Review of Les Mills BodyCombat Release 64

On the web you can find many reviews of every new BodyCombat release.  Often written by an instructor who – based on training and experience – has a good understanding of how a program is put together and choreographed. So if you want an objective technical analysis of a release, I recommend you look for one of those. I could recommend Tommy Damani who, in a very entertaining and energetic way, provides tips and tricks and no-bullshit review of the release.

I am subjective and I only express my own point of view as experienced from the studio floor. As an ordinary class participant, I describe how I see the release. This gives me a tool to categorise and organise my own experience and I hope others might get something out of it, not least something to disagree with, so we might be able to discuss aspects of the release. Stay with the fight!

On the 64 release date, I tried for the first time a double serving. I started at the Birkerød release 9:35 and then went straight to Fisketorvet for their 13:15 release. Birkerød had booked the large studio upstairs, but in the end only 27 showed up. Numbers have slightly dwindled for the past couple of months and when you add the holiday high-season, it is not such a surprisingly low number after all. Later on at Fisketorvet we were only 8. I have never experienced a full class on Fisketorvet.

After having been through Release 64 a total of 7 times, I think I am ready to express an opinion.

1a Warm-up Upper 5:00 ***** Freaks (Timmy Trumpet & Savage)
Lively and cheerful music opens the party with a few Shoots building up to a Hooks and Uppercuts combo. As with the rest of the release, pretty simple choreography, all though on a bad day I might not hit the rhythm for the double bounce exactly.

1b Warm-up legs 4:39 ****** Can’t You See (Shermanology & GRX)
1a flows straight into 1b’s 3 knees  without missing as much as a beat. I really like that; there is no need or other good reason to pause between upper and lower warm-up. It starts with a series of Frontkicks followed by R/L series of Sidekicks with perfectly matched music. I find that the advantage with long series is, that you can gradually work on improving your technique and/or height, making just minor adjustments from one kick to the other. I really can’t find anything wrong with this warm-up, so full score.

2 Combat I 2:12 **** I’m Shipping Up To Boston (Sway Spice)
Very short track 2. I sense a bit of an inside joke in choosing Irish themed music, as the knee and front kick combinations could look a little bit like Riverdancing. The Jump kicks work well, but I could do with more instructors reminding class that it’s a stationary Jump kick, so only one single step forward to start it off.

3 Power I 7:29 ***** You’ve Got The Love – Breeze & Modulate Remix (Sosumi feat. Missy DJ)
This is a nice long power track with Jabs/Crosses/Hooks combinations. Initially I had some difficulty finding the rhythm between the 4 jacks and 2 squats, until I just did 6 jacks with built-in squats on the last 2.  Very good match between music and choreography.

4 Combat II 4:13 ** Blast Off (The Basic Proton)
This track had all opportunities to score very highly with me. I love Sidekicks and I love long series. The music is great… and then, damn it, on the floor again as we did in 63. At least this time only push-ups and no stupid bear-crawls. And quite a few push-ups to get through. Because of that challenge and for ditching the bear-crawls I give the track 2 stars, one more than 63-4. But honestly, enough is enough. OK, I know we’ll do it again-again in 65 and can we then call it a day? Check with instructors and classes. Yes, there are a few participants liking it and yes, 63-4 and 64-4 do make rare appearances in mixes, but nowhere close to the number the other tracks do, so listen to the message, please.
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5 Power II 5:57 ** Hot Right Now – Jag Skillz VIP Mix (DJ Fresh)
I don’t mind HIIT training. Whenever I feel like that particular style, I can join any number of different GRIT classes. But series not designed to run in sync with the music has no place in a BodyCombat program. In 65 they do address that issue, and from what I’ve tried, it seems a much better way to introduce HI into Combat.

6 Combat III 3:11 ****** Black Widow (Iggy Azalea feat. Rita Ora)
Track 6 is my favorite track from this release. It’s really nice for the legs and reminds me of another favorite, Y.A.L.A. (62-6). Music is great and fits the choregraphy with the gradual development from small capoeira style steps to lunges.

7 Muay Thai 7:57 ****** La Nina Mechanica (Engine Florida)
In general Muay Thai is the track I really look forward to during a normal (mixed) BodyCombat class. There are just so many good ones: Blade, Braveheart, Metal Combat, Excalibur, Ravers Paradise and from the newer releases: Kryptonite & Let the Beat Go.
This is definitely not bad. Both Side and Descending elbows contribute well, and the many repeated knees can be utilised fully. The push kick doesn’t do it for me, a bit too slow, but all-in-all a good track I am quite sure we’ll see in future mixes. It would have been the best for me, if I hadn’t already picked track 6 🙂

8 Power III 6:37 ***** If You Surrender (The Truly)
Not so much to say about the last power track. I belong to what I suspect is a minority who actually like the gi-pull. But I have talked to others and I am not the only one who thinks the 6½ minutes feel a lot faster. That in itself, in some way, must be a good sign for the last Power Track.

9 Styrke 3:24 ***** Shell Shocked (The Proven Lab)
My personal goal in this track is to get through the whole ABS program, all the way, without cheating. Gotta help me on my way to a six-pack. haven’t achieved it yet, but this 9 should help.

10 Cooldown  4:00 ***** Simply Amazing (Trey Songz)
Nice cool down and I like the variation with the crossed one-legged pull.

I give the release *****(5) out of ******(6) possible stars.
Good and appropriate music, easy choreography and excelelnt leg exercises all pushes the score up. Track4 and 5 pulls it down a bit.

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