced by another move as there’s no backfists in this release apart from here. Maybe the stiff jab could’ve worked??
Finally – and this is just a little thing, I really prefer warmups where the music starts softly and builds. Again 42 was a great example of this – “Numb” started with that nice calm piano melody (The One and Only from 39 and Writing on the Wall from 38 also built gradually and work perfectly in this way too). The warmup in 43 just suddenly screams in with a super high pitched “WE ALL NEED LOVE!!!” which can be a bit of a shock to the participants. As an instructor you begin by intro-ing yourself, then intro the class itself – then hit play… when the warmup just screams in at max volume as 43 does I find I have to turn the warm up down then creep it up in track 2. Didn’t have to do that in 42… again – really minor thing and personal preference but worth mentioning all the same.
So, in short; solid warm up. Not my favourite, but not too long (like BC41!) – 7 minutes is perfect in my mind, and chorey and musically it does the trick!
02. Love Drunk – Boys Like Girls
Again, solid track 2. Like the music (a lot actually!) – a fun track which structurally reminds me a lot of Beat It from 37 – the initial combo builds with 3 moves, then adds two more then adds a roundhouse exactly like Beat It, repeats on left – shuffles side to side (albeit this track has side kicks instead of double knees but I’m sure you know what I mean here!) then finishes with full combo on each side (coincidentally Beat It and Love Drunk are almost exactly the same length too). Loads of time to have fun with the lyrics – I always get the class yelling “OKAY!” and kiaing on the roundhouse in the final combos. I also use Judy’s ‘rollercoaster’ line as I think it’s really clever “heart rate goes up, down, and around with 2 hooks”. I presenting this track at the Advanced Instructor Module so will always have a fond place in my heart I’d imagine! Great track 2 and will stand the test of time in my opinion!
03. Send Me An Angel (Weaver Remix) – Slinkee Minx
Awesome track 3. Love it! One of the 3 stand out tracks of this release. Powerful music (well about as powerful as dance music can get!) and I love the contrast between speed and power – you can really launch into those power jab/crosses. Combos built perfectly – tonnes of time to cue the difference between the speed and power changes in the speedball intro – hooks perfectly fit the music when the intensity drops – first two full combos are to calmer music so you can teach them correctly before screaming into full flight on the second two sets. Final four sets you can just unleash the class… Only word for it is AWESOME!
04. Fight For Your Right (DJ Anady vs Sander Remix) – Boogie Bros
This track has REALLY grown on me along with the “shoot” (which is a good thing as without saying too much we may have to get used to this move! 😉 ) BC43 is only 53 minutes long which is probably a good thing as it gives you time to coach this move, and coach the sword combo before track 6 and still fit in a 55 minute class slot. If you teach the shoot correctly this definitely is no recovery track (I usually tell the class there’s 3 cardio peaks so they need to really slam themselves in tracks 3, 5 and 7/8 – however in this release that’s really not the case!) – ensure everyone stays low on the shoot’s ‘pull back’ and they will be gasping for air by the end of this track that’s for sure! Again, musically I didn’t like this track too much the first couple times I did it but again it’s grown on me (<– there’s that term again!) a lot!
05. Without A Fight – Mindwarp
Weakest track of the release (by a mile). I don’t know about you guys but for me, track 5 is pretty much always the ‘low point’ of the class in recent releases. I like “The Anthem” from BC42 actually, but looking back Tutti Frutti, Johnny B Goode, Ballroom Blitz, The Best Damn Thing (ick!), Don’t Ya Wanna Feel – all the weakest tracks of the release. And it’s a shame, as we do have lower intensity tracks either side of track 5 and it would be awesome if this was the power peak it could be (am I alone in my feelings here or do others agree?). Theme for this track is a lot of running – A LOT of running (I’ve joked before that I feel like I’m in a BODYATTACK class during this track!) Apart from the running we have a combo build of 4 body rips, upper – cross and that’s it! (oh, did I mention the running??! 😉 ) I’m mixing this track out today and not sure when we’ll see it back.
06. Black Pearl (Dave Darrell Radio Edit) – Scotty
Well, in post I wrote after the filming of this release I used the word E-P-I-C to describe this track… no better way to describe it. This track is FANTASTIC! Everyone loves it without exception. The music, the moves – seriously gives me goosebumps every time! Timing on the first set of double uppers took a bit to nail (okay – I admit I still sometimes bring them in early!). There have been sword moves in previous releases (the original Excalibur is the most well known example) and to be honest I hate(d) doing them. Just felt cheesy and silly – but in this track not the case at all. Love it. Highlight of the release… if you’ve not done it prepare to be blown away! Only other comment I have is that because the chorey is so simple I truly hope we don’t get sick of this track prematurely. As I said I’ve taught this release a tonne of times over the last two weeks and not sick of it yet – but with this track literally being 24 sets of the same combo (with 2 sets of 16 back kicks to break it up) I hope it doesn’t grow old too quickly…. Otherwise awesome awesome awesome!
07. Kick Start My Heart – The Snake
Well, no release is perfect and this is the other weak point in the class for me. I’m going to be writing another post about Les Mills cover tracks shortly (as from the next quarter it looks like we’re all going 100% non-PPCA licensed music which means a tonne more covers – read here for more info in the meantime) – and this track is a cover of the original Motley Crue track and- well, as covers go, it’s not the best. Which is a shame as we had the original in BC22!
Chorey is okay – the stiff jab is kinda cool and is executed properly will definitely give you a great workout… but, the music really dampens my enthusiasm for the track. The muay thai is normally my favourite track of the class and the track where my heart rate peaks (normally pushing 180+ beats per minute) but it’s quite hard to reach that level of intensity in this one I’ve found. Personally give me Hardcore Angel, Let the Beat Control your body, Party non-stop, Excalibur 2000, Ravers Paradise etc any day of the week.
08. Overload – VooDoo & Sereno
Well I mentioned earlier there are 3 stand out tracks in this release and this is the third. FANTASTIC track 8 and a climatic end to the cardio part of the class. Chorey is a bit tricky to get at first – six sets of the combo in some places – 4 in others – but not too hard to learn. The 128 jabs comes in as a surprise the first couple times you teach it and the look on the participants faces is priceless. It may be a blessing in disguise that the muay thai isn’t completely taxing as this track will certainly polish you off! Quite a long track 8 – close to 7 minutes (only 3 seconds shorter than the longest track 8 ever Cry For You) however a good 50+ seconds of it is the running around the room portion so it does feel shorter than Cry For You (not sure why the run around the room part is so long – normally it’s only around 30 seconds and I have found myself hitting the forward button a couple of times early as everyone’s ready to rip into the conditioning and the music’s still going!) Superb end to the class!
09. Do It Again – Cassie Davies
Won’t write too much about the conditioning or cooldown; Short sharp conditioning track! The tripod pressup is a great workout all around as you bring in a whole host of stabilising muscles when you lift the arm. Not too much else to say – not the hardest conditioning track in the world but a great workout all the same.
10. Sounds Of Freedom – Within Temptation
Quite a long cooldown with pretty much only 4 stretches (per side) in this entire 5 minute track. This means we’re holding each stretch for a good 30-40 seconds which is much longer than we usually hold them for. Whilst I love the idea of holding the stretches longer (I’ve often thought we don’t quite hold them long enough to get maximum benefit in either combat or pump) the music is a bit too sombre for me to really love this cooldown. I don’t think cooldowns should be uplifting (it is a cooldown after all) but this tracks a little on the dark side for me personally. Other than that the longer stretches are cool – not sure why we come from lying down in track 9, to sitting back up for 30-40 seconds only to lie down again (that time could be an additional lying gluteal stretch for example) but the cooldown works. Music is personal preference and I’m sure there’s many that love this track. Decent enough end to the workout.
Over all BC43 is an awesome release. Enough innovation to be interesting, three absolute stand out tracks and two more that are really great too. And, just a little thing but unlike some of the recent releases we don’t have any of the super long or super short tracks in this release – they all pretty much fall into a 4-6 minute timeframe which makes mixing easier (as opposed to the 2 minute or conversely 8-10 minute tracks we’ve had in other recent releases).
As always, if you have done it I’d love to hear whether you agree or disagree with my views, and if you haven’t then get really excited and prepare to be blown away! 😀