NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Posts Tagged ‘BODYCOMBAT 56

56Well one of the most highly anticipated BODYCOMBAT reviews has just hit my email inbox and, man, let me say it was worth the wait! Guest blogger Deb Shafran has done an AMAZING job painting a full picture of her BODYCOMBAT 56 experience. It was certainly fascinating for me as for the first time in something like 15 BC filmings I wasn’t there! So I was probably more excited to read this than anyone! One thing that I guess I always took for granted was having the mothership for Les Mills right on my doorstep – so it was so cool to read Deb’s recollection of her excitement of walking through those doors and into studio one for the first time. It’s something I’m sure most of you reading aim to do someday (and so you should!).

Anyway, enough of my babbling. Here’s the lowdown on BODYCOMBAT 56 – thank you Deb for doing such a phenomenal job!


BODYCOMBAT 56 filming review – by Deb Shafran

My name is Deb Shafran and I am a Les Mills BodyCombat and BodyPump Instructor from Boston, MA, USA. It is an honor to have been asked by Glen Stollery to provide you with a review of the Les Mills BodyCombat 56 filming experience, at Les Mills Auckland City, on January 29th, 2013. I hope I am able to not only paint a picture, but also transport you to what I heard, saw, felt and experienced at filming.

When I walked toward the gym, for the first time, I realized I had arrived at the place where all that has so positively changed my life, had begun. I was in the lobby of Les Mills Auckland City! The following minutes proved to be even more exciting, when Phillip Mills walked in the front door and casually smiled and chatted with Amanda Scales and Dan McDonogh (BodyStep and RPM Presenters from the USA)… and all I could say was, “Thanks for all you have done” and he then continued to walk away. The following hours and days allowed me to meet and personally thank many of International Presenters, whom I have watched on DVDs for years. I loved meeting Mid Thomas, Mark Sinclair, Will Pritchard, Gandalf Archer, Tauvaga Siolo, Lana Aitken, Carla Fitzsimons, Nat van Peer, Taimane Elise, as well as Phillip and Jackie Mills. I loved seeing Dan Cohen, Rachael Newsham, Susan Renata, Josef Matthews, Jericho McDuffie, Glen Ostergaard, Les Mills Jr, Sarah Robinson, Curtis Pipes and Corey Baird again. To be surrounded by such positivity and sense of the Les Mills cause, would make anyone who has experienced a Les Mills class want to come to the mecca, immediately.

Over the next week, I took several classes and also sat in the corner of Studio 1 to take notes and study how the instructors were delivering their classes. What they said was just as important as what they did not say. These instructors showed me that the journey is never ending, and I have more room to grow. I am excited about all the places I can go, and I hope to bring pieces of what I observed and experienced to the members in my classes and share with my fellow instructors.

Now onto BodyCombat 56…. Put in its simplest form, as my friend Ralf Galle expressed: “BodyCombat 54 was BOOM! BodyCombat 55 was BOOM! BOOM! And BodyCombat 56 is BOOM! BOOM! BANG!” And this is the review in a nutshell. As much as you hear everyone say, every time a new release comes out – this is the best one yet! I sincerely feel that this is true, in the case of BodyCombat 56, which is fun, fast and furious!

When I first walked into Studio 1 (not on a filming day), I honestly felt a little underwhelmed…. not disappointed, just not as impressive as I had envisioned, for so many years. But when filming day arrived, all the floor-to-ceiling black curtains were drawn shut and all the cameras were set up. There were 2 stationary cameras on large raised platforms – one in the back and one on the left side of the room. There was another camera on a large moveable arm – a jib, which was able to span the room, from above – and there was one hand-held camera, on the shoulder of a brave man who wove in and out of all the moving class participants. With all the lighting and backdrops in place, the room came alive! There was an electric energy that buzzed around the room and the studio instantly got transformed into the vision all of us instructors see every quarter in our DVDs. I felt like I was on a movie set and the stars of the show were about to come on stage and bring BodyCombat to life – again! I loved seeing mission control set up, directly in front of the soundboard, with a monitor representing each camera and the production crew diligently getting every angle the director needed. There were a few tense moments before filming could start, with the rush of participants charging for the front row center spot. But the crew reeled everyone in – calm, collected and under control – and the production was off and running in no time! Here is your track breakdown:

Track 1 is straight in and full on. Just like BodyCombat 54, the upper and lower body warm up flows from one into another, with no musical break. I really like this change. The music instantly grabs you – you definitely will think you are having the best BodyCombat dream, and you won’t want to wake up! The warm up gives you a sneak peak of what’s to come – particularly in tracks 4 and 7. During filming, there was a friendly competition of counting in the native languages in the room – Japanese, Portuguese and Germans all tried to be the loudest! You’ll see when you get your DVDs why you might want to count in this track.

Track 2 delivers a rock song, which you may recall from a recent BodyPump release – I won’t say which muscle group it was for… that would give too much away. This one is American kickboxing style and provides a great feel, between upper and lower body combos, which sets up the workout. The choreography kicks into high gear from the get-go, so this one feels a bit like a track 4.

Track 3 could be a tie for best one yet (tied with both tracks 6 and 8 from this release)! It just feels good and I didn’t want it to stop. This track is uplifting, as most track 3’s are, but it’s a level up from what you thought was uplifting. If you remember BodyCombat 28, you will recall this song remix of a former track 5. There are simple boxing patterns, high energy and building levels…. Just let it go!

Track 4 brings back a move that you may remember (dust off your archives and see if you can figure it out) from BodyCombat 29, track 4… but they give it a new twist – which at first is a bit challenging, but once you get the timing on it – BOOM – you will be delivering it with conviction! Don’t forget to take the high option, when offered, and bring it!

Track 5 definitely keeps you on your toes. The fancy footwork will keep your imaginary opponent guessing which direction you might be coming from next. The agility work will prepare you for the second half of the release.

Track 6 delivers the new move that I am not allowed to tell you about! It is different, definitely challenging and quickly tests the brain and body to work together. Fellow instructors, I think it will take us some time to master not only being able to physically deliver this new move, but also to teach and coach it really well. This move will fire up your fast twitch muscle fibers in such a way that you will feel it for days! There is speed. There is slow motion. There is a firing action. There is significant need for you to brace your core. But have no fear, as always, there are several options provided, so even the novice will have the opportunity to feel accomplished and want to keep coming back for more! Your esquiva is back, but know that it is your active recovery here… so good luck! I think this is the most challenging track in the release and tests your balance and pace. Deliver with precision and accuracy. This one is a butt-kicker!

Track 7 has 6 rounds and 6 counts and that might be sharing too much! As you might expect, elbows and knees are the name of the game, in Muay Thai. There is a short and sweet delivery of a downward street brawl punch that I like even more than the repeaters we have done in the past. This one gets in, gets out, and gets the job done – before your imaginary opponents even know what hit them!

Track 8 could very well be a highlight of this release – the stand out – as my friend Tony Ball put it. Think endurance and a huge finish! When Dan and Rach ask for your BLAH (Be Loud And Heard) feedback – let’s just say they heard it and they’ve done something about it! Forget about standing still and hitting your jabs for 164 counts. You aren’t going to need it. This track 8 will feel a bit different than your standard track 8, but the structure is similar enough that you know this is the final peak of the release. If any track makes you feel alive – I believe – this is the one!

I can tell you there is a new animal drill in Track 9 that, when done properly, will definitely help shape and change your abdominals. There is some posterior work – think “square your hips.”

Track 10 concludes the release and makes you feel like this one could end up in the hall of fame, one of the best releases that will ever hit your personal library. This one provides a great stretch and a beautiful kata to a huge song.

This release is simple to follow, but physically challenging to complete. BodyCombat 56 continues to deliver and push the BodyCombat program to new levels and keeps it evolving. There are definitely moments for your sing-a-longs, as well as moments where you are wondering how you are physically going to make it to the end of the track!

There are so many thank you’s, to all of those who helped make this experience the vacation of a lifetime for me. It was worth every penny I saved to go. Thank you to Ralf Galle and Peter Henrici for being my German bodyguards and taking exceptional care of me! Thank you Tony Ball for being the liaison for all the international visitors, helping us navigate through all the opportunities available to us, while we were there. You were the host with the most – your efforts are greatly appreciated! Thank you DJ Olivier for onsite coordination, logistics and social media efforts. Thank you to the production crew of all the filmings (Go Maggie Go!), they were top notch! They were organized, systematic, friendly (stern, when needed) and operated like a well-oiled machine. Thank you to all of the instructors, from all over the world, who illustrated our ONE TRIBE feeling… from Andy and Maria in Germany, to Naomi and Hiromi from Japan (I wish I could take you both home with me!), to Liz and Hannah and the whole Bristol, UK Tribe, to Nadege and Thierry from France, and Daniel and Danni in Australia – I thank you for contributing to my Les Mills journey. Thank you to the local kiwi’s who welcomed me with open arms – Babs and Joanna – how amazing to hug you both in Studio 1! Thank you Carrie Kepple for greeting me in Christchurch, even giving me a ride back to my hotel after a great afternoon of classes! I look forward to returning to the place that brings me such genuine happiness and I hope to see all of you again.

For me, it was wonderful to have Josef Matthews there (he will be in BodyPump 86, that’s no secret) in Auckland. Josef was my initial trainer on BodyCombat Release 35. He was also my AIM 1 facilitator (Advanced Instructor Module training, for all you non-Les Mills readers), the first time. Yes, I went through AIM 1 twice…. I thought it was so much fun, like a BodyCombat playground, that I wanted to do it again, and got a lot of out taking the module with Angel Santiago, a second time. Josef was also one of my AIM 2 facilitators, along with Kim Ames. Josef has been with me every stop of my BodyCombat journey so far and to have him in the room, during the filming of BodyCombat 56, was more than I could have asked for. Josef, I thank you for all you have contributed to my Les Mills experiences.

Wherever you are in your Les Mills journey…. new participant to Veteran instructor… if Les Mills has had a positive impact on your life, I recommend you to make this pilgrimage from wherever you are in the world. The significant expense is well worth the investment… in yourself, to help you learn as an instructor, and in your growth as a human being. This was an experience of a lifetime and I am so grateful for every minute of it! Glen Stollery, I hope I have given your loyal following a suitable substitute for all that you have built. I thank you for the opportunity and would do it for you again, in a heartbeat – if asked! Les Mills couldn’t have come up with a more fitting slogan… I felt this every step of the way: ONE TRIBE. BE BRAVE. CHANGE THE WORLD.

Hi guys!

Well the filming for BODYCOMBAT 56 just took place and for the first time in over 4 years I wasn’t there! As you know I commissioned a special guest blogger to give us all the goss but I know she’s busy for a few more days so in the meantime this video will have to do!

Hopefully write up won’t be too far away I’m dying to know more just as I’m sure you are! Enjoy the teaser 😉

First things first – happy new year guys! Apologies for the late(ish) start to my blogging in 2013, you’ll understand why in a couple moments!

So if you are friends with me on facebook you may’ve seen the news that something rather significant happened in my life this week; my wife got offered an amazing job in Dubai and in a matter of about a 2 or 3 week period we bit the bullet and decided to make the move to the UAE. Yes seriously! In fact I am writing this blog post sitting in our apartment overlooking Dubai Marina. It was a very sudden decision that if I’m honest shocked a lot of our friends and family but after much soul searching we thought ‘ya know what? Let’s just do it!’ – and 2 weeks later we’re here!

As such… it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that if I arrived into Dubai yesterday I’m obviously not at the Les Mills filmings today in Auckland! Well, I love blogging, I love learning about the new releases just as much as you and I love the interaction, thoughts and comments we have right here on this site; so in an ideal world I’d love to continue this blog ‘business as usual’.

That’s where you come in… if you’re an international coming in for a filming in the future whether it be BODYCOMBAT, BODYPUMP or any other program and you’d like to “guest blog” for me (with full credit and kudos to you of course!) then contact me here or give me a shout on facebook. Don’t worry about not knowing the ‘rules’ about blogging on LM – I’ll help you there. Together we can keep The Tribe informed on the latest happs and continue to give the thousands of Les Mills junkies just like you and me their quarterly fix on the latest news. So that’s the plan!

This quarter the amazing Deb Shafran from the USA has offered to give us the latest goss on BODYCOMBAT 56 (hmm maybe offered isn’t the right word as I kinda twisted her arm haha) – which is awesome news for all of us! And hey if you’re reading this and you’re attending BC56 or BP86 etc and would like to contribute the more the merrier! I’m happy to add more than one perspective on the releases… that actually could be really interesting!

And hey, the plus side is you won’t just be getting one crazy blonde Kiwi’s opinion on everything anymore 😉 So onwards and upwards with this blog it would seem!

Off to Dubai

Yours truly about to board plane to Dubai

In the meantime I’ll continue to update this as much as I can with the latest filming information, tracklists, sizzlers and Les Mills goss and info. I’m lucky enough to have the latest DVD kits for BODYCOMBAT 55 and BODYPUMP 85 in my wee hands now so will be able to start telling you more about those soon. And, I might even include a few posts from locally here in Dubai where the fitness industry is just BOOMING and there are massive MEGACLUBS opening seemingly every month or two.

All very exciting stuff! And hey, one final note, if you are reading this from Dubai and would like a new addition to your group fitness team or have a team teach give me a shout out! I’d LOVE to hear from you. Hit me up here or on facebook.

Cheers everyone and look out for info on BODYCOMBAT 56 coming soon!

For those of you heading over for the filmings next month here are the times from LMI (special thanks to Ray for the head’s up!). As luck would have it the guess on my last post was correct (man I’m good haha)… Means I’ve probably been doing this way too long! 😉

As usual there’s a small chance these times could be changed by LMI – I’ll try to let you know if that happens. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • 7:00am BODYVIVE 27
  • 8:30am BODYBALANCE 61
  • 11:00am BODYPUMP 86
  • 12:30pm BODYATTACK 81
  • 2:00pm SH’BAM 12

Saturday, January 26, 2013

  • 7:45pm CXWORX 11

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

  • 7:00am BODYSTEP 92
  • 8:30am BODYCOMBAT 56
  • 10:30am BODYJAM 65
  • 2:00pm RPM 59

Really short post as quite a few of you are asking about the dates for the next batch of filmings. I haven’t posted them yet as LMI haven’t confirmed which programmes are on what dates (other than CXWORX) but just so you know the dates are as follows:

  • Day 1: January 23, 2013
  • Day 2: January 26, 2013 (CXWORX 11)
  • Day 3: January 29. 2013

So if you’re booking flights those are what you should be aiming for. *IF* (and that’s a BIG “if”) they follow the same format as the last few filmings then day 1 will be BODYBALANCE 61, BODYVIVE 27, BODYATTACK 81, BODYPUMP 86 and SH’BAM 12 and day 3 will be RPM 59, BODYSTEP 92, BODYCOMBAT 56 and BODYJAM 65 – however that’s just my guess don’t hold me to that! If you are flying in to be safe I’d be here that entire period (and maybe the week before to catch the rehearsals if you can!)

As always these dates are subject to change by LMI – keep an eye out I’ll make another post as soon as I know what programs are on what days. See ya there!

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