NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Archive for January 2012

Hernan and me. BC38 workshop - 2008.

Me and Hernan. BODYCOMBAT 38 workshop 2008.

If you’ve been on any social networking sites in the last 24 hours you’ll have heard the terrible news that we lost someone very special yesterday; Hernan Lopez.

I’ve been sitting at this computer trying to think of a way to articulate this loss and I’ve decided there’s no possible way I can do it properly. Right now everything is numb, I’m sad, so I’m just going to keep this short. Quite simply Hernan was a true Les Mills BODYCOMBAT warrior – he appeared on 7 DVDs (more than any BC presenter besides the Programme Directors to my knowledge), and for good reason. Hernan was the epitome of what BODYCOMBAT should be. He was an amazing talent.

I first witnessed Hernan at the very first combat filming I went to; BC38. I was immediately drawn to his teaching style. His nickname was ‘Captain Colgate’ for a reason – that massive toothy white smile just lit up the room. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you may recall I’ve written about Hernan several times. This is a paragraph from a couple years ago:

Straight after the AIM I wrote a post and mentioned that my absolute favourite instructor in the world is Hernán López. His classes are fantastic! Yes they are high energy, and motivating, but they are also fricken hysterical. I mean, if he wasn’t a group fitness instructor the guy should be a comedian. Even if you’ve seen Hernan on the DVDs (where yes he is funny “Kung Fu Panda” anyone??) he’s even more hilarious in his own classes where he’s not quite so scripted. They are just so much fun.

Hernan was truly my BODYCOMBAT hero. Whenever I made a trip to Auckland I’d always try to make his class. I found the fact he mixed working hard with humour so inspiring. The hour just flew by as you were just having such a party.

And now the party is over.

I first heard about his passing last night at about 10 or 11pm. Given it was late and I had an early morning Combat class I pushed it to one side of my brain, almost pretending it didn’t happen and tried to sleep. The first thing I did upon waking was check my phone. I had been inundated with facebook messages, tweets and texts asking if it was true. Again, I pushed the thought to one side – I had a class to teach.

In Hernan’s honour I taught Mortal Kombat (one of his DVD tracks) with his signature ‘air guitar’ – I got through the class okay. Left the stage to go get changed to participate in a BODYBALANCE class. I never made it to that class. In the staff bathroom the adrenaline left my body and I broke down and sobbed for a good 20 minutes. I suspect from the hundreds and hundreds of statuses and comments on facebook my experience was not isolated.

With the filming of BODYCOMBAT 52 just two days away it’s my hope that Dan and Rach will make the release a special tribute to him.

Hernan I suspect you never knew just how much you were loved – worldwide – by literally thousands and thousands. I don’t think you knew how many lives you touched. And how many people you inspired just as you inspired me. BODYCOMBAT instructors and indeed the entire LM tribe around the world are in mourning. You left us with some amazing memories; I’ll never forget BC40 with Tanya Walker and “Sweet corn”, your Kung Fu panda impressions, the gas mask in B44, your infectious laugh and smile. You were an incredible instructor and an amazing guy. Gone too soon but never forgotten. We love ya bud.

I almost always avoid “plugs” for other sites simply because I get several requests a week to promote various links and if I honoured all of them then this blog would look like an infomercial; however one popped into my inbox this week that made me look twice.

It is a link to a survey for group fitness instructors regarding care for their voice being conducted by Dr. Anna Rumbach, Division of Speech Pathology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland. Now not too long ago I would’ve shrugged this off with the response “huh?” but something happened to me a few months ago that made me sit up and take notice. Late last year I got a pretty nasty chest infection, mucus, phlegm, all that nasty stuff that I really don’t want to go into. As a result I took a few days off teaching, then when it “cleared” I jumped back into my usual routine full force. But for one significant difference; my voice had noticeably changed. It is now raspier, deeper and permanently ‘hoarse’. I figured it was a side-effect of the illness and it would clear. However here I am, probably six months later and it’s still the same. It’s almost as if at the age of 36 my voice “broke” again.

It’s not that big of a deal except I used to be able to sing… now I can’t hold a note to save myself (some would say I probably never could to be fair!) – my vocal range is significantly decreased and whenever I run into someone I haven’t seen for awhile their first reaction upon hearing me is “Oh no are you sick?” – well no. In fact I’m the fittest, fastest and strongest I’ve ever been in my life thanks to group fitness – just my voice sounds like I swallowed an entire box of sandpaper!

I know we use mics but it’s inherently part of the job to raise your voice. Let’s face it, at the peak of a muay thai track or peak of track 8 in BODYCOMBAT, the music is pounding and everyone is fatiguing, you can’t just suggest to a packed class of 60 people they delicately  “unleash” – you really have to sell it: “UNLEASH!!!” – now I’ve been doing this for four years I guess my voice is doing the same.

Anyway – although this survey is for Australian GFIs only, it really is food for thought. Does LMI need to start incorporating vocal training into our education sessions? My hoarsey semi-baritone new sound probably votes yes. Check it out: How fit is your Voice.

I’m getting tonnes of messages from people saying the new BODYPUMP 81 tracklist is out but I’ve not posted it as the one circulating the net (from my memory) seems wrong. So, I’ve amended the one doing the rounds and the list below is correct. As usual songs linked are an indication only – where cover used have linked to original as best I can. Enjoy!

BODYPUMP 81 tracklist

1. You Make Me Feel… – Cobra Starship feat Sabi
2. Higher Ground – Jagged Eagle
3. Loud – Stan Walker
4. Ravers Fantasy (Manox remix) – Manian
5. Domino – Miss Daise
6. I Own You – Shinedown
7. San Francisco (Remix 11) – Fine Tune
8. Blood Is Pumping – Blade X
9. Mr Saxobeat – Alexandra Stan
10. Best Thing I Never Had – Beyoncé

Alternative tracks:
6. Dynamite (Remix IX) – Studio 88 feat Juno Mars
10 Breaking Inside – Shinedown feat. Lzzy Hale of Halestorm

Ohh the posters are out – you know what that means? Tracklists can’t be far away! Exciting! I’m especially excited about these posters as I teach 3 programs (BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP and BODYATTACK) – I was on the Combat poster last quarter and I made the Attack and Pump this round! (and I think those are my legs on the CX one too haha). Enjoy!

Welcome to 2012! And we’re kicking it off in a big way as the next lot of filmings are only 2 weeks away today! (can you believe BODYCOMBAT 52 is being filmed already!?) I’ve posted the times below (yay for combat not starting at 11pm this quarter!). If you’re coming let me know and I’ll see ya there!

Wednesday 25th January 2012

  • 3:00pm BODYBALANCE 57
  • 4:30pm BODYVIVE 23
  • 6:00pm BODYPUMP 82
  • 8:30pm BODYATTACK 77
  • 10:00pm SH’BAM 8

Saturday 28th January 2012

  • 7:45pm CXWORX 7

Tuesday 31st January 2012

  • 12:30pm RPM 55
  • 3:30pm BODYSTEP 88
  • 6:00pm BODYCOMBAT 52
  • 7:30pm BODYJAM 61

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