The latest Les Mills Body Combat choreography launched at our gym on Saturday. (For those who don’t know, a Body Combat workout is a group fitness class consisting of an hour of cardio with choreographed martial/fighting arts moves done to high-octane music. We get a new choreography release every… six weeks, I think…?)
ETA: New releases happen every 12 weeks. Thank you, Izzy!
So Les Mills released Body Combat #65, and I thought it would be fun to give it an informal review, because why not? I routinely blather about movies, T.V. series, food, cosmetics, pulp fiction, etc., so targeting Body Combat for my blathering seems like the next natural thing to do. I go to this class three times per week, after all. It’s kind of a big part of my life.
I went to class on Saturday with the idea that I might blog about the release, so I activated the voice recorder on my phone and left it on the floor, off to the side. I wanted to be prepared, and I knew there was no way I was going to remember everything we did after just one class if I didn’t document it somehow.
Enough of the pre-blather blather… without further ado, here’s what I thought of Body Combat #65!
(Disclaimer: These are my first impressions, and that includes the music. I may feel differently about all of it after a few more classes in this release.)
Les Mills Body Combat #65
Overall impression: Some unexpected combinations and variations in pacing necessitate attention to your mental game. The methodical, slower sequences feel awkward against the fast-paced, high-energy music, and at other times, when given the option to speed up without limitation, you’re again working with the timing. All of this incongruity heightens the challenges expected when learning a new release, and the choreography encourages precision in striking, for those concerned with their technique. This release features some advanced attacks (i.e. flying knee strikes and consecutive jump kicks), power moves (i.e. jump squats and explosive push-ups in the middle of the workout), and High-Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T.) (i.e. sprint options). The workout is plyometrics- and conditioning-intense.
After Saturday’s class, I went online and found the music track-list (which also gives me a guide for the workout tracks):
Here are my “nutshell” first impressions of the actual tracks.
1a). Upper-body warm-up: (Decent song for an opener – “We Came to Bang”)
First impression: Kind of a mind-bender.
Warming up with your basic jabs, crosses, uppercuts and hooks
1b). Lower-body warm-up: (Also a pretty good song – “Levels”)
First impression: Robot-like moves? Different!
Throwing roundhouse kicks, side kicks, front kicks, and teeps (Muay Thai push kicks)
(Do my quads usually burn this much during the warm-up?)
2). Combat 1: (Decent music – “Ah Yeah So What”)
First impression: They should re-name this track “A million kicks.”
Combination of strikes and kicks, including consecutive jump kicks and lowered front kicks for a major quad burn
3). Power training 1: (DISLIKE the music – “Lifting Me Higher”)
First impression: They chose this song because it’s so terrible, we’re being forced to exercise our minds to overcome it.
Endless upper-body strikes; running (including high knees)
It’s only track three and I don’t think I can throw any more hooks…
4).Combat 2: (Good song – “Enemies”)
First impression: We need a mat for this? Push-ups, like in the last release!
Combination of kicks and knee strikes, then on the floor for push-ups (including explosive push-ups)
5). Power training 2: (Good song – “No Problem”)
First impression: Love this Drum & Bass track!
Running, striking combinations, more running, jump squats in ascending sets
Nooo don’t take away the pause in between jump squats! My legs are done. I’m out.
6). Combat 3: (Okay song, but not my favorite – “The Day is my Enemy”)
First impression: This is the capoeira track wanting to be capoeira, but not quite committing to it.
Typical combination of lunges and kicks; atypical pivoting, robot-like pseudo-capoeira move; knee strikes
7). Muay Thai: (Decent song – “Party Monster”)
First impression: Muay Thai!
Punching combinations, ascending and descending elbow strikes, knee strikes variations, 4 levels of running man
Flying knee strikes!
8). Power training 3: (DISLIKE the first of the two songs – “Heart Bleeds Re-Con & Demand”)
First impression: They’re trying to kill me with this music. The music is the real test here.
Running, striking combinations, scissors, striking combinations, jacks, running, striking on crack
9). Conditioning: (Okay song – “Black and Blue”)
First impression: The kind of ab track that works your neck as well as your abs.
No push-ups, since we did them in track 4… a series of “C” crunches and modified bicycle crunches (“cross-crawls”)
10). Cool-down (Whatever. I’m done.)
In summary, I like release 65. We had another class last night, and after a few more, the parts that feel strange won’t feel strange anymore. That’s what new releases are for!