NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Posts Tagged ‘BODYCOMBAT REVIEW

Had workshop on the weekend – the official release of BODYCOMBAT 39 – the quarterly was HUUUGE! Absolutely loved it. I’ve done BODYCOMBAT 39 a fair few times now and feel I’m in a position to give it a decent review – so here goes.

As discussed in my first post after the filming, the theme for this release is Ultimate Fighting (UFC). At the filming I noted that the complexity of the release was way down (little note here: this depends on how you define “complexity” – Andreas makes some good points in the comments below). What I mean by that is that almost all of the “advanced” moves were gone; no gingas, no esquivas, no evasive sidekicks, no jump knees. To be honest, I wasn’t too excited about it. Especially after attending the BC40 filming – I enjoyed that release a lot more. BUT (yes there is a but!) – in the DVD Dan & Rach explain they purposely did this based on the releases theme. That is, they dropped the complexity down, dropped the lateral movement down and concentrated on repetition and double combos because that fits with the UFC. Am I buying that? Well, nah. But (again with the but) having done the release many more times now I do have to say I like it much more than my initial impression. Here’s a track by track play for ya:

Warmup: The One & Only (Topmodelz Radio Cut) – Mario Lopez/ Calling All Lovers – Rogue Traders

Okay – mega mega cheesey warmup. The One & Only has gotta be one of the least “combaty” tracks ever released! (yes I did just make that word up…) However, much as I hate to say it but I like it! It’s a nice happy, cheery start to the workout and that’s what you want before jumping into the heavier stuff. To be fair, my favourite warmup ever is Amazed from BC35 so maybe I’m a big cheese fan 🙂 Not too much more you can say about this track. Couple of interesting points – there’s cross-jacks in the first half where we’d normally have the ol’ scissor, and the reps on the left and right differ during the upper body warm up which makes life interesting – but yeah, much as I hate to admit it I do like it! As for the lower body warm up – well, hmmm, yes, not a big Rogue Traders fan actually. Last seen in both BC36 and BC37 we did get a single release away from them before they’re back. Happy to report no sign of them in BC40 🙂

Combat 1: Cum On Feel The Noise – Group X

Okay, truth time. I HATED this track at the filming. Not a fan of the song (at all) and I recall being suitably unimpressed. However, I really like it now! Great combos (there’s two of them as per usual) and it’s quickly become one of my favourite track 2’s of recent times. First combo is simple, builds to back knee, front kick, cross, jab, cross – the second combo is better, double front hook , body rip, jab, body rip, round house. We have a lower block front kick to the side in betwen the right hand and left hand halves.  Bit of a performance opportunity in the second half “c’mon – ROCK IT!” and a great track to have a bit of competitiveness between the males vs the females in the class.

Power training 1: Come With Me (Unique Mix) – Styles & Breeze

Not to be confused with the Power training 1 track of the same name from BC28 (completely different song!) this track builds into what has got to be one of the longest combos in combat history. Two sets double uppers, 8 jab cross, two sets double jabs and eight scissors. Certainly it takes the participants a couple of sets to get it right – but once they do it’s awesome! Builds into a fantastic peak which has participants wooping and working their guts out. Great song, great progression, great track!

Combat 2: Jump That Rock (Whatever You Want) – Scooter vs. Status Quo

I LOVE this track. The music is awesome and it has a fantastic powerful backfist – side kick combo that you can really sink your teeth into. I mean you can really just launch into the move with a massive “aarrgg!!!”. Tonnes of knees also as well as the obligatory track four jump kick. Awesome awesome track – with the exception of the muay thai for me this is the highlight of the workout.

Power training 2: Johnny B. Goode – The Undertow

Still haven’t been able to find this track on youtube but it is very true to the original. Again, truth time – much like “Cum on feel the noise” I did not like this track based on the music alone. But it is a really fun track and has a “new” move – the jump squat. It’s essentially exactly as it sounds, you jump out on a 45 degree angle into a squat position (on the 3rd set each side there’s an optional jump instead). Now I did this track twice on Saturday, once on Sunday and also yesterday (it’s Tuesday today) and boy do my quads hurt this morning – it works! The chorry for the track is very fast, loads of double jab-cross sets, speed balls and running on the spot. Again, surprisingly this track has grown on me!

Combat 2: So What – Pink

Nice to have a break from the esquiva in this release before we have it again in BODYCOMBAT 40 (if you didn’t know that you read about it here). My first impressions of this track stand. After the filming I wrote: “Track 6 (So What by Pink) had simple but effective chorry – double uppers, hook-hook, back kick, double knee, front kick. I found myself getting into a really good rhythm coming from the back kick into the knees and really enjoyed this track.” – and that’s exactly how I feel now. Pink as a track 6 is nothing new to combat (U + UR Hand and Leave Me Alone (I’m Lonely)) so really no surprises – solid “active recovery” and nice nice break before all hell breaks lose in the Muay Thai!

Muay Thai: Hardcore Angel – Nick Skitz

Okay – this track is for me possibly the best Muay Thai ever! I absolutely love it. The music is perfect, and the new move – the ‘step over cross’ is awesome for building a tonne of power and then really launching into your “opponent”. Loads of treble elbows, loads of knees and loads of step over crosses. A huge amount of attitude from Nick Skitz – the words are  “HYPER HYPER!!” before launching into a massive combo. I can’t say enough about this track. The final phase (just when you think the track is over) has another massive burst of knees – that’s especially great since at the quarterly jump knees were added (my favourite!) – perfect!! If you haven’t done it yet you’re gonna love it!

Power training 3: Cry For You (Weaver Remix) – September

Okay, this track is a fricken marathon. It is officially the LONGEST TRACK 8 EVER at 6:45. It just goes on and on (and on and on…). Starts with four body rips, two hooks – building into a full combo with the addition of 8 jab-crosses. Three sets of those in total with a set of three jabs two hooks to the left and right in between (all on the same arm just to really hammer the shoulders). It’s a great track – possibly a little too long? Each time I’ve taught it the class have literally breathed a sigh of relief at the end – it really is marathon! Great finish to the workout though; not quite a “What Hurts the Most” but a solid track 8.

Conditioning: I Won’t Be Crying – Infernal

Good track – no situps nor crunches. Loads of hovers (or planks if you prefer) and also side planks for the obliques. Loads of press ups too. Makes a nice change actually (mind you there’s no situps or crunches in BC40 either so if you don’t mix you’re going 6 months without any!)

Cooldown: It’s All Coming Back To Me Now – Meat Loaf feat. Marion Raven

Not my favourite cooldown but a nice finish to the workout. Quite a lot of kata – and not and easy kata either – does require a bit of attention to master at first. Not too much you can say about a cooldown so will possibly come down to musical preferences as to whether you like it or not. Me – I have no problem with a bit of Meatloaf, and this track definitely serves its purpose of bringing the heartrate down and relaxing you at the end of your workout. Nice 🙂

Overall I’ll say this. BC39 is a good release. Yes a lot of the more, shall we say, “advanced” moves are gone (as I mentioned the esquiva is back in BC40 but apart from that there’s no e-kicks, jump knees or gingas in that release either so maybe that’s where combat is going). The real stand outs for me are tracks 4 and 7 – both are powerful tracks (heck any release with both Nick Skitz AND Scooter has gotta be good!). I do think the release will get old a little quicker than usual due to the repetitive nature of the tracks, however, still being in the first 2 weeks of doing it I’m still loving it. If I had to rate it side by side with BC38 I’d probably rate 38 as a better release, but to be fair (based on first impressions) I think BC40 is going to better than both! But I’m getting way ahead of myself (for a change!). My final thought would possibly be this; Give it a decent blast before you judge it. I definitely am A LOT happier about this release now I’ve done it half a dozen times as compared to my first impression. Anyway, that’s my $0.02 – as always love to hear your thoughts 🙂

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Okay, I’ve now done BC38 many times… both as a participant and instructing so I feel I can give it a decent review. Overall I think BODYCOMBAT 38 is a great release; let me clarify by saying it is not terribly complex in it’s movement, many of the tracks are pretty repetitive and the combos are pretty simple. BUT, what it lacks in complexity it DEFINITELY makes up for in intensity. Make no mistake about it it is a hard release! And I think many tracks will stand the test of time and be used over and over again once we start mixing. Anyway, read on and if you’ve done it I’d be really interested in your feedback.

Warmup: “Writing on the wall” – 2-4 Grooves / “Because the Night” – Cascada

Fantastic start to the workout. As I stated in my initial impressions it certainly helps your enjoyment of a particular track if you actually like the music, and I really like both the tracks that make up the warmup. If you don’t like dance music obviously you won’t feel the same. Both tracks are light and really uplifting! One thing that’s occurred to me in this release is that with the exception of track 2 every other cardio track has a dance/trance feel to it. There’s a distinct lack of rock in this release. Getting back to the track itself there’s a couple of little tricks in the chorry which took me a couple of sessions to sort out – the shuffling “left” (instructor right) before the knees at the end is kinda odd! All in all a great warmup – no kata, no real surprises, just covers the basics. *by the way – I meant to add that if you haven’t heard the actual version of “writing on the wall” used in this release then please ignore the youtube link to it; the version I’ve linked to isn’t the same. The actual version is better… yay! Addition: See Andreas’s comment below for a better link… thanks bud!

Combat 1: “Try It Again” – The Hives

Not my favourite track but a solid track 2. Consistently I find the first combat track one of the tracks I enjoy least. I wasn’t a big fan of Born to be wild (BC36) however I did enjoy Beat It from 37… definitely Try it Again has a more Born to be Wild feel to it, perhaps it’s the traditional karate movements that appear in both. Loads of traditional karate blocks and punches exactly like BTBW. The final section after the “They say madness is doing the same thing…” part is cool. I used to use “sliding side kicks” (as we called them) in my Tae Kwon Do days a lot – and shuffle side kicks are just as good! Solid track and will stand the test of time.

Power training 1: “Like I feel (squad-e mix)” – D:code Feat Emma

Very typical power training track – could easily be a track 8 which seems to be common in the last few releases – track 3 and 8 in terms of style are almost impossible to differentiate. Music is also exactly what you’d expect based on BC35-37 – fast dance music. This track has lots of speed balls, lots of ROTS (running on the spot), and a tonne of jump jabs; it is a nice, happy, uplifting song. One thing I will say, instructors, doesn’t Hernan do a fantastic job presenting it. He’s awesome

Combat 2: “Headbangerz Rock Da Club” – Nick Skitz / “Cold As Ice” – Starsplash

You know what – I still can’t decide if I like this track. I’m gonna do it a couple more times in a class environment and then make my mind up. At the moment I’d have to say I’m not enjoying the first half much at all. The second part (Cold As Ice) with all its round house knees into side kicks I’m loving. I will probably complete this tomorrow (I’m doing it again tonight and 6am tomorrow) and by then I’ll know for sure. Stay tuned! Okay, yep, I do like this track. It’s got about 240 knees and kicks in it, and the round house knees into side kicks (think The United Vibe) hurt!! I tell you, this combined with track 6 definitely mean your legs get a complete and utter hammering in this release.

Power training 2: “The Best Damn Thing” – Avril Lavigne

Okay this track has already caused quite a bit of controversy (like here and here just for starters), and I’ve mentioned I’m not a big Avril fan…in fact, I’m not any type of Avril fan! And, when I saw this was in BC38 I expected another split room “Girlfriend” (i.e. BC33) type track; or, lord help me another “Don’t You Wanna Feel” type track from BC36 (possibly my least favourite track 5 ever!) By that I mean, they’re all kinda girly poppy songs. Well, it’s not “girly” at all (okay, expect for the lyrics – they’re almost unbearable “I hate it when I can doesn’t understand that at a certain time of month I don’t want to hold his hand…” WTF! anyway, moving on…) We should dub this track the shoulder killer as mine consistently hurt like hell afterwards! The track blitzes your right side (or left for instructors) totally before restarting and doing it again… given my first impression of the music this track is MUCH better than I thought it would be!

Combat 3: “No Good” – The Prodigy

The esquiva track. Much like BC37 this track is all about leg conditioning. Esquivas. Lunges. Pain! Prepare to hurt. Seriously. And, I really hate to admit it – but I’m not a fan of this track. I know, I know… you probably like it right? I really wish I did like it – but unfortunately I’ve now waited and given it a pretty good blast (5 or 6 times) and truth be told I’m not a fan. Here’s the thing. I do combat for a cardio workout. I know the merits of conditioning – but I do BODYPUMP and weight training to tone and strengthen my body. I do combat to stay fit, remain lean (or even get leaner) and to stay nice and healthy. So to my mind throwing a leg conditioning track in the middle of the release is a little bit frustrating. I will say that this track does keep your heartrate up to a much higher degree than stamp in BC37 did (another esquiva track) because of the lunge, front kick, esquiva combo so that’s a good thing… let’s just say fingers crossed it grows on me. Let me also add that I’m definitely in the minority here – most people seem to love it – so enjoy!

Muay Thai: “Raver’s Paradise (Stadium Mix)” – Nick Skitz feat MC BB

Not a bad track as far as Muay Thais go, though personally not one to really get excited about. The chorry is very simple, and as can be expected has lots of knees, elbows and street brawler downward punches. No surprises here (like the incorporation of gingas a la BC36) and sadly for me no jump knees either. I LOVE the Muay Thais with jump knees. Though, that’s no to say you can’t add one per side as the last knee in the sequence. A reasonably solid track but definitely not Muay Thai classic as far as I’m concerned.

Power training 3: “What hurts the most (Al Storm remix)” – Cascada

ABSOLUTELY my favourite track in this release. Here’s the funny thing, I used to love this song. For a fair part of last year I’d constantly thrash it when training on my iPod; I think I had 4 or 5 different versions of it in total and I used to play them in succession whilst doing weights in the gym. But, as you can probably guess I got really sick of it really quick. Then it came out as the back track in BODYPUMP 66. And suddenly I loved it again. But, after 3 solid months of thrashing it (again!) I got sick to death of it. Now it’s out in BC38… and believe it or not I love it again! Granted it’s a different version but still the same song… it’s fantastic! The track is split into 3 parts – the first two a mix of non-stop jabs, followed by non-stop uppers and non-stop hooks. The third part is just jabs. I mean, it is the simplest chorry you can imagine but the way the music builds with it’s peaks and valleys – well it just rocks. This is the perfect climax to an intense release – love it!

Conditioning: “When I grow up” – Pussycat Dolls

Killer conditioning track. 32 tricep pushups followed by 32 wide pushups – with no break! I’m no fan of the song but to be honest the chorry is so hard that I barely notice it! This track also has crunches and a plank for the ol’ abs. Not too much else to say except ouch!

Cooldown: “Say (All I Need)” – OneRepublic

Not too much you can say about a cooldown. The song is a nice calming song and I think a perfect end to an otherwise intense workout. Your heartrate will drop and you’ll leave the workout feeling refreshed – exactly what you’d want! I’ll admit I’m not terribly a big fan of the ‘neck stretch’ movement, but this is a fittingly great end to a great release – nice job guys!

Saturday was the first time I’d even seen BODY COMBAT 38 (apart from the track listing). Did feel kinda strange as I’d already done BC39 (due to the fact I went to the filming) but nevermind! Anyway, in short – I loved it. LOVED IT! It is hard to get a decent feel for a release when you’ve only done it once, but honestly, after having done BC39 once as well I enjoyed 38 A LOT more. It rocked!

I’ll write a full review of the release once I’ve watched the DVD and received the notes (should be in about 48 hours) but for now here are the highlights in brief (presenters were Dan, Rach and Hernan);

I loved the warm up mainly because I really like both the tracks that make it up. If you don’t like dance music obviously you won’t feel the same. Both tracks are light and really uplifting! The upper body is “Writing on the wall” by 2-4 Grooves whilst the lower body warm up is “Because the Night” by Cascada. Really enjoyed this.

Combat 1 seemed to me to be a typical track 2 – it was “Try It Again” by The Hives. Both track 2 and the power training track (“Like I feel (squad-e mix)” by D:code Feat Emma) aren’t really standing out in my memory which leads me to believe they are exactly what you’d expect from combat 1 and power training 1.

Combat 2 (track 4) is a TOTAL KILLER. If you thought “We will survive” was hard in BC37 with it’s 260 odd kicks then you’re in for a rude awakening. Dan claimed there are 300+ in this track! (Addition: As it happens there’s no where near 300 kicks in this track – more like 240; So around the same as We Will Survive – maybe Dan was just trying to freak us out haha – however make no mistake it FEELS like there’s over 300 that’s for sure!) It’s in two parts. The first part is “Headbangerz Rock Da Club” by Nick Skitz and that is a kick combo not completely different to the kick combo in BC37. Lots of back kicks, knees and front kicks.  The second part (“Cold As Ice” by Starsplash) really finishes you off with loads of roundhouse knees into sidekicks (think The United Vibe from BC35). Absolutely leg shattering track and a real highlght for me. I’m not sure what the track length is but it is loooooooong! I think people will either love or hate it.

Track 5 (“The Best Damn Thing” by Avril Lavigne) was MUCH better than I thought it would be. MUCH! I’m not an Avril fan and I expected something similar to the last Avril track 5 – “Girlfriend” from BC33. Thankfully it’s not. It’s not a split room track either which is all good. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this.

Prepare to have your legs cained in track 6 (“No Good” by The Prodigy). The esquiva is back and it’s a killer. The one thing that really stood out for me in this track is the cool esquiva into front kick combo. This tracks hurts no two ways about it.

I know I enjoyed the muay thai but I honestly can’t remember that much about it! The song is “Raver’s Paradise (Stadium Mix)” by Nick Skitz feat MC BB. I can recall a lot of street brawler downward punches and lots of knees… I’ll write a lot more about this in full when I get the DVD.

Highlight for me without question: Track 8: “What hurts the most (Al Storm remix)” by Cascada. THIS TRACK WENT OFF! It goes on and on and on and the levels just keep building! You think you’ve hit level 4 and then bang – the music builds again and you reach even deeper and power on! Then just when you think it’s over – WHAM – another level hits you and you’re off again! I swear the endorphins your body produces in this track will keep you buzzing for hours afterwards. Absolutely awesome! The whole room was cheering as the track progressed. It was incredible and I can’t wait to release it.

Conditioning – was hard. The track was “When I grow up” by Pussycat Dolls. Personally I hate the song with a passion so wasn’t expecting to enjoy it. Dan challenged us to do it all on our toes. In fact he said he’d buy a beer to anyone that could – and it was probably a pretty safe bet for him… the track has 64 press ups with no breaks! 32 chest and 32 tricep. However, Dan you do owe me one as I did manage it (just!). The ab portion also has the plank which is a killer move as we all know.

Cooldown: “Say (All I Need)” by OneRepublic. Beautiful. Not too much kata which I prefer. Excellent end to a fantastic release.

As I said expect a much more complete review in a few days… but this release is DEFINITELY one to look forward to… yay! Pics follow – apologies for quality they were taken from my cellphone.

BODYCOMBAT 38

BODYCOMBAT 38 - Dan, Rach and Hernan

)

BC38 release - me 🙂

BODYCOMBAT 38 release

BODYCOMBAT 38 release

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BC38 release - me 🙂

BC38 release

BC38 release

2008 Q4 workshop; In this pic, Me, Erina, Hernan, Anise and James

2008 Q4 workshop; In this pic, Me, Erina, Hernan, Anise and James

Now that I’ve done this Body Combat 37 at least half a dozen times I feel I can give it a decent review as some of my opinions have changed a little since the first time I did it two weeks ago at the quarterly workshop.

1. Upper/Lower body warmups: Summer Of 69 (Mega-mania) / I Never Liked You (Rogue Traders)

I love this warmup track. Both tunes are catchy, both tunes participants can sing along to, and the lower body track (I Never Liked You) especially has some real “attitude” which means you can really drive your roundhouse kicks on the “HEY!” – it also has some great opportunities for some fun when team teaching with other instructors “SURPRISE! I never liked you even when I tried to!” and the track finishes with power.

2. Combat 1: Beat It (Fall Out Boy feat. John Mayer)

Another awesome track! Again instructors and participants alike can sing along – and the chorey really fits the music well. Much like the lower body warmup you can really generate some power off the roundhouse kick during the chorus “Just beat it, beat it, beat it, beat it No one wants to be defeated!” POW! – and the jab – cross – jab – upper – hook beforehand matches the music perfectly. Also the transition from knees to roundhouse knees is fantastic too. Although I’m not a massive fan of kata in combat I do really like the kata in this release as the moves are powerful. We see them in this track during the guitar solo. I think this track will continue to be utilised by instructors well into the future.

3. Power training 1: Baby I’ll Let You Know (Darryn Styles vs Hypasonic)

Great music and a pretty decent track for a Power Training track – I like the way the song builds into the chorus and how you can really work the levels in the track – and have participants really drive those uppers. Certainly gets the heart rate up!

4. Combat 2: We Will Survive (Warp Brothers)

276 kicks. 276 KICKS! This track rocks! I’ve received a little bit of feedback from a few people that they feel this release isn’t as hard as some of the previous ones. My answer to them is always “you get out what you put in” but in reality I’m thinking “are you crazy? Did we just do the same track 4?!” I consider myself pretty fit and each time I’ve done this track I’ve thanked God for “The Great Bouzouki” 1 minute 37 second “break” in the middle of the song before continuing on with the remaining 130 or so kicks. The track rocks, the chorey rocks, the workout rocks… love it.

5. Power training 2: How Far We’ve Come (Matchbox Twenty)

Love it. Really fun track and great upbeat music that everyone loves. Haven’t heard anything but praise for this one and looking around the room it’s a sea of smiles. In fact even the staunchest of members sing along to this one! Rounds of the first five really well and now, FINALLY, we can have a drink and a much needed breather before powering into the second half.

6. Combat 3: Stamp (Jeremy Healy & Amos)

Truth be told probably my least favourite track. I really love the music – but to my mind this doesn’t flow like the rest of the release. Don’t get me wrong – it hurts! I just think a whole lot more could be done with the music. Hopefully this one grows on me but in my opinion this will be the first track to be swapped out after the initial release (much like track 5 was in BC36)

7. Muay Thai: Let The Beat Control Your Body (2 Unlimited)

Not my favourite Muay Thai track but a great one all the same. For me personally in my youth I used to absolutely thrash 2 Unlimited – so much so now I’m sick to death of their music. In terms of the chorey it’s a wicked track for getting your heart rate up – only thing that’s missing are jump kness (but what the hell maybe I’ll add some anyway 🙂 ) I did a quick count and there’s 138 knees in this track – combined with the downward punches, jabs and elbows it’s a killer!

8. Power training 3: Sea Of Love [Hixxy Remix] (Frisco)

Awesome song, and great cardio workout. Because everything’s off the back arm first in this track you can really drive home the power on each move, and a fantastic opportunity to work the levels. At the quarterly in Auckland Mark Sinclair and the team did this really cool move during “have you ever really seen a rainbow – have you ever really touched the clear blue sky” which we’ve been emulating in class – always gets an awesome response!

9. Conditioning: Church (T-Pain feat. Teddy Verseti)

I’ve said this over and over again but it’s true – pretty much all the music in this release rocks! This is a great conditioning track that sufficiently works the chest, tris and abs… try and do the lot on your toes if you can – it hurts! Adding the punches into the crunches is a nice touch too (maintains a nice combat feel)

10. Cool down: Our Solemn Hour (Within Temptation)

The perfect end to this release, I’d say this is my favourite cooldown of all time. I’ve had members ask me what the track is called they love it so much. The kata is powerful (it was already visited in Beat it so really no need to coach this again) the moves fit the song perfectly.

Conclusion:

Overall I’d rate this as possibly my favourite overall release, all the music is fantastic, and if you concentrate on really working the levels it’s probably one of the hardest. It is missing any more advanced moves, such as jump kicks, jump knees or the e-kick, but I look at this this as a positive as beginners can really sink their teeth into this release. As mentioned more advanced participants can simply work the levels and still get a great workout. I haven’t yet had a chance to wear my heart rate monitor on this release but when I do I suspect calories burnt and max heart rate will be right up there. I’ll keep you posted!


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