Rise like a Phoenix – Review of Body Combat release 57

I’m going to admit that I’ve taken a while to get into Body Combat release 57. Perhaps it’s because the Quarterly Workshops booked up quickly and I didn’t get to see a national trainer deliver the master class this time round. It made me realise that Instructors certainly benefit from seeing the “live” presentation rather than relying only on the DVD.

Body Combat release 57 is definitely a “grower” though and having been teaching release 57 for two weeks now I am finally finding its strengths. However I still do have a few issues which I’ll get to as we go through each track.

Review of Body Combat release 57
Upper Body Warm Up Karate Strikes


Upper Body Warm Up (Troublemaker): I can’t complain about this uplifting warm up with its pounding bass beat. We are moving straight away and as the drums kick in our work out starts with strong karate moves, before we move on to more traditional boxing punches. I love the line in the song, “She’s a trouble trouble maker, that’s her middle name.” And the ladies seem to like being picked out as the culprit.

Lower Body Warm Up (Dead or a Live): A very long Kata and stretch eases us into this up-tempo cover version of Bon Jovi’s classic 1980s hit – thankfully no one in my classes has the appropriate 1980s bouffant hair to go with it. The jumping jacks between each verse and chorus certainly warm us up fast and continues the trend from the upper body warm up.  The three knees and front kick combination is different to what we usually see in a warm up track. I like the powerful back kick finish.

Review of Body Combat release 57
Evasive Side Kick (Look how high Dan has jumped).

Combat 1 (Let’s Go): Here is my first problem with this release. Don’t get me wrong I have no problem with caporeira in Body Combat, and the ginga lunges, evasive side kicks and the very interesting new “thunder kick”, certainly punish your legs. But it is so slow. After a fast and up lifting warm up Let’s Go seems to wither away. I guess the programme directors decided to make this a track two whilst our participants legs are not yet fatigued. I would have preferred this track later in the class, perhaps track six, because I feel it kills the energy that the warm up successfully created.

Power 1 (I’m Alive): It’s a relief to get back to a pounding beat and another uplifting dance song. Simple boxing moves repeated often enough to test shoulder endurance make this a tough work out. I might have preferred a little lateral movement to add a little variety but it does its job as a heart rate increasing power blast.

Combat 2 (The Phoenix): On first listen this song by Fall Out Boy seems like a strange choice for a combat track. But the two powerful combinations are complex enough to test out mental co-ordination as well as our physical precision. I particularly like the karate strikes followed by the side kick and roundhouse knees. You genuinely feel as if you are fighting multiple enemies. During the instrumental break in the song we revisit an old combination of double knees and side kicks before returning to the first big combo for a blasting finale. This is the stand out track of the release for me because it has so much going on yet it is achievable and strong.

Review of Body Combat release 57
Side Kick

Power 2 (Roll over Beethoven): This is a Marmite track. Participants seem to either love it or hate it. I love it because it is fun and there is enough movement to max-out your heart rate if you push yourself hard enough. The running and speed ball section recalls a similar song from Body Combat release 39 (Johnny Be Goode) which is another personal favourite of mine. The last section of jabs and jumping jacks is gruelling. I just think that you’re going to have to get used to Marmite everyone!

Combat 3 (This is Love): More karate punches, back kicks and knees in a combination that we repeat many times. Repetition does allow technique success but some people have said that they find this track too repetitive. When you think though that real martial artists practice combinations hundreds of times, that we repeat this one for 20 reps, it hardy seems to be a problem. I think the music’s synth melody is very catchy and I find myself whistling it during the day.  So it is memorable. And I think that this is the first time in the history of Body Combat that we have had roundhouse kicks in track 6.

Muay Thai (Stand Up For Rock and Roll): I’m a big rock fan. I grew up with heavy metal and American oriented glam rock. If I heard this song on the radio I’d probably start to head bang. But I don’t think that it is a very good song for a Muay Thai. Yes it’s fast and furious. Yes those endless downward punches lift the heart rate. Yes I finish the track completely breathless. But there’s something about this music and the moves that makes it feel dull for me. After many releases with heavy rock song Muay Thai tracks I’d like to see a return to a techno beat style next time.

Power 3 (Feel Alive): Almost the same words as track three but obviously not the same song, this is a great techno crowd pleaser which finishes the main cardio block with a flourish. I like the middle section where we travel and jab and then drop for 8 upper cuts. And the last outro with the “false ending” that catches people out week in week out is motivational and strong. By now your shoulders and arms are shredded.

Review of Body Combat release 57
Hover with knee to elbow

Conditioning (I Love It): This song is only 2 minutes and 35 seconds long. But we manage to pack in a stack of press ups (“There are only ever 4 full press ups,” says programme director Dan.), crunches, hovers and “komodo dragon” oblique abdominal crunches. It’s so short and tough I feel like doing it twice.

Cool down (My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Them Up): We finish with another solid Fall Out Boy song with a safe set of stretches.

I don’t think Body Combat release 57 is as strong as some of the older classes. Track two seems out-of-place and the Muay Thai is dull. But apart from that it is unquestionably a tough class. Despite a few moans about repetition, red sweaty faces after class show the truth.

Now it’s your turn: What do you think of my Review of Body Combat release 57? If you are an instructor what do you think of the slower track 2? If you are a participant do you think that the work out is tough enough. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think. Or post a link to your own review.

Also check out Simon Philp’s review of BC57 right here.

6 thoughts on “Rise like a Phoenix – Review of Body Combat release 57

  1. I absolutely agree on this review…I’m really not loving this release. The Muay Thai track I hate with an absolute passion. The music, the moves and all about it. It’s gonna be gone from my classes quick sharpish.

    I like the track 4 a lot – track 5 I get a lot of complaints from my members about getting dizzy and a bit sick.

    Track 2 – well – not loving it. Like you say…..waaaaaay too slow.

    All in all, a really disappointing release for instructors and participants alike.

  2. Brilliant review as usual. Track 4 is definitely the highlight of the release for me. Fantastic music and the moves just really seem to fit perfectly. Jury’s out on a couple of the others though!!

  3. I disagree with review about track 2. I think this is a challenge to move slowly but powerful after fast and uplifting movements. When you have a fight you need to cope with all energy levels aerobic and anaerobic, fast , slow, no movements at all. You never know when it will be. This track prepare you for this. It makes you stronger !!

  4. I agree with loads on your review, I do love most of it, I really like tracks 2,4 & 6, I like 3 & 5 but there have been much better ones! And I have to agree Muay Tai is my least favourite. So far in my classes the participants love it so that’s good. The track 9 combo is great and agree if it was a little longer but the fact there are only 2 sets of 4 press ups – most take the challenge to get up to their toes. And I think the drama in the cool down is awesome!

    Good review Roger 🙂

    1. Thanks Tricia and Natalia. I don’t dislike T2 – I find the leg conditioning very tough, I just think it should be a T6.

      1. I know ! Its very tough!! Like you said from fast movements to slow movements , when you feel your heart is pumping and you need to switch for the slow and deeper movements + evasive side kick (hops/jumps) ! Omg !! But when you finish this track you feel so happy that you went through this !
        I am sure after a month this track make our legs stronger (mine defo ;))

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.