Les Mills BODYATTACK 88 class review

All you group fitness lovers, today’s the day we finally talk about the latest Les Mills BODYATTACK release number 88. I’ve taught this release more than a dozen times, and although I’ve gone back to teaching older releases, I didn’t want to miss the chance to discuss the moves and tunes.

Les Mills BODYATTACK 88 review via A Lady Goes West

First, here are a few things you may want to know about BODYATTACK:

  • It’s a one-hour choreographed sports-cardio class set to awesome music
  • It’s much more athletic than aerobic and has been heading in that direction for the past year or so — the program is constantly evolving
  • No matter your fitness level, you can do BODYATTACK, because there are tons of options and modifications applicable to almost every move in class
  • It’s only available in gyms that pay for a license from the Les Mills company and cannot be done at home or by video (unless you’re a certified instructor who receives the educational videos for learning)
  • I teach BODYATTACK about three times-a-week in gyms around the San Francisco Bay Area and have been certified in the program for almost two years
  • People become obsessed with Les Mills BODYATTACK and there’s a reason why — the energy, the music and the workout high you get from it can be addicting 

And for some more background information …

What is a Les Mills release?

Every three months, Les Mills, the international company based in New Zealand that produces more than 11 group fitness programs including BODYATTACK, BODYPUMP and CXWORX to name a few, “releases” new choreography, music and moves for each program around the world in more than 80 countries. That means people speaking different languages in different time-zones are doing the same quality workouts, led by Les Mills instructors, who are all part of the “Tribe.”

As an instructor, you get the release about a month or so ahead of time to prepare and teach the program on a designated “launch” day decided by the gym where you teach. I debuted BODYATTACK 88 during the first week of April at 24 Hour Fitness.

For the nitty-gritty on BODYATTACK, head on over to my post on BODYATTACK tips for first-timers, or check this out straight from the folks at Les Mills:

BODYATTACK is a high-energy fitness class with moves that cater for total beginners to total addicts. We combine athletic movements like running, lunging and jumping with strength exercises such as push-ups and squats. A LES MILLS instructor will pump out energizing tunes and lead you through the workout – challenging your limits in a good way, burning up to 730 calories* and leaving you with a sense of achievement. 

BODYATTACK 88 class review

Overall, my thoughts on BODYATTACK 88:

  • The message of this release is “turn your pain into power,” and those are the lyrics from the cool-down song, so it all ties together nicely. I liked mentioning that at the beginning of class and revisiting it at the finish. Nice touch, Les Mills folks.
  • In BODYATTACK 87 there was a big change, which featured the combining of the upper and lower-body tracks into one athletic conditioning track in the middle of the class. That, along with an extended core track, are both repeated in BODYATTACK 88. I’m definitely enjoying this new format of the program, because by the time the second cardio peak hits in track nine, we’ve totally fatigued our legs, so it’s good to get them out of the way earlier in class and be done with everything except abs and cool-down after track nine.
  • The music in this release features old songs remixed and new songs remixed. Overall, this is probably the best selection of songs in one release in its entirety that I’ve experienced to date.
  • The peak four track is quite challenging, the running track six is quite easy, and the interval track eight is absolutely awesome. Every single track is doable, and the challenge is just right in all but a couple of the tracks.
  • Just like in BODYATTACK 87, the core track is not good. The moves are slow, fairly ineffective at points, and the track doesn’t maintain the good vibe of the rest of the release.
  • If you do this release from beginning to end, you will get in a killer workout, and boy it goes by quickly. 

And now for a track-by-track breakdown, with links to some of the songs.

  1. Warm-up. I Will Never Let You Down (RainDropz! meets Booty Boy Remix)” by Love Junkeez. Well, I just love this warm-up track. Not only is the song incredibly peppy and welcoming, but the moves go great with the song. There is a new move to the warm-up here, which is the side lunge. I’ve found that participants have a tough time with this move, but it gets repeated again later in the release, so it’s good they’re getting a chance to try it and warm up their hips with it. Gone are the days of walking forward and back and clapping in BODYATTACK to start the class. This warm-up includes step touches, running, squats, step curls, mountain climbers, and even tricep push-ups. An athletic warm-up if I’ve ever seen one. Major thumbs up!
  2. Mixed Impact. “Get Out (Classic Dance Remix)” by De Grees feat. Cathy K. What a classic. Everyone knows the words to this remixed song, and it’s fun to sing along to during the later sets. While this is a shorter track, the new addition of the “side step over” move is a welcome change. Although I’d prefer to call the new move “the pony,” in my head, I know we’re focused on the athletics in BODYATTACK these days. This track includes running, gallops, step curls, side step overs and that’s about it. I enjoy a simple and repetitive track two like this, because it lets newer participants feel successful by getting a chance to practice moves and learn to follow along the flow of BODYATTACK. And once you get to the final set, those step overs get the booty and legs working. Major thumbs up!
  3. Aerobics. Ghost (RainDropz! Remix)” by Revolva. While at first I loved this song, I quickly grew sick of this entire track, music and all. I do like the addition of the “bow-tie run,” because we have not taught or done one of those in BODYATTACK in more than a year. I found that participants were able to learn the bow-tie run fairly quickly, and they seemed to enjoy the chance to use the entire room with the other participants in the class while running from corner to corner. With running, jumping jacks, side bounces and single knees, this track is not as challenging as other aerobics tracks have been in the past. And for some reason, the repetition gets really old to me. Thumbs neutral. 
  4. Plyometrics. Back 2 Front (Original Mix)” by Joel Fletcher & Reece Low. Let me start by saying this plyo track is a full six-minutes long, which is forever when it comes to a peak track. It starts out nice and easy with some step, squat, jump and run combos. Then, we get into more challenging three-step athletic runs, three-step power runs, high ice-skaters and low power-skaters. This is the first time we’ve done the high ice-skater with a “lift,” and I didn’t particularly like this move. It feels awkward to me, and I believe participants felt that as well. I like how this song builds in intensity and the sets of work mesh well with the music. The second half of the track includes squat pulses and the infamous burpee-to-a-wide-tuck jump. Major push right there, as it goes directly back into the step, squat and jump combo with a run back! The final set includes no breaks with four sets of double burpees-to-wide-tucks, and it’s no joke. The last set alone makes this one of the harder track fours we’ve had in a while. Nearly rival to the one in BODYATTACK 85. Thumbs up!
  5. Athletic Strength. “Come Get It Bae” by Poetry Alley. I’m a big fan of this song and the moves in this track. At nearly six-and-a-half minutes, this is a long one. There are bottom-half squat pulses, lunges, tricep push-ups, chest push-ups and a combination requiring participants to jump down to a push-up and jump back up to a squat. I love the repetition of the combination in this track, because it seems like it took participants a while to get the timing and reps just right. While this is not as hard as the athletic strength track of BODYATTACK 87, it’s still a good one, especially if you get on your toes for some of the tricep push-ups and for the last few sets of chest push-ups. Thumbs up!
  6. Running. “Wild Wild Love (RainDropz! Remix)” by Stereo Slam. Cute little song, which slowly brings the class back into the second cardio portion of the hour. While I realize that many participants need the recovery, I do feel that this track (much like in BODYATTACK 87) is just a little too easy. However, the song is fun and the moves are fun — just lacking a little bite. We run forward, swing back, go around in a circle and run into the middle as a group. The “strength” portion of this track features side squats and side lunges. And although participants had a chance to try those side lunges in the warm-up, these ones are a little faster and harder to master for most people. Thumbs neutral.
  7. Agility. “#SELFIE” by Atlantic Court. Oh fun! Everybody knows this song, and this remix is the great backdrop to a strong track seven for agility. I think this track has just enough challenge, but not too much so that we don’t have enough steam to get through the last two cardio tracks of the day. We do some side hops, skaters and even ski jumps, then get into sprinting and ladder runs. With four rounds and a lot going on, this track keeps participants moving very fast in two planes of motion. As an instructor, you really need to use short directional cues to get participants through this, and they seem to love it. It’s a fun one, and requires some counting to get the reps right, but feels good to perform. Thumbs up!
  8. Intervals. “Toca’s Miracle” by Unnamed Nova. I love every single thing about this track eight for intervals. I love the song. It’s an older dance mix that people seem to remember — those words are good “I need a miracle”! I love the moves. I love the repetition. I love how the exercises build with the tempo and beat of the song. And boy, when participants turn around after the kick and run combo with their hands in the air, a little bit of fitness magic happens every time. This track includes only a few moves, but they work. Single knees, kicks, running, flicks and that’s about it. I can’t stop smiling during this one. Even though people are tired, it’s so darn enjoyable they seem to be able to pull a little extra energy out to perform it right. Major major thumbs up!
  9. Power. “We Go Down” by Heaven Acre. This is a good song and a strong track nine for the second peak of class. There are three sets and five-and-a-half minutes of work total. We do some knees, jogs, shuffles, plyometric lunges, power jumping jacks, ski jumps, side jumps and tuck jumps in two big repeated sets with a final simple set. The beat of this song really drives the last big peak of class, and I think participants dig it. I think it’s just the right amount of challenge, especially with a few additional side tuck jumps thrown in at the end of the firs two sets. Good stuff! Thumbs up.
  10. Core Conditioning. “Lovers On The Sun (Sub Phonix Remix)” by Electro Driverz. The worst song of the release. The worst moves of the release. Even though I like the fact that we work in the plank position and incorporate a high to low plank, the horse stance and pointer just don’t do much for me. I don’t feel much of a challenge for much of this track and feel like it could be better. It’s short too, at just under five minutes and doesn’t have enough work for the back. Thumbs down. 
  11. Cool-down. “Superheroes” by The Script. Average cool-down. Seems a bit short, but is okay with me. We hit a few major muscle groups and revisit the message of the release. Pretty decent way to end class. Thumbs up.

There you have it! BODYATTACK 88 has been reviewed. It’s a strong release, with some hard parts and some easy parts. A holistic ride if you ask me.

For instructors: This one was pretty easy to learn because of all the repetition. Make sure you master the new moves before teaching them (like the side step over, high ice-skater, etc.), and be prepared to give plenty of options during each track to help people of all levels be successful. Also, if you teach a shorter BODYATTACK format, refer to the choreography notes for the new track line-ups to make up the 30-and 45-minute versions. For more tips, check out: Top 10 ways to grow your group fitness classes.

For participants: Be ready for a good time with this release. The music is fun, the workout will challenge you, and you’ll have plenty of chances to run around the room an interact with your instructor and fellow participants. Oh and during track five, try to do as many sets of push-ups as you can on your toes. You’ll get stronger so quickly! For more tips, check out: How to get better results from group fitness classes.

Enjoy more Les Mills information

As you can see, I have a lot to say about Les Mills. If you want to read a little bit more, please check out some of my previous posts:

I hope you have an awesome day, my friends! I’ll see you back here tomorrow for “Friday Favorites.

Questions of the day 

Have you tried BODYATTACK 88? What are your thoughts?

What has been the best workout you’ve done lately?

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  1. Wish there were BODYATTACK classes where I am in Ireland! Sounds like a fun way to get in some cardio… I did a hiit workout on the treadmill this morning, not so fun but it’s quick and effective.

  2. Sounds like an awesome release! Thank you for linking all the songs..I’ll have to check them out 🙂 I have always wondered..how do you memorize the choreo so quickly and not get mixed up with the old release/all the other classes you teach? I don’t think I could handle one class let alone everything you do! You’re a beast girl!

    1. Hi Gretchen! Thanks! It takes practice to learn the moves and music. I’ve been doing it for a long time and have it down to a science. I spend time before every class, sometimes days before for a new release, memorizing and doing the workout by myself out loud. A long time ago I wrote a post on how I memorized things — https://aladygoeswest.com/2014/03/18/how-to-learn-les-mills-choreography/

      It’s tough, but worth the sacrifice once you get to deliver it all to a fun class!:) Happy Thursday!!

  3. YAY. I love when you do these. I agree almost 100% except for track 7. I’m not a huge fan of the selfie remix music. I didn’t like the song to begin with so I’m sure I went into it a little biased. I just don’t enjoy the words as much, so if I don’t listen to them the rest of the music and choreography are fine for me! I agree that the choreo for this one wasn’t too terrible to learn and I especially enjoyed the addition of “the pony”. I wasn’t a huge fan of the high ice skater either but I wonder if that’s just because it’s so tough? Other than that I agree, awesome release. Happy Thursday!

    1. Hi Jenna! I can completely see how if you didn’t like the Selfie song, you wouldn’t like track seven too much. And I wish they just called the side step over the PONY — I can picture Richard Simmons doing it back in the day heheh. Anyways, glad you enjoyed the review! Are you still going to be teaching ATTACK in your new job?

  4. I agree with your review! I haven’t taught it a lot but I have done it on my own a ton to learn. Some of the new moves were weird at first especially the new skater but once I got in front of the class, it clicked! The “Selfie” track was a hard one to learn and teach. I will take your suggestion about short cues – I think that is the key to that track because it’s all over the place. Thanks for the review!

    1. Hi Bea! Yes, sometimes things seem better when in front of the group. I’m glad you’ve had a chance to work on this release a lot on your own. And of course, this is a strong release overall — Les Mills wouldn’t have it any other way. Enjoy it!! How’s the teaching going?? Hope all is well!

      1. Teaching is so fun! I’ve seen a lot of improvement but I still have a ways to go be where I want to be. Those burpee/tuck jumps are the only move where I can’t do them all in the track!! I only teach an express class but I’ve been subbing a lot of 1 hr classes so I continually work on my skills and stamina! Thanks for asking 🙂

  5. My gym offers a variety of Les Mills classes. I attend Bodypump at least once a week and have been wanting to try Bodyattack. Unfortunately it seems as though they don’t offer it many times through the week and most of the classes are during work hours. They do however offer Bodycombat frequently. What are your thoughts of Bodyattack vs. Bodycombat?

    1. Hi Amanda! All Les Mills classes are great. Like BODYATTACK, BODYCOMBAT is a cardio class, which is mostly martial arts based. There will be upper- and lower-body training and core training. And of course, a lot of punching and kicking and bobbing around. There are not as many high-impact big moves like there are in BODYATTACK. The music is also more martial arts inspired, although popular remixes make it in. I am actually not really into the martial arts thing, so don’t enjoy BODYCOMBAT, but I know a lot of people are are obsessed. All the punching is GREAT for your upper-body and core. You should give it a try. But, my true love is BODYATTACK! 🙂

    1. Hhahah thanks, Doc! I’ve been doing it for a while. And yes, it takes practice and work at home. I spend a lot of time learning choreography every week, even just to refresh old classes I’ve taught before. It’s sooo worth it though to teach it in front of a fun and excited group! Happy Thursday! 🙂

    1. ahahah Megan! Absolutely, yes! I always have a few people in class who “power march” during every run and who do NOT jump and do the lower options the entire class. You still get a great workout even if you lose the impact. One day you’ll need to get in a BODYATTACK class! You’d love the music and vibe.

  6. Looks like you and Annette were on the same wavelength with reviewing BA 88 today! So fun to read both of your reviews. I know I would just LOVE BODYATTACK! It sounds like such a fun, high intensity workout – totally my style. Maybe someday my gym will get it!

    1. Hi Beverly. Sure is! In fact, the first time you take a class with music that goes perfectly with the moves, it’s an amazing experience. Hope you have a fabulous Thursday! 🙂

    1. Hi Mattie! I used ClassPass for a month in SF and loved how I had the chance to visit so many different studios. Hope you’re enjoying it! 🙂

    1. Hi Chloe! Yay! Welcome to the Les Mills tribe! Happy pumping to you! Hope you get to go through BODYATTACK training one day.

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