Tag Archives: muay thai

First thoughts on Les Mills Body Combat release 58 after Edinburgh Quarterly Workshop.

As I write this review my legs are aching and burning with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). That is Les Mills Body Combat release 58 for you. It annihilates the legs and blitzes the shoulders.

The Les Mills UK training team often say that they really enjoy the quarterly workshops in Scotland. They describe us as mad nutters, loud , passionate and dedicated. And so Shey who was the master trainer for this event, rode the usual wave of excitement and delivered yet another amazing workshop. The atmosphere was electric even before the class started. The tension in the air was amazing.

Everything became a blur of loud music sweat, a few tears, loud Kiais and exhilaration.

les mills body combat release 58

Here’s what I remember about Les Mills Body Combat release 58.

  • In track 2 there is a roundhouse kick challenge which works your legs and challenges your balance. The timing of the music in this track is tricky and will be very difficult to learn and to pick up the beat.
  • The first power track is a song called Shooting Star (Al Storm HS Remix) which has been in Body Combat before. However a completely different mix of the same song delivers fast and exhausting moves. In fact this feels more like a track 8 finale than one so early in the class.
  • We have more Capoeira in track 4. Another interesting piece of music with added sound effects for those of us who cheese.
  • The second power track, Cold as Ice, supplies another lengthy shoulder blasting experience with many different combinations.
  • A passable cover of the Def Leppard song, Action, provides us with a karate based track six with lots of back kicks and blocks.
  • And Muay Thai track is great fun and Shey injected much humour into her presentation with its millions of knee strikes.
  • And unusually we have a long cool down track with a lovely Kata are again based upon karate blocks.

Roll on January everyone. It’s going to hurt.

Now it’s your turn: Do you agree with my first thoughts about Les Mills Body Combat release 58? What did you think of the quarterly workshop? Please leave a comment or post a link to your own review.

Firestarter – Review of Body Combat release 55

I didn’t go on the Quarterly Workshop training for Body Combat release 55. It’s harder to learn a release and to “connect” with it if you haven’t experienced the Masterclass first. At first I found some of the music a little strange but after much practicing in my living room I began to appreciate it more. And once I launched to my participants I realised that 55 was going to be very popular.

So let’s look at the tracks.

Review of Body Combat release 55

Upper Body Warm Up (Back in Time): This is a great start. There’s no Kata, no stretch, just straight into the first combination of upper cuts as the music builds up to a really catchy hummable melody. I find myself whistling this tune during the day, it has become engrained on my mind. Plenty of shuffling gets us warm very quickly. A very satisfying start.

Lower Body Warm Up (Call Me Maybe): More uplifting dance music as we shift our focus to our legs. I like the knee and then treble knee combination which we repeat three times punctuated my a great focus on front, side and roundhouse kicks. It’s also good to see the set up move for both the side and the roundhouse kick which serves as a good reminder for the class on the difference between these moves.

Combat 1 (Bad Girls): When I first heard the music for this track I thought it sounded like the inner workings of an insane machine. It’s Dubstep and actually suits the rhythm of the capoeira moves perfectly. Before I taught this for the first time I worried about the speed of the ginga lunges. I thought that if I lost the beat I would mess up the choreography. When I taught it however, I found the simple 1, 2, 3, 4 counts and moves simple. That worry out-of-the-way and I was able to focus on getting the class deeper into the ginga and master the evasive side kick. Some of the class are even adding the jump to the ESK. This might be the first track 2 in Body Combat history not to feature the roundhouse kick.

Power 1 (Don’t Feel Like Love): A full on combination of jabs, upper cuts and hooks built a layer at a time to a great piece of music. On the DVD they suggest we go off the beat of the music for part of the combination and I like the authenticity this brings to the fighting feel.

Combat 2 (Firestarter): This is a passable cover of a Prodigy song and the track has a completely different feel than we are used to. No jump kicks but plenty of shoot lunges and roundhouse knees. Although the mixed martial arts style stands out you do have to go very hard to feel challenged by this one. This track feels a little light weight.

Power 2 (We Speak No Americano): I hated the music when I first heard it. But everyone recognises it from “The Inbetweeners” movie and it is actually great fun to teach. And I love the wide leg run at the end – the so-called “Santa Monica staircase”. It has the class breathless and gasping by the end.

Combat 3 (Where Have You Been): I certainly like the big combination in this track. A double knife strike, a double block and then back kick, front kick, back kick, front kick. No matter how hard I try I don’t seem to be able to teach the class not to add another back kick in to the sequence. Everyone just seems to add it in. So know I just let them get on with it. Musically I find this track a little dull. It’s a dirge. And for that reason this might be the first track I will mix out.

Muay Thai (Let It Rock): Off the scale relentless and challenging this track makes you breathe out of every opening. There are millions of knee strikes here and you can really build up the intensity up to the point when we add in the jumping knees. I love the look of disbelief on people’s faces when you demo the jumping knee. And just what are the words during the high-pitched vocal ever time we return to the street brawl downward punch? It sounds like,  “Ice Lolly! Ice Lolly!”

Power 3 (For a Lifetime): A very catchy sing along song to finish off the cardio section of the class. There are lots of words to latch on to motivate the class, “I believe in you and everything you do”. However it doesn’t feel as relentless as some of the previous track 8s. It’s good that it finishes on a combo and not endless jabs though.

Conditioning (You’re Gonna Love This): Short and surprisingly tough I like the variety of moves in this track. Shoulder taps give us core conditioning and the power clamber keeps the heart rate up.

Cool down (Battle Scars): A fine end to Body Combat release 55. It’s always good to see a downward facing dog in the cool down.

So Body Combat release 55 is another solid class which certainly creates a cardio high. Track 2 smashes your legs early on and the Muay Thai is absolutely mental. Only the music from track 6 let’s the release down in my opinion.

Your turn: Are you a Body Combat instructor? What do you think of my review of Body Combat release 55? Do you agree? Please share your thoughts. If you are a participant let me know what you think as well. Click below where it says “Leave a reply” and share!

First Impressions of Body Combat release 54 after the Glasgow Quarterly Workshops November 2012

It’s time to learn the next set of Les Mills releases – and it looks like they are challenging and exciting.

As I drove towards Broadwood Stadium through torrential rain I was looking forward to an afternoon of Body Balance. When I arrived and looked at the sign in sheet, I realised I’d misread the itinery. It was actually the Glasgow quarterly workshops for Body Combat release 54.

Oh no, I thought. I had yoga style clothes on, and had left my martial arts gloves and my bandana at home. Everyone else was looking great in their almost theatrical outfits. I felt naked. So it was on with the show.

Body Combat release 54 glasgow quarterly workshops
Tanya Walker leading the masterclass for Body Combat release 54.

Tanya Walker, who is head UK trainer for Body Combat delivered the masterclass for Body Combat release 54. This was her first presentation after recently having a baby and she was on top form. Motivational, funny, inspiring and she dealt with the failure of the microphone by just chucking it aside and using her own vocal skills instead.

Here are my first impressions of Body Combat release 54:

  • It felt much more cardio than the last couple of classes – there are no capoeira moves – though we get an amazing leg work out in track two
  • The BPM in the lower body warm up is higher than in track two
  • For a few releases I have felt that track two has been short and a little dull. This one is long, tough and exhausting. And you know you still have 45 minutes to go afterwards
  • Remember how in the last release there was one sequence with endless uppercuts? This time it’s hooks.
  • The Muay Thai track is another piece of thumping techno music and is a huge workout with millions of knee strikes and push front kicks
  • There is a new move in the conditioning track which will be hard to teach at first but it is going to create results
  • Tanya complained that as she had just given birth that this new move “hurt her fanny”. I suspect I’ll not use in my script

For the first time in my experience, Tanya invited instructors up to the front to shadow with her. She picked me, naked and gloveless and bandana-free, and a few others to help with the Muay Thai track. It was a blur of knees and sweat and tears. This was a great way to motivate the instructors.

Watch out Edinburgh, I mean really watch out. Body Combat release 54 is coming your way.

Over to you: Have you tried Body Combat release 54? What do you think of the level of intensity? Did you get to shadow with a master trainer? Go on! Leave a comment. Share your thoughts.

Click here to watch the teaser trailer video for Body Combat release 54.