It only lasted 2 weeks.
Dull uninspiring music, tedious repetitive moves. A release sucked dry of any fun factor.
And before anyone rounds on me and says, “But you’re the instructor. You have to sell the release. You have to champion the release. If the participants don’t like the release it’s your fault, not Les Mills, ” let me say three things.
First, this is my blog and it’s my opinion and I can say what I bloody well like. My opinion is Body Combat release 69 is poor. Poorer than 68 and I thought 68 was poor too.
Second, and my participants will back me up on this, I always put 100% into my presentation and coaching whether I like a release or not. I’ve stuck up for the new format. But I can’t ignore what my participants tell me.
Which brings us to the third thing.
I listen to my participants. They told me it was dull. They told me the music was uninspiring. They asked me to ditch release 69.
It only lasted two weeks.
Let’s have a look at the tracks.
Upper body warmup – Everybody Stand Up – Bombs Away feat. Luciana
Track one should motivate and inspire. We need uplifting music. Something with lyrics to latch onto. Once again a Body Combat release opens up with a flat dubstep dirge.
What happened to the catchy lyrics from songs like “I knew you were trouble” (BC59), or “Blow me one last kiss” (BC58) or the hummable “Back in time” (BC55).
The punches, hooks and uppercuts are fine for an upper body warm up but the music is all important at the start and this one fails again.
Lower body warmup – Nuclear (Dillon Francis Remix) – Zomboy
The idea of trying different tempos of music in the same track is interesting and adds variety.
But again the music is a dull drum and bass. At times it’s hard to even catch the rhythm and match the moves to the music. It frustrates the participants.
Combat 1 – I’m Alive – Shinedown
A good solid rock track. This feels like Body Combat again. Strong combos attached to driving music. And some lyrics to turn into cues, “Save yourself.”
I felt something was missing from the chorus. We perform a roundhouse kick every 8 beats and nothing else. I guess the programme directors wanted up to focus on the power of the kick and that’s fine.
But could we not have added the roundhouse to the jab cross hook double knee combo we’d learned in the verse?
Power training 1 – Good Times – Sigma & Ella Eyre
Throughout Body Combat history in track 3 we’ve heard big pounding techno dance beats and sing along songs.
They warned us on the training for release 69 the dance was being replaced by a more “urban” sound. Good Times is a catchy song.
But it feels light weight. As a result, the music doesn’t carry the repetitive nature of the moves.
We’ve had tracks just as repetitive in the past but the pounding techno dance music carries the repetition. This music doesn’t.
I like it. I found myself singing it during the day. But it was one of the first to go at the request of the participants.
Combat 2 – Say My Name (Dual Thieves Remix) – Peking Duck feat. Benjamin Joseph
The only song from release 69 still in my mix. It’s a hard leg conditioning track and whilst the music still falls into the dull category, it works better with the moves.
When it comes down to it all we do are lunges and kicks. But your butt and legs will be screaming at the end of it.
Power training 2 – Count On Me (Andy C Remix) – Chase & Status
Here’s the track with the so-called time trial. A new innovation for Body Combat. We perform the jab, upper, hook combination and build up the power and speed until we encourage the class to go off the beat and punch as fast and in whichever direction they want.
Great in theory. Some people just stop at that point with a confused, WTF look on their faces. Others wave their arms around like they’re trying to flag down a fleet of helicopters.
The music is another dull drum and bass dirge which doesn’t help with the intention of freestyle movement.
A complete waste of time and an opportunity.
Combat 3 – Wine Dem – Henry Fong
I’d like to meet the people who went out and bought this music (apart from instructors like me who had no choice).
The lyric sounds like, “What kind of wine is this?”
The music sounds like a terrified animal being waterboarded with wine.
I don’t mind the moves. Again the participants said it was too repetitive. We’ve had tracks that are more so. Another example of crap music being unable to carry the choreography.
Muay Thai – Testify – Steve Hill & Klubfiller
Not a bad Muay Thai track. Relentless moves but again the music is nothing but a drum and bass on repeat.
Give us a melody for goodness sake.
Power training 3 – Watch It Burn – Camo & Krooked feat. Ayah Marar
Like track 3 no more pounding dance anthems, here we have another urban song light on power. More cries of repetition from the participants.
As I write this review I realise more and more there’s nothing wrong with repetition if the music can carry it. This music can’t.
The lyric of the song, “I don’t want to do this anymore,” didn’t motivate the class. Rather it spoke their feelings about the release.
Conditioning – Bring ‘Em Out – T.I.
A tough kick ab track. It works and it hurts. Dull music. Again.
Cool down – Rise Up – Andra Day
Many people commented they liked the music in this track more than any of the others in release 69. It is haunting, almost beautiful. It cleanses us. A great finish to a disappointing release.
It only lasted 2 weeks.
What are the program directors doing to Body Combat? They say they are following fitness trends. Do current fitness trends say you can’t have fun anymore?
Body Combat was unique because it was different. The only workout that takes you out of the real world and puts you into a martial arts movie. Take away the fun, make it the same as GRIT and Body Attack and it loses its identity.
Without its unique identity, it’s easier for people to switch to another similar class.
I believe we’re going to see big changes to the Body Combat format in release 70. I hope Dan and Rachael bring back the fun and the elements that set Body Combat apart from other workouts.
Let’s put release 69 behind us. It only lasted 2 weeks after all.