Archive for March 2015
Well guys better late than never here is the update from BODYCOMBAT 64! As some of you no doubt know I’ve been calling in the help of guest bloggers since I am currently living in Dubai. This time we have the honour of hearing from the expertise of not one but TWO Les Mills veterans Deb Shafran and Ralf Galle. Deb and Ralf have both attended filmings before so they know the ins and outs very well! If you’ve seen BC63 then you have some idea of the new format for track 4. I have no idea if this is permanent but certainly we have a similar theme in 64 too. And… I’ll be at the next filming up front and personal myself so looking forward to seeing what BODYCOMBAT 65 has in store. Anyway enough from me, take it away Ralf and Deb!
Les Mills BodyCombat 64 Filming Review
By Deb Shafran and Ralf Galle
Hello, my name is Deb Shafran and I am from Boston, MA, USA and my name is Ralf Galle and I am from Nuermberg, Germany. We met 2 years ago, in January of 2013 at the filming of Les Mills BodyCombat 56 at Les Mills Auckland City and we became fast friends. We shared the Les Mills love for BodyCombat and told each other that we’d reunite in 2 years – and here we are, in 2015, reviewing the latest BodyCombat filming release for all you BodyCombat Instructors and supporters, all over the world! This is a cardio driven release that not only has many of the ebbs and flows you have grown to love, like fast boxing in track 3 and leg punishing in track 6, but also has some tricks up its sleeve to keep you on your toes!
Track 1 starts with bass-thumping, gritty sounds that will surely get you ready and raring to go, straight out of the gate! The music cranks and the bass drives the movement. Ralf says it is a song that they call in Germany “Ohrwurm” (English equivalent of -> earworm), it is a catchy song. Once you listen to it, you will have it in your ear all day long! Endurance is the name of the game and you’ll soon feel at home with all your fellow BodyCombat fitness freaks by your side. The upper body warm up has level changes of intensity, but they are sure to ease you in and give you options, right from the start. Anyone, at any fitness level, can succeed with this program and the warm up showcases this fittingly. Simple movements are repeated for longer intervals of time than you may be used to, but this training effect will surely help get you fitter faster! You will need to stay grounded and compact, take deep breaths and exhale sharply, in order to take your imaginary opponent out. The lower body warm up comes in with the sounds of a keyboard and synthesizer, increasing at the start and taking over. There is musical drama at this point of the class, which reminds of Deb of the Muay Thai track of release 42 – you are going to want to nail this at your gym relaunch events! When the drum and bass increase, so does the speed of your movements. Just hold on, as this opportunity to increase the heart rate so early in the class and is a foreshadowing of what’s to come! Overall the warm-up is “simple” but for all the instructors out there, the right coaching will make all the difference!
For those of you in Boston, track 2 will feel like home to you And as much as Deb would love to say the artist is New Kids On The Block – FAR FROM IT! Just know you might feel like you are driving over the Zakim Bridge and a fight is about to break out You will want to sing along to this track, loud and proud! Ralf feels this song sounds familiar to him too, as he is an employee of an Irish Company (more hints!)!
Track 3 gets your heart rate increasing immediately in this boxing track. You will need to think fast and move fast, relax your shoulders and be agile, to win this fight! Options are given, to make every level participant feel successful – take whatever option you need here, to make it through this track…. there’s A LOT more to come! There are not only beginner options, but also more advanced options for those of you who want even more! Efficiency is the key in this classic track 3 combo… double the intensity, to double the impact of your efforts. Added footwork will bring even more momentum. Acceleration is the name of the game – chase after the music and get ready to train!
Track 4 sounds deceiving, with the guitar riffs at first, but then the bass kicks in, takes over and drives the movement! You need to first train slow, and then gradually increase speed – while maintaining your technique. When you need to balance, focus on the guitar licks – think strong, sharp and massive! There are even longer intervals than in your warm up, so get ready to deliver power, precision and intensity! PSST – get ready to do something you just saw in release 63 here. We can’t tell you what it is, but we can tell you that you are in for something that is going to completely smash you, so early in the class! Integrated work helps us train more efficiently, keeping it fresh and fun – yes, we said FUN!
Track 5, as you might expect, is all about challenging your speed and endurance. (Ahhh, there is that endurance again!) This release is relentless, get ready to focus on one move, and one move only, as fast as you can – and then recover. Interval training, at it’s best right here! Brace your core and get ready to FEEL this track! This track also brings in a new movement pattern, in short but effective bursts, which we haven’t yet seen before in BodyCombat, and continues to showcase the evolution of this program – ladies and gentlemen – THIS IS HOW YOU GET FITTER. Own your training and commit to yourself. Ralf shares that this track has some HIIT “moments” to the point that he thought once ”Am I in the right Les Mills Program?!?” PS – this track WILL creep up on you, so focus on your technique and efficiency to make this track super effective. If done correctly, you will be gasping for air by the time the music stops.
You might be relieved to know that track 6 is shorter, but please also know it is no joke! You are going to love this one, until you hate it – in the best way possible This is leg brutality at it’s finest, firing up those fast twitch muscle fibers that we know work! Get low and long and get ready to feel the burn… that feeling when you know you are getting fitter by the second! This is serious leg training. Again, lots of great options provided and you are motivated to work to your maximum level output. Ralf liked it the first time, after the third rehearsal he hated it and after filming, he LOVED IT! Ouch!
Track 7, feels like a longer track and the music feels like that familiar Muay Thai driving beat, where you know the intensity is coming and you want to go after it! As always, elbows and knees are the focus here and the sharp club beat drives the effort. We both LOVE this combo! The music intensity of this track is reminiscent of the lower body warm up in this release. You’ll need to crunch before you fire and stay focused to make it through this track. You can make this track as hard for yourself as you want to – take the opportunity to maximize every beat! You will need to push yourself, to make it through this track. This track shows that if you change the same strike in a slightly different way, you will increase the impact!
You will leave track 8 feeling alive, yet smashed at the same time – isn’t this the moment we all love to get to, at the end of a BodyCombat class? Dan and Rach will challenge you on the last round, only if you execute this move effectively. Take it. Own it. Deliver it. With intensity. This move will make your shoulder blades burn for days. Yes, we said DAYS. The class finishes with one minute to go, the best way we know how – just let it go!
As in recent releases, there is no run around the room before track 9, we go straight into the conditioning track. Get ready to get shell-shocked as you are challenged to use all parts of your abs and sling muscles during this hip-hop feel track. There is posterior chain work, including glutes and a mid-back focus, at the end.
Track 10, your cool down, has a melodic, calming and soothing feel to the music. Celebrate the hard work you have just completed and recognize your class participants for how amazing they are and their accomplishments! Let the energy flow from the palms of your hands and out of your fingertips with a beautiful kata to close out the class.
We want to thank Glen Stollery for the opportunity to share our thoughts and do our best to give you a sneak peek of what’s to come, in about six months time, to a live class in a fitness studio near you! Dan and Rach continue to evolve the world’s most popular martial arts group fitness class and bring Les Mills BodyCombat to another new level with their latest effort, with release 64. As they say, keep it real and stay with the fight! Kia Kaha, our fellow fitness warriors!