The past few days I’ve posted about food and fun, so today, it’s back to fitness.
Later this evening, I’m teaching a BODYPUMP class followed by a CXWORX class, so I’ve had to learn and prepare one more new release for this round of quarterly launches, and CXWORX 14 is a killer! (By the way, CXWORX is a 30-minute core program, also created by Les Mills International, which I’ll provide more detail on in the future.)
That being said, it’s time to share my thoughts on the latest Les Mills BODYATTACK 84 release, which I’ve now taught a couple of times.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, BODYATTACK is a group fitness program, and you can read my BODYATTACK overview and tips for first-timers here.
What is a Les Mills release?
Every three months, Les Mills, a company based in New Zealand, “releases” to instructors around the world, an entirely new class of music, choreography and moves per each of its programs. I currently teach three programs and already launched BODYPUMP 89 and BODYATTACK 84. I’m teaching CXWORX 14 for the first time tonight.
BODYATTACK 84 review
BODYATTACK 84 has great music and fairly simple choreography to learn and to teach. There are a few new combinations, but no new moves except for some side-hops in the plyometrics track and a plank with a hip tap in the core track.
Here’s a rundown on the tracks:
- Warm-up – I love this song. You can use the “turn the lights on” lyrics to talk to the class about turning on the energy. Once again, this is a 3-D warm-up, featuring aerobics, strengths and sports moves to get the body ready for each aspect of the class ahead. Each set requires quite a bit of set-up coaching and you can get pretty heated in the first five minutes of class. Therefore, I recommend that you make sure to take it easy with your class and not go too hard too fast. The step touches go so well with the music, and it really sets the tone for a great class.
- Mixed Impact – This is another great song, which is a remix of Avicii’s “Wake Me Up.,” There are long sets of hamstring curls and two-step gallops, which gives you plenty of time to teach members the moves and rhythm and enjoy some silence in the music. The side-step agility move goes well with the music and offers a little sports-vibe. The third set runs a little boring toward the end, so as an instructor, you should probably have something good to say planned or a question to ask the class and get them excited.
- Aerobics – This is a fun one. There is a Riverdance flavor and theme, which is really fun to teach, set to the Diva Chain’s “Crazy Kids.” Both times I’ve done this track, the members have been noticeably smiling. There is a double-knee-lift-crossover moves with arms in the air in all three sets fittingly dubbed the Highland Fling, which is always a little hard for members to get at first. I really like the low option provided, which is a double-knee lift with no arms. Although this track could be considered cheesy, it’s followed up by some hard-core work next, so I took advantage of the fun in this one and played to the Riverdance theme.
- Plyometrics – PEAK #1: This one is deceivingly hard, with three progressive sets. The three-levels of side-step, side-hops, side-jumps is a great way to build up and work into a peak. I’ve never taught a track before in which we run in square patterns in starting in different directions, so that’s interesting. The low option for plyometric lunges is a back-stepping lunge in this one, rather than front, so don’t miss that. The last set features a round of squat jumps with heels up toward the butt, and these are truly killer. It’s just at the point in which you think you can’t do another, then the music stops and you’ve done it.
- Upper-Body Conditioning – This one is super hard. In fact, I think it’s the hardest upper-body BODYATTACK track I’ve ever taught or experienced. It’s a little awkward to teach the members the one, two or three tricep push-up option, following the half burpee. Even though I’ve previewed it before the track both times I’ve taught it, it still seems there is a bit of confusion. The recoveries are fairly short, but the song is good.
- Running – This is a classic, fun, easy-to-learn and easy-to-teach running track mixed with a few strength moves. I’d like to call it running track perfection, set to Cahill and Kimberley Locke’s “Feel the Love.” Watch out for the eight burpees in the last set, because it really gets you going before you move on to agility.
- Agility – Once again, a good one. I like that the three sets are nearly similar, because that’s important in the agility track to keep building intensity, without having to set up the class over and over. The last part of each set has the quick, quick, slow ski-jumps, which is very effective if you get low enough in the squat. The words go very well with the moves.
- Intervals – I’m not crazy about this one moves-wise, although the song is catchy. It seems like a throw away. There’s not a lot of diversity in the moves and the three squares in the last set are overkill. I typically love the interval track, but this one is my least favorite of this release.
- Power – PEAK #2: I like this song, Italo Brothers’ “This is Nightlife.” I like the moves. The combination of snowboard jumps to plyometric lunges is so easy to get if you tell people to bring their back leg forward, but it’s hard to get that out during the move, so be clear. I’m definitely dying by the last set when we add the tucks into the snowboards, but it’s fun. This is truly a peak.
- Lower-Body Conditioning – This is pretty easy for a lower body track. It’s short and the moves aren’t as intense as some previous ones. Also, this track starts out immediately when the song begins, and I’ve found I’m still panting and puffing from the power track. It seems there is usually more time to “step it out” before getting into the leg work.
- Core Conditioning – I like the hip tap. I like the mountain climbers. I like the song. No real complaints here. It’s probably on the easier side of core tracks as far as BODYATTACK goes.
- Cool-down – This is a strong cool-down, with a funny option to do some sexy fitness magic. Once again, this is short, so make sure you hold the stretches deeply and congratulate the class for the work.
There aren’t a lot of hard moves or combinations in BODYATTACK 84, so you’ll really enjoy moving without too much thought involved. And you will get the workout you came for: 55 minutes of aerobics, sports and strength.
The presenters didn’t show the low options all the time for every move that should have had one. However, I’ve found I need to demonstrate the low options in the first two sets of most tracks for my classes to remind them. It’s important for people to feel successful, so I’d recommend that you make sure you are showing enough options throughout, even if it wasn’t called out in the choreography notes or DVD.
Overall thoughts on BODYATTACK 84
It’s a strong release, a fun release, and a great way to burn hundreds of calories and get your heart fit. Because Les Mills knows the importance of good music to fuel members for an effective workout, it seems like the moves in BODYATTACK 84 really play off the lyrics more so than ever before.
The warm-up sets the tone for the class perfectly, the upper body track is incredibly intense and the running track is my favorite.
I’ve been teaching BODYATTACK for just under seven months, and although BODYATTACK 83 is my favorite release to date, BODYATTACK 84 has now claimed second place.
There you have it.
Now it’s time for me to practice some more CXWORX before the night comes …
Questions of the day
Have you tried BODYATTACK? What’s your go-to cardio workout?