BODYPUMP™ 91, Education!

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BODYPUMP™ 90, My Personal Review!

I know this is coming a little bit late, since many of you are already following this blog and looking forward to reading cool stuff about Les Mills™ programs, I apologize since I had a few hectic weeks.

This time I’m starting my review quite differently!! Yeaaah! Let’s do it!

BODYPUMP™ 90 Track List:

  1. You Make Me                  “Avicii
  2. What Now                        “Rihanna
  3. Conquistador                “Thirty Seconds to Mars
  4. Promises                           “Nero
  5. Walk of Shame              “P!nk
  6. Miss Jackson                  “Panic! At The Disco feat. Lolo
  7. Stay The Night              “Zedd feat. Hayley Williams
  8. Thumbs Up (For Rock N Roll) Kill The Noise Remix                “Kill The Noise And Feed Me
  9. Something I Need       “OneRepublic
  10. How You Remind MeNickelback

Two Alternative Track:

5. Put Your Hands Up          “Stevie feat. III Youth

6. Everybody Bring it          “Ronnie Fi’nesse

I guess many of you are happy with this play list now 🙂

1. Warm Up:

The track starts with the presenters telling us to find THE FATIGUE in each and every track, how do you feel about that? It makes me thrilled!!

This is the coolest Warm Up track so far for me, Upright Rows and Dead Lifts combined is an amazing thing. Triple Dead Rows are there to heat you up for a cooking workout.

Right after single Clean & Presses, Squats come immediately, the transition is pretty short, I love it, it’s truly a good Warm Up. Same happens to Lunges. There is change here, we can see it, the Warm Up ends with Lunges 🙂

The music is amazing in terms of connecting with the crowds!

2. Squats:

Three Stances, Three Sets of work and more, and more and more muscles to activate!

You will notice in the recent releases that the sets are similar to each other in terms of Choreography, it’s not hard to memorize them anymore, which is great, set your mind free and focus on your efficiency.

I like Squat tracks which start with super slow tempo. It never gets easy here; Super Slow, Easy Singles, Down and Hold and Bottom Halves! Good luck out there cooking your new strong legs!

The song is popular, the remix might not be, but it’s powerful, once you push play you wouldn’t want to stop even if your legs started to fall apart!

3. Chest:

This is the hardest Chest track I’ve ever tried so far! It is, all of it, a stagger, not only the parts called stagger! CHEST PRESS ALL THE WAY. If your chest muscles are not that strong, I suggest you go light till it becomes easy, then you can increase the weights. I believe this needs you to activate the virtue of patience (lol :p)

4. Back:

Tell you what? WHY? haha okay,  this is pretty tough as well! Four Sets of work, lots of things to do!

We’ve got Dead Lifts, Dead Rows and Clean & Presses , which are back to us 🙂 in Set One and Two. Very neat and very well put, easy to follow and remember. The Recovery comes on time, as Set Three comes different and challenging; with its Dead Rows, Front Squats and Squat Presses. There are plenty of them there. During and after Set Three I doubt anyone would be able to breath normally. Set Four comes to finish us, because it’s a duplicate for Set Three! METABOLIC STRESS “to burn the most amount of calories” is waiting for you each and every time you choose to play this track. If I called the chest track a ‘Cooking Track”, I would call this one  a” Baking Track”.

I personally like this one!

5.Triceps:

How do you feel about your Triceps in general? Weak? Strong? You will figure your Triceps out right here, right now!

We did miss Extensions and Presses, didn’t we? And there are so many of them, soooooooo many!!! I don’t usually find Tricep Dips challenging, but after all these Presses and Extensions they are actually tough! But what else are we here for? To get stronger! And that’s why we love it!

Check the alternative track.

6. Biceps:

Miss Jackson is gonna haunt you till the next release comes out! You will be so addicted to this, soooo addicted! I do appreciate the fact that we do train our Biceps in different ways in BODYPUMP™. We don’t use the bars all the time, we don’t use the plates all the time either. They do care for us, don’t they? The Mid Range Plate Curl is actually a great way to feel the burn. Thank you BODYPUMP™ it never gets boring!

Check the alternative track.

7. Lunges:

Popular song, easier for all of us 🙂

Starting with a Wide Squat Stance is truly a gift; more muscles to recruit and engage. I wouldn’t say this track is the hardest, it comes for many of you out there as a chance to recover, if you feel this way go heavier. Instructors, please do give your member options, to go Body Weight if they find Lunges hard to do, or let them Squat instead, many people suffer knee problems, thank you! 🙂

8. Shoulders:

It always makes me excited to start Shoulders Tracks with Push Ups! Here you go, you’ve got 16 of them! And not only that, Push Ups come different this time at the end; as many as you can, as fast as you can! The MAX PUSHUP!

Up Right Rows followed by Over Head Presses is a typical combination, but it does work perfectly fine for your shoulders. Tempo here will be your challenger, as it goes in singles and in 1/1/2 as well. You did guess that you will have to Push Press here as well, I know! lol

Mac Raises are back as well! Here we have a double challenge: 1. Is to perform strong and beautiful Mac Raises, and 2. To teach our members to do that as well! I see members confused trying to perform them since they go in complete different directions.

What I like here the most: the difficulty level and the music! Lovely perfect choice!

Thank you for reading! And Have fun while making your body and mind stronger!

BODYCOMBAT™ 60! Happy 15 Years!

BODYCOMBAT™ instructors and fans are celebrating 15 years of BODYCOMBAT™ in the international market. 15 years of hard work, creativity, development and love.

According to that, BODYCOMBAT™ introduces to us a new move! Let’s talk about this in a bit. Before that I would like instructors to pay attention to the educational session in their DVDs, I believe not everyone watches them, as some of us hurry just to learn to choreography. The educational session this time came to help you protect your voice as another gift from Les Mills™ for us to celebrate 15 years of BODYCOMBAT™!

What damages your voice?

  • Screaming and shouting can cause a serious damage to your voice; they can cause your vocal cords to vibrate at a higher frequency, which inflames the surface, and in worse cases that creates scarring, and if scarring is not being taken care of it causes nodules. The continuous misuse of voice will make these nodules hard and rigid, which may lead to the necessity of a surgery.   Keep in mind that people don’t enjoy hearing shouting and screaming, and it’s not connective to yell.
  • Every instructor is a professional voice user, or supposed to be. But your body posture during your classes is not always going to help you to use your voice correctly, neither would physical tiredness nor dehydration. Teaching back to back classes, and teaching classes while being sick are ways to damage your voice.
  • Caffeinated drinks dehydrate your vocal cords.

How can you protect your voice?

  • Warm up your voice before you start your class. Think about the importance of warming up your body before working out, and same applies to your voice. There are many ways to warm it up: breathing, small vibrations, lubricating your vocal cords with warm water, starting the class with a conversational voice gives your voice time to warm up, and singing before teaching.
  • Don’t force your voice, find a low tone that is powerful, avoiding high pitch.
  • Rest your voice as you rest your body. Choose resting days for your voice, inform people that you are resting your voice. Avoid talking and singing during this time. You may want to do things that don’t require you to speak and you enjoy them at the same time.
  • Getting enough sleep helps your vocal cords to heal and recover
  • Don’t teach while you are sick, because it’s a common cause for vocal damage. It’s not a sign of weakness when you call in sick.
  • Avoid Caffeine, and when you have a sore throat avoid strong menthol sweets.

In your choreography notes you will find notes and tips on how to protect and care for your voice, please do read them.

 The New Move!

Right! So let’s move on into the new move we’ve got in this new release! IT’S THE SUPERMAN PUNCH! It’s basically a cross that comes after stepping forward with one foot and hopping forward as well using the same foot. You can find it broken down for you also in your  DVDs! Enjoy this one!

Release 60!

  • UPPER & LOWER BODY WARM UP (1a & 1b)- Hit me with your best shot “Neon Ninja”, Roar “Hot Cherry”

This current release and the one before include upper and lower body movements in the upperbody warm up track, this way we are preparing ourselves and our members for a big workout coming ahead of us.

Boxing, Tae Kwon Do and Capoeira are our themes here. It’s fun, it’s cool and it’s easy to follow.

The fun continues in the lowerbody warm up track. Again Boxing and Tae Kwon Do are there along with Mixed Martial Arts.

The Familiar music drives the vibe, and it will keep you confident. Being confident should allow you to simplify your cuing, remember to get back to the basics to connect clearly with the members and be understood. Teach your members to understand the different levels of range of motion by mentioning different targets.

  • COMBAT 1- Black or White “The Treat Ring”

Kick-Boxin, Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do! This track is relatively short and the challenge for the instructors is to encourage the participants to get the best of the workout. The music is so popular, people will sing along and be very excited.

They are many repetitions, which is going to help people to hit the quality through the quantity. If you can hear the bell it’s good for you, because it’s your sign to change sides or to know it’s time to move on. I love the noise of breaking glass in the back fist! Maybe you want to point it out to the people out there, they might visualize breaking actual glass.

  • POWER TRAINING 1- Fly Away ” Deer Between”

Lots of upper cuts and lots of hooks! Good stuff! Many people don’t master these two and this track is going to help them learn how to perform IF you help them to.

The intensity should be shifting from easy to hard. Simple High Intensity Interval Training is there for you. Staring slow, then faster, using more muscles across the body by bracing the ABS and twisting the torso help getting the benefit of HIIT. This one is happy; happy music and happy atmosphere!

  • COMBAT 2- Emergency “Steve Aoki Feat. Lil Jon, Chiddy Bang”

They call this track THE BEAST!

Capoeira, Kick-Boxing  and Tae Kwan Do! So we are having enough Tae Kwon Do this time!

Very powerful music and very challenging workout. I recommend beginners to take it really easy, decreasing the range of motion at the beginning will decrease the intensity till they get used to it, later they can go crazy!

The split lunges are going to be a challenge for some people out there, it will make the workout seem hard. But they are good as long as they are performed correctly. This track also will teach people to find their physical balance.

I love this one, it’s really powerful!

  • POWER TRAINING 2- Rise Again “Breeze v Lost Witness”

Alright! New things here for us again! “Interval within Interval” which means you are starting with a moderate intensity then the jabs come to create and increased core and cardio response throughout the workout.

We also have the “On The Beat, Off The Beat” rhythms to create and authentic Boxing feel and training in the last round on both sides.

  • COMBAT 3- What’s love“Ste Ingham and Nick Skitz”

Mr. Nick Skitz is being our featured artist for this release. I guess his music has been wisely used in BODYPUMP™ different releases, and now it’s being used over here as well. His music is powerful and to some of you it speaks to your minds while training.

Track 6 is based on Tae Kwon Do. Lots of repetitions and one martial art can be a bit intimidating for many instructors, for they feel it can be boring, yet challenging to keep the spirit during the track. It’s very important to learn to cue and coach before teaching this track, being organized in thoughts will help you deliver the right thing in the right time and grow within the workout.

Perfecting the posture and the technique will also free your mind while you teach, as it works out for all of us when we learn the choreography very well.  I would personally focus on the Decoy Switch here, because it does magical things to the core. Trying to connect through the music will give the track different colors.

  • Muay Thai- Kryptonite “Proof Luke”

Awesome music, new move and a good way to teaching the combo; saying 7 is everyone’s clue to their combo. The knees, the elbows and the Superman punch will all leave you raged and fatigue, it all will activate your cardiovascular system and will strengthen your core. Attitude will create the soul of this track, the aggression, the determination will make things look real. This track is not to keep the smiley faces! Haha seriously you won’t manage that!

  • POWER TRAINING 3- Sun Shine on a Cloudy day- Bang!

6 minutes 53 seconds of Boxing. Joyful and euphoric yet intense. Take it easy people, the Muay Thai track killed us all. Start easy and nice till you catch your breath!

Upper and lower body working together again, we ain’t goin’ lazy! Encourage yourself to catch the workout as soon as the Double Jab combo arrives.

I always look forwards to an epic finish, and there it is for you! Work together as a team in the finish, one team, shoulder to shoulder foot to foot, feel the heat of the person next to you, this helps you put even more energy into it.

Enjoy the new release, the intensity this time is really challenging yet great! I personally liked a lot the new graphics and colors of our educational materials, very artistic and brave. I would say all in all this new release it refreshing to all of us out there!

BC60

Learning Choreography, Les Mills™ Instructors!

Choreography Notes
Choreography Notes

All the time instructors discuss the best way to study and remember different choreography.  But there is nothing called the best way, there is the best way for each one of us. Studying choreography needs some attention, and people learn in different ways, taking in consideration their different skills and mind-sets. Some people depend on what they read,  others depend on what they see and some depend on what they hear. People are different and they learn in different ways.

I have seen people learning in different ways and I have also read different discussions over Les Mills forums, as instructors there also discuss all the time ways to learn their choreography, here are some basic tips!

  • Learn your music:

It’s important to keep listening to the music over and over till you know it by heart. It’s important to be able to know when are the changes in the music are coming, (verses, pre-choruses, chorus, bridges etc). This is going to help you learn the choreography faster. 

It’s possible to listen to music everywhere now, and we all get stuck in traffic, use that and listen to your tracks, or in the office, while gardening, washing the dishes or surfing online.

  • Watch your DVD:

Some people once they get their new releases rush to watch their DVDs. For me I would do that to see if there are any new ideas in the new release, but none of what I’d see in the DVD would stick to my head from the first glance. But for some people it works perfectly fine, they watch it twice or thrice and it’s all in their heads! Magic, right?

In case you are not a visual learner, you will have to stick to option one first.

  • Read your choreography notes:

Reading the notes helps us find our bases or hints to study. Some of you might just listen to their music and follow choreography notes, reading them carefully a few times without the need to see what’s happening in the DVD.

Some people’s brains register what’s being written or read, so you might be one of these who’d rather read something to remember it.

Choreography Notes

Choreography Notes

What if sticking to one method only doesn’t help?

Then you should try and combine methods together. For me I listen to the music first till it’s in my head, then I pick up the choreography notes and I follow while listening to music. Once I memorize it, I might try and script it, and at the end I watch the DVD to see and visualize what I learned.

Some people actually follow the DVD physically, they push play and apply whatever is in there over and over till their bodies get used to it, like Wii games.

Some people find it effective to practice together in pairs or groups to learn together, others find that disturbing, or a waste of time.

Once I have gone through an online discussion over this matter, and one instructor suggested a very cool way to study and learn choreography, which I actually tried and liked a lot, here it is:

write on a piece of paper, after watching the DVD or reading the choreography notes, the choreography your own way, the simplest way possible for you to understand. If you use the subway or lots of trains, you can benefit from the time spent there by listening to your music and following your own notes. Or while driving and getting stuck in traffic you can stick that paper in front of you, say over the CD player, while listening to your music follow the notes you’ve written, if you do that over and over you will be able to learn your choreography easily. For me this works and I learn this way faster.

PLEASE! Be careful while driving, I don’t wanna be the reason if anyone of you gets hurt! try the previous only when you are stuck in traffic!

Good luck learning new releases, be creative and let me also know how do you learn your choreo!

Kia Kaha!
Katia

BODYPUMP™ 89, My Personal Review!

BODYPUMP™ 89

BODYPUMP™ is the fastest way in the universe to get in shape; muscular tension, metabolic stress combined together to build strength, tones and shapes and burns body fat

This how Glen presented the new release; a great brief defention of what BODYPUMP™ is.

Let’s check the Warm Up: (Dane Rumble featuring Jupiter Project- Not Alone)

I like warm ups that hit with back and hamstrings; it’s too many muscles there that need to be taken care of before an actual great workout.  There is a very interesting thing here; triple rows twice then slowly going up with the lyrics : you are not alone! That moves to the shoulders, down to the legs, back to shoulders, then back again and shoulders. BODYPUMP™ family are making sure you are warm this time by adding push presses at the end of the warm up.

Squats: (R3hab featuring Bassjackers- Raise Those Hands)

Oh yeah! The music is absolute madness! Lovely Lovely choice! This sounds like engineering and creating new muscles.

We’ve got bottom halves, top halves, big singles, down and holds. The track is quite tough, controlling breathing is essential, and if you are the type of people who gets so invovled and taken away by music, this track will take care of you when you think you can’t go on anymore, the music is uplifting it’s all good.

Chest: (Fall Out Boy- Where Did The Party Go)

Important?

The A press is becoming the main subject here regarding the chest track, we are seeing this frequently recently. Besides that quality is over quantity.

Bar and plates: results, isolation, results, isolation and more results.

The music is not my type, but it’s okay, at least it’s a positive track 🙂 , I liked the track used in squats better.

Back: (Nero- Me & You)

Let’s work our posterior-chain; the gluts, hips and the hamstrings. high intensity interval training. NO CLEAN AND PRESSES?? That is cool! New is always cool!

Wide grip dead lifts, wide grip dead rows are perfect for your middle back, heavy single plates: squats and push presses (HIIT) will allow all your body to work, and changing the grip to under-hand grip activates your upper back.

There is some interesting change here, not doing any clean and presses doesn’t mean you are not working your back, in this track you are allowed to challenge yourself with heavier weight than usual. Glen while designing this track did focus on mixing the mechanical tension with the metabolic stress, please do check your choreography notes for more details, or watch the DVD where he explains it.

Triceps: (Lady Gaga-Applause)

four sets of work, very amusing and challenging. How does it start and finish? Triceps push ups, kneeling over head extensions, that applies to the first two sets. In set three the exercise changes to dips and we finish with seated over head extensions.

I generally like triceps tracks, since they exercises chosen usually hit the muscles right, isolates them and they are usually fun.

Biceps: (The Killers- When You Were Young)

New move?? Yeah! The open arm curl! 

So hammer curls, open arm curls, then using light bars to continue the work.

Honestly I didn’t like the song chosen! But the workout is a killer!

Lunges: (Ellie Goulding- Burn)

More and more changes, everyone love change, right?

In the lunges track this time BODYPUMP™ brings to us new tempos which introduces isometric holds, the holds at the end of each move brings the burn to the muscles, causing them to fatigue and eventually change. The holds here are so important and they are the core of the workout!

Shoulders: (Brooklyn Bounce & DJ Zealot- True Hardstyler)

Brooklyn Bounce became the band for our shoulders! I love that! Bring it down to the floor and get two sets of push ups! All the crazy upright rows, the top halves, over head presses, push presses, rotator raises, and rotator overhead presses to kill your shoulders! This one is certainly crazy and demanding! Good luck to those of you like me with relatively weak shoulders 😛

Good luck teaching it, and good luck attending the class!

Katia

Sharing a Horrible Zumba® Experience! Just saying!

Zumba Fitness
Zumba Fitness

So everyone expects  Zumba to be a happy thing, right?

I’m originally a Les Mills instructor, I decided to enroll myself in Zumba Fitness different instructors’ training courses due to the markets’ demand, and second my appreciation to dancing in general.

On the 27th of this month, which is two days ago, I have been to a Zumba Step instructors’ training, fully willing and fully aware of what I was doing. I have registered during February this year, before I got my joints infection attacking my feet, and so when the time came to do Zumba Step I thought I can do it, since two days before I was on a Les Mills RPM module training, which is more serious, strict and physically demanding, besides the assessments we had to go through during these two days in order to initially pass or fail, and what motivated me to go on for the Zumba Step, is that the RPM master trainer did make sure to let me know what my duties and responsibilities were during the RPM module so I deliver what they expected me to, on the other hand the master trainer did actually let me rest and take small breaks when I thought my feet were not gonna hold me standing or pedaling longer, and I passed it, so i thought Zumba Step is easier and less serious and the ZES, Zumba Educational Specialist, are usually more relaxed, so no biggy, no biggy at all!

Among the instructors we had another Les Mills instructor who had a recent knee surgery, her knee hurts and my feet hurt and we both had a reason why we should have rested every now and then. But this is what we have been told by the ZES: IF YOU THINK YOU ARE NOT FIT ENOUGH FOR THE PROGRAM TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LEAVE, IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO DO EVERYTHING WE ARE GOING TO DO HERE THEN TAKE YOUR MONEY AND LEAVE.

It was kinda shocking to hear such words coming from a person who claims to have knee problems, and weird enough to hear such things from a person who claims to have been in the fitness industry for over a decade. Fitness instructors usually are aware of injuries and different health problems, and the majority of them have been through some injuries, whether they were small or big, they do know what it means to be injured and still want to continue education and career. So calling Les Mills instructors UNFIT, like me and my colleague in that case, is totally unacceptable. We weren’t there to judge or be judged.

Besides that the one day session was a one man’s show! Everything had to roam around that ZES, who’s name I’m not going to mention:

  • WHEN I WAS IN MY TWENTIES I WAS SLIM, I WAS FIT, I HAD 6 PACKS!
  • I WAS A LES MILLS INSTRUCTOR TEACHING THIS AND THAT!
  • WHEN I TALK YOU LISTEN, AND NO ONE ELSE IS ALLOWED TO TALK!
  • I HAVE FOUND MY RELAXATION TECHNIQUES: BODY BALANCE, JUNK AND WINE.
  • I DON’T WANT TO BE FIT ANYMORE, I WANNA EAT ALL THE BAD THINGS IN LIFE.

And lots of other bluffing like: THE BAR TENDER IN THE HOTEL IN AMMAN WAS SURPRISED WHEN I ORDERED BEER AS A WOMAN!

Here is what I want to say:

  • We paid money and came to learn not to get to know you!
  • Don’t judge us for being injured and sick, because one day you might also be in our shoes.
  • Zumba Step specialty is kinda new and we did want to be among the first instructors in Jordan, my country where I live now, to have its license and teach it, so appreciate our attendance, we have disregarded our situations, so respecting it would be much better than whatever you have done.
  • Don’t ask me to leave or reschedule because such specialties are not coming every other week to my country.
  • Honestly I don’t need a ZES to teach me anything in Zumba, I just need the manual and the DVDs for the program, you should be glad I came.
  • Fitness instructors no matter what TRY AND LOOK AND SEEM AND BEHAVE HEALTHY, so we never talk about junk, smoking, alcohol, etc in front of our students/members.
  • Bragging about the past won’t bring the it back, so get real please.
  • During Les Mills module training courses so far I never heard the word Zumba, so why mention Les Mills during a Zumba training. There is no way to compare this with that, please! And don’t change the channel.
  • Jordan is an Arab Muslim country, but drinking became so usual and normal, bar tenders don’t freak out seeing ladies asking for alcohol, I suggest you try another way to show off or look like an outcast or feel special. You were in Jordan not Saudi Arabia. And holding such a job of yours, you must be very accustomed to cultural differences and not mention them at all.
  • We are adults too, just like you, so let’s not play kids and teacher here, never ever!

Anyway, thanks for reading, I really never been through such a horrible experience trying to learn something new in fitness. I felt I was serving in the military that day bossed by someone who’s mental.

Katia 🙂

BODYCOMBAT™ 59, My Personal Review!

Hello there!

I guess I forgot to tell you that I’m a LES MILLS™  BODYCOMBAT™ instructor. Although I was hooked up for a while with BODYPUMP™ I haven’t reviewed any BODYCOMBAT™ releases. My bad!

Anyway, BODYCOMBAT™ 59 has been already launched in some countries, not Jordan though, we are still waiting! But that doesn’t mean I can’t review it!

Let’s start with the warm up in BODYCOMBAT™ 59; personally, I’m sorry, I didn’t like the first musical track used for the warm up, but the second is pretty cool (I Knew You Were Trouble, and Everything About You). The warm up this time isn’t challenging but rather playful, the upper body warm up or as we call it (1A) starts with Boxing, moving towards Karate then Capoeria which is pretty interesting to include the Capoeira in the upper body warm up.

The lower body warm up (1B) starts with Karate takes us to another level with some Muay Thai kicks, then changes to Taekwando.

The warm up generally is easy to follow. I hope you enjoy it!

Track 2 (Combat 1); the track (Danger Zone) is making the workout looks tougher than it is. I like the music. Here they combined Boxing, Swords and Taekwando together. The track is relatively short, but can be really fun.

Track 3 (Power Training 1); Wooohoo!! Alright if you think your upper cuts are not so good, here is the time for you to go to your instructor before or after the class and let them teach you how to upper cut properly! This track focuses mainly only one arm training at a time, almost. It goes in three rounds, and it finishes with an interesting (1,2,3) counts for upper cuts then a combo of jabs and upper cuts. I like this one regardless of the music :P, because it’s quiet challenging. If you think your upper body is weak this one will give it strength and endurance, try it out!

Track 4 (Combat 2); THIS ONE IS CHALLENGING! A lot of focus goes here to the legs, with a taste of different martial arts, you are going to feel your legs burning and your heart rate is going insane, it’s a fast moving track. I do appreciate the music choice a lot here (A Warriors Call); tough, heavy and artistic music! If I say challenging that doesn’t mean you get scared of it, take easy options for a while till you can go harder.

Track 5 (Power Training 2); Cardio, cardio and more cardio. This one got me a bit emotional (hehe) I dedicate this one to my best friend and fitness buddy Shahed Muflih, why because: Bright like the sun you are always shinning there for me, etc. I LOVE OUR FRIENDSHIP BUDDY!

Anyway back to reviewing it; 3 rounds, lots of hooks and sing alongs! The Last round is quite interesting with the pushes and the lungings! Loved it!

Track 6 (Combat 3); Kung Fu and Capoeira? Sounds interesting no?

Actually awesome! To learn to balance on one leg, to help balancing the strength of your legs muscles as you kick slow, to get the chance to conditioning your legs by doing esquivas and to jump lung? This is madness mixed with dubstep! Well designed, your abs are definitely gonna love it!

Track 7 (Muay Thai); if you day dream often of running in some street fighting random enemies and monsters the music will give you a great background to day dream stronger (Lost in Space). I can’t say more, nothing new in the Muay Thai tracks since a looooooooooong time!

Track 8 (Power Training 3); you will be (Falling From The Sky) after finishing the 8 tracks. Pretty cool song here, the speed will work you out. I have always been a fan of combining the upper cuts with the hooks and you will get to experience this in round 3.

Right, so let me criticize something here, sadly the presentations we used to see on DVDs were much of a better quality in terms of performances, techniques and the teams used to be more organized on the stage than we see now. For a while we had Dan and Rach alone on the stage, and I personally thought they should get more people to perform with them, but too many is not good either for the mess that happens on the stage, for the minimum amounts of standardizing the teams. I personally don’t agree with this, especially for the new instructors to see this, they won’t get the chance to take a look at many good role models. I don’t see the point of having a whole army of people on the stage, sorry!

Enjoy the new release, and if you are an instructor please focus on the techniques of your members.

Salute!

Katia J

LES MILLS™ BodyPump™ 88!

BP88
BP88

BODYPUMP™ 88 has been in the house for a while now, although we received it a little bit late, which is the case most of the time in Jordan. I was lucky enough to experience it before it was launched in Jordan, where I live, since I was visiting Dubai in December last year, for a vacation, and I have been invited by Amir Behforooz (AKA KING KONG), a presenter at Les Mills and the Group Fitness Manager at the Aviation Club in Dubai/UAE, to the Aviation Club to attend a BODYPUMP class and lucky enough he did teach release 88, as myself and my friend Mahmoud Salamony, a cool instructor, enjoyed it twice with Amir, Once Mahmoud did team teach with him fully, and next time I was again invited by Amir and at some point the three of us were on stage and enjoyed the thrill of it. Hello Amir and Mahmoud! Thanks for the great times! 🙂

Left to Right: Mahmoud, Myself and Amir

Left to Right: Mahmoud, Myself and Amir

So let’s talk about BODYPUMP™ 88 in more details, I personally think it’s so far the best among releases 83-87!

Warning! This release came to test your stamina! If you doubt your own, try and do 88 with lighter weights. It is physically demanding and challenging. But if you like to push yourself to the edge this release will make you feel great!

What’s Cool in this release?

Music:

The music selection came very successful in this release, I believe Mr. c does spend enough time not only choreographing the program but also picking inspirational music to keep us motivated and carried away. Here’s a hint of the playlist in the release if you still didn’t get the chance to hear it:

  • Killer (Crush  Remix)- SKsim feat. DC Breaks & Dee Freer
  • A little Party Never Killed Nobody- Fergie, Q-Tip & GoonRock
  • Up in the Air- Thirty Seconds To Mars
  • only you- Ellie Goulding

And others of course. I’m frequently on the run of listening to playlists of other programs, but this program has the best music, although some programs share the same music tracks, but nothing compares to how BODYPUMP™ uses the tracks, if you teach BODYPUMP™ you can easily find the words from the lyrics itself to motivate your team, how cool is that?! And if you are experienced enough the music alone leads you into the choreography.

Smooth, precise and Strong?

The warm up:

I was never impressed by warm up tracks, they have been always annoying to me, not only in BODYPUMP™ but in all programs’ releases. This one is smooth, precise and yet strong. It does actually warm you up fast, it has been designed right, and if you have difficulties remembering warm ups, this one will not be a problem, the sequence kinda makes sense, from warming up the back it moves to the top of your body downwards, finishing with small muscles. So back, shoulders, legs the biceps, the whole thing is over, and once it starts it does feel short, it feels quick although it’s not it’s 5 minutes long. So no confusions, no crazy shifting not so many boring repetitions. It did make me happpyyyyyyyyy! 😀

Are you looking for madness when you workout?

Contrast Training:

which is a mix between speed and pressure can be experienced in tracks 2 (Squats) and 3 (Chest).  For actual results in these tracks I’d say follow the weight recommendation mentioned in your booklets and expose that to your members. In the chest tracks some people go heavy in the chest press then go super light in the fly, as we did fly for a while now, and I totally understand because the typical plates grip is not comfortable when trying to go heavy. Those of you who have the chance to use the LES MILLS™  SMARTBAR™ enjoy the heavy plates performing the awesome “A PRESSES” here, since the grip on the plates is absolutely solid and fantastic. The A PRESS is an excellent workout to isolate the chest muscles, please read more about the execution and techniques in the choreography notes.

Explosions?

Some of you already know the answer! And yes it’s the Back Track:

I’d say there is nothing new in this track, but trust me it does feel fresh and new, it’s very explosive and demanding, and here I insist to try and be a bit tough and go a bit heavier than usual. In my personal opinion the music track is beautiful, it makes you wanna do more than you are supposed to, and every time the music is over at the back of my head I have a silent objection “Oh no! I want more”

Off the Record?

Triceps & Shoulders:

These 2 came off the records this time, I would say shoulders more than triceps, but some people say the opposite. I guess it depends on which you have stronger.

Both tracks were made to do 4 things to your muscles:

  • Confuse them
  • Drain them
  • Strengthen them
  • And certainly shape them

I can’t be thankful enough here! BUT please do not go crazy carrying crazy weights in shoulders tracks because it hasn’t been designed for big weights. No, No, No! But in triceps  yes you can 🙂

Good news? Bad news?

Lunges:

For a while now lunges tracks aren’t coming to please us or give us a break, they have been tough. It’s good new for those who want to maintain stronger legs and glutes, and bad news for people with knee injuries since they can’t lung sometimes. The track is relatively long 5:19 minutes. Fatigue hits the calves at the end. I generally enjoy legs tracks, despite my weak left knee, I still believe strong legs are a reasonable survival.

I know I didn’t talk about Biceps, Core and Cool down. I keep those three to you to explore.

Have fun with it for now, and If you have never tried BODYPUMP™  I guess it’s time for you to go for it, this is a program that does give you results, I promise you that!

FYI no one pays me to write about any of LES MILLS™  programs, I do find this one precisely effective, since I have seen results on myself at least 🙂

Katia 🙂

Gym Hinders!

I can, but I won't
I can, but I won't

I was a gym member for about 7 years, then a group exercise instructor for the last 3 years, as I decided to make it my career. That allowed me to meet lots of people who come in and out of gyms all the time. Some commit and make it part of their life style, and the majority sign up for a month or two or even a few months, and then they disappear. That made me question it, and I decided to interview random people I got to know from different gyms, some I managed to interview personally, some over the phone, and others through text messages and Facebook chat.

I was curious to hear what stops them all the time from coming to the gym, some reasons of course I did imagine by myself, but I surely didn’t want to write my personal point of view here, I wanted to be very objective in this post and represent these people and what hinders them all the time from achieving their fitness goals, So here is what they had to say (Gender here doesn’t matter):

  • The majority blamed the lack of time, believing that they have a very busy life, running around in between work, housekeeping, socializing and taking care of their kids.
  • Financial issues, was the second biggest reason, as many people set their financial priorities to other more important things in their lives and responsibilities.
  • The third biggest reason was the fact that there isn’t a gym facility in every residential area in Jordan (we are talking about Jordan in the Middle East, of which Amman is the capital city) and these people explained that they either have no cars, or find it difficult to drive every time to go to the gym.
  • lack of confidence and self-esteem, was something i didn’t think about at all by myself, is an issue to many people I spoke with, whoever had this as a hinder explained they feel shy and intimidated to work out in front of strangers, since they think they don’t/didn’t look fit enough to step into a gym.
  • Laziness is sadly the biggest people’s enemy in my country. I don’t think I need to explain this one since we all know what laziness look and smell like.
  • The lack of patience to seeing results got many votes here. As some people aren’t realistic enough in setting their goals, they think in a month or two they were going to have figures of models or movie stars, so a month or two passed and none of that happened, frustration hit them and they quit and stop trying.
  • Frustration with self fitness level. People compared themselves with others who were fitter and found it depressing to catch up with them, so they stepped back at some point and quit.
  • a few gym members explained to me than many people they know don’t see going to the gym or doing any sport is not a necessity, and they explained that this is related to the lack of physical education.
  • Some thought whatever gym they tried didn’t have the services they expected and accordingly didn’t renew their memberships.
  • Unavailability of fitness buddies! Some didn’t feel motivated to go alone. Working out alone seemed to bore some people and left them unmotivated.
  • One more; some people hate to workout indoors. And in case they were living in a country like mine they have a tiny small chance to workout outdoors, due to lack of public parks and proper sidewalks!

I took some time thinking about these reasons; the only thing that made sense to me is the financial limitations, since not everyone lives comfortably. The rest for me wasn’t very convincing, but still I can understand all of it.

For me personally what stops people and pushes them back all the time is that they didn’t give themselves a chance to get addicted to any kind of sports, fitness, or physical activity, as after all this time I spent, and still spending at the gym, made me a gym addict, I remember myself now in every vacation I had, I always thought: “oh yeah finally!! I wanna rest, I wanna be lazy, I need a break” and after three days I find myself wearing my running shoes and looking for an outdoor nice area for me to run and jog, because there is nothing else an addict can do other than satisfying their addictions, right?

There is a motivational quote that I read the other day, as I was supposed to write my own fitness profile and I wanted to get inspired,  that grabbed my attention, it says:

“It is supposed to be hard; if it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great”

I really am looking forwards to hearing from you all, as I still think whatever reason stops you from trying or others around you is interesting to know! Share this with your friends and loved ones, maybe they can relate themselves to this subject, or maybe they can motivate others to start working out.

Thanks to everyone who helped me write this post!

Stay fit and chase your dreams!

Katia 🙂

One Day Rice Diet, My Personal Review

One Day Rice Diet

In the last 11 months I have been experimenting different types of diet, fitness programs and supplements. I stumbled upon a one day rice diet recently, and I decided to go for it, since I had no desire to go through a long term diet at that point, so before I read anything about it I decided to try it myself as it was discussed on a Russian health and life style TV show called (ЖИТЬ ЗДОРОВО),

The diet is very simple, the only thing you can eat is rice cooked with water, no oils, no salt and no spices. So you fill a cup with raw rice , it can be absolutely any type of rice of your choice, and you cook it with water or steam it, you must eat every 2-3 hours until the end of the day and you should also finish all that rice, drinking enough water is very essential.

I was honestly worried before I decided to try it, since I’m a group exercise instructor, I teach classes on daily basis, it’s an average of 3 classes per day. So i was wondering how that diet was going to make me feel, I was mostly worried about getting hungry, and hunger can lead to lack of energy, which I certainly need, it’s my body’s fuel. So before I started I told myself: come on!! It’s just a one day experiment.

Starting the day with rice might seem a bit weird to some of you, but for me it was alright because when I make my own sushi at home for lunch or dinner sometimes, some sushi remains as leftovers and I enjoy them the next day as a breakfast. Rice fills you, like any other type of carbohydrates, you do feel good right afterwards, but at the same time you do indeed get hungry fast, and you feel extremely in need for some food in 2 hours time, that’s why if you are a full time employee or work late you have to take some of that rice with you wherever you go that day, because you have no other choices of food, I know it may sound nasty 😀 but it’s not. Every time you get hungry it might get frustrating if that rice wasn’t easy to reach, because your energy level starts to drop, and If you get to eat that last bit of your rice late at night there is nothing wrong with that. I did feel good that day, I felt light in my stomach, and I didn’t feel physically weak or unfocused, and thankfully I didn’t suffer any low blood pressure issues, since the rice wasn’t salted  at all. On the other hand if you don’t drink enough water you will feel thirsty and dehydrated, so make sure to keep a bottle of water near you.

So In order for me to see what that diet does, weight-wise, I did weigh myself first thing in the morning before i started my class, and the scale showed 51.6 Kg, 7-8 hours later i decided to weigh myself again, and here is the surprise: 48.8 Kg. I honestly was in denial, and decided to weigh myself later that same night again and it was even less 48.5 Kg.

So how does this actually work?

As they said on the TV show unsalted rice helps you get rid of the extra water and salts in your system, which means it helps you get rid of any water retention, because it’s a low-Sodium good-Carbs diet which has fibers in it, and it’s recommended for people who suffer serious obesity problems. As I mentioned before this diet can be followed once a week maximum, because it lacks all the other elements we need to maintain our health and keep things balanced, carbohydrates alone are not enough on the long run.

Next day I did my own reading about the subject, and I was actually surprised to know that this diet is not a new idea at all, as it started in 1939 by Dr. Walter Kempner and it’s called “The Rice Diet Solution”.  It wasn’t meant to be a one day diet, it’s a long term diet plan, but people who decide to follow it must eat ingredients besides rice, like vegetables, fruits, dairy products and animal protein in certain amounts. This sort of diet is supposed to play a detox role and fighting diseases, as well as controlling blood pressure. The diet is not recommended for anyone who has had a colon resection or impaired kidney function since it causes loss of water. People who follow this diet are noticed to lose 9-13 Kg during the first month, then an average of 2 Kg every week.

Here’s one last thing I would like to add; such long term diets, if you choose to go for one, must be monitored and recommended by a physician, since not all dietitians are doing their job at its fullest, and I recommend that you also do your own research before you decide to try one. I see no harm if you chose to try it every now and then as a one day plan, it is actually a quick solution to see your bloating belly shrink.

Good luck to those of you who want to give a shot 🙂  your feedback matters to me, as I believe we all have different opinions.

Katia