Ahh track 2... so you're warmed up, you're probably panting a bit already and thinking "Wow... what have I gotten myself into?" Fear not fellow Attackers! You can do it! Just take a deep breath (literally), have a little faith in yourself, and get ready for the work ahead. It is here that we begin to gradually progress the body from the warm-up to the aerobic training zone.
How do we do this? We use a mixture of low-impact and high-impact moves. This track is the perfect place to start showing options. As you perform the low-impact moves, you can emphasize that they either stay with the low, or... and then show the high. There's lots of options for different movement patterns, and usually any "complicated" choreography will appear here. Because of the low-impact, there's a bit of room to focus on coordination and technique. Mixed impact is fun. It's usually early enough in the class that they start to feel the highs of aerobic exercise without feeling quite so exhausted. Track 2s are considered Aerobic under the new 3D structure.
Along with the warm-up, track 2 featured a small section of stretching up through release 56. I'm not sure why it was taken out, my guess being it restricted music selection because of adding extra time in for the stretch. One interesting point: One of my favorite instructors usually teaches warm-ups and mixed impact tracks from the same release almost every class. I've adopted this for most of my classes. It'd be interesting to ask Lisa if she designs the different tracks within the same release to work together. For example, if you work the heartrate hard in track 3, maybe track 4 focuses a bit less on heartrate and more on coordination? In any case, I keep 1 and 2 together, and I usually also keep 10 and 11 together.
So, without further delay, here's my top 10 favorite Mixed Impact tracks.
- 64 - Don't Give Me Your Life - My favorite!!! The song is so catchy... it makes me want to push myself into third gear even though this is only track 2. Usually if this is on, I work out more in third gear anyway. Plus you've got the L-step curl which I love, and the U-step curl which I love even more (probably because I can actually do it!) The ending is a little long, but overall it's a really fun song and challenging choreography.
- 55 - S.O.S. - This one is great for participation from the members. Everyone knows the "Oh! Oh! Oh!" line. I also love the gallop square which is the main focus of this track. It's very repetitive, but this track introduced the gallop square so the point is to help them learn and feel comfortable with it. It's a fun beat and a very popular song.
- 46 - Oh L'Amour 2003 - This is one that I love because of the song. The choreography is pretty standard for a track 2, but has a nice mixture of different moves. Again, there are 3 identical rounds with running/arms, curls, and gallops, and then a fourth round that's entirely different with a side-flick square. I'm pretty sure in track 2s, the last round being different is in order to push the heartrate fully to the aerobic zone.
- 65 - That's Not My Name - Another popular song (and another case of me liking the remix much better than the original). Another opportunity for attitude PLUS the return of one of my favorite moves, the side tap. Side taps apparently were much more prominent in the earlier Attack years, and have since been sorta phased out. But it's a fun move that's cool looking and provides variety. The track also shows the gallop square! This is a shorter one, so make sure you keep your track times in mind when mixing.
- 66 - Womanizer - YES!!! The song was one of my favorites when it came out, but I didn't really expect it to make it into Attack. It's a fun remix that has the heel dig (another rare track 2 move that I love), and an arm combo at the end of the song. The end is long and repetitive which is why it's number 5 and not number 2 on my list. Also, the intro of the song is a partial fade from the 66 warm-up (Just Dance) and it's noticeable when the 2 of them aren't paired, so I always teach them together. It's a fun and butt-kicking combo that powers you into track 3!
- 57 - A To The B - 57 was the first release where track 2's changed, with the stretching taken out. Even though it's a personal favorite of mine, I'll be honest in my comments. I feel like it's a bit too complicated for beginners. There's lots of different moves... curls, L-step curls, heel digs, side flicks, gallops, and even a leap-frog heel jump. If you don't cue it correctly as an instructor, it's a nightmare for beginner Attackers. This is one that most instructors at my club don't teach much. Despite all of this, the song is fantastic (it's also in Pump - and oddly enough, I've never taught that version) and it's overall fun and worth a go in front of the right audience.
- 47 - When You're Looking Like That - I just started teaching this 2 weeks ago because I didn't have the music until then! I REALLY like the song... it's very different from most track 2s in terms of the music. It's not a techno remix, but an original version of a pop song. The choreography is standard, although you start with a gallop which isn't the norm. A nice variation on the music, and a fun song at that.
- 62 - You Keep Me Hangin On - Another crowd favorite. This song has been around forever, and the remix is close enough to the original that people know what song it is. We get requests for it a lot. The chorey is standard, but there is a slight play on the L-step curl where it becomes more of an L-step hop. I sing along to this one, which makes me push myself harder. Good times!
- 54 - Hung Up - Who doesn't love Madonna? The remix is HOT!!! Similar to A To The B, there are LOTS of moves, but the combos are better organized and easier to follow. It has the side tap (yay!), running/arms, side flicks, and a telephone move that's used for fitness magic. Again, not many teach it at my club, but I like it and break it out for variety.
- 61 - Don't Mess With My Man - Similar opinion to the warm-up for 61. I think Lisa was trying to do stuff she'd never done before when she wrote 61, because most of those tracks are quite different from the average choreography we see in Attack. And that's the exact reason I like this track. I don't teach it unless requested because I can't play on the lyrics as a male instructor, but I enjoy participating. There's a gallop-repeater knee combo that's a lot of fun! Plus Kendall presented it on the DVD, and hey... she was one of my Attack trainers. How could I not love it? :)
Mixed Impact is a good opportunity to showcase options and cater the class to all individuals. Reminding participants that they can take the class at their own level, and continue to have fun with the music and people before you're too dead to do so! :)