Dear Dan & Rachel: What are you doing to our BodyCombat?

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?

13 thoughts on “Dear Dan & Rachel: What are you doing to our BodyCombat?”

  1. Thanks for that guys! I teach at 3 gyms, all BC classes & time has proven these comments right! Since LM has partnered up with ReeBok the pressure to get results has outweighed the pressure to enjoy your workout. I can rock out the new trk 5 HIIT stuff but you know wht? I hate ’em with a passion!!! Boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    And not martial art based (sorry, the token punch combos between upteen tuck jumps and burpees dont fool us!!!!!!!!)
    I teach for fun, not $ & this is getting overdone! Music has gotten awesome & release 88 rocked! But trk 5s suck now & the altrernative trk 5s they give us have the most awful songs so as to encourage you to just do the boring HIIT trk (coz the beats are sweet as!!)

  2. I agree with all these comments. I am so glad that I am not alone. Being a former Tae Kwon Do member, it was challenging putting my techniques into a fast fun pace environment with fun music, but the latest releases have been very disappointing. Being Korean, it’s disappointing that the instructors are taught to call some segments martial arts, Tae Kwon Do or Capoeira. Most times, it’s a dance, HIIT or Attack class. How many knees can I do to take out my opponent. Please New Zealand stop mixing other classes into Combat.

  3. I just keep doing releases 62 through 80 and back again, I am good with it, as a martial artist for 20 years and 8 years of Body combat as a retired Martial Artist it keeps me sharp in great shape and motivated, Thank you

  4. I agree to this post as well. I have been doing Combat for nearly nine years, I have always enjoyed it, but over the last three releases I have had to force myself to do Combat until we could start mixing with old tracks.

    I understand and respect that there has to be some changes, and that concepts sometimes need to be thought over. I’am not saying that everything should be like before release 50. Combat has meant a lot to me over the years, and I especially liked it, because it was so different from other things. Now it’s like it has lost the attitude.

  5. It’s why I stopped doing combat. I liked combat because it actually took the elements of martial arts and actually tried to put them in there to a degree. I’m not Saying it’s totally gone away but it has come up with things that are difficult to modify. I understand to a degree the full body effect but there’s a different way to doing it.

  6. I totally agree with comments and posts about the new BC launch!
    Where has the whole idea of BC gone to? It seems that most releases are now more interested in who can jump the highest, who can go the fastest? This is completely insane, if I wanted to go from floor to ceiling, up and down I would take part in another class!
    Having done combat for many years I am disappointed with the release, aswell as other members who have also been a participant for a number of years.
    I am a BodyJam instructor and will complete my body combat training at the end of this month, but I am not looking forward to it as much as I was jam! I feel I need to be an athlete to complete the training, which is not achievable!

  7. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I was talking with other participants about this very issue this past week. However, let me state that this particular problem isn’t exclusive to the Body Combat program. It stretches across the board and into all of their programs. They’re forgetting why they have so many individual programs that were so highly successful. It was because each one offered classes specific to the genre of the title of the class. It seems now like they’re throwing the specific characteristics into all of them. Now all the programs look alike instead of being unique products. And with the change they are making the classes less accessible to participants, especially those attempting them for the first time or those with special limitations.

  8. Up to a point I see similar effects. I belive what makes Bodycombat unique as an exercise format is the martial art base. The added demension of an imaginary opponent and applications of the movements create a colorful world of combat and martial competition.I have many years of martial arts training and find Bodycombat very challenging and fun.
    If I want to do pushups and plyo jumps I would do Grit or bootcamp. I am partial to older tracks like Frozen, Sweet Dreams, Eye of the Tiger, Burn It to the Ground, etc.
    It’s true that my peeps lately have looked forward to the mixes after our manditory three weeks of the new release.
    I would like Bodycombat to stay with interesting martial art combos, but I trust Dan and Rachael to create great releases.
    I find the Tribe and the organization very conscious and full of good will and wonderful people, so, I am confident it will all work out. Thanks for listening, Brian Rich. By the way, I am a Bodycombat instructor (AIM1 and AIM2).

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