Kia Ora!!! It's nice to have a few minutes to write a post. Many of you have written me personally to offer comments, support, and are actually anxious for me to write here! I am humbled and honored that my passion for Les Mills and this particular format is worthy of your time, and I hope to continue this for many years to come. With that said, I'd like to continue my review series!
Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the content below is my own personal opinion of the release. I welcome all feedback and acknowledge that everyone has personal tastes!
BodyAttack 69! It's been almost a year since I received this release and launched in it's entirety, but I remember a good portion of the tracks, which does speak to its quality and effectiveness. It contains a few tracks which will appear on my Attack 101 top 10 lists, and it also features some amazing presenters. Overall, as most Attack releases are, this one is solid. Let's jump right into it!
- I Gotta Feeling - Such a fantastic song!!! I'm a firm believer that warm-ups should start you off energetic, excited, and full of anticipation for the class. This one does not let you down at all in that regard! I think Lisa did a fantastic job of adding variety considering the repetition of the song. You progress from 8-count repeaters to a combo of 4-count and alternating step touches. My beloved squat tap makes a cameo for the first time in about 10 releases. But you end up ready for whatever the class will bring. Fantastic track!
- Boys And Girls - This one plays on direction, although it features all the standard mixed impact moves (curls, gallops, running). You run to the corners with the jogs, and then each round features curls and gallops, BUT... the third round progresses this and we see the return of another of my favorites... the gallop square! I find that both myself and the participants feel much more accomplished when they can be successful at the more complicated moves. The song is catchy and fun. I like this one! And I must take a second to give a shoutout to Amy Styles, whom I always love watching in action. Her spunk and energy is very contagious.
- Real Things - My gut reaction whenever I hear the song start playing is "noooo!" Now let me explain why... I think Lisa has really tried to think outside the box with the aerobic track. This is easy to see as we've had a couple recent aerobic tracks that have no Supermans (Supermen? Lol you get the idea). With 69, I think she was trying to switch the combos up and add some variety. She recently told us at AIM that she never starts with a move and forces it into a song... she lets the music tell her what move should be in it. With that said, I think that she does try to avoid repetition. After all, the entire point of new releases is variety. Parts of this one work for me, and parts don't. I like the way each round starts, but when you get to the knee combo, it feels counter intuitive and overly complicated to me. The track redeems itself in the third round though, with the final progressive combo both varied AND executed well. Still, this is one of my least favorites in the release, and not one I teach very often.
- Dream A Dream - I really enjoy this track... and I must immediately say that Amanda Scales from the USA who presents it is one of my new favorite presenters in Attack. Apparently she's already a big hit in the world of BodyStep (which I don't do), but I think she's pretty powerful in the BodyAttack world. I recently had the opportunity to take Attack from her in the West Coast quarterly, and she is such a joy to watch in person. Fantastic. Ok now the track... We have super-sets of alternating plyo lunges and shuffling which are both very effective for the heartrate AND allow a half second to catch your breath. We have a 2-step, double jump combination that adds some fun variety, and this song is motivating (has a very "down in the trenches... march to the battle" type feel). My one complaint? Round 3 all of a sudden includes lyrics that weren't present for 1 and 2... a bit odd. Still, I enjoy it!
- Sexy Chick - Ahh... this is the release where Lisa started putting a much heavier emphasis on core work in track 5s, not just pushups. We have an ab twist-arm raise in the chorus, and then of course tricep and chest pushups. Being a top 40, lots of people like this song. And Attack being heavily female, you can really have fun with this one!
- Sunshine After The Rain - Do not like this one. At all. I think the song is so overly cheery and cheesy, can't stand the vocalist. In terms of moves, I don't like the running around the perimeter-stop-run again rhythm (I think the concept is fantastic, I just don't like the way it's applied in this track... it doesn't feel right or easy), and yeah... don't like this one. I will say no more.
- I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho) - I'm quite surprised to admit this, but I haven't learned this entire track myself yet. When we launched it wasn't assigned to me, and I've just yet to learn it. With that said, I love what I do remember. The diamond jump and ladder runs are really fun and a nice variety, complimented by some standard agility moves. It's a good blend. I definitely will learn and teach this one in the near future. :)
- Dangerous - Ahh!!!! LOVE IT!!! This song was also featured this quarter in Pump (where it was advertised as the toughest lunge track of all time), and then featured here. I love both and teach both all the time! I love the song, I love the message, I love the moves... I love it all! We do flick kicks, and then a run-kick combo that progresses into a square. One final round with knee kicks at the end. It's simple yet powerful and effective. Will for sure make my top 10 list for Interval, and probably be in the top 3.
- Jump That Rock (Whatever You Want) - Again... Ahh!!! LOVE IT!!! I'm not nearly as much of a BodyCombat-er as I used to be, but this is easily one of my favorite Combat tracks (I know the entire track choreographically), and I was ecstatic when I saw this on the track list for this release. The thing that immediately stands out is that this is a very different track 9... the main combo is a 3-step bounce and high knee run combo (adding on 2 jacks in the 2nd and 3rd sets). Then we have jumping jacks, slice-dices (step-jumps), knee pulls and... step curls??? We actually do have a step curl in a power track, ladies and gentlemen! Finally, at the very end we split the room in half, do a jog forward-jack back combo, and then run ourselves into the ground with jacks and high knees at the end. I haven't taught this one nearly as much as I feel I should've. It will most likely make my top 10 for power tracks, and it's really a crowd-pleaser at my club!
- Down - AND it just keeps getting better! This is arguably my favorite leg track. I love the song and love to sing along with it. For moves we have a 3-pulse forward lunge, 1 step back lunge combo, followed by single stepping lunges, and single pulsing lunges. Do that on both legs. Then we have a 3-pulse squat/leap-frogger jump combo. My class sings with this one because I do it quite often. Great track... love it.
- Tik Tok - Ugh. LOL. It's actually, in my opinion, probably the most challenging core track we have in Attack, at least recently. We do hovers, then add a stomp, then we do a 12-pulse crunch, and arm-leg extend in the choruses. There are 3 rounds of this, the last round featuring 4 sets. Your legs are virtually in the air the entire track when not hovering. The heartrate is up the entire time, and I can barely keep my legs up by the end of the second round. I don't love this one... but that's because it's hard. And that's a good reason to not like a track! :)
- Replay - I appreciate this cooldown a lot more now then I did at the time we launched. I've set it before, but I'm a stickler on warmups and cooldowns, and at the time we'd had a lot of top 40 type cooldowns that I thought didn't really deliver the message/feeling that a cooldown should. Doing it now, I enjoy it more. It's not one of my favorites, but the presenters have fun while doing it, and the class does enjoy it since they know it.