NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

BODYCOMBAT 53 filming

Posted on: May 23, 2012

If you asked me to visualise the perfect release for me personally this is what I’d say: Uplifting warmup; cranking track 3; loads of kicks in track 4 (or track 6, or both!); hard trance track 5; hardcore techno muay thai and a massively uplifting track 8 to round it all off. Guess what; I just described BODYCOMBAT 53!

Honestly I love BC52 but for me BODYCOMBAT 53 has got be be a near perfect release.

Firstly what I’m most excited about: I’ve made no secret about my preference in muay thai music selection. My absolute favourite muay thai is Hardcore Angel from BC39, I also love Ravers Paradise from BC38 (yes I’m a Nick Skitz fan!), right up there as well is So What! from BC27, Party Non-Stop from BC36… you get the idea – uplifting hard trance for a muay thai just goes off as far as I’m concerned. So whilst I’ve loved the last few releases, when you look back at the muay thai tracks over the last six releases they’ve all been rock (or aggressive rock verging on metal) – in fact if you look back since Dan and Rach became Program Directors at BC21 overwhelmingly track 7s were hard trance tracks until around BC40 when it changed. Since BC40 we’ve really only had Excalibur 2000, Mortal Kombat and Braveheart as trance muay thais (I love all three of those by the way!) – 3 out of 13 releases, other than that recently it’s been a reign of rock. Until now. The muay thai in BODYCOMBAT 53 is a hard trance, massive anthem of a track and it is freaken EPIC!

But I just need to take a couple deep breaths and calm down as I’m getting waaay ahead of myself.

Before I get into the nuts and bolts of the release (or as much as I’m allowed to say) I have to make special mention of what a fantastic job the PDs are doing. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll possibly know that Dan and I haven’t always seen eye to eye over everything, and we’ve even had the odd moment or two where we’ve exchanged a couple heated words over the years (I’m guessing we’re both type A personalities and that will often happen!). But I have to speak out because there’s a thread on the Les Mills forums entitled “New Program Directors for Combat“. It’s basically someone saying it’s time for a change, that BC is stale and boring… and get this, too easy??! To the person who wrote that you know what? You’re an idiot. BC51 is gut bustingly hard, 52 is massive too and 53 is nothing short of phenomenal. Add to that the fact that Dan and Rach choreographed BC53 whilst LITERALLY on completely different sides of the globe (I mean how did they do that – over Skype?)  and there’s no denying they are doing an amazing job. So to the person who started that thread and wants a PD change; shuddup already you are WRONG.

Right, on to the release! As usual I cannot mention anything specific about the music or the chorey (or Dan and I really will have a falling out haha) – but I can tell you my opinion and a general feel for the release.

I'm in there somewhere!!

I’m in there somewhere!!

BODYCOMBAT 53 was filmed very early on Saturday May 12 as part of LMNZ and LMI’s massive GFX event. GFX is basically the Super Bowl of the group fitness industry – it’s THE biggest event on the group fit calendar and man it showed the place was chocked to capacity every class of the weekend! You may recall in my BODYCOMBAT 52 post (which was just after Hernan’s passing) I mentioned how absolutely packed the class was. BODYCOMBAT 53 felt even busier! The class kicked off at 7am and I know there were people queuing outside before 5am! **Correction: 3am!** Thanks for the heads up Kiki… but 3am?! That really is dedication!

Just as with BC52 Dan and Rach presented on their own this round (I’m assuming mainly because Dan was in the UK until a week or two before and training someone else would’ve been a tough task); they went away from the orange clothing of the last couple of releases and were wearing green (I think?!), and it’ll come as no surprise they did a spectacular job.

Both warmup tracks are dancey and uplifting! Upper body was in a recent pump release (same mix too as far as I could tell) and the lower body was in a recent attack release. Don’t fear if you teach those programs (as I do) as the warmup is awesome regardless and the fact the tracks are reused won’t bother you. I mentioned my only issue with the warmup from BC52 was that there’s a move in it that’s not in the actual release (the shoot – and there’s eleventy billion of them!) – well there’s nothing like that in 53 from memory – it’s good stuff and a really really great start to the class.

Track 2 was typical of the last couple releases, kinda rocky – a song everyone knows the words to and can sing along with! Track 3 is where the intensity picks up (and doesn’t pull back either!) – great track – definitely uplifting! (can you tell that’s going to be my word of the release?) Musically it felt a little like We Dance On from 48.

Track 4 was definitely the most ‘sinister’ track of the release. It’s a very dark remake of an old track. Tae Kwon Do/Karate based – A track you can really grit your teeth to and kick, kick and kick again! (did I mention kicks??)

Track 5. OMFG they’ve done it again – another AWESOME track 5! D&R again please keep this format it is absolutely going off! Love the (here’s that word again) uplifting trance track 5s! LOVE THEM! This track has also been in pump as a back track (actually there’s 2 pump back tracks in this release!); I loved this track in pump but man it’s freaken amazing in combat! Such a great track 5 – power track in the truest sense (yay!)

Track 6. Ouch. Leg conditioning x 1000. Tough track, but haven’t all the leg conditioning tracks been lately? We’ve had leg conditioning tracks in 4 releases in a row now (Gimme Dat, Another Way to Die and Ring the Alarm), and this one is just as hard as the others! Musically it’s of a similar style to 50 and 52 if that makes any sense. The esquiva is back – and that’s all I can recall to be honest as I barely remember anything but the pain!

Track 7. BOOM!!!! Massive muay thai! I wish I could tell you more about this track other than what I said at the top of this post but I can’t! Know this though – it simply goes off! I just wish it was longer as it felt really short!

Track 8 was awesome too! Massive finish to the cardio part of the class – outstanding!

Track 9 is an artist that’s been used as a track 9 recently (mwap mwap) solid track; and track 10 is kinda RnB and a nice finish to the class.

So, yes, if you’ve not worked it out yet the word for BODYCOMBAT 53 is UPLIFTING! Another word would be OUTSTANDING. And yet another would be EPIC. Seriously this is one cranking release. I’ve heard some comments about BC51 being too rocky (and I kinda agree to be fair) – but rest assured if you are one of those peeps you will LOVE 53. Just love it. Just like I do! Cannot wait for this one!!!!!

Next stop BODYCOMBAT 54 on July 30. I can’t wait to see what’s next, if you’re coming I’ll see ya there!

62 Responses to "BODYCOMBAT 53 filming"

Great post Glen! It’s gotta be a pretty cool release based on how thrilled you sound, good stuff :).

It totally is! 🙂

The first release of BC52 is hitting my local gym just next Saturday (few more sleeps to go — can’t wait), but based on your review I’m already looking forward to BC53!

I also prefer uplifting trance tracks for muay thai. My all time favourite is Excalibur 2000 but thanks to PPCA shenanigans in AU, I can only request Braveheart during mix time (which isn’t a bad consolation prize since it’s my second favourite).

Lenor you’ll LOVE 53 then! Such an awesome track!

Enjoy 52 in the meantime!

We can also use Motal Kombat…”you win!!”

Time to memorize 52!!

Still waiting to get my hands on 52!! but 53 sounds awesome (not to mention uplifting hahaha) great review as per normal Glen, cannot wait to get hold of it 🙂

Cheers Helen! Hope you got my email today okay 😉

Thanks for the info Glen, I am already excited and we are not launching 52 till July. Great news about the muay thai track, my favourites are exactly the same as yours (and in that order, how weird is that!) so I have been a bit disappointed lately. Also, I have just passed my initial BP training (wohoo!) and was planning to do Combat next, I might have to wait till 53 now 🙂

Glen you really makes me curious with this post. Really looking forward to it. BC52, is a good release and when this is even better. It’s a long time ago that you were that kind of optimistic of a release (normally the feeling has to grow :))) )

So true Serge it has been awhile! 53 is awesome! Hope you are great my friend!

I’ve been doing a LOT of group fitness lately with BA, BP, RPM and CXWorx as my main ingredients. That means no BC for a long time (still love your blog, though) since I was kinda “done” with it, but this sounds so good, it makes me want to reconsider.

BTW, finally approaching the shape I want to be in after dropping almost 20 kgs. Les Mills makes me proud of me 🙂

Greetings from NL

Congrats on your results Gerwin! Great job!!

Hahaha, what version of Mortal Kombat did you get? Mine is definitely metal! 😀

Really looking forward to BC53! You know how to hype, man! Love it! 😉

Haha not sure what genre that track is to be fair! Hehe 🙂

I think it’s power metal but I’m not 100% sure. XD

If you’re not 100% sure then there’s no hope for the rest of us!! 😉

Did I listen uplifting hard trance for muay thai track? Then that’s enough for me, surely I’ll love it. Good to know it Glen. And I am glad to read your revision/opinion posts again. 😀

Glen, great summary–really excited about this release! I had to mention, as a matter of balance, that my perfect release in terms of music would be ALL rock/metal! 🙂 I will say, though, that such a statement doesn’t mean I like all rock songs they use. Didn’t care too much for Born to Kill (though the chorey is fine). However, in the same release, Another Way to Die rocks socks (music and chorey)!

Born to Kill makes my ears bleed! 🙂

\m/ o.o \m/

Very, very happy to hear about BC53. Haven’t even seen BC52 yet (that’s this weekend for the PPCA-free butt-end of the world 😦 ), but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it too.

Have a great workshop – let me know your thoughts on 52! Track 6 hurts!!!!!

Hey Hey Hey Glen the awesome guy before marriage and still the most awesome guy (yeah, i know we talked over the email and fb!! :)) after getting married! Love you guys (and Stacy included)!

Well I really really love BC51 because it’s one of the most intense and I think by far the toughest release so far…i think mainly of very fast moves and rhythm starting from track 2 onwards…and I really love track 3, 4 (is the BEST so far because the side kick challenge i feedback to Dan and Rach hee hee…maybe i am not the only one! remember the last side kick challenge was in BC34 track 4, i mean side kick all the way..non stop!), track 6 (this was track was amazing with a lot of variation and yes can you believe it, side kick again…my favorite move in BC, the more the merrier!)..and although it was rock in track 7, i just love the jumping front knee….

we have not launched BC52 the track 4 music….but it’s not as tough as BC51 track 4 although it has the kick katas….love track 5 too…short and nice!

Well, i always agree with you all the while that muay thai should have the hard trance music genre or even the fast hard rock style like we’ll rock you in BC30 or we rock in far, all mid paced heavy rock…(I love the rock music genre when they put in track 2 or track 4…just like let me hear you scream in BC47 …or burn it to the ground in BC40)….and I am so EXCITED when i hear that hey hey hey…they’re bringing back hard track in track 7…can’t wait and looking at your “energy and emotions” the way you describe BC53, it’s gonna be awesome! i am sure you’ve are in “LOVE” too with this release!

ha ha ha..sorry for talking too much…just so long never chat this much with you..THANKS A LOT again for sharing…and wish the very best to you and beloved wife!


signing off…:)

Cheers Reggie – love your work!

Hi Glen,
Workshop was pretty awful today for BC52, so am not going to comment on the release because I want to watch the DVD, start learning it, and then comment.

Hey Glen,
Are you gonna pist about BODYATTACK 78 and BODYPUMP 83 as well?
Love to read your blogs 🙂

couldn’t have put it better mate. BC53 is da s***. and thanks for saying what you said about D&R cos they ARE massively talented and take on feedback with great humility and respect for their product. i’m sorry, boring? SERIOUSLY? just the music is case enough to slap this person across the face with. and EASY? *completely dumbstruck* this person obviously has NO idea how to do a bodycombat class the way it’s supposed to be done. i’m not as nice as you mate. you were WAY too diplomatic. i would’ve chosen… other words 😉

I did think of other words Ben but was trying to be PC!

Cheers for your comment – heard BC53 was just demoed in Rome, so jealous! Can’t wait for the release. Though 52 is pretty good too – releasing tomorrow so should be fun.

Catch up soon my friend!


I can totally understand the guy who says that BC has become more easy. It has become easy when it comes to choreography/combinations. But that doesn’t mean that tracks are easy to go through. You can make them as tough as you want/are willing to do.

“Boring”: I totally agree that the last couple of track 8s where boring. Just making some hundreds of jab/cross is not very motivating. But that is just my personal opinion.

And when it comes to the participants … most people have no martial arts background and are totally served with the “easy” combinations.

That said I think D&R are doing a very good job. Even though when they don’t always have the same taste of music as myself.

Nice work. Rock on.


Amen to that Ben Tang! Seriuously this person has no idea how to do a BC class!

Hey Glen, Good luck for tomorrow. I’m releasing BC52 tomorrow morning as well. All I can say is, thank goodness we have masterclass DVDs to watch. 52 absolutely came alive for me when I watched the DVD. Will love teaching 52, and will eagerly await 53 🙂

I totally agree. The master class video is always so motivating. I loved Tanya Walker in BC 40 Track 3 Sweetheart as she drops and pops the uppercuts. So much power and energy. Those performances are what drives me to the next level.


Hello Glen. I’m following your blog for quite a while now. And after reading your comments about BC53 I just want get my hands on it asap! I thought after following the masterclass for BC52, this is probably the 1 of the best releases i’ve been with! I listen the music practicly every moment of the day and I will release it not earlier than end of June in Holland. And than I read this! OMG…. This means not earlier then the fall of this year I can teach it. Super!! As I always tell my participants during track 8: “There is only 1 program!” D & R thank you! To finish I want to thank you again and if you ever have the feeling to come to Holland you are more than welcome to join me on stagen in my class.

Hernan: We in Holland will honor your memory forever. I will do my upmost best to bring BC 52 to justice on behalf of you. Keep it real!!!

Respect, Gijs

Been doing BC52 for a bout 2 weeks now in Indonesia. Track 3 and 8 are AWESOME! but after reading this, cant wait for BC53.. Glen, you’re torturing me!!!

Thx much Glenn! Sounds “uplifting” and “epic”! LOL! We just launched 52 Monday at the YMCA I attend here in Simpsonville, SC. And as you promised, I love it! To be honest, 51 grew on me, but with 52 it was love at first class!

As for the forum thread on removing D&R, come on! From my point of view, BC just keeps getting better and better. And isn’t Body Combat on fire across the globe? It sure seems so from the response on Twitter and Facebook. The YMCA I attend just added 3 more instructors and more classes – and people fill them all! Even the 5:30am classes are well attended! We can’t seem to get eniygh! While I am fairly new to BC (almost 1.5 years) and only a participant, even I can recognize that D&R are responsible for the program’s success!

Congrats again on the wedding! And thanks for keeping us “in the loop” as to what is happening.

Thanks Glen for the updates. I cannot wait to do BC 53 I know it’s going to be another blowing-mind release!!!
About that dumbass who wrote that piece of crapp I have to say that I feel really annoyed and ofended because since Dan and Rach are the choreographers, Combat got waaay much better (and harder) than before, also I can tell it’s growing all over the world and it’s triggering the BodyCombat fever!. What I think is there are infiltrated people from other companies that are trying to stop BC just because they have no chance with the results, “smart choreography”, music and the roll model of instructors our program offers. I know this because I’m dealing with this mediocre people all the time and they are always trying to screw BC by talking nonsense (and even invented) things about Dan and Rach and posting them in the forums, Facebook and Twitter. Let’s stop these people!! Toghether we are strong!

I really like the current BC and the progression it has gone through, the only thing that I have noticed, that has happened less lately is that instructors aren’t mixing it up much like they used to.
I mean before, a new release would go hard for several weeks then old great tracks would be inserted back in. I have been doing BC every day and and getting really bored with the same exact class over and over. I have resorted to jump knees instead of knees (sometimes 1/4 to 1/2 the track) and punching 4x more punches and doing completely different strikes/spin kicks etc just to maintain interest. Im sure people think Im a dik.
Also it also looks to me like most instructors try not to add some spice into a track. Dan was a classic and encouranging harder strikes and kicks etc only adding to the motivation. I think once Matt let loose and challenged participants to jump knees near the WHOLE HALF of a TRACK, yeah, now were talking, many gave it a go, most exhausted BUT they LOVED IT. You should of heard the yeeehaaas
I just wish Instructors “broke” out of the routine and let loose every once and a while.
I did your class in Tauranga once Glen, and really enjoyed it.
Apart from that BC rocks and Ive found its perfect for fitness within TKD/MMA/Boxing, speed striking and stretches whist kick etc, not that the lads at the BJJ Gym think so. .

Did you Rob? I don’t even remember that? Yikes – memory slipping in my old age!

Yeah I know what you’re saying. I believe these days instructors at ‘official’ LMNZ gyms are only meant to go back 10 releases. That would personally drive me crazy as all my favourite muay thai tracks are in the 20s and 30s. In saying that I did Mark Sinclair’s class at LM Auckland Saturday morning and he went right back to pre BC20 and it was REALLY good! (apart from his constant whistling into the mic- that drove me crazy!)

i would really love to join in a filming, can you tell me where to start?

thanks glen hope to meet u there:)

Yes, must say Ill def drop in and do some more of your classes when I get the chance over there. I just love Tauranga.
Funny as arrived on time for your class and you guys do like a “warmup” session and were well into it already. Crack me up I thought my watch was playing up and I was late and tried to quietly sneak in.
Marks got a great class, good motivation there. I notice he just started mixing it up lately after 3+ weeks solid current BC release. Bring back the old school, combo and jump knees, yeah!!

Funny you should say about the “only going back 10 releases” thing as LMAP is pushing that as well. While I agree that some of the past release tracks are a little slow, I recently replaced track 4 and 5 of BC52 with track 4 of BC37 and track 5 of BC27. What a combo! Killed off the legs with the kick KATA, and then set fire to the lungs with “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” – geez, that track is relentless!

Hi Glen! First of all I love reading ur posts. I feel like I’m right there at the filming!
Speaking if filming, I was wondering when Body Combat 55 and all the other programs for the 4th quarter were going to film. I live in Korea currently and I really want to attend a filming hopefully late this year or early next year. I teach Les Mills programs too^^
If so, could I maybe tag along when you go? I added you on facebook so hope we can be good friends 🙂 you seem like a cool person. Thanks , will wait for a reply~

Of course you can tag along Linda more the merrier! Last filming dates for 2012 are detailed below:

Wednesday, 17th October

Saturday, 20th October

Tuesday, 23rd October

Have just facebook invited you to the event 🙂

Is BC 53 track 5 the same as BP 83 track 4?

No they’re not the same. BC53 track 5 was in a much earlier release of pump (as a t4).

Is the Tracklist coming soon? Please. BP 83 has been up for a while, and it’s making me impatient 😉

Soon Jacqui. I’d expect to see it in the next couple weeks. 🙂

When we’ll know the name of the tracks from body combat 53?

In about 30 minutes… 🙂

Hi Glen,

We just had quarterly in the Netherlands and I can say bodycombat 53 is one big disappointment for me.

Too boring because of the lots of repetitions going on, pe track 3. Music over all…not my cup of tea. Two tracks used in bodypump before, boring songs used twice next after each other for right and left side… My favorite track is going to be 8, although used before.

Bc 52 was a good release for me, much better than 51, but 53…. 😦

Dan & Rach are still rocking in my opinion, no time for them to be replaced, but maybe they could bring back the types of classes like 29-32. That was solid!!

Have my hopes up for bc 54 in november.


Wow just goes to show everyone’s different huh?! I LOVE 53… just love it!

We did tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7 from this release tonight, and I loved it!

Tracks 1 and 4 were better in BC52, but they’re not bad, and I love the version of ‘Sweet Dreams’ they used.

Tracks 3, 5, and 7, on the other hand, are “O” for “Awesome!” I don’t know about the other member’s in the class, but I know I went off during those tracks. The ONLY downside is that track 7 is TOO short! Going from ‘Seek & Destroy’, which one LONG mother of a track, to this one is a bit of let down. Still, with this release being so short, I might try and convince my instructors to do it twice. 🙂

Totally agree! Love this release!

Now this was a good release! Loved the insentity of track 3 – whew! – and I’m so happy about the Muay Thai, going back to some attitude – finally. Whoa!
Great job Dan and Rach!

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