Dear Dan & Rachel: What are you doing to our BodyCombat?
First of all, let me identify myself. I do not know where I rank with respect to the family/tribe thing – I am not an instructor, just a faithful, committed – some say obsessive fanatic – participant in as many BodyCombat classes I can get my hands and not least my legs in.
Before BC the only exercise I did was running. I then wanted to lose weight and get in shape. I joined my first ever studio class 194 BC classes and 20kg ago, and the rest is history.
All though I live in a suburb to Copenhagen/Denmark I enjoy taking classes when traveling in Europe, and like the overall familiarity with the concept and tracks while experiencing the small cultural variations. When I started, my local 3-times-a-week class being able to take 30 people, often had a waiting list of the same number.
Over the past year, I’ve seen dwindling numbers at all classes and 3 centres dropping BC from the schedule. Most classes at my local gym are now between ½ and ¾ full. There could be a number of reasons for this, it could be regional/local as well, but I suspect there might be a greater underlying explanation.
BodyCombat has for the past 3 releases shifted dramatically. 63 was in my opinion the worse release ever. 64 at least eliminated some of the poor choices in 63 and 65 a bit more again. Based purely on my very limited experience and sampling size I venture the following hypothesis:
When I started BC
- There were full classes and waiting lists
- Man to women ratio was between 5% and 15%
- Participants ages were predominately 30+
- Music for tracks was typically catchy pop songs and dance music
- Almost all exercises (track 2-8) were combat and martial art inspired
Since release 63
- We have dwindling numbers at classes
- Man to women ratio is between 10% and 25%
- Participants ages are evenly split between over and under 30’s
- Music is hard rock/metal based – music with attitude
- There are regularly exercises which have nothing to do with combat or martial art
We are in Copenhagen gifted with the most excellent and inspiring instructors. At the 65 release one of them introduced a track telling us that BC was changing style, to a more aggressive in your face attitude based concept. I can see this might have a greater appeal to men and/or to the young. I also think that if you take an extremely popular program and significantly shift its concept and style – maybe because you want to increase attendance from men and the younger generation- you are bound to lose a number of those people who joined in the first place.
I have taken 24 BC classes during the 8 weeks that mixing was allowed after release-64. Not counting tracks 1, 9 and 10, I have only come across Black Widow, La Nina Mechanica and (admittedly) Hot Right Now from 64 and only Badboi and Shine from 63. Our instructors give us what we want. We DO have a few of the old-timers liking the new stuff including track 4, but most of us don’t like it and don’t want it.
I absolutely hate going to the floor in 4. I am not particularly fond of the HIT in 5, though I think 65 is making the best out of something bad. What I really want to know is: Is this the beginning of a greater shift? Should I stick with BC or should I look for some other program that suits my needs better?
I still think Releases are a party, but my mind is now at a place where I see the 4 weeks of locked classes as a “payment” in order to enjoy the 8 weeks of free mixes; and really… that just can’t be right?