Let’s just get right to the bottom line: Les Mills Body Combat 69 will kick your ass.
(As usual, the opinions here are my own)
Here we all are in class:
Just kidding… or am I?
Les Mills Body Combat 69
Track 1a: Upper-body warm-up [Bombs Away ft. Luciana – Everybody Stand Up (Reece Low Remix)]
Music: Not thrilled with the song, but it effectively propels me through the choreography, so I can’t complain.
The workout: You start with the usual punching combinations… jabs, then jabs and crosses, just warming up, getting loose. Then you get more body involved with a level change (the cross becomes a body shot) before adding in uppercuts. Throw in some footwork (2 jacks in the combination) and alternating hook punches, and you’re feeling pretty warm.
What I thought: The 3-4-3 combo (alternating hooks) is unusual, so it spices things up. After throwing a lead hand hook punch, you’re not chambered to follow with a rear hand hook (as you would be for a cross or an uppercut)… so you have to launch the second hook with an exaggerated twist to the opposite side in order to keep correct punching form. This translates to a great workout for the obliques.
Track 1b: Lower-body warm-up [Zomboy – Nuclear (Dillon Francis Remix)]
Music: This song drags me down, even through the choreography.
The workout: From the upper-body warm-up, you go immediately into roundhouse kick set-ups, which turn into actual roundhouse kicks. Then the cardio knee strike exercises start, increasing speed until you’re doing running-man knees. From there, you move into an alternating knee/kick combo, and jacks, with the option to speed up, get low, and incorporate arms, however you want to do them to increase the difficulty level. Next, side kicks and back kicks, and then a low ginga, increasing in speed.
What I thought: Roundhouse kick set-ups are a great way to transition from upper-body to lower-body, in my opinion. Running man knees in the warm-up are unusual, and I like it… it gives you a shot of H.I.I.T. right off the bat. Not complaining about that! The ginga in the warm-up is also unexpected. Pretty cool choreography.
Track 2: Combat 1 [Shinedown – I’m Alive]
Music: Somehow, this song doesn’t work for me as accompaniment for the choreography, and I can’t put my finger on why….
The workout: You start with a standard 1-2-3 combo (jab-cross-hook), then you add knees. Roundhouse kicks follow. After doing both sides, you move to front stance for karate punches. The combination consists of triple karate punches and a side kick.
What I thought: More unusual shenanigans going on here! I like the unexpectedness of the karate punches in the same track as boxing punches… I don’t remember mixing punching styles in a single track before.
Track 3: Power Training 1 [Sigma – Good Times (ft. Ella Eyre)]
Music: See above. This and the last are catchy tunes with dominant vocals, and maybe that’s why I wouldn’t choose them were I to create a playlist for my own workout.
The workout: Starting combination: Jab-cross-jab-cross, double jabs, eventually adding a step forward on the double jabs. Then uppercuts. Then a side step with the uppercut, adding in some footwork. The side steps become a weave to add shoulder movement.
What I thought: It’s weird doing a weaving drill on beat with such fast-paced music, but I like the challenge it creates. I tend to exaggerate the weaves for intensity. This track is a good workout!
Track 4: Combat 2 [Peking Duk – Say My Name (feat. Benjamin Joseph) (Dual Thieves Remix)]
Music: The vocal part of this song grates on my ears, but the song grew on me pretty fast because of the choreography it carries. Once it drops into an instrumental, it really works for me, choreography-wise.
The workout: Capoeira, so we’re talking intense lower-body work. You start with a ginga, and then it’s a knee strike stepping back into a lunge… three pulsing lunges. Then the knee becomes a kick, and the lunges on the stepping-back get lower with a hand tap on the ground. You get a rest with a few seconds of ginga (active recovery) before going into round two.
What I thought: This is a fun track and a great lower-body burn!
Track 5: Power Training 2 [Chase & Status – Count On Me (Ft. Moko) (Andy C Remix)]
Music: Do not like.
The workout: A good 1-6-3 (jab-uppercut-hook) combo, which becomes non-stop… and then you have the option to throw it as fast as you can. I repeat: non-stop. After that, with your shoulders already mangled, you move into a series of repeated hooks before going back to the combination.
Next, you get on the floor to do push-ups as fast as you can. Then you spring back up to start with the punching combo again, round two, the same as the first round.
Then you get to do a little running in place to rest before starting all over on the other side.
What I thought: “Just kill me now.” (translation: AWESOME workout)
Track 6: Combat 3 [Henry Fong – Wine Dem]
The workout: You start with that unusual alternating hook combo (from the warm-up), but it’s a back kick instead of a third hook, followed by a front knee. After that, you move laterally with two jabs advancing to the side, punctuating the move with two squats. Repeat in the opposite direction. Then that changes to just one jab, but you cover the same ground as with the double, because you’re advancing with (basically) a lateral skip… and down into that same squat.
What I thought: The opening four-count combination works your entire body, and it’s complete, thanks to the oblique action going on in the alternating hook sequence. The option to make the front knee a propulsion knee ramps up the intensity.
Track 7: Muay Thai [Testify (Steve Hill & Klubfiller)]
Music: This song works for me for Muay Thai.
The workout: Horizontal elbows side to side, increasing intensity levels. Then uppercut elbows. The combination is side elbows to up elbows to knees. Then you launch into four levels of running-man knees. Repeat! After that, you have a jab-cross combination: six punches, with the last one being a superman punch. Running-man knees in levels 1-4. High intensity!
What I thought: I never met a Muay Thai track I didn’t like.
Track 8: Power Training 3 [Camo & Krooked – Watch It Burn (Ft. Ayah Marar)]
Music: I’m just not into you, song. It’s not you, it’s me.
The workout: You start with a jab-cross-uppercut combination, but then things get interesting when you add a step to the corner as you throw a third uppercut. Footwork during the last cardio track isn’t typical, I don’t think.
What I thought: I like this final cardio track with its unexpected footwork.
Track 9: Conditioning [T.I. – Bring Em Out]
Music: Classic song.
The workout: Abs. Criss-cross legs lying on your back, and then crunches, and pulsing crunches. Then you stretch out on your side and work your obliques by crunching while bringing your knees in.
What I thought: Simple and solid core-work.
Track 10: Cool-down [Andra Day – Rise Up]
Music: It’s a song.
Overall thoughts in a very simple nutshell: I mostly dislike the music, but I think the workout is fantastic. If you push it to the max, you could probably burn 900 calories doing this workout!