NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic


So spent this Saturday just gone at the Les Mills Quarterly Workshop in Auckland… was an awesome day all up. For those that don’t know, this is where all the Les Mills group fitness instructors go to view the latest programme releases first hand, as well as some generic training sessions that usually entail subjects that cover all the different disciplines.  Apart from the fact that it’s a requirement instructors attend 3 out of 4 of these per year, it is a really great way to meet and network with other likeminded people – and get a feel for the focus of each release right from the horse’s mouth. This quarterly was even more important if you were a combat instructor as the first part of the day was the “BODYCOMBAT Intensive” with one of the actual programme directors (Dan Cohen). So that’s where my day began and I have but one single word to describe the experience: PAIN!

It started well, Dan sat us all down and we spoke about BODYCOMBAT, it’s essence, the fact that incorporated many different martial arts and we should really work on the authenticity aspect. That is; try to get some real experience working with each of the individual martial arts that make up BC. One of those ways is to do “circuit style” training, whereby you move from station to station doing a specific drill that is a component of one of those styles. All makes sense right – and seems easy enough? WRONG.

Dan proceeded to take us through a circuit and although we only did it for 30 minutes it’s two full days later that I am writing this and my body still aches… all over! The drills were as follows:

  • Bag work: 3 minutes of a specific combination on a kick bag; The combo was: L jab, R cross, L hook, R round house (off the back leg), L jab, R cross, L switch roundhouse (like a switch knee but where you scissor then kick off the back leg).
  • This killer exercise where you go into a plank position but your toes are on a mat, then you have to drag the mat across the full length of the gym and back using only your hands for 3 minutes. It’s like a plank on steroids and a TOTAL killer. This is the main reason I’m in so much pain today. It is MUCH harder than it sounds – many people could hardly move the mat at all! I swear by the end of the third minute doing this I was ready to die.
  • Traditional karate punches:Whereby you step forward with one leg and punch with the alternate arm in a formal karate style stance. This was the easiest drill but after the mat work above most of the 3 minutes was spent recovering!
  • “Punching” a 15kg weight up 45 degrees for 90 seconds each arm. This really stattered the shoulders!
  • Shuttle runs leaping over a wooden vault horse – 3 minutes
  • Capoeira aú: An aú in capoeira is kind of cartwheel movement but at all times you keep your eyes on your opponent. Was fun to learn – thankfully we were told this won’t be incorporated into BC… can you imagine a packed group fitness room cartwheeling from one side to the other. Chaos!
  • Rope climb. This way as killer as well, climbing a rope to the top of the gym (probably 5 or 6 metres) then climbing back down non stop for 3 minutes. This wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t done it towards the end of the session. By now our bodies were destroyed!
  • Finally lying in sit up position and having a partner drop a 5kg medicine ball on our abs for 90 seconds. This was hard, but bearable as long as you kept your abs tensed. Of course by this stage we were panting our lungs out so keeping your abs tensed whilst rapidly breathing in and out was the struggle. It didn’t help when Hernan came and gave my partner a hand – he was vicious! 🙂

The plank mat dragging, the robe climbing were the real killers. My hands and stomach were both burning afterwards! One thing I did take away from this session (apart from the pain!) was what I think is a fair idea of what we can expect in future releases (possibly from BC40 or 41). I’ll go into these in another post. We ran from this session straight to the BODYCOMBAT 38 release so I’ll write about that next!

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