A Book Review “No One Writes To The Colonel”, Gabriel Garcia Márquez

Review & Summary:

There is something very interesting in this novel which is the main character and his wife are nameless, which makes both characters insignificant people living in Colombia, this is kind of genius by Márquez as the reader forgets sometimes that they are without names.

Published in 1961, the story talks about a retired colonel, a veteran of the Thousand Days War, who still hopes to get the pension promised to him since 15 years. He lives in some village in Colombia with his old wife who suffers an asthma, when martial law and censorship were taking over the country.

They suffer poverty, and keep selling whatever can be soled to be able to live day by day. Their son was killed for some political repression and chaos, and the only thing left from him is a rooster, that the colonel trains to take part in a cockfight, but even the rooster is causing a problem to them because feeding the animal is a financial burden.

Márquez likes to show his reader facts about his country and how the political regime back then affected people and repressed them with poverty and censorship, and how the rich doesn’t feel the need of the poor.

The story is so real in the way he wrote it, and it does reflect a lot of humanity in it, lots of hopes and lots of flaws in human’s character and behavior. It’s a very interesting read, yet kind of sad.

A Book Review “The Broken Wings”, Gibran Khalil Gibran

About The Book:

The book was written in 1912, Gibran dedicated the book to Mary Elizabeth Haskell, a woman he had fallen in love with. The story is not real, but it expresses what Gibran thinks of unfruitful pure love. Gibran told Mary that he creates his novel characters and all the events from scratch, reminding her all the time that during writing the book he had always thought of her, and that’s how he considered Mary a mother for the book somehow.

The broken wings is considered the first Arabic novel written in the modern time, and it came 2 years earlier than other novels written by other Arab writers at that time.

Summary:

The hero of the story is a young man who’s 18 years old, he narrates the events of the story, and the heroen is a young woman called Salma Karama, who’s 20 years old. The young man visits his friend who tells him about Faris Karama, a very respectable rich old man and his daughter Salma. Faris Karama happens to be the young man’s father’s friend in their youth. Later the young man visits Faris Karama who was always happy about his visits as he reminds him of his old friend, and there he meets Salma and from the first meeting they fall in love with one another, feeling that their souls happen to understand each other without having to talk.

Their true pure love is fruitless because Salma is forced to marry the Bishop’s nephew, without her father’s genuine approval, but rather pressured by the society, because no one can go against the Bishop or any other man with power. Salma’s life turns into a misery after her marriage, while the young man suffers the loss of his beloved girl.

Salma hopes to die as a salvation from her marriage, but suddenly she is in front of a new dilemma which is her father’s sickness and later his death, which leaves her facing her problems and agonies without a back bone, meanwhile she meets with her lover at her father’s house, before losing her father, after a long period of time of not seeing one another, who stands for her to face the reality of losing her only family member, her father.

her loneliness led her to start meeting with the young man secretly in an abandoned temple, where they talk about random subjects and share their sorrows, worries and hopes. Later their meetings started making her husband suspicious, and so she had no choice but to stop going to their secret meetings, and rather sacrifice to keep the young man safe, but the young man asks her to run away with him in a ship, where they can start a new life, but she refuses and chooses to go back to her husband’s house.

Salma continues to struggle against reality and her dreams until she gets pregnant, but as soon as she delivers her baby, the baby dies and she dies right afterwards, getting the salvation she always dreamed of.

Review:

Knowing Gibran Khalil couldn’t marry the love of his life, Mary Haskell because of her parent’s refusal, makes me understand this book of his, as he, as known, doesn’t like man made rules, simply because to him they are only man made rules, and saw them as silly, ridiculous and restricting thoughts that people follow and keep.

The story is truly sad and tragic, and paints endlessly a pure love between two. Gibran, with all the metaphors and figures of speech in the book, shows the reader what he thinks and how he feels about a genuine love between a man and a woman, and the union of two souls, regardless of whether or not they end up being together.

The Broken Wings is not just a novel, but rather a piece of art, where he shows the readers and the critics his Arabic language skills, and his knowledge of history, religions and other cultures.

If this is taken as a piece of art then it’s an excellent way of spending time, it’s also a very good food for thought, plus it’s a good way of reminding ourselves of the purity of ourselves and our souls. But if this is read to be criticized, then it can be easily criticized as too romantic to be true.

I recommend reading this book, better be in Arabic, since it’s the language Gibran used to write this book, if not possible then in any language available. The book is worth giving it a chance!

BODYCOMBAT™ 64, This Piece Of Steak Is Well Done!

That is the release you want to introduce to your new members! Why? It’s full of great moves & great music, also it’s very easy to follow since the choreography is very repetitive, which will help them find it easy to understand and break down!

  • Track 1: Upper Body & Lower Body Warm Ups (Freaks/Can’t You See)

The coolest music for a warm up will be found here! I still get goose pumps every time I teach this track! There is a lot of basass attitude in it! I love the upper body warm up a lot, members do really get the moves in it and feel pretty much engaged.

As for the lower body warm up, I’m thankful for all the slow and fast side kicks here, that really helps with fixing the technique of this tricky strike! The music is just perfect!

I can say that all in all the warm up is literally a warm up here, really sets you ready to go!

  • Track 2: Combat 1 (Tae Kwon Do & Kick-Boxing) (I’m Shipping Up To Boston)

Hey yey! Jump Kicks are back, the best way to get really fit and feel the work out. It’s a relatively short track but truly fantastic to increase your fitness level! It’s important to try all the options offered in this track!

  • Track 3: Power 1 (Boxing) (You’ve Got The Love (Breeze & Modulate Remix))

That’s a 07:30 minutes track, cardio cardio and more cardio for you, awesome conditioning track for the upper body, ABS and lower body! Love this track, it’s crazy and easy to follow. What I like in this track is the different levels of intensity that one can get to, high repetition will help you learn how to increase or decrease your workout intensity.

  • Track 4: Combat 2 (Tae Kwon Do) (Blast Off)

This track is divided into 3 rounds, The first and the last is basically made to fix your side kick technique, balance and lower body strength. The middle round is made of push up, which will help you increase your endurance and polish your body conditioning. This track will kill you! I promise! it’s very powerful and very demanding!

  • Track 5: Power 2 (Boxing) (Hot Right Now (Jag Skillz VIP Mix))

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is what it is all about! A lot of upper cuts, different counts, different durations and different energy levels. You will experience the coolest sprints, also different durations and you are the one to decide the intensity! A very great track to increase your fitness level! Love this one, it’s all about cardio!

  • Track 6: Combat 3 (Mixed Martial Arts, Capoeira)(Black Widow)

When you hear Capoeira get your legs ready for a serious workout.

I like this track for 2 main reasons; the 1st is that it’s easy to remember and follow, members enjoy what they can remember. And the 2nd reason is that it is a great workout, a lot of conditioning is in there. This one will help you get your legs stronger and more balanced. If you have knee problems try to always take option 1! But if you want to challenge yourself go on and try all the jumping lunges!

  • Track 7: Muay Thai (La Nina Mechanica)

This is 8 minutes of madness, a lot of elbows, a lot of knees, and a lot of running man! I love the push kicks in the track, I adore the music and the feel in the track; a lot of power, aggression and elevation! You can always take it easy until you get used to it! True fighters will go on till the end!

  • Track 8: Power 3 (Boxing) (If You Surrender)

3 rounds of cool boxing! Jabs, hooks, upper cuts, running and scissors. The last 6:30 minutes of the workout will feel amazing as you finish with a lot of single jabs! A total of 256 punches in this track! Your arms and shoulders will burn! Love the sensation!

Katia 🙂

 

 

 

A Book Review: “Men In The Sun”, Ghassan Kanafani

About The Author:

Ghassan Kanafani born in Akka, Palestine, April 9, 1936. Assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon,  by the Mossad, July 8, 1972. Ghassan was a writer and an active leading member of The Popular Front Of The Liberation Of Palestine. So besides being a writer he was a politician.

About The Book:

Published in 1963, It’s a reflection of actual reality of struggle of a lot of Palestinians to survive, to live or die, to face humiliation and face the cruelty of the world outside, which they didn’t know before 1948. Of course the story doesn’t only draw a picture of some people’s lives at that time, but it also symbolizes the dimensions of the tragedy and the disaster of a certain period of time in the Palestinian history, showing us part of the struggle and the aftermath of some deeds and decisions.

Kanafani in his narration in this book depended a lot on flashbacks and characters’ memories, the reader might feel confused at the beginning, he kept coming back and forth in time, and mixed stories, hopes, dreams, fears, tragedies, incidents and feelings together. I can say that, once the reader realizes that it’s based on flashbacks, they will enjoy it and find it very easy to read. Besides it’s very well-put and short enough that it won’t bore the reader. 

The Review:

In a 100 pages Kanafani tells a story of three Palestinian men who were seeking the future by trying separately & desperately to reach Kuwait through smugglers, but later they end up trying together, to run a way from Iraq, where they couldn’t find jobs and had no official papers to prove their residency, which ends up in a total failure and the death of the three of them.

Kanafani himself at some point of his life went through such an experience, when he had to remain hidden at home for some months because he had no official papers. So his story “Men In The Sun” is a reflection of reality showing the political, social and financial hardships Palestinians struggled with at that period of time. 

The story is made of 6 chapters and 4 main characters. The first chapter exposes the first character to the reader “Abu Qais” an old Palestinian man, From Jaffa,  who’s married and has a kid, living in Iraq, after he got exiled from Palestine, 1948,  in a small tiny room, that was offered to him by someone out of pity, he’s jobless and got no money, depressed and helpless.

The second chapter talks about “Asa’ad” a young man who ended up smuggled in Iraq after his exile from Ramleh in Palestine to Amman in Jordan. He tried his best to get to Kuwait but he failed once, and still insisted to try again. The money he had was what his uncle gave him, trying to help him in any way, to start his life and marry his daughter, whom he didn’t want to marry, but accepted the money for his own good.

The third chapter shows us another character “Marwan”, another young man who is forced to leave school to start working by trying to escape to Kuwait from Iraq as well, since his eldest brother disappeared and stopped sending money to the family, the family on the other hand is torn apart and no one is there to financially support them, he feels obliged and responsible to help them.

The three Palestinian men at random times meet the same fat smuggler who offers them his service cruelly for 15 Dinar, and everyone thought it was too much money, and they were afraid of trusting him, because they heard how some other Palestinians were abandoned in the desert, after they paid, and how they were lost there and dehydrated to death.

In the third chapter another character is introduced “Abu Khaizaran”, a Palestinian man, who’s got a stable job in Iraq as a water-tanker driver, who works for a rich man, but wants to make more money, since he couldn’t have another purpose for life. Before he moved to Iraq he was a victim of some explosion in Palestine and lost his manhood.

In chapter four, “Abu Khaizaran” offers the three men his idea of smuggling them through the borders of Iraq and Kuwait using the water-tanker, and explains his plan, the guys agree to hide in the empty water tank twice, once before the Iraqi check point, and Once before the Kuwaiti, and pay him 15 Dinar each upon arrival, assuring them that mission won’t take a lot of time since everyone knew him on the borders, and taking in consideration the deadly summer heat. The first check point was passed smoothly, while the next one took “Abu Khaizaran” time as the security men and those who worked in the office wanted to chat and catch up with his adventures. 

He drives fast inside the desert to be out of sight, and as he wanted to let the guys out of the tank, he finds them all dead. He throws them away on the side of the road, takes their money and someone’s watch, and gets angry and confused, wondering why they never screamed, shouted or banged the walls of the tank to ask for help, that’s in the last chapter.

Katia

BODYPUMP™ 93, If You Are Looking For A New Challenge!

BODYPUMP 93 SCREEN SHOT

To all BODYPUMP™ Instructors,

Remember to remind your new members that they have the option to do the first 4 tracks, we don’t aim to intimidate them, we aim to attract them and make them come back!

Although I heard lots of instructors complaining about the music and the choreography of this release,  I got to try it myself, of course, and I thought completely differently; this release’s music selection is quite cool, it’s different, it’s colorful and it’s pretty much amusing! It can’t all be pop, rock or electro, variation is indeed needed, and there is not a single track that I didn’t like. All of them get me going and moving, some are more motivating that others, but even those that sound too happy have the beat and the sounds to keep us hanging in there!

If you are into trying something that doesn’t require you to jump and run, go ahead and find some BODYPUMP™ classes around you and enjoy a cool workout! I would be actually super happy if you tell me later what you think!

We are often going to read and hear about THE REP EFFECT™, which is getting all the good things out of resistance training without having to carry heavy weights, but rather lighter ones with a high repetition. Remind yourselves and people around you that THE REP EFFECT™ formula wants you to have long lean strong muscles without having to bulk. Fatiguing the muscles is what helps us find results and not loading them. And by having to do around 800 reps during the whole class, it means that your heart rate will be elevated and you will be having a decent cardio workout!

 BODYPUMP™ 93 Track List:

  1. Break Free
  2. Booyah (Lucky Date Remix)
  3. Kings And Queens
  4. Here Tonight (Carita La Nina Radio Edit)
  5. Bang Bang
  6. Centuries
  7. 1941
  8. Twisted (Eptic Remix)
  9. All About That Bass
  10. What Are You Waiting For

The most challenging tracks happen to be “Squats” which is track 2, but the isometric holds and the music will make you continue and finish the workout. I enjoy this one a lot!

Comes then the “Triceps” track, no.5, the problem with this one is the triceps push ups! BUT BUT BUT! I promise you if you do this release twice a week, for a month you will end up performing them on toes! But I like the variation of the exercises, all the overheads, the push ups and kick-back-rows!

Lunges!!! Really this time it does burn and bite the quads and the calf muscles! Insane workout, but I seriously enjoy this one because the challenge in it is tough! The music is great by the way!

The shoulders track, which is track no. 8, is uniquely designed and managed. It’s tough, for that i recommend people with cervical spine injuries to go super light because they are still going to feel the effect of the workout. I love all the combos and and the reps in the sets! The music is really motivating.

I didn’t face any difficulty studying any of the tracks to present them or teach them later on, even track 4, Chest, which many people complained about.

The beauty of this release lays in the fact that time flies by like a rocket! There is no single chance for boredom! Even though I have been teaching this release for a month now, but I find it still very interesting.

Dear Les Mills™ keep producing cool stuff!

Wiko Highway 4G, Review “A Very Fast Trip, A Very Bad Trip”!

WIKO HIGHWAY 4G

This phone looks fabuliuos, it comes in nice colors; black, white, orange, purple and blue. Its Powered by a 2GHz quad-core NVIDIA® Tegra® 4i processor, the HIGHWAY 4G is the most powerful 4G smartphone, it is fast and easy to use. Running Android KitKat, it has a 5-inch Full HD display, which makes you enjoy viewing things on it, the colors happen to look magnificent through it. The 16-megapixel main camera and 8-megapixel selfie camera are both of exceptional quality, providing total satisfaction.

But here is the thing, if you are planning to buy something and kind of invest in your money, avoid buying a phone that has a bad-made hardware. 1 month after I bought it, the back camera broke, I was surprised to see the outer glass cracked, and replacing requires a new camera and a new back cover, since once it’s opened from the back, the whole back cover is to be changed, bad idea? Yes! To me as a user that’s a very bad idea. I don’t remember the phone calling in the 1st month of usage. Fixing that needs around 200$, if I doubled that amount I could buy a new phone, something like Sony, Samsung or maybe some HTC. I’m not saying Samsung is doing well, unfortunately it is not.

Anyway, so 4 months of usage results in a loose in the charging spot, electricity doesn’t reach to the charging spot unless the phone is held of laid in a certain way to receive electricity, defect? Yes! A big one for me, because even the worst phone didn’t do that to me, among all the phones I used, I never faced such a problem. And of course this one started gradually, now I’m actually while writing this review, trying to charge it by holding in a certain way, and it’s still stating a low battery, I can’t switch my phone on.

All the beautiful features are going to be very minor next to a bad or a poorly made and designed body, it got a bad rating from me to be honest!!!

Please, do not commit a mistake and buy a Wiko phone at all, my advice and the rest is up to you.

A Book Review: The Other Thing “Who Killed Layla Al Hayek”, Ghassan Kanafani

To Mera, 

The girl who suddenly fill in love with Ghassan Kanafani, and has always been in love with Palestine.

About The Author:

Ghassan Kanafani born in Akka, Palestine, April 9, 1936. Assassinated by a car bomb in Beirut, Lebanon,  by the Mossad, July 8, 1972. Ghassan was a writer and an active leading member of The Popular Front Of The Liberation Of Palestine. So besides being a writer he was a politician.

kanafani 5

The Book:

The Other Thing “Who Killed Layla Al Hayek”, is a novel that was published the first time in the weekly magazine”Al Hawadeth” in Beirut, in a format of nine episodes, starting in June 1966. Ghassan Kanafani never publish it separately, maybe as assumed, dude to political reasons; The 1967 War.

The Review:

Many critiques saw the book as a negative thing in Kanafani’s works, relating that to the difference in theme and style of his writing, since usually he referred all his books and fictional books to the political situation in his motherland, Palestine.

After reading the book, which is of a fiction/Detective genre, full of suspense and analyzing of the circumstances that made the main character “Saleh” the murderer of “Layla Al Hayek”, I still didn’t see why was it considered different. The whole story, if quickly read without any further analyzing, or without being given a further thought, looks like many other fictional books, I agree. But looking deeply into the story and the idea behind it, Ghassan Knafani shouldn’t had been criticized.

If we re-read the book once more, and viewed “Layla Al Hayek” as “Palestine”, everything will change in our eyes. Ghassan Kanafani is a symbolic writer, and a good writer/Author, he wouldn’t, as many good authors, teach us how to read him, he simply wrote and we simply read and still reading. “Layla” if taken as “Palestine”, would make complete since, the case of all Arabs and Palestinians, murdering their own land by “Accident” or “Ignorance” or “Personal Interests”, pointing fingers on the most logical “Person” or “Party”, who is “Saleh” in the story, and the “Arabs” in real, being in the right place and time under the perfect circumstances.

“Saleh’s” silence in the story, is one thing that doesn’t really make sense to the reader; why would anyone not defend themselves in court, in front of a death sentence? To me at least, Ghassan did want us to see how “Saleh”, as “Arabs”, knew there was nothing much he could do to change his destiny, as everything around him was totally against him, and much stronger than him. Which can also be related to what “Arabs” had to go through back then, although at that time, they did try to change things, either with their resistance, silence, their blood being shed, sacrifices or else how.

But there is also the mutual feeling “Saleh” and “Arabs” have/had, which is hope. “Saleh” had hopes for something magical, some miracle maybe, to happen to get him out of the curse he was under, to be taken to another world, where he isn’t standing in a court accused for a murder of a woman he barely knew, but desired to feed his ego as a man, he wished for his past peaceful life back, but he didn’t fight for it, he was sentenced to death and all he did was writing a letter to his wife, which can be the new life and the next generations of the Palestinians and all the Arabs, asking her to believe that he didn’t kill “Layla”, and that he loved her, his wife, genuinely.

There is one more mutual feeling between “Saleh” and “Arabs” in the story, which is “Shame”; shame of allowing something stupid like that to happen, by not assuming he was walking towards a trap set by life and circumstance. He didn’t defend himself, because he was ashamed to admit out loud that he was having an affair with a married woman, who’s his wife’s friend. He was ashamed of being seen as a filthy lawyer, and an unfaithful man to his own family, he was also afraid to ruin the reputation of “Layla” too, and that’s what “Palestinians” did later on when they flee and immigrated and left their lands behind them, they felt ashamed not knowing how to justify their act and behavior.

In the story “Saleh” admits in his letter that he, at some point, wished “Layla” dead, because this is the only way he could keep her love in his heart, without problems, besides the love he had to his wife. And this is also what happened to “Palestinians”, who lost their lands; they deep inside them will always love what they were forced to lose.

He at the end shared his will with his wife, to use the letter for future reference for herself and others around her to start a new life, to turn a new page and keep going, not to give herself a chance to look back, reminding her that time is a healer. He even shared his fears with her, he hoped with terror that he can keep his silence in front of the hanging rope and face death quietly, and this is every “Palestinian’s”, inside “Palestine”, attitude, the full surrender to death for the sake of the sacrifice.

This whole thing might show something here, maybe the disappointment Ghassan Kanafani might have had felt back then at some point while writing his episodes for the magazine, the tiny bit of political surrender he might have had had in his heart at a certain stage of his life, of the sadness towards his love to his country.

Ghassan didn’t point out his attachment to the land directly in this book, nor showed it to us in fictional understood rhythms,and that to me , certainly, makes it a very successful piece of art. Maybe I’m wrong, and maybe the critiques were right, thinking Ghassan did write something different that had nothing to do with the case of Palestinians, all Arabs and Muslims. But literature is an art, and you go figure 🙂

Katia

BODYPUMP™ 92, That’s Quite Tough!

It’s not that Les Mills International pay me to write reviews for them, if they did I would have already started getting rich! But let me tell you something today, you won’t find any other company to compete with these guys, they are on top of the pyramid, and we all have to agree on that. They continuously keep to growing, excelling and keeping us sticking around.

For many people who come to the gym and pass by the group exercise room, BODYPUMP™ either seems too tough, too boring or both. But as an instructor, I want you to join once, get back to me and update me with your feedback. I personally want everyone who can stand and squat to try a BODYPUMP™ class, and not just that, I want you to have a good class.

BODYPUMP™ 92, unfortunately for many, happened this time to be really hard, and for many others it happened to be challenging, in a good way, for those of you who look to put yourselves under fitness tests and challenges, I know you guys loved it.

But, for me, I think, that was quiet too much for many. I know everyone has the right to take easy on the weights, stop and continue, or just leave the class. But my only negative criticism this time, is that what are the new comers supposed to do? Get scared and run away? Les Mills, keep considering our new members please, not just by telling us to let them know they are free to go after track 4, we need them to feel like they can stay until the end somehow. Am I wrong? Let me know, please.

Good news for all the pregnant ladies out there, or those who are planning to be, please, watch the following education session about exercising and pregnancy: Exercising & Pregnancy

Let’s get into the business and see what’s BODYPUMP™ 92 holds for us!

  • 01. The Warm up:

Smooth, smooth, smooth! I like this warm up, it’s flowing, cool and easy to remember. I just didn’t like the music all that much, not my thing, I like music that is more uplifting and energizing, maybe some dubstep, maybe some techno. But In my opinion this track is good in terms of warming us up 🙂

  • 02. Squats:

That’s the real beast in this release! I love the new combo, can’t get enough of it, to squat from bottom to top is amazingly cruel, and pretty intense and firing! 3 sets of work, all in mid-stance, bottom halves, single and super slows will teach your legs to toughen up!

The music is what keeps us going in this track. It really gets harder and harder as the workout approaches the end, but the music helps a lot!

Good luck to all of you on this one, I really enjoy it!

  • 03. Chest:

No matter how many times I repeat this over the week or the month, it keeps killing me! My body never seems to get used to it! It’s really hard guys! Again moving from the bottom to the top here, but for me in chest it seems harder than in squats…

For me  it was easy to memorize this one and teach it, because the track is familiar to me from a previous BODYCOMBAT™ release, but it seemed a little bit strange to have this track in BODYPUMP™, right? It was fitting perfectly fine for BODYCOMBAT™. In other words, for me, the music selection wasn’t very successful, just my opinion.

  • 04. Back:

The best thing in this track is the challenge set for us! Remember, you are always free to take a challenge or to leave it! The challenge is to keep adding weights after each and every set. The focus is the clean and press.

This track is not easy, with or without a challenge, not easy, not easy! I can tell you that forever!

The music is amazing! I personally loved it and I feel great each time I hear it. I even looked up different remixes for it!

For my colleague instructors over there, I know the majority made mistakes on when to start kicking, the music is a little bit tricky! But pretty amusing to challenging yourself to learn the timing!

  • 05. Triceps:

Finally, something everyone can do! This one gets hard only when you push yourself behind your usual limits with the weight.

I liked the music selection, the easy choreography the combo, and the exercise variation! EXCELLENT TRACK!

  • 06. Biceps:

The music is not everyone’s taste! I’m in LOVE/HATE relation with this track and the music. The workout itself is hard, it does cause pain in the arms lol

Choreography not easy to remember, it pissed me off often! But I finally made peace with it and learned it! I also made peace with the level of difficulty and now manage to stay strong from the beginning till the end!

  • 07. Lunges:

OH MY GOD! What about the music! It is so much like the end of 80s era! It makes me feel funny! The workout itself is tough! Really guys, this release is all in all hard! Lots of bottom halves burn your legs and calves! I would like to say GOOD LUCK!

  • 08. Shoulders:

PINK PONG?!

Sighs! Many of them! Push ups with combo! Pushing from bottom to top again! You won’t feel this until you grab your plates and do some side raises and rotators! At the end of this track you might curse and swear! It hurts! Yes it does! & It drains the hell out of your shoulders, especially when it’s time to perform military presses!

BUT I LOVE THE SOOOOOOONG!

Have fun guys! This one will kill you, but it’s going to make you feel so alive!

BODYCOMBAT™ 62, The Best Release For Me!

BODYCOMBAT™ 62 happens to be the best release for me, ever since I started teaching, which is not very long time ago, my first release to teach was 50. The reason why it’s my favorite is that, I happened to like the whole 10 tracks, there is not a single track this time that disappointed me or bores me! Loved it all!

  • UPPER & LOWER BODY WARM UP (1a & 1b)– Someone Like You (Kris McTwain Radio Edit), Home Alone (Invader! Remix Edit):

I honestly wasn’t impressed about this upper body warm up song when I first heard it, because I though, oh wow this is an old song that is not cool any more, like it has been overly used, that no body probably listens to it any more! But honestly, as I taught the release for the first time I was very happy to see how people sing along, and their energy is up and happy, just because they know the song and they like it, which is a great thing! I like that a lot!

Regarding the choreography is easy to remember for both the upper and the lower body warm up tracks, it’s really one of the easiest warm up tracks to study and remember.

I like the lower body track, it’s cool, yeah yeah yeah yeah! Makes people just wanna yeah yea yeah yeah!

Have fun teaching the warm up!

  • COMBAT 1 – Famous Last Words (The Wrapper):

Track 2 comes with so much good energy, beautiful neat blocks, easy to follow choreography, contrast and aggression. If you listen carefully to the lyrics you can get into the mood of the song better, then you can deliver the track feel better.

I always happen to like Karate-Kick Boxing combos, they amuse and excite me a lot!

I don’t consider this as a hard track, it continues to warm us up and it elevates our energy and chances to succeed in the 7 coming tracks.

  • POWER TRAINING 1- Give A Little Love (Al Storm & Euphony):

As Dan said in this track the track is relatively short, but god it’s a killer, if you take it seriously as you should, you are going to feel it in your shoulders and your heart rate will be up for real! I love the 32 hooks part, it’s so much fun, and I love it more when after them we have the big combo, people start screaming, because it really burns the shoulders and feels so euphoric, positive and very powerful! Enjoy the madness in track 3!

  • COMBAT 2- Dark Horse (Hard Dance Alliance Mix, Kerrie Scene):

Track 4 happens to be long, but honestly I was surprised when I noticed that it’s 6:43 min long, because while teaching it I don’t feel that it’s that long, it’s well designed and well choreographed. The best part is how much magic is in there, and how much feelings are in there, combined and blended with the crazy dubstep remix!

The song itself is cool, the Blocks, the 56 Kick-Katas are so cool, you just wanna going on till you collapse, because the music is very very motivating, you don’t wanna miss any part of this one.

People who are fans of Karate, Kick Boxing and Tae Kwon Do are gonna love this one! I personally do!

  • POWER TRAINING 2- Crash (Al Storm):

Crash is quite challenging for people with weak upper bodies, it’s pretty fast and the acceleration can be endless here, but because it’s fast, fun, playful and challenging no body stops and this gives everyone the chance to work out their performance and increase their fitness level!

Members like this part at the end of round 1, when we suddenly freeze after the scissors, they don’t get enough of it, it amuses them! lol

Loved this one!

  • COMBAT 2- Y.A.L.A. (M.IA):

It’s Capoeira time! And yes! It’s short! But it’s damn hard!

Again and again, dubstep happens to be popular in fitness these days, and I really appreciate that! Besides the good music the track is worth going for each time you hear it, it does work the lower body well!

I honestly keep giving and reminding my members about their options here, I ask them to go gradually crazy here, for me they don’t have to jump to option 3 all the way, step by step everything happens!

  • Muay Thai- Let The Beat Go (S3RL feat. Johnny):

This of all Muay Thai tracks that I taught, starting from release 50 till 62, happens to be the best Muay Thai track Les Mills International™ brings us! So full of insanity, so full of the feel of freedom, no limits here, no boundaries, you just wanna live the here and now feeling in track 7! Respect for whomever put this together!

To be honest, for all instructors who teach this release, make sure to give your members a very unique experience when you reach track 7, it’s absolutely a very unique 7:56 min experience, if you can create the right sparks and magic here, keep trying to practice on scripting your ques and motivations for this track!

  • POWER TRAINING 3- Power Of Love/Give A Little Love (Absolutely Elegant_Al Storm & Euphony):

To make sure you have completed 256 punches at the end of this track leaves you exhausted yet very proud and gives you a pure feeling of accomplishment. This one is a typical BODYCOMBAT™ track 8; happy, cool yet tiring!

Enjoy teaching, practicing and working out everybody! BODYCOMBAT™ this time rocks, rises and shines!

Love you all, keep your spirits up! Fight for something!

Katia

BODYPUMP™ 91, What’s Happening?!

Hello everyone! I know it’s been a while sense I’ve published something that you all would like to read.

Well it’s all about BODYPUMP™ 91 this time. The release is big and massive with lots of refreshments and cool tracks.

The release is presented by Glen Ostergaard, Karin Zandstra, Marcus Benson, Jeremiah Evans and Alex Veret.

  • 01. The Warm up:

There is emphasis on the clean and press in this release, how to do and which muscles to recruit. In order for instructors to be able to teach and deliver the clean and press properly, it is highly recommended that you watch the education session in this release, which I have published earlier.The music is uplifting, yet soft and has lots of positive impact.

BODYPUMP 91 EDUCATION SESSION

Usually we use only the bar during the warm up track, but this time we are using the plate at the end of the warm up for side raises and rotators. It’s a pretty cool change that we can see here, truly refreshing and very noticeable.

  • 02. Squats:

Many of you, instructors, are going to find this track hard to memorize, but if you listen to the song several times, you’re going to memorize the choreography in no time.

The workout keeps shifting between mid-stance, for quads, and wide-stance, for glutes, which is quiet intense, especially the breathers are too shorts and the transformations are quick. The singles and the bottom halves are going to create the fatigue that we all look for while working out.

Good luck to all of you on this one, I really enjoy it!

  • 03. Chest:

Again change, change and more change.

The 1st Body Pump release I have taught was 83, yes i’m kind of new to Body Pump, compared to others. But since release 83 had been published until release 91 came, there were no push-ups introduced to us during Chest tracks. We used the bars and the plates and that was it, Now in release 91 you are to use the plate, or the bars and do some chest push-ups, which is going to maximize the efforts used to accomplish the track.

This one is tough if done properly!

  • 04. Back:

The back track stresses on dead lift and dead rows this time more than it focuses on clean and presses, which is quiet interesting. The music is really cool, the combo is cooler, and the choreography is easy to remember! But all in all, all the targeted muscles will hit their goal; Posterior chain: Glutes, Hamstrings, lower and upper back and of course lats!

After back track in this release you will feel your heart rate going crazy!

  • 05. Triceps:

Hey brother! Such a cool song! Really! But watch out for the confusing beat, it can be misleading.

The 1st time I actually did this track I first thought, what are new members going to do here? Because it’s really challenging, it’s a big workout for triceps. Dips followed with overhead extension, followed by kick-back-rows, then again for the other side, then triceps push-ups, then again overhead extension. That’s pretty cruel towards people who just walked into Body Pump 😛 !

But we need to ask people to go for light weights if they have never been to such a class! We don’t wanna scare them away, right? 🙂

  • 06. Biceps:

Since Glen himself is the one to design the Choreography and choose the music, I wanna thank him for this one! The music has a character, BAD COMPANY! Compared to other Biceps tracks this one goes slower than usual, which is a killer. The mid-range pulse here comes in the right places, but the choreography is unfortunately not that easy to remember, unless at the beginning of learning the track, instructors keep on counting how many reps they have done, especially the combo reps.

I love it though, I found it very attractive!

  • 07. Lunges:

I really think it’s better not to do so many lunges like in this track, since lots of people complain from knee pains during lunges track, So replacing some lunges with mid-stance squats, plate squat presses and dynamic plate squat press is really an exist for those who can’t lung!

Love the song!

  • 08. Shoulders:

This seem to be the highlight of the release! The music, the workout, the challenge, the rave in it! Everything in track 8 is pretty loud and clear.

I personally like this track, but here is what I think, and I might also find many of you agreeing with me on this point:

The track is intimidating, especially in the last 2 sets of work, it’s really not design for at least females, lol!!!! I find it hard to go on with 2.5 KG plate doing all these rotators, side raises and PEC DECS, it’s pretty insane, especially that, we instructors, happen to be on stage and we need to deliver right techniques.

The track is amazing, it’s explosive and really mad, but it is going to be intimidating, as I said before, for a big amount of people over there!

  • 09. Core:

I rarely mention track 9 in my reviews, this one came with a big change again, all the hovers and side hovers are just amazing. Not everyone can do that, to be honest, but in my opinion, it’s time for so many people out there to move into another level of strength and conditioning.

Yes, the song is really cool, and the choreography goes along with it, which makes it cool to remember!

Love you Body Pump guys and girls! Stay with this cool release! I believe this one is going to change something in you 🙂

Katia