NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

BODYCOMBAT 51 filming

Posted on: November 3, 2011

Well to be honest it only just feels like BODYCOMBAT 50 was filmed – but here we are and BODYCOMBAT 51 is officially in the bag! I *almost* didn’t make this one for a few reasons, but mostly as it was scheduled for 10 o’clock at night on a Monday! (I mean seriously what sort of hour for a group fitness class is that?!) Given I live about 2.5 hours out of Auckland and had to teach a class of my own at 5:30pm it was touch and go as to whether I’d make this one at all. But, sure enough straight after my combat class was over we jumped in the car and made the trip, arrived just in time to see almost all of BODYPUMP 81 (wicked stuff) and do BC51, before making the trip home arriving back about 2am; over 5 hours of driving just to do a single BODYCOMBAT class… things we do for the love of fitness huh?!

Because it’s really hard to get a feel for a release just doing it once I did head up to Auckland on the Saturday beforehand to make the 4:10pm BC51 rehearsal Team Teach that was timetabled. However, disappointingly at the last minute this was cancelled and a normal class was held instead. The cover instructor offered no explanation other than “Dan and Rach couldn’t make it” but I know many were disappointed. I spoke to some instructors that had flown into NZ that very day and rushed to the gym to make that class, some from Singapore and some from the other side of the world! So there were a few long faces that afternoon! So even though I did try my best to view it, Monday night was literally the first and only time I’ve seen BC51.

The actually filming class itself didn’t start till close to 10:30pm, and as a result there was definitely a lot more room to move and kick than a usual filming; I mean let’s face it, only nutters like me (and probably you if you’re reading this!) would be loopy enough to do a fitness class that finishes near midnight on a Monday! Presenters were D&R and Tauvaga Siolo (or “T”).

Before I get onto speaking about the release itself I wanna take a moment to make special mention of Tauvaga. I was SOOO happy to see T on stage – he is an absolute living legend here in NZ and he lit up the stage like a freaken rockstar the moment he took the mic. If you’re reading this from out of NZ and don’t know who T is you’ll DEFINITELY recognise him. He’s already been the face of a tonne of program posters and DVD covers, from Combat to Jam to RPM – so he has been “on” a BODYCOMBAT DVD before (literally on, as in “on the cover” of BC36, BC41 and BC42) – it’s just now he’s finally “in” it! I actually must admit I felt quite emotional when he took the stage, not only because T conducted my BODYCOMBAT AIM (along with Matty Thraxton), and not only because he’s an amazing guy and an amazing instructor, but also because it’s been a LONG time since we’ve had a Kiwi guest present on a BC DVD. Hernan lives in NZ and he’s been a regular BC presenter, but of course Hernan is from Argentina originally. Correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the last time we had a Kiwi presenter on a BODYCOMBAT DVD was sometime in the 20’s? Close to 30 releases ago! So it was a very proud moment that’s been a long time coming.

Tauvaga in BODYCOMBAT 51 (borrowed from facebook)

Tauvaga in BODYCOMBAT 51 (from facebook)

I always get asked a lot of questions about what the team were wearing so I’ve pinched this image from Tauvaga’s public facebook profile pic (hope that’s okay T *let me know if it isn’t!*). The team were dressed in black and white shorts with bright orange stripes and a black sleeveless top with ‘Les Mills Body Combat’ written on it; interestingly ‘Body Combat’ was written as two words and lower case which surprised me as LMI normally always ensure it’s written ‘BODYCOMBAT’ for brand continuity – but I digress. Rach’s top was a slightly different style – but no doubt you’ll see all this gear on soon enough. It looked great I have to say.

Right so enough preamble on to the release itself! As per usual my disclaimer stands; I can’t mention anything specific about the music or choreography. That’s all got to be saved as a surprise for the release quarter. However I can give you my interpretation of the release, its musical feel and of course what I thought. Needless to say anything I write is my personal opinion and yours may completely differ!

Having not seen BC51 before filming day I did put my feelers out to many of the other instructors who were in Auckland to gauge their opinion beforehand. Let’s just say opinions varied – CONSIDERABLY. I spoke to maybe 5 or 6 people who had seen it and there was a massive contrast in their feedback. Some LOVED it, and said it was amazing. Others, really disliked it and thought it fell flat. Not often a release gets such contrasting reactions and definitely didn’t give me much to go on in terms of what to expect!

Musically BODYCOMBAT 51 can probably be described as 3 styles; top 40, rock and dance/trance. There’s a lot of rock in there. In fact, tracks 2, 4 and 7 are really rocky! Track by track what can I tell you: Both the upper and lower body warmup were top 40, uplifting music and a great start to the workout. Track 2 musically you can probably draw comparisons to track 2 from BC47. I’ll be honest musically this track was not my cup of tea at all – but T presented it so well the crowd was cheering and kiaiing the whole time it absolutely went off! I smiled the whole time, as did everyone else! T also presented Track 3 and did an amazing job, musically what you’d expect, uplifting and fun – if anything it felt too short!

Track 4 is where the actual workout intensity started to pick up. This track is also VERY rocky, again not my cup of tea, but man did it hurt! We had the esquiva in BC37 and 38 when it was first introduced to combat – but since then I believe it’s not been in 2 consecutive releases in a row. Let’s just say that’s no longer the case and expect a lot of pain in both 50 and 51! This track is a killer, lots of leg loads and kicks, just think “youch”.

Track 5 is interesting to say the least! As you may know I have been really impressed with the track 5s of late, they are all brilliant in 48, 49 and 50. Track 5 in 51 is definitely the “fun” track. You all will know the song and you all will know the words! It’s a silly track that will definitely bring a smile to your faces (even crazier than Barbra Streisand can you believe!) Workout wise it’s not quite as much of a peak as the 3 previous track 5s but it’s still a fun track.

Track 6 is probably the favourite track of the release for me along with 8. Again, very poppy top 40 and a great workout. You will be able to have a lot of fun with it!

To my mind muay thai is normally the ‘peak’ of the class but I wasn’t a fan of this one. I’ll be honest, I really miss the hard-trance muay thai tracks like Hardcore Angel, Raver’s Paradise, Party Non-Stop, Excalibur 2000 etc. With the exception of Braveheart the last 6 or so muay thai tracks have been rock and they don’t ‘go off’ in my opinion. Chorey wise this muay thai is an absolute A++ but musically it is the worst track of the release for me.

And track 8 – well, it’s another freaken marathon (yay!). Track 8 in BC50 and 51 are massively long tracks (think I Surrender or You’re Shining) which I just LOVE. Massive end to the class – awesome work D&R.

So overall you can see BC51 for me has big highlights, and some not so highlights. A big mix of musical genres which I guess is why I’ve been getting such mixed feedback from everyone with some loving it and some feeling it didn’t peak. If you love hard rock, you’ll probably love this release. If you don’t so much, you’ll probably be a bit like me and on the fence on this one.

So in summary, both 50 and 51 weren’t instant ‘OMFG this is amazing!’ releases for me – whereas 48 and 49 definitely both were. But I know many did love it so you might too (and of course some releases take time to grow on you!). In the meantime, BC50 is about to hit the globe any week now so look forward to hearing your thoughts on that. And if you were at BC51 please let me know what you thought!

39 Responses to "BODYCOMBAT 51 filming"

Wow! I can’t wait to get this DVD. But more importantly BC50. My 50 singlet is still sitting and waiting to be worn :p
Do you know when the tracklist will be released Glen? I love your blogs.

Workshops here start next week Ray so expect it soon. Thanks for your kind words!

you did mention in your post about bc50 that the second time around you enjoyed it a lot more. perhaps it could be the case here?

i like the latest MT tracks…it allows me to get my anger on ๐Ÿ˜› but i do miss the previous techno/HC tracks, ravers paradise, hardcore angel, etc.

thanks for the write up ๐Ÿ™‚

Yep I agree you sometimes do love a release a lot more the 2nd time round (and I did try to see it earlier for that reason!) – but I really disliked a couple of the tracks musically unfortunately. But yes fingers crossed they grow on me!

Cheers for your comment!

Thanks glen for your comments, they’re very important for us because we have about six months of delay; we will see this release until april next year!!! So of course we can’t wait that much!!!
Not instructor but my husband is, i’m just a fan ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers Nidia! Thanks for your comment!

Thanks for the post Glen. I’m really curious about the music in this release based on these comments, but I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Have you noticed the visitor count is steadily creeping up towards 3 million? ๐Ÿ˜€

Cheers Eve! I did notice that! Bit crazy really?!

Thanks for your comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

Another great post mate.

I must say, I read tons and tons of Les Mills related blogs and yours is constantly one of the best. You are always honest, you have got a great wealth of knowledge about the programs and you are pretty much always on point to be fair.

Even if some do not want to hear it.

Keep up the great work. It’s so refreshing to see someone speaking from the heart and not afraid to question the bad as well as highlight the good.

Thanks for all your passion!

Matty T

Wow thanks Matt! That means so much coming from you! Appreciated ๐Ÿ˜€

I can only agree with Matt.

What I would kill to have you write an article to rip Tommi Damani’s tutorials to shreds…

Totaly not agree with you andreas..Tommy is so cool..and he is the only one doing tips for participant like me..and that’s help me a lot!!! !!! i’m sure that you have an open mind…reconsider!!

Hmmm not a bad idea Andreas! ๐Ÿ˜‰

You’d be my hero! ๐Ÿ˜€

hi Glen,

thanks again for sharing!

Wow! you did a class, drove up there fast and then did a few other classes and came back and did another class in the early morning…how did it happen to you! You’re awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

Was there any new moves (just say yes or no, i understand) in any this new release?…yeah, i was pretty disappointed with the Muay Thai musically for the BC40s you, it’s supposed to be a climax track..musically i feel it should be techno trance not the rocky ones which have the flavour of BC40s except BC42 and fact, i am not a fan of BC49, BC45 and even BC41 MT regardless of the moves…of all the rocky MT tracks i only love BC47 and going back BC31….yeah, track 5 goes back to the fun thingy….:) maybe according to Dan earlier, all tracks are tough….hence they pull the brakes a bit…:)

Keeping fingers crossed it will be good…

thanks’re AMAZING!

Haha thanks Reggie! To be fair it was a crazy idea but I didn’t have any choice – I really wanted to see the new release!

Dan has just posted a poll for music tastes on his blog so maybe he reads this one ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thanks for your comments my friend!

Thanks Glen! I just voted on my choice of songs in Dan’s blog..:) BC44 was a good techno MT track too…

As Glen (BP program director) and also Dan himself in the interviews, said that picking a music first was important before they create the choreo…and i did BC tracks research (back to BC1 in fact)…and musically, here’s my recommendation based on my personal opinion only..
Track 1 – pop music/favorite music on air now (rhythm not fast or slow)
Track 2 – hard rock or sentimental pop (faster rhythm)
Track 3 – techno/trance dance music (fast rhythm)
Track 4 – techno/trance/mid fast hard rock since it can be used for working on the legs/esquiva
Track 5 – techno/trance dance or even fast pop/dance song
Track 6 – either track 3 or track 4 type
Track 7 – preferably techno/trance (fast tempo) or really good fast hard rock
Track 8 – no change, favorite and highlight has been techno/trance
Track 9 – any hot hip hop/rap style or carribean style music
Track 10 – movie sound track or top pop song

just my opinion based on my research…:) cheers!

i guess its the first time the tracklists are taking sรณ long to show up, here in brazil last round of workshops start at 15/11, and up there are starting this week…only one week earlier… strange i would say

I think the last kiwi on the DVD was Joe Haupapa on release 26, except he injured himself in the warm up! Although a few of the Auckland City instructors shadowed on 30 I think it was…

I too think we should bring back the trancy Muay Thai tracks!

He injured himself? Huh I didn’t know that!

What did you think of the release Chris?

Glen, first of all thanks for blogging your comments. It must be a hard job to write and spend time for all the people around the globe.

I just want to make a comment about the rock songs. It is pretty OBVIOUS that you do not like rock songs.

But, in another point of view, there are certainly a lot of instructors and participants that DO REALLY ENJOY rock songs.

Your comments and opinion have a weight on people’s expectatives, so It’d be nice if you could have some consideration for the people who like rock songs and trying to avoid diminishing rocky songs.

Thanks 34 all the work that you do.

Thanks Sarg. I apologise if I haven’t made it clear but I really thought I had. In fact I do say “If you love hard rock, you’ll probably love this release.”.

I can’t really “guess” what others will like, I can only write my own thoughts – otherwise it would be a pretty boring review; I’d just be trying to guess what others may like which of course is impossible as we’re all different.

As it happens I actually *do* like rock. The rock that is in Bodypump as a rule I love – its the hard out “aggresive rock” that’s in combat that I find a bit much.

But I’ll take your comments on board and try to make it clear its only my opinion and most may and probably will feel differently.


Sarg has a point but I do agree 100% with Glen that he’s writing just for his own opinion only..if he writes in general, then it will be a boring review…and I also state my personal opinion too on the some of prefer track genre musically… we just want the best for the class…..:)

thanks again Glen and all the people who loves to read this review! thumbs up! ๐Ÿ™‚

Glen, you’re such a curse. Before finding your blog, I get an “itch” whenever I didn’t do a combat class for a week. But the last 2 or 3 months since I’ve been reading your blog and following your reviews, I get that same itch if I don’t get any combat-related material in a day! Whether it’s listening to the my fav combat songs or reading your review or even participating in the class itself, I have to have my daily dose of BODYCOMBAT. In my opinion, YOU are spreading the combat virus here!! Thanks for that though. I never get tired of joining BODYCOMBAT class in the local gym. People ask me “dont u get tired doing the same routines, listening to same songs (although they do mix it but you’ve done it so many times already)?” I think I fall into the ‘nutter’ category even though I’m not an instructor. I dont get bored of combat class, I even get addicted to it!! Thanks for your amazing review and insight (and for the tracklist update too :p), they really help to ease my addiction when I cant do combat class (such as now since I’m having a bad case of toothache).
Keep up the great work, and always stay fit.

Cheers from Indonesia!

Aww cheers Alvin I appreciate that! Sincerely! ๐Ÿ™‚

Hello from Spain, I allways read your posts. Now We’ve just started with BC50. And I love it!!
The first thing I noticed when I recived the CD it’s that Rach is presented with her single surname…
Go on with your post, we’re waiting for them

Glen, is there any chance you might give us your take on BP81? Or one of those track-by-track reviews of the current releases?

Hi Eve – I didn’t actually *do* BODYPUMP 81 but I did write a review of what I saw here: – I have been intending to do the combat reviews but life has been getting in the way. Am just moving house and once settled into our new place intend on writing regularly again – been a crazy couple months!

Is there anything about the first BodyCombat?

hey glen, i don’t think you need to apologise for anything cos people have to realise it’s your blog and reviewing the filming from your point of view is part of the experience. no necessity to walk on eggshells.

okay had to get that off my chest. never could stand whiny children =)

re:51, it’s freaking insane release! loved the rock feel of track 4 (grew up with metallica and iron maiden so i guess that’s in my DNA *grin*) and totally agree with you on the choreo for the MT track.

also think you’re right on the not instantly liking the entire release bit. but you also do know that releases grow on you after a few classes. especially 50.

Cheers Ben. You know I totally agree with you! I’ve never known a release to grow on me like 50! I didn’t really like it at all at first and I love it now! Happy to hear the same about 51 – though to be fair I loved 51 much more than I did 50 off the bat… so no doubt 51 is gonna go off! Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

taught 51 as a trial and members LOVE 4 and 7 =) i think you’re right, it’s gonna go off… and track 7 really goes nuts with the “born to kill” tag line =) see you at GFX! =)

Just wanted to say how devastated i was to hear of the sad loss of an inspirational instructor Hernan Lopez, the brother from another mother!!! He will be sadly missed.. RIP Hernan.

My gym launched BC51 last night and, well, I’m gonna have to give it time to grow on me.

The warm-up is OK. I love the songs, but I feel that these long warm-ups are the reason why we’re getting some short tracks (track 3 is TOO short in this release). I’d rather have shorter warm-ups and longer workout tracks (not too sure what you call them, but I mean all the tracks except tracks 1, 9 and 10).

I’m not a big fan of tracks 2, 3 and 5. Track 2 is always a hit or miss for me. Smooth Criminal and Frozen are my favourites and this one doesn’t even compare. Track 3 is just too short and the decoys seem as if D&R couldn’t think of what to do during that instrumental so they just dumped them in there. As for track 5, well, it’s probably my least favourite of the release. I have LOVED all the track 5’s from 48, 49 and 50 (Nessaja is just EPIC!), but this one falls flat. Choreography-wise it’s not bad, but it just isn’t, as you say, the peak that the previous 3 were and the song doesn’t help.

Tracks 4, 6, 7 and 8, however, are pretty good. Track 4 is KILLER! My mind LOVES it, but my body, especially my legs, absolutely HATES it! Track 6 is a good workout, but it’s a tad too repetitive. I don’t mind repetitive choreography if I can get into the song (Drummer Boy is a prime example of this), but this song doesn’t pull me in, which is probably due to the fact that I’m not a girl and I know where I’m at. The MT track is REALLY good, but it also made me realise that I’m still pretty damn unfit. As for track 8, I love that marathon jabs-jabs-and-more-jabs ending!

Track 9 is pretty good (LOVE the song!) and the cool-down song is a great choice.

Overall, I like the majority of the release, but I’m not as impressed as I was when I went to the launches of 48 and 49. 50 didn’t blow me away either, but now I love it so I’ll see if this one grows me on as well.

And, after reading your 52 filming blog, I’m already looking forward to the next release! ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers Sean! 51 hasn’t grown on me like 50 did to be honest – mixed reaction from members though they all agree its HARD!

Let me know your thoughts in 2 weeks see if your opinion changes.

Yeah loved 52! Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚

So I got BC51 in the mail about a week ago….I’m a rock fan for sure, so alot of the music makes me happy. Track 4 is INCREDIBLY taxing and I can’t wait to launch this in our gym.

T was absolutely fantastic!! An incredible coach, and such stage presence!! Usually Dan and Rach always “shine” just a little more than everyone…but T was right there with them and I could see him as a program director some day!!

Overall a solid release. Can’t wait to get torn to shreds by it!!

Did bc51 here in holland last weekend.

I started body combat with bc49 ,loved it! With bc 50 got a real feeling for bc, so i thought body combat is my thing! (i have a history in marial arts) Bc 51 ………………. i still don’t no what to think about it, but i am very close to dislike it. One thing is for sure , for a beginner its not a very nice combat te begin with.

Hi Glen, launched 51 last week here…it’s good, it’s tough, but musically doesn’t do it for me. Warm up, T6 and T8 are great but the others are a bit flat. Still a very hard work out but 50 was hard to follow I’d say, especially nessaja which will never bore me or the members!

It must be hard to please everyone – instructors and members but I’m sure everyone is asking for hardcore muay thai to make a come back?!

About to fill out a BLAH!


I’m 43 and this BC51 release is tough for me but I am working harder each time to get all the moves. I did BC51 3 times this past week. Not crazy about the heavy rock music but I get through. The moves where we have to jump in the air are awesome. Im new to BC but am loving it. I miss the sword moves from 50.

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