It’s a Fight – Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 58

Is Les Mills Body Combat release 58 going down as well for you as it is for me?

I cannot remember an earlier release where I’ve received such consistently good feedback from participants. Usually with each release, one maybe two tracks, prompt people to ask me to mix them out as soon as. This time all comments received are positive for all tracks, both for the music and the moves.

But here’s the thing.

I have to admit that the first time I took part in this release I didn’t enjoy the music. When I first listened to the CD I liked it even less. There was a short time when I was genuinely disappointed. However once in the studio, with the sound system cranked up really loud and 35 smiling, sweaty, and determined faces lapping it up, I became a convert. I too now believe it’s one of the best, most accessible, and one of the toughest releases of Body Combat we’ve ever had.

So let’s have a look at the tracks.

Track 1a – Upper body warmup – Blow Me (One Last Kiss) (Max Kinscheck Remix)Dirty Scandal

This is a fabulously upbeat introduction. I love the 32 count intro where we simply pulse from side to side as the music builds to a crescendo and the heavy beat kicks in and we’re on the move and the fight begins. Simple punches, boxing shuffling and catchy sing along song make this a memorable opening number.

I love the Muay Thai descending elbows which fit the heavy drum sound perfectly, empowering our participants to success.

Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 58
Shoot Lunge

Track 1b – Lower body warmup – Scream (Tobi feat. LuTraXx Remix)Killah Swagger

We have no time to rest between the upper body warmup and the lower body warmup. No Kata eases into the kicks. We just transition immediately from upper to lower.

The first move is the Shoot Lunge which I have to say is not the most popular move among my participants. And they have said so. However it’s a hell of a good way to warm up the legs quickly. The only problem I have with the Shoots in the warmup is that they do not appear in the rest of the track. I prefer to see moves previewed in the warmup tracks which feature in the power or combat tracks later in the release. However this is a minor quibble.

Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 58
Balancing Roundhouse Kick

Track 2 – Combat 1 – Strobelight (Original) – Laidback Luke & Lee Mortimer

Musically it disappointed me on first listen but it’s a real grower. In fact it gets under your skin. The balancing roundhouse kicks, all 16 of them, are a real challenge testing balance and muscle endurance. The exercises are relentless as the body is on the move for the entire track with out a break.

Track 3 – Power training 1 – Shooting Star (Storm’s HS Remix)Bang!

If you’ve taught Body Combat for a several years you will recognise the song. It last appeared in Body Combat release number 30. Two very simple boxing combinations, first performed individually, combine at the end for a relentless shoulder blast. A very upbeat song with sing along lyrics and lots of opportunities to interact with the class participants.

Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 58

Track 4 – Combat 2 – Bass Laser – Digital Ma$$ feat. U-Neek

And so to Capoeira. Here is a first. I can remember when Dan and Rachael first introduced Capoeira to Body Combat, people were resistant to this unique martial arts style. I can remember people threatening to boycott classes unless I dumped the Ginga.

I’m sure some of them had “Dump the Ginga” T-Shirts.

For the first time, some of my participants have revealed that this track is their best of the release. Yes that’s right! Finally a Caporeira track voted most favourite. We’ve crossed the line. Many years of hard work have led to the point where this Brazilian martial art tops the charts.

As an instructor this was a difficult track to teach. Catching the first beat of the song by stepping on the right leg for the first ginga is essential otherwise the entire track can fall apart. Once mastered however it flows together perfectly.

Track 5 – Power training 2 – Cold As Ice (Weaver and Suae Intro Mix) – East Coast Masif

An epic power track. More like a track eight than a track five because of the long section of powerful punches towards the end. This leaves participants breathless but uplifted at the same time.

Track 6 – Combat 3 – Action – Score And The Finger

Here’s another track which has appeared in Body Combat before. The original Def Leppard version of Action featured in release 29. This is a very passable cover version of the song with a very strong karate feel to it. The lyrics are very quotable.

“Bring your opponents to their knees.”

“Were all insatiable.”

“I got what everybody needs.”

A short but powerful and sweet track. I love it.

Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 58
Downward Punch

Track 7 – Muay Thai – It’s A Fight – Beach Incarnation

Another track which is difficult to teach simply because the moves are so fast and furious and the musical cues are hidden beneath an onslaught of bass beats and drums. A long track, endlessly tiring, endlessly energetic with the “It’s a Fight” theme running through it.

And they do sing, “Busting Heads. Busting Heads.” Don’t they?

You seriously need to remember to breathe during this track. But even when you remember, it’s still difficult because there is so much happening in terms of physical moves and information to give to your participants.

Track 8 – Power training 3 – My Forever LoveSy And Unknown

For the last few years track eights have been distinctive by their length. They often last up to eight or nine minutes. This, therefore, is one of the shortest track eights we have had for a while. However it’s fast and powerful with an extremely catchy chorus. I cannot help singing along to the words and neither can my participants. And of course as always it culminates in a shoulder blasting jab fest right at the end. This to me is a perfect ending to the main cardio phase.

Track 9 – Conditioning – People Like UsKelly Clarkson

Dan and Rachael often include rap tracks for our conditioning. “People Like Us” provides a welcome change. A great pop ballad from Kelly Clarkson. But it’s still tough. Two rounds of crunches followed by an extensive round of single press ups and shoulder taps which annihilate the shoulders and tighten up the core. This is one of my favourite core conditioning tracks for many releases.

Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 58
Karate Kata

Track 10 – Cool down – Till I Collapse – The Junkyard Scoller

And finally a longer than normal cool down which manages to distil all the different sensations and feelings from the entire release into one strong Karate Kata which we repeat several times during the song. This has a perfect martial arts feel and to my mind ends the release on a martial arts high.

I have taught Les Mills body combat release 58 for three weeks now. Classes are rammed full, participants love the music and the moves and its popularity shows no sign of waning.

Despite my first misgivings about the music quality, this one has definitely turned out to be one of the best releases ever.

Now it’s your turn: Do you agree with my review of Les Mills body combat release 58. Are you a participant? Do you agree that this is a tough workout? Are you an instructor? How has this release gone down in your clubs? Please leave a comment or a link to your own review and share your thoughts.

Listen to live interviews with instructors and participants on BC58 – Group Fitness Over Coffee Podcast!

3 thoughts on “It’s a Fight – Review of Les Mills Body Combat release 58

  1. Unfortunately, and rarely I don’t agree with this review (but thank God we all have opinions eh?)

    Track 1: I really like it – no complaints at all.
    Track 2: The timing is really odd on this track…but broadly ok I suppose.
    Track 3: Standard – again – no real complaint.
    Track 4: The last section of both halves is really odd and hard to teach…but not the worst.
    Track 5: This is where the release really comes apart for me. The chorey feels really clunky and unnatural…really, really don’t like this track.
    Track 6: Again, not a great track in my eyes. Same as above – it feels really messy
    Track 7: I like this one a lot – one of my faves.
    Track 8: OK but nothing very exciting.
    Track 9: Love this. The music, the moves all on-point.
    Track 10: Absolutely naff. I get embarrassed teaching it and my members seem to give me the ‘wtf’ look when I’m teaching it. Just too much for me – I’d rather focus on great, long stretches.

    Overall, not loving this release at all. And for the most part, the feedback from my members across two clubs as been incredibly negative.

    Thanks for the time you put into the blog. Really interesting read.

    1. Thanks for that Steve. Great to get different perspective! Please feel free to disagree whenever you like – I love debate.

      I agree with the second section of T4 – I wonder whether the “kick sound effect” is too late because it seems difficult to get back into the esquiva on the next beat.

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