Party Monster – Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 65

The third of the “new look” Body Combat releases sweeps in and annihilates arms and legs across the world.

And people are getting used to the new structure which I described in my last review as follows:

  • Warm ups so intense you feel you should warm up before the warm up.
  • A “press ups” section in track 4 .
  • High Intensity Interval Training (i.e Insanity or Metafit) masquerading as Body Combat in Track 5.
  • A cutting back on “sing along songs” replaced with driving lyric free music, or at least repetitive lyrics. 

In addition I’ve noticed that Track 6 is usually an intense leg conditioning capoeira workout. From the Muay Thai track onwards we return to the more traditional approach, for example Track 8 is a sing along euphoric punching epic.

Release 65 is easy to learn. There are a few instances of difficult timings but overall the choreography is simple. But I’ve realised in this new format we instructors have to work harder, despite that simplicity, to motivate participants. Especially during the more intense leg conditioning sections.

Let’s have a look at the tracks (You can click on the links to listen to the tracks on Amazon).

Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 65

Upper Body Warm Up – We Came To Bang Feat.Luciana (radio edit)3LAU feat. Lucianna

A couple of slow jab crosses and we’re full on into fast jabs followed by fast upper cuts and our first combination. Straight in and taking no prisoners. The double hook and pulse again pushes the intensity early on. I am a fan of latching on to lyrics in my presentation and I wonder whether Dan and Rachael are referring to their new approach to Body Combat here?

“This could be the start of something new. This could be the moment we break through”
Hand up anyone who used the chorus lyrics?
“Walk like a model. Dance like a stripper”

Lower Body Warm Up – Levels(VIP Mix) – Pukka Moves

At the Quarterly Workshop, where we instructors learn the moves, the trainer laboured the cues for the new move in this section. We have to lift out toes and pivot on our heels in the “Quarter Turn Squat” to protect our knees. So important to keep our participants safe, I’ve been eagle-eyed in this technique. A tough move so early in the class.

I like the contrast of the side kick repeater and the normal side kick and pulse. Don’t you just feel able to kick harder in the latter having experienced the former.

Combat 1 – Ah Yeah So What(Radio Edit)Will Sparks feat. Wiley & Elen Levon

An exhausting blur of endless jump front kicks. Eighty. Count them. Eighty jump kicks must be a record for Body Combat. And those blocks of 8 hard-core jump kick repeaters pump up the heart rate.

Traditionally we’ve seen jump kicks in track 4. Possibly with a maximum of 16 in a track. Moving them to track 2 when we are still fresh (though arguably still warming up so be careful) is sensible.

We have seen jump kick repeaters before in Body Combat if anyone thinks this is a new innovation. Back in release 34.

Power Training 1 – Lifting Me Higher (Back to 97 Mix)Dougal & Gammer

One of the simplest power tracks ever. Three rounds of jabs and upper cuts split up by one simple punching combo. Easy to learn. Easy to teach with a focus on building up three levels of intensity.

  • Round One: Learn it.
  • Round Two: Burn it.
  • Round Three: Go Mental.

Combat 2 – EnemiesShinedown

The “Cold Cruel Harsh Reality” of this track is more relentess effort driven by a catchy rock song. After a flurry of back kicks, knee strikes and front kicks, we revisit the side kick repeater and side kick  pulse contrast from the warm up. Then down on to the floor for the first round of press ups. Start at the bottom for a few reps. Press ups and shoulder taps. Then single press ups.

Collapse and groan before realising that you have to get back on to your feet and repeat everything. This is my favourite of the new style track 4s so far.

Power Training 2 – No ProblemChase & Status

Another simple upper upper hook combo building to a never-ending burst of single hooks. Add in a made up count down (e.g. 99, 98,97,96) and see the look of shock on the people’s faces.

After two rounds of punches, and a sneaky 15 second sprint before each round we leave Body Combat behind and the class becomes High Intensity Interval Training. Hellishly hard squat jumps might blast the heart rate, beast the legs and leave you breathless. But do they have a place in a Body Combat class?

It’s one of the features of the new direction. Dan and Rachael want us to “train” like martial artists as well as pretend to “fight” like martial artists. This is the crux for participants either loving or hating the new direction. If you make that mental leap from “fighting” to “training” and accept it then the squat jumps definitely have a place.

Combat 3 – The Day is My Enemy The Prodigy

I found the timing tricky in this difficult capoeira leg conditioning track at first. After those squat jumps participants are breathless. Maybe getting exhausted. The depth of work in this track is a big ask and requires motivation and clear cues. We revisit the quarter turn squat and have to keep an even closer eye on technique to keep people safe.

Awesome driving techno music pushes us through the pain.

Muay Thai – Party Monster – Groove Moves

Recent Muay Thai tracks attracted comments they were too repetitive. Party Monster breaks the trend by chucking variety in our faces. Several combos and knee strike combinations before the long end section of cardio busting running man knees. Great music to, “We have an ARRRRRMY!”

Power Training 3 – Heart BleedsRe-Con & Demand Feat Mandy Edge

A typically upbeat, long and tough finale to the cardio section of the class. Simple moves again and focus on levels of intensity. Work hard and earn those skipping breaks before letting your knees up your nose for more.

The last block moves from single jabs, to triple jabs, mixing singles and triples and finally back to singles might be the best last section for many releases.

Conditioning – Black and Blue (Smackdown) – Long Hawke

Three tough core conditioning exercises repeated to muscle exhaustion set to a great sing along rock song. “Oh Oh Oh Black and Blue.” Is just how we feel. Just under three minutes of core blasting results.

Cool Down – Love Me Anyway – Ginny Blackmore

No katas. Just stretching. But the song is gorgeous and the box split (can you do the full split?) is an exquisite move. A lovely way to calm down, get your breath back and recover. Boy do we need it.

So a great release. Perhaps the best of the new direction. I still miss the odd fun track though we are getting and updated version of “Pirates of the Caribbean” in the next release. Participants are warming to the format though fetching and putting away mats for the press ups in track 4 is still an issue.

Beyond that Body Combat release 65 gets results. How sore were your DOMS the day after you first tried it?

Now it’s your turn:

Do you agree with my review of Les Mills Body Combat release 65? Why not comment below. And do please share using the social media buttons.

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