NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Posts Tagged ‘GYM STUFF

I just this week realised that this month marks the 2nd birthday of this blog – it was officially started in August 2008 when I first started instructing BODYCOMBAT. My how times flies! Quite a bit has changed in the last two years. Back then I actually didn’t have any classes of my own – in fact I wasn’t even certified I was only shadowing other instructors… nowadays I’m teaching classes every day of the week in three different programmes and absolutely loving every moment of it!

This blog has taken on a bit of a life of its own as well – when I started it, it literally had 1-2 dozen visits per day and was really more of a personal record of my passion for Les Mills. These days it averages 3000-5000 visits per day, in fact we’re about to reach 1.5 MILLION unique visitors! Thanks so much for your support – I’ll continue to keep it as updated as I can.

In celebration of the two year milestone I’ll pull one of my more popular posts out of the archives. I get asked about this topic all the time, both by members, readers and on facebook; “how many calories do we burn in a BODYCOMBAT class?” I originally wrote about this topic in 2008 and I still occasionally wear a heart rate monitor to class and yes the below still holds true now. If you’ve not read it before take a look as you’ll probably find it quite interesting. In the meantime thanks again for reading – you guys rock! 🙂

Calories burnt in a BODYCOMBAT class

I get a lot of questions regarding the number of calories one can burn during a BodyCombat class (or BodyPump class for that matter). Whilst this is almost impossible to determine with 100% accuracy some of the more advanced heart rate monitors (HRM) have the ability to estimate your caloric expenditure using calculations based on your weight, gender, resting heart rate and of course your heart rate whilst exercising. I wore my heart rate monitor (a Polar F11) to every class I did for three straight months, so I’ve now got a pretty good idea of the approx amount of calories I personally burn in a class.

With a few exceptions I almost always track between 800-900 calories per Body Combat class – now that may seem high but there’s a couple of factors to bear in mind. First I’m not a small guy, I’m a dash under 6’1″, and weigh about 82 kg (about 182 lbs), and I’m one of those freaks that puts 110% effort into every movement, and then some. I’ve also found you burn a lot more calories whilst instructing, not sure if it’s the extra adrenalin boost, nerves boosting your heart rate or the fact that you know you’re on display so always strive for perfect technique and maximum effort – but it’s definitely noticeable. In fact I’ve gotten as high as 1050 calories in a one hour class before!

In class this morning a member mentioned she only burns about 600 per class (she also wears an HRM), and that got me thinking. I weigh about 80 kg and burn say, 800 in an average class. She’s about 60 kg and burns 600 on average (and she does train very hard). Could there be a simple direct relationship here? It does make sense that if you’re 25% larger you’ll exert 25% more energy moving that mass. Maybe for those without a HRM a basic calculation of 100 calories per 10kg of bodyweight could work? Food for thought anyway…

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Do you remember your first ever BODYPUMP class? Do you recall the pain you were in afterwards?

I do! And it hurt! I was reminded of this recently when I had a ‘bodybuilder’ jump in and do one of my pump classes. He was a big guy and obviously trained hard and trained well. I asked him before the class if he’d ever done pump before and he said no, but that he’d been weight training for years. First thing I did was warn him that because we use completely different rep ranges to those that he’d be used to in the gym to stay light for his first couple of classes (after all a set in the gym might be 6-12 reps – a set in BODYPUMP is up to 150 reps!). I looked him in the eye and said “trust me on this – try to stay light!”. Do you think he listened? Of course he didn’t! Especially since there were experienced female pumpers in the class squatting the likes of 30kg right in front of him, his ego wasn’t going to have them lift more – he matched my weight on every set in every track. A full week later he came back – and told me he literally couldn’t walk for 3 full days after that class. It’s okay I reassured him… it does get easier!!! He’s now pumping regularly as part of his training routine and loving it.

I wrote about this exact subject in one of my first ever posts on this blog called Doesn’t matter how fit you are… doing something new hurts! And it’s true -it doesn’t matter what your current level of exercise – when you try something new, whether it be an entirely new form of exercise or just upping your regular frequency you will feel it. But the power of your body to adapt, and adapt quickly is amazing.

When I first started instructing I’d team teach around three BODYCOMBATs per week, and that felt to me like a lot of exercise (at the time). More recently I’d teach four BODYCOMBATs, two BODYPUMPs and a BODYATTACK – and that felt like a lot of exercise. Nowadays, I’m on 5 combats, 4 pumps and an attack per week – and that feels like a lot of exercise! The increase in pumps from 2 to 4 per week especially has hurt – I wake up every morning with sore legs thinking wow I gotta take pump again today and I’m still sore from pump yesterday… But, then I read about other instructors happily teaching 4 or 5 pumps a day and realise what I’m doing is at the low end. Suck it up Glen – your body will adapt and soon 11 classes per week will feel like nothing!

Rest assured your body will adapt, it does adapt and you’ll be fine. Case in point, there was a guy on the news yesterday here in NZ who ran two marathons each and every day for a month. Two marathons a day!! So, participants, instructors alike, just know that yes, while the amount of training you’re doing right now might feel like a lot – your body has an amazing ability to adapt to more. Just like that first pump class hurt, and you wondered how you’d ever do another, your body rebuilt itself, repaired itself, and was ready for more… it always will; and that is a wonderful thing to know 🙂

Love to hear your thoughts… especially about the pain of your first ever class!

Just a quick post with some pics of the first BODYCOMBAT 43 release locally here. The gym themed the release week “Winter Olympics” which made our job interesting as what on earth were we meant to wear? (a ski suit maybe?? yikes!)

Instead we opted for a bit of a Pirate theme (to coincide with track 6) – so if you’re wondering why we’ve got pirate hats and swords with an Olympic logo above our heads… now you know! I immediately raced off after this class to do another release at a gym across town (first one was at 5:30pm – the second 6:30pm – bets on whether I was speeding on that trip!) But I now know BC43 very well so will post my review in the coming days.

In the meantime pics follow – and the BC Advanced Instructor Module is this weekend too so got a bit to write about!

Hey team, just a brief post as I’m a bit pressed for time this week! Really excited as this the first day of two weeks of releases for me at various gyms around town. Starts tonight with two BODYCOMBAT 43 releases back to back at two gyms about 10 minutes apart (yes, not quite sure how I’m going to work that logistically! Drive really fast I guess!) Thankfully I’m taking the second half at gym #2 so may miss the warm up…

Tomorrow it’s the BODYPUMP 73 release, then BODYATTACK 68 on Thursday! I’ll be honest and admit I haven’t even started learning BA68 yet! Figured I’ll take a day off work and just study hard for 24 straight hours 🙂 Probably not the best planning on my part as generally I can learn a combat track in 20-30 minutes usually (pump even quicker) – but it’ll take me a solid hour or two to get a BA track down. I guess that’s because I’m a BA newbie – I’m assuming it gets easier!!

Then straight after my Saturday morning classes I’m whipping up to Auckland for the BODYCOMBAT Advanced Instructor Module (AIM) on Sunday. I have no idea what to expect except I’ve be told to block out 13 hours for it? (13 hours seriously? That means if we start at 8am we’ll finish at 9pm?!! Surely that can’t be right?!) Has anyone done the combat AIM before and if so any tips??

So I’ll definitely have a lot to write about next week! I’ll be sure to post pics from the releases here and on facebook (the first release tonight is themed Winter Olympics… combat in a ski suit anyone?!) and I’ll give a full debrief on the AIM too… that is assuming I can still lift my arms to type after 13 hours!! 😉

Been a bit of a jet-setter these last few weeks; this weekend just gone popped across to Sydney for UFC 110 (UFC is Ultimate Fighting for those that don’t know!) Now before you ask no I wasn’t fighting (those guys would remove my head 10 times over before I even got a single punch in!) but I was about as close as one could get – we had ringside tickets for the event. Literally sitting first row right behind the ringcard girls, was fantastic! (if you do wanna see pics from the event just take a look on facebook – add me if you haven’t already :))

However this post isn’t about the UFC (I could write an entire post on the event but that’s not really what this blog’s all about!) – I wanted to write a brief post on a BODYCOMBAT class I attended in Sydney, and had the pleasure of team teaching.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that as an instructor, possibly having me in one of your classes could be a little intimidating. No I’m not rating myself, I don’t consider myself to be anything overly special instructor wise; more so in the fact that yes I do write a blog and yes when I have attended a class that I feel for whatever reason is sub-par I do tend to write about it (I never name names – more write about any lessons I learnt personally from aspects I feel an instructor could improve on). Anyway, this was definitely NOT one of those classes…

If you ever get the chance to head over to one of Wendi & Ray’s 9:45am Saturday morning BODYCOMBAT classes at Fitness First St Leonards in Sydney – do it. I’ve trained at Fitness Firsts all over Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Surfers and Sydney) and yes, as a general rule they do have a very high standard of instructors – but Wendi & Ray’s class was in a category all its own. Electric is quite simply the only word for it! The class was jam packed with smiling faces, they were very vocal and by the end of the class every single person (us included!) had given nothing short of 100% and was a drenched sweaty mess (totally in a good way!) As a ‘foreign’ instructor you sometimes wonder how you’ll be received, but the class welcomed me with open arms, yelled, kiai’d all though every track and just went off! Pure “fitness magic”

A picture tells 1000 words so I’ll post a few below – and again if you wanna see more take a look on facebook. Wendi & Ray thanks so much for having me, was a pleasure and please tell your class how much I enjoyed it – you all rock!

Ray (left) and yours truly having a ball

Ray (left) and yours truly having a ball

Ray, myself and Wendi

Ray, myself and Wendi

Apologies for the lighting - needed a fast shutter speed to catch the kick!

Apologies for the lighting - needed a fast shutter speed to catch the kick!

The crew at Fitness First St Leonards - get along to this class if you can!

The crew at Fitness First St Leonards - get along to this class if you can!

I have my BODYCOMBAT and BODYPUMP playlists set up on my iPod in such a way that I can very quickly make a playlist up for a class. I’ve got all the warmups for Combat in one playlist “Combat 1” – all the track 2s as “Combat 2” etc so that before a class I can just go into the Combat 1 folder and hold down the warmup I want, then go into combat 2 for the track 2 on so on. It means I don’t have to remember which release a specific track is from as when I go to choose a muay thai track I just go to “Combat 7” and every muay thai from BODYCOMBAT 14-43 is there. I have the same for pump – makes choosing tracks very very quick!

While making my playlist for this evenings class I took note of the “Play Count” – it would seem I have some tracks I absolutely thrash – some I play fairly often, and others that I’ve not used once since the initial release period was up! Take a look at the “Combat 8” screen shot below. You can definitely tell my favourites! (Bear in mind when you look at that list that I moduled on BC37 and have taught at four different gyms – I never do the same playlist twice – also this list isn’t quite complete as one of the gyms has an inbuilt system so I don’t use an iPod at all)

The "Combat 8" playlist on my iPod touch

The "Combat 8" playlist on my iPod touch

Track 1 winner of most played was Amazed/Tick tick Boom. Track 2 United Vibe was on top. Track 3 Come With Me (BC39 version). Track 4 Zombie. Track 5 I’m ashamed to say was Hairspray (hey I get a lot of requests for it!). Track 6 was fairly even but Burn It To The Ground was just ahead. My muay thai list was even more telling. Hardcore Angel was streaks ahead, Ravers Paradise and So What! dominated that list, closely followed by Party Non Stop, We Rock, Excalibur 2000 and Let The Beat Control Your Body. And track 8 you can see above.

If you’re an instructor what would your iPod say about your most used tracks???

Hey guys!

Welcome to twenty ten! I know being mid January I’m a bit late off the mark but in reality this week officially marks the “proper” start of 2010 for me… my new group fitness timetable kicks off this week which marks my first week of my own BODYATTACK classes on the schedule, along with the usual mix of daily BODYPUMP and (of course!) BODYCOMBAT classes… I now teach at least one class every single day of the week so I best not get sick or injured! (knock wood haha) There’s a lot going on this year which I’ll be sure to keep you fully informed of. First of all next week is the filmings of BODYPUMP  74 and BODYCOMBAT 44 which I can’t wait for! I’ll be sure to tell you as much as I can about without getting into too much trouble! 😉

2009 was a fairly busy year for me instructor module wise – I completed the modules for BODYPUMP in the first half of the year and BODYATTACK in the second. While I have no plans to add to my programme repertoire this year Les Mills New Zealand is kicking off Advanced Instructor Modules and I’ll definitely head along to the BODYCOMAT and BODYPUMP AIMs to sharpen my skills. I’ll also be attending the LM Group Fitness Managers module next month too… so a lot happening! Keep checking back and I’ll try to keep this as up to date as I can.

Finally, with the filming of BODYCOMBAT 44 only next week I thought I’d leave you with a wee track to listen to below. I’m not going to say any more about it (just yet!) but have a listen and let me know your thoughts! (maybe have a read of the BODYCOMBAT 43 sizzler and use your imagination…) Once again thanks again for your support through 2009 – and a big cheers to a massive twenty ten for us all! 😀 Glen


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