Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BODYATTACK 79 Tracklist

Here's the trackist!  I do not know as of right now which slot the alternative track is for (see note below).  I will update this when I find out.

1.     We Are Young - Sincere Cast
2.     Scream (Dave Dee! Remix) - Killah Swagger
3.     Starships - Smiling Target
4.     All U Deejays - Gateway DX
5.     Rock The Boat (Main-Gilbere-Forte-Mastered Remix) - Bob Sinclar feat. Pitbull, Dragonfly & Fatman Scoop
6.     Drive By (Niccho Remix) - Live Tonight
7.     Clap Your Hands - Living Reptile
8.     Bright Like The Sun - Sy & Unknown feat. Kirsten Joy
9.     Breathing (Diamond Boy Remix Edit) - Ruff Cash
10.  We Run The Night - The Positive Swan
11.  Let It Go (Laidback Luke Remix) – Dragonette
12.  I'll Follow You – Shinedown

BONUS: Nothing Can Hold Us Back (DJ Bam Bam Remix Edit) - Bryce feat. J-Marik
*NOTE ABOUT BONUS:  Although this has not been confirmed yet, BODYPUMP 84 also features Scream and has an alternative track for that slot, so I'm going to guess this track is an alternative mixed impact.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

BODYATTACK 79 Video Sizzler

Sizzlers have hit the net (thanks Glen!).  I'm still tracking down the written one (watch this space), but here is the video.  Looks like Snowboards are back, as well as the leg move from BA70!!!  Enjoy:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: BODYATTACK 77

AHH!!!  Have you ever had something on your to do list for well over a month, and literally every time you had carved out a chunk of time to do it, something came up?  That's been me and this review... I'm incredibly sorry it's taken so long, especially considering several of you have asked for it.  Thanks for your patience.

Now, granted, it's been 2.5 months since we launched this release.  This is both good and bad.  As I've stated plenty of times before, my opinion on releases changes over time.  My normal pattern is I usually am hesitant the first time I hear the new music, and then by launch I've determined which tracks are my favorites (or will be frequents on my playlist) and which I don't like.  Then, by the time launch is over, I'm burned out of the whole thing and retire it for a month or so.  Finally, a couple months later, I gradually start re-mixing stuff in.  So, although my review won't be the same now as it would've been right after launch, I hope it's a more concrete "long term" opinion if you will.

I'm continuing my efforts to streamline reviewing, so please bare with me.  This go-around I've decided to break it down track by track:

Warmup:
As I stated above, when I initially heard this warmup, I was hesitant.  In fact, let me back up.  I actually saw the tracklist before 76 was even released, so I knew well in advance this was coming.  I had a really hard time picturing this song as a warmup.  The normal version is kind of slow, and much more rock-ish.  I'd also gotten a peek at the notes, so I knew there were lots of step touches.  With that said, once I'd seen and heard it, I loved it!  It's a good case of music-meets-movement.  I thought the 16 repeaters (8 taps, 8 knees) was a nice variation, and I also really liked the different up-down vs down-ups of the step touches.  It's a simple warmup with good variations, and a very welcoming song.  I will definitely re-use it (and have).

Mixed Impact:
Another super fun mixed impact... and it's not Party Rock!!!  (Random side note:  I am somewhat burned out on Party Rock and have retired it for a few...)  I actually really like this track also.  And I really like the transition from 1 to 2.  It's refreshing to have a mixed impact that doesn't follow the standard curl/gallop combo (no gallops here).  Heel digs are a favorite of mine, and I love the change in arms.  The square pattern was the perfect add-on for rounds 2 and 3.  The song is fantastic.  Another fun, re-usable track.

Aerobic:
OFF!  THE!  HOOK!  This is, without a doubt, my new favorite aerobic track we've ever had (and 78's is pretty good too!).  The song is so fun, the remix so uplifting.  There are so many good chances for fitness magic.  Words just can't describe it.  This track is probably in my top 5 all-time favorite Attack tracks at this point.  My favorite part choreographically is definitely the knee combo into Supermans (or is it Supermen?  Hmm...) and jacks.  I love this track so much.

Plyometric:
Ok, I'm going to have a rough time with this one.  My opinion of the track is quite honestly split right down the line.  I love 50% of the music and 50% of the choreography.  The strange thing is that the parts I love I LOVE and the parts I don't care for I REALLY don't care for.  Do I think it works as a plyometric track?  Absolutely.  I really like the squat-lunge combo, but that's also the part of the music I hate.  I don't know why psycho-circus music has been making random cameos in Attack, but I don't care for it.  On the flipside, the verses of the song have a fantastic remix, and the beat really drives me... but I hate the never-ending skaters.  If it had been me, I probably would've switched to single skaters for the "My-my-my-my" parts, just to break up the 3-step power runs that go on for days.  So does it work?  Yes.  Is it perfect?  No.  Will I re-use?  Yes.

Upper Body:
Another great track.  The song is so fantastic.  "I'm a machine!  I'm unstoppable!  I want to tear it apart and rebuild it..."  So many good chances for lyric connection, and great proportions of the different exercises.  INSTRUCTORS:  The buildup to the final set of single pushups is PERFECT for creating contrast using silence and building your voice back up.  "Winners never quit, and quitters never win"... Steal that queue from the DVD!  A great track... I've already re-used it several times.

Running:
You & I... This was the song I was most excited for when I saw the track list, but it's also one of the songs that I haven't been missing from the playlist.  I think I need to teach it more well-scripted.  There are fun opportunities here, but the repetition of the song forces you to create your own variety.  After the second verse, the song really just keeps repeating "You & I" until the very end, and I think that kind of turns me off.  One of my favorite moments was Lisa "with her high heels on" in the DVD.  I stole it for launch (I was the one on my knees...)

Agility:
I did not like the song when I first heard it.  My initial thoughts were "I'm drunk in Egypt... got it."  I've done a 180 since launch.  I really like it, and it's pretty challenging as far as agility tracks go.  I always love side taps (wish they'd come back in mixed impact!) and the different levels provides a nice challenge as well as a measuring tool for progress.  I think a lot of people struggled with bouncing side to side and then front to back.  I always struggle with the skate jumps.  They seem overly jarring.  Overall a nice job here.

Interval:
Can I just say, especially after seeing 78, that I am SO GLAD interval tracks are headed back in the right direction?  I still wish we would get an occasional classic well-known song, but 77 and 78 have both been fantastic (78 is probably my new favorite...).  The choreography is simple, but I loved the 3rd round traveling knees with the punches, and knee pulls are always popular at my club.  I like interval tracks that have an epic-sounding build.

Power:
UGH!!!  This is definitely, DEFINITELY my least favorite track of the release.  I know a lot of people hated the high knees, but that's not what my issue is.  The star jumps are just absolutely insane when you are 6'6... I have so much further to jump out and less time to get there... I don't mind the high knee marathon so much.  I will say that I do appreciate the variety, as this is unlike any power track we've seen before.  But I just don't like it.  It's a challenge track, but the song doesn't motivate me.  It's been mixed out and hasn't been back since.

Legs:
Everyone at my club loves the song, and that includes me.  The second verse seems like hell on the legs... pulse squats, down and hold, then more pulses.  I liked the corner variation on the lunges, but I feel like it should be shown as an option only for advanced members.  Many of the people who take my classes struggled with it.  The best feeling in the world is when you get to the final set of squats.

Abs:
Another fantastic song, but man the bicycle crunches just kill me.  Anything where you are supposed to simultaneously work upper and lower core always does, and I think a large part of that is, once again, my height and length.

Cooldown:
I didn't particularly care for it.  I know it's supposed to be a Kiwi song.  The message is good, it's just not my personal style.  I haven't used it and quite honestly, it will be a long time before I do.

Overall, I really like 77.  I've re-used many of the songs since launch.  It's solid, and very much my type musically (I really like 9 of the songs).  It's much more uplifting and fun then 76, which was quite dark and club-ish.  The word that comes to mind is happy.

78 launch is right around the corner, 79 autoship the same, and BODYATTACK 80 is actually filming in about 4 days.  I was supposed to be there, but it fell through.  Lisa has some fantastic stuff planned, I know that much.  Anyone who happens to attend, PLEASE send me a message and let me know how it goes.

Guys, I know I've said this a ton, but please keep writing to me and let me know what you'd like to see here.  Being a full time student, worker and having a family keeps me incredibly busy, but I always make time for BODYATTACK, and I would love to report on the things you enjoy learning about.

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Memoir of my Baltimore Experience

To all my readers, friends, and colleagues:

I have been so humbled by the overwhelming support I've received throughout the process of getting this interview together.  Unfortunately, the interview itself will not be published for several months.  This is mostly because the entire reason behind the interview is to celebrate BODYATTACK 80 and the 20th anniversary of the program, and therefore it needs to wait until closer to the release date.  I am currently working with folks at LMI to determine the most appropriate time.

In the meantime, however, I have written a personal memoir of my experience in Baltimore, which includes some details on my time spent with Lisa.  Think of it as the liner notes of an album or book.  It thanks those who need thanking, and provides just enough information to hopefully inspire you to keep being patient for the final product.  :)  I hope you enjoy it!

With thanks,
Chad
-------------------------

It is currently 9:38PM on Monday night, and I’ve felt compelled to sit down and write ever since this past Friday, when I had one of the most fun experiences of my life.  Due to an overwhelming response of support from my LM family, coupled with interest to read my experience (and by this, I am incredibly humbled), I have decided to offer a prequel entry of sorts.  The interview article will not be published for another 2-3 months (it is, after all, to celebrate BODYATTACK 80, which is 6 months away from release).  This entry will serve as a companion to the interview, focusing on my personal experience, and also telling the story of how this came to be, while offering my sincerest thanks to everyone who was instrumental in making this happen.

Many of you may not know this, but I am in a bit of a professional drought, and it’s been an incredibly rocky journey for me, full of thorns and high mountains to climb.  Make no mistake… I am very grateful to have a job in an economy that has been so unfriendly to so many everywhere.  And there are many things to be grateful for… my job is secure, it pays well, I can trust most of my co-workers with my life, I have benefits such as insurance and paid time off, and it is somewhat flexible in allowing me to pursue my true passion, which is the help of others through the Les Mills group exercise experience.  Still, I would like to take my career in a new direction.  My point in saying this is simply to highlight the serendipitous impact this experience has had on my life.  It came at a time when I’ve been incredibly frustrated and felt both direction and progression-less.  And sometimes all it takes is a brief moment, a small interaction, or even just a smile, love and passion from someone who inspires you in order to turn your world around and re-ignite success.

So where do I begin?  Very quickly, for those of you who don’t know my story, in June 2007 I weighed over 400 pounds.  I lost 160 on my own without surgery or any gimmicks in a 2-year period.  I then lost the last 40 and have maintained my healthy weight of 225 for over 3 years because of Les Mills programs, and specifically because of BODYATTACK.  I slowly took the path from scared back row participant, to front row diehard, to passionate diehard instructor and blogger.  The program has had a profound and irrevocable change on my life, and I will be forever grateful to EVERYONE involved in its creation and distribution for bringing it to me.  It is a large part of what keeps me going every day, gives me something to strive for, and inspires me to help others.  There are many people to thank, but at the top of that list is Lisa Osborne.  She is the driving force behind the program, and, as program director, she is also the face in front of the program.  But most importantly, as Maureen Baker put it, she is “one hell of a woman”.

With that said, how did I become lucky enough to get to sit down with this amazing lady?  It starts with Glen Stollery.  Almost all of you who are reading this should know who Glen is, since he has what is most likely the largest LM fan blog in the world (http://nzglen.wordpress.com).  When BODYPUMP celebrated its 80th release, they asked Glen to interview Glen Ostergaard (BP and RPM Program Director) to help celebrate the milestone.  The interview was so well done and Glen is such a fantastic writer and an inspiration in his own right.  As soon as it was announced that he was able to do this, I began furiously emailing people to find out how it had happened and how I could make it happen for Attack.  Glen put me in touch with a lovely woman at LMI named Sarah who was prompt and friendly, who welcomed me whole-heartedly, and who supported my begging and pleading.  Now, bare in mind that I began communicating with Sarah back at BP80, which was the same quarter as BA75.  Therefore, this interview has been in the works for over a year, and I cannot begin to express my appreciation for the many emails and efforts that Glen, Sarah, and all those who followed spent on my behalf.  I’m about to skip ahead in this story, but just know that there were MANY people involved, both domestic and international, and almost all of it was conducted via email.  This is a huge tribute to the level of service that LMI provides.

Fast forward to this past weekend.  This piece of the interview was conducted in Baltimore, Maryland, at the end of the North American trainer summit and right before the largest US quarterly workshop in 2012.  I had no idea how many people would be there, including Lisa, Susan Renata, Rachael Newsham and Sarah Robinson from New Zealand, along with MANY of the top business people from the USA and New Zealand, and all of the North American training team.  I saw almost every trainer I’ve ever met in a 2-hour period, running into countless individuals in the hallway who’ve at some point impacted my journey.  With all these festivities, I had been (understandably) told that Lisa’s trip, from dawn until dusk every day, was booked solid, and there was basically one available time slot for me.  My flight landed an hour and a half before that time (earliest flight available), which meant if ANYTHING went wrong, I was basically out of luck.  As you can imagine, my stress levels were slightly high going into that flight, but fortunately, God smiled upon me and I made it to the hotel with half an hour to spare.

Now, my life is often a whirlwind, which serves me well in many ways because it means that I don’t have time to freak out going into things such as an interview with arguably one of the most influential people in my life.  I really only start to get nervous about 10 minutes before these things happen.  My biggest fear was literally that it wouldn’t happen.  Anyone who’s worked behind the scenes at an event like a quarterly or summit will know that you often fly by the seat of your pants, things change at the last minute, including schedules, and there’s often nothing to be done about it.  So even in going down to meet Lisa, I knew that until I physically saw her, there were no guarantees.

I reported to the assigned meeting area 15 minutes early, and about 10 minutes into (what was supposed to be) my 45-minute window, I went to find one of the trainers and ask if they knew where she was.  As it turns out, this afternoon was basically Lisa’s only free time and she had decided to go out for a run in the streets of Baltimore (can you imagine driving down the street and seeing one of the program directors running on the sidewalk?) which had gone longer than expected.  By the time all was said and done, I had Susan Renata and most of the Les Mills East Coast staff trying to reach her.  I was sitting in a conference room waiting to hear from someone while taking my first look at BODYATTACK 78.  Honestly, I half expected it to get re-scheduled, and was preparing for another meeting I had when the text message came in:  “Come to the main promenade.  I have Lisa here!!”  The nerves started about now J.

There was a rather long hallway between the room I was in and the area they were in, with many of the trainers gathered in between.  However, I could see that unmistakable head of blonde hair in the distance, and knew right away it was her.  Lisa has this incredible energy about her that she shares wherever she goes.  Whenever you’re in her space, you feel and share her positive vibes.  She exudes passion and joy.  She was speaking with one of the trainers I’d met at AIM2, and since I knew both of them, it was easy to go up, exchange hugs and hellos, and sort of break in.  I apologized for pulling her off her run, and asked if there was a better time, praying as if someone was about to die that she’d be available during a time before I had to leave the next evening.  She very graciously told me that she was free now, and we set off to find a quiet place to sit down and chat.  After she grabbed a cup of coffee, we began.

Of course, you’re going to get the content of that discussion at a later date, but basically we discussed her life, the journey of her career in fitness, including her beginnings, her competition days, and her road to program director.  We also talked about fun stuff, such as some of her favorite things (drinks, foods, cars, etc.) her children, and BODYATTACK 80.  She spoke with me for a little over an hour, very graciously answering all of my questions and interjecting fun stories along the way.

Many people know that this isn’t the first time I’ve met Lisa, and I’m often asked what she’s like.  How I always describe her (and what I want everyone to know about her) is this:  She is exactly how she appears on the DVDs.  She is one of the sweetest, most genuine people you will ever meet, and truly just loves to share her passion and excitement for happiness and health through group exercise (and all exercise, really).  There is no fa├žade, no acting for the camera.  She just wants all of the people she influences to be better for the experience, and works hard to deliver a program to that end.  She is infectious, and I came away from our conversation feeling humbled and grateful for a program director who cares so much about everyone.

When we were finished, she very graciously invited me to sit in on a presentation she was giving the next day, and we parted company.  I was pretty exhausted from my long day of traveling, and proceeded to sleep the next 11 hours after organizing some of my thoughts.  In fact, I woke up in a panic, thinking I had missed the meeting.  I was relieved to discover through a very kind note from her that I hadn’t, but I had less than an hour to get myself together.  After checking out at lightning speed, I headed off to find where I was supposed to be.

Within the day’s events, I was able to observe the BODYSTEP team (Lisa, Susan, Sarah, and Amanda) create their game plan for the quarterly masterclass.  I saw them interact and decide things such as track assignments, who would stand where for what tracks, what the finishing move for each track would be, who would show what options, and etc.  One thing I heard involved concern over being fatigued from prior classes.  It was really refreshing to me to discover that these are real people who get tired and worry about the same things we do.  Yes, they have incredible talent, nearly perfect technique, and they have mastered coaching, but they have the same concerns and stresses as all of us.  For me, it brought a new dynamic of realism to the table that makes the experience a little bit sweeter for me.  I don’t necessarily need to feel guilty about being worried about teaching 2 classes back to back alone, since they understand those feelings and even share them!

Fast forward a bit more.  It had come to my attention throughout the day that Lisa had been itching to go shopping at an outlet mall in Baltimore.  In talking with several of the Kiwis, I learned that items in New Zealand are infinitely more expensive due to import fees.  Therefore, anytime she comes to the states, Lisa likes to shop for her family.  I had not gotten a rental car for this trip, so I didn’t think a thing of it when I first heard, except feeling incredibly jealous of whoever ended up getting to take her.  Well, as fate would have it, that someone turned out to be ME!  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was privileged to take Lisa Osborne shopping at a good old-fashioned American mall, due to the generosity of one of the LMEC staff letting me use her car.  It was a highlight of 2012 for me.  And let me tell you, she has good taste AND shops, as she put it, “Attack style” which basically means we power walked gazelled through the entire mall.  Next time I’ll wear my Attack shoes, as flip-flops aren’t the most conducive for this. J  Afterwards, I was off to the airport.  As I waved goodbye to one of my favorite people in the whole world, I could not help but feel so sad that my time was over.  Lisa Osborne isn’t just the caretaker of Attack, she is a true kindred spirit and, once again, “one hell of a woman”.

I know to some, it seems like just a weekend, or just a brief conversation and a trip to a mall. But for me, this experience symbolized so many things… a reappearance of hope, a validation of over a year of hard work and determination, and the realization that these programs are the result of the efforts of REAL people who love what they do and just want to improve the world around them.  I even, dare I say it, found a new friend in a person I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be friends with.  If I can spend time in the company of someone I admire so much, who inspires me in so many ways, where else would I rather be?  I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything, and I am so grateful to all of you who have been kind, supportive, and encouraging.  I cannot wait to share it with you!

With thanks,
Chad

P.S.  I would be remiss if I did not publicly thank the following individuals for their efforts on my behalf.  Without every single one of them, this experience would not have been possible:

Glen Stollery
Sarah Eades-Johnston
Fritha Hookway
David Jack Olivier
Anne Bonney
Josh Keenum
Liz DiTomasso
Lisa Osborne


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Just so I remember this day...

Look who popped by for a little visit today :)


Thank you to everyone for submitting your questions.  Now I'll get to work on this interview article so we can get it published!

Monday, July 30, 2012

BODYATTACK 78 Tracklist

Tracklists are out, along with the sizzlers.  I've also included the original version artists that I know in italics so that if you're wondering about the song, you can look it up.  If you have any corrections for this, let me know and I will add it!  I'm also going to be updating the master list and longest/shortest mix lists.

A couple notes:  I'm incredibly excited to watch 78, since it's presented by Lisa, Amy and Bevan.  I've also seen most of the 79 playlist, and sufficed to say that, provided the remixes are good, I'm VERY happy with the current direction of the music.

I have already began my review for BODYATTACK 77, and have been working very closely with Les Mills in prep for the big interview with Lisa O!  Exciting times here in Attack-land!
  1. We Found Love - Venus Jones (Rihanna)
  2. Good Life - Spoken Crush
  3. Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Across Watch (Kelly Clarkson)
  4. 2 The Back - Coconut Analog
  5. Push It - The Grinding Mind (Salt n Pepa)
  6. Something's Gotta Hold On Me - Solitary Wolf
  7. Stomp To My Beat - Solo Construction
  8. My Forever Love - Sy & Unknown
  9. Nessaja - Scooter (Scooter)
  10. To The Moon And Back - Livin R & Pink Noisy feat. Nekk (Savage Garden)
  11. Wild Ones - High Rolla
  12. Fly - Dial Fidelity (Rihanna feat. Nicki Minaj)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I need YOUR help! Upcoming BODYATTACK 80 interview with Lisa Osborne.

Hello my friends!

This is a post I've been VERY excited to write for a while now... but wanted to make sure I didn't jump the gun on.  As many of you know, especially if you follow Glen Stollery's blog, he was privileged to interview Glen Ostergaard for BODYPUMP 80.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for both Glens and thought there was nobody more appropriate for the job than Mr. Stollery.  At the same time, I, being the fanatic that I am, immediately contacted him to find out how that was set up.  I contacted the folks over at Les Mills to ask (actually beg) to be able to interview Lisa Osborne for BODYATTACK 80... AND THEY SAID YES!!!!

SO, I will be conducting an upcoming interview with the fabulous Lisa to celebrate 20 phenomenal years of BODYATTACK.  Although I've already began writing questions and organizing thoughts, I think it's appropriate (as Glen did) to open this up for feedback and questions from all of you as well.  So, please submit questions - either here or message me on Facebook (Chad Deets), and I will be sure to include your questions if at all possible.

I cannot tell you how excited I am for this!!!  It IS a few months away (so stay tuned), but I wanted to give as much time as possible, plus I just got the word that it's a done deal!

Cheers!
Chad

Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: BODYATTACK 76

I've recently become even more aware of the fact that my opinion of an entire release, and the tracks within it, can change considerably over time.  This was absolutely the case with BA76.  My initial reaction, and what I've told people as a general synopsis is:  "You know how 75 was, in a word, fun?  76 is... dark."  I won't lie, the first time I watched the release, I wasn't thrilled.  To be fair, I went into this release with incredibly high expectations, as we had just come off BA75, which is, to date, my favorite release.  I knew this would be a challenge for me, but as I continued to learn the release and even as I practiced it, I wasn't looking forward to it.

However, one thing I've learned is that teaching a track or release is entirely different from simply seeing or participating in it.  Basically with BA76, the more I taught it, the more I liked it.  Although I loved 75 right from the start, I ended up liking 76 pretty well by the end of launch.  With each class, the energy got better, the vibe more challenging.  My guess is that this happens because classes are an organic experience.  The energy of the participants, instructor, music and moves all come together to create a vibe and an experience.  When any of those elements are missing or altered, the feeling changes.

Music
As I stated above, the release has a very dark vibe musically.  There are lots of huge beats and club sounds, with most tracks musically feeling like they are in a minor key.  Only 4 songs are arguably "uplifting", and even at times this isn't the case.

The warmup is "San Francisco" which is a Cascada remix.  I like pretty much everything they do, and the song got better as launch went on.  Apparently Les Mills loved it, since offhand I know it was used in Pump and RPM this same quarter (not sure about the other programs).  The song does the job, and although it's not the exact feeling I hope for in a warmup, it's good enough.  Next we have "Mas" in mixed impact.  I appreciate the latin feel of the track, as this helps with themed parties, variety, etc.  With that said, this is probably my least favorite track of the release and was the first to be mixed out.  I found the repeated high pitched "muevelos" (which I renamed "wave it low" or "wave it high" according to the arms) extremely annoying.  I'll bring it back on occasion, but it won't be a regular on my playlist.

The aerobic track, "Notorious", is great!  Because the song is much more conducive to female instructing, I had more fun shadowing and singing along, and because I can sing to it, I find myself missing it now that launch is over.  Crowd response was pretty good here as well.  "Twilight Zone" (the plyo track) has an appropriate feel for the first peak.  Musically, it's a pretty boring/repetitive song.  The choreography makes up for it, and the song actually comes off really well once you see it.  I just wish the song was more dynamic.  In upper body we have "You Got The Love", which has a different feel from most of the upper body tracks.  The song is dialed back just a little, with more focus on the beat as opposed to the melody.  The main riff is what drives the work.  We pick back up with "Ridin Solo" in the running track, which grew on me with each class.  At first I thought the song was silly (especially with the chorey... see below), but again, I found myself missing it once we began mixing again.  I'll probably end up teaching it more than I initially thought I would, because of the song.

And then, we get to agility with "Badman Riddim".  This was my absolute favorite song of the release. It is unlike anything we have ever gotten in agility before, both musically and choreographically.  This track is largely instrumental, with spoken vocals, but I love it!  Those of you who know me know I hate most non-verbal tracks and avoid them like the plague.  The beat and rhythm of this song is funky, sexy and just really motivated me to try harder in this track, which is pretty challenging cardio-wise!  Moving on to intervals, we get "Angels", which I recognized from Combat.  I know a lot of Attackers didn't particularly love it, but I thought it was one of the better interval tracks of the 70s.  It's the most "uplifting" song in the release, which is appropriate for this track, but the song is, once again, borderline too-repetitive.  It's kind of on par with "Heaven Is A Place On Earth" from BA74 for repetition, but I happen to like this melody better, so it gets slightly higher marks in my book.

The final peak was "Don't Wanna Go Home", the second Jason Derulo song of the release.  We're back to the "club" feeling that we've gotten in most recent power tracks.  The participants love this particular track because there's plenty of room for them to interact.  My biggest complaint here is, once again, the repetition.  However, in this case it's particularly noticeable.  There were several times while learning the release when I would pause this song for a phone call or other interruption, and then go back to it.  I couldn't find where I was choreographically... that's how repetitive the song is.  More variety = better.  With that said, it's not a throw-away track.

If I look at this release with just the cardio blocks, I'm not that impressed or excited musically.  Yes there are a couple really good ones, but nothing else was memorable.  The release redeems itself with lower body conditioning ("Night Of Your Life" for legs, "Tonight Tonight" for abs) and the cooldown ("All That You Are").  I love all 3 songs and will teach them all pretty regularly, especially the cooldown.  The leg track really pushed me to try harder, with good musical highs and lows.  The ab track is super fun to sing to, and made me forget that I was hovering pretty much non-stop for 2 minutes.  And the cooldown?  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm very picky about warmups and cooldowns.  I think they should do very specific things mentally and emotionally, and this one is fantastic... probably one of my new favorites.  It leaves a message which, when self-focused, drives the participants.  The melody itself leaves the class on an emotional high, but still calm and appropriate for a cooldown.  I loved it!

Choreography
There are plenty of innovations and moves we haven't seen for a long time.  In the warmup, we get a new combo where we do 8 tap repeaters, followed by 8 knee repeaters, on the same leg.  We also get the return of the one step-one tap combo last seen in BA61's "Faith".  This move can be difficult for the participants, but I feel like it's a good change and a good challenge.  Otherwise, this warmup is straightforward.  (Interesting side-note:  My favorite part in the whole song is the 2-step following the one-step/tap combo.  I like the change from the first 2 rounds a lot, and think it's appropriate for the big beat).


I get the feeling that Lisa has been encouraged to inject a little Shbam/Zumba flavor into Attack, because with tracks like "Party Rock Anthem", "Dirtee Disco", and even the upcoming 77 mixed impact track, we are getting more dance-ish inspired moves.  This is a smart business decision, but I wish it was a bit more spread out.  In this mixed impact, we get wavey-dancy-arms (or "Wave it low... super low" as I queued it).  Those are fun enough, but the back half was a little too repetitive.  This is also the case in the aerobic track.  I really liked the superman square (apparently it's in one of the BA 30s or 40s releases too).  But I felt like it drug on too much.  The music in the track is virtually identical for the last minute of the song... there are 5 complete squares plus room for 32 jumping jacks.  I felt like an additional move in there would've broke it up a little better.


The plyo track is great because of the choreography.  The song is flat, and the moves make it 3D.  We get a 2-step-jump-run back combo that we've seen in BA51's "Jump".  After this, we get alternating 3 step runs and 3 step power runs (or 3-step skates as I call them).  The explosive power comes in squat jumps, which are then leveled up in round 3 with a mid-air leg split.  There are no plyometric lunges, which we haven't seen since BA64.  This was a nice change for variety, but the track is just as challenging as if there were lunges.  Mission accomplished!

Upper body, as usual, killed me.  With this we've got a tap-out, jump-out hover, and then plenty of single tricep pushes and bottom half single chest pushups.  Three identical rounds, which helps put the focus on strength.  No real surprises here, but there are plenty in the running track.  There's a new skip-knee move (think BA70 leg track, but add direction).  It's a fantastic leg workout, and a different feel for the running track.  I will admit, it makes me feel a tad silly, especially considering how tall I am.  In agility, tennis makes its debut.  I thought the step combo that progresses to the tennis move was perfectly executed.  We also have a new move called "Attackers-and-Defenders" which I absolutely love.  You basically run towards the center, jump and sink into a squat, and then fast feet back.  Add a few turning squat jumps, and repeat X2.  Brilliant innovation and matches the music perfectly!

The interval track has 3 different sets of moves which are repeated in the following sequence:  A,B,A,C,A,B,A,C,A,B,A.  The "A" sequence is 8 run-and-reaches with 8 kicks.  "B" is 8 single knees with a high punch and 8 kicks.  "C" is a jog on the spot, then single and double side flicks.  The 2nd and 3rd "B" sets have squares.  As you can tell, once again, repetition is the word, but this is usually the case with interval tracks.  Finally, in the power peak, we have 4-traveling knees to each side, which then progresses into a really cool 4-knee, 8-club jump back combo.  This is followed by drop squats, a bounce forward-jack combo, high knee runs forward and back, and a "Power combo" which is 4X8 jacks, 4X8 high knees, and 4X8 plyo lunges (did you really think you'd get an entire release without them?)  Finally, once again, an accelerating high knee sprint to finish... sigh.

The leg track includes plenty of innovation, with a combo of plie squats, and alternating front lunges, but done to the corners.  Cool, new, and effective.  The core track is a really nice change.  The first half is hovers, done first to the front, then on each side individually, then to the front again.  Finish with single crunches, and then pulse crunches with legs up.  A fun song plus a lack of leg extensions = happier Chad.  I actually can forget I'm working so hard in this track.

Finally, the cooldown.  Nothing fancy or overly complicated, which is perfect for me.  :)

Presentation
There was a really large team involved this round.  We had Lisa, Amy, KC, Ivens, and then we had Kendall Kimball and a french guy who's name I don't remember (but whom several told me I look like) who shadowed.  Six attackers is rather large.  Most releases feature 3 or 4.

Lisa Osborne, as always, is phenomenal... and I can't help but comment on how great she looked.  Her outfit and hair were virtually identical to BA58 (but with the newer shirt), and she looks incredibly fit and healthy, and just glowed.  She taught the warmup, the running track, legs, and abs.  We got a little of each dimension, and a lot of great energy.  Next we have Amy Styles back in the house, who I always enjoy watching.  Lisa intentionally gave her  tracks 3,4,5 (aerobic,plyo,upper body) so we could see the change of coaching in each dimension.  I thought this was brilliant, and I always think Amy does great, although I feel like she's truly in her element in the sports dimension.  They seem to be a power duo, and I enjoy seeing them together.

Next we have KC from the UK, who I enjoyed watching teach agility and power.  I actually thought his presentation of agility was one of the best I've seen in a long time, and I tried to emulate some of what he does in my own classes.  He also taught the cooldown.  Ivens from Portugal delivered mixed impact and the interval track, and once again, I felt the language barrier served to be a disadvantage.  He tried to make up for it with fitness magic hips, but it was busted out too much.  The shadowers were a fun addition, but I felt gipped at not getting to hear Kendall.  She is fantastic and such a great lady, and a special shoutout to her twin Kerry who is also fantastically fun.  Kendall will be in Step soon (WITHOUT a hat!  But she gets to talk...) but I hope we get her back in Attack sooner rather than later!

Ultimately, BA76 is a grower.  There's lots of repetitive choreography, but the pairing of moves-to-music, in most of the tracks, is well chosen and provides for a simple (but extremely effective) release.

Thanks Lisa!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Podcast?

Hi Team,

I wanted to very quickly ask for some feedback:  Would any of you be interested in listening to a Podcast version of this blog?  Please leave me some feedback!

Thanks!
Chad

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BODYATTACK 77 Tracklist/Poster

Here's tracklist and poster for BA77. I know 5 of these songs and will be interested to hear the remixes! Yes, track 6 is the Gaga song! Yeehaw! More coming soon!

1. Beautiful Day – London Villian
2. Get Dat Love – Ambitious Tribe
3. Firewire – English Rush
4. My Sharona – Addicted Diamond
5. I’m Machine – B.Ranch & Little G
6. You And I (Technoposse Radio Edit) – Sweat Box
7. Bounce (XNRG Remix) – Klassify Feat. Sensus And Devonne
8. Dominoes – Rag Rhino
9. Mr Saxobeat – DJ Loud
10. I Like How It Feels – Solitary Phase
11. Light It Up – Stan Walker Feat. Static Ravenger
12. Don’t Forget Your Roots – Six60




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

AIM 2: Issaquah, Washington

I didn't really announce this beforehand, but as some of you know, I had the amazing opportunity to attend AIM 1 last year with Lisa Osborne. It was truly a career highlight and something I always think fondly upon. Here in the United States, AIM 2 has been a bit of a frustrating wait. There were only a couple of them for Pump only since the new AIMs were announced last year, and then they virtually disappeared. I wanted to attend the first one for Attack last year in Georgia, but didn't have the funds available. As I continued to stalk LesMills.com, I finally was able to locate one in the Seattle, Washington area that was feasible for traveling purposes. Interesting that my Attack journey has literally taken me to opposite ends of the country.

I decided to sign up, albeit at the last minute. The week leading up to it was absolutely insane, as I drove from Phoenix to Salt Lake City for a mini vacation (although when you spend 2 hours at Starbucks every day doing homework, it doesn't always feel like a vacation). I then flew from Salt Lake City to Seattle, and then flew from Seattle to Phoenix after training. Phew! As such, the only real prep I did for AIM 2 was to memorize the release we were presenting from (BA76), and I even cut corners here by asking ahead if we needed to know the strength tracks or cooldown (luckily we didn't).

I don't want to spoil too much for other people who might go, but I will briefly touch on what we did, before spending a few minutes talking about what I got out of it.

AIM 2 is, hands down, the absolute best training I have ever attended. I've been to 4 quarterlies, 3 initial modules, and now AIM 1 and 2, which I know isn't a huge amount when compared to others. However, when put into practicality of what is actually useful to improve your teaching and become a better instructor, this one is the absolute best. I almost wish they would flip it and do AIM 2 first, and then send you to an AIM 1 format-specific training. I just feel like EVERY instructor needs the up-skilling that AIM 2 aspires to, although I understand that this is an organic process, meaning that it's a combination of what you bring to the table AND the insights provided. In other words, if you aren't ready or willing to learn, you aren't ready for what AIM 2 offers, and you will struggle.

I should also say here that my module was facilitated by Amanda Scales (who trains Step, Attack, and Pump), and Josef Matthews (who trains Combat, Pump, and Flow). Therefore, those are the formats that we were able to present. I'm glad that at least you get feedback from a trainer in your core format. It would be difficult for me to stomach feedback on how I was teaching from a non-Attacking trainer.

So what did we do? Let me start by saying that this training is, physically speaking, the least challenging I've ever done. Other than the presenting you do (and participating for the other presenters), there are a few team-building things you do involving physical activity, and even those are designed to be fun and team-building. In other words, we really didn't spend any time working on technique, unless you personally took the time to ask the trainers.

The vast majority of the module consisted of learning about how to advance your coaching and connection skills, and that is a VERY simplified summary of it. Basically, they try and instill that your classes are not about you, they are about the participants. They teach you how to coach 1 outcome or goal per set of repetitions, and then to shut up and let what you're saying sink in. They teach you how to use your general track objectives, specific track focuses, and any other class focuses you might have, to script your coaching. They teach you how to try and connect with the music, how to reach out to participants that aren't the same personality as you, and then finally, to watch your class. If you see that your class needs something, you deviate from any pre-conceived script/plan you had and help them, and then come back to it.

I have been so frustrated the past year or so, because I have known that my teaching has been focused on me. Anyone who doesn't believe me, ask Jeremiah who is my sounding board. I spend a good 30 minutes post-class processing how I did, what I could do better, what worked and what didn't. I have known that I spend my time worrying if I am saying all the right things, showing all the right technique, and if I impress my fellow instructors, my participants, etc. My entire thought process has been focused on me. Yes, it is because I want to do better, but I have been focused on being a really great actor, and no one wants to take a class from an actor. It's really strange to realize that you spend an entire hour in front of a group of 20-50 participants, but you never really see any of them. Check this video out and you'll see what I mean.

The other thing that this was great for? Organization. I often feel that I fly by the seat of my pants as far as what to say and when to say it. It seems a bit random at times. This module taught me how to turn that focus around and organize what I say, when to say it, and most importantly, why we do it this way. This way, you truly understand the process, which allows you to deviate from that plan, but then come back to it afterwards.

One thing they tell you when you sign up (which I whole-heartedly agree with) is to NOT attend the module focused on attaining Advanced or Elite status. You need to be a sponge and just open yourself up to everything that's being thrown at you. Make no mistake... just because this training isn't physically demanding does NOT mean it's not hard. You really have to stretch yourself. Keep in mind that the kind of instructor you are today is the result of however many years/months worth of thinking/speaking you've done up to this point. In order to make a real shift, you have to be willing to open your mind up to teaching in a different way, rather than just trying to do your "old" way the best you've ever done it. They will see right through you. This was the single best decision I made prior to going... just view it as a learning process and you will do great. Basically, if you are ready to improve, SIGN UP! If you just want to get that stamp of approval, you need to re-think your frame of mind before going.

As with all trainings, I made some really great connections, relationships, and memories. But more importantly, I came out with clarity and understanding about a lot of things. I taught a class alone the day after getting home and was told it was the best class I've ever taught, and this is by people I've been coming to the gym with since I was just a participant. I broke down in tears afterwards... it's just so nice to have a breakthrough and be able to move forward with something you work so hard for.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mixing Playlists

Recently I've decided to change the way I teach a little bit. Since becoming certified in May 2010, I have heavily mixed my playlists, a practice which every other instructor at my club practices as well. (Just to clarify, what this means is that you might see 12 different releases in my class. I still follow the format requirements, as does everyone else). In speaking with other trainers and instructors who's opinions I respect a great deal, I've decided to switch it up a bit and teach releases in their entirety, or only mix 2 releases. I feel like this is a good step for me for a few reasons:


  1. I'm able to learn more material.
    Granted, I am a bit of a self-admitted track snob. I take pride in learning new tracks and sharing them with my class, and it's nice to be able to switch the playlist last minute if I have an unexpected request or if I'm just feeling a certain song in the moment. Teaching this new way, I will learn never-before-seen (for me) or revisit tracks that I haven't learned/taught in a very long time. This means that my members will see more, and maybe find a new track they love or can connect with.

  2. It forces me to teach tracks I wouldn't otherwise.
    There are several tracks within the Attack world that I don't care for and rarely teach unless requested. As I've said before, I feel like it's a mark of a good instructor to be able to teach music you wouldn't normally, since the class is more about your members then it is you.

  3. Sometimes your opinion (or in this case, mine) about a release can change over time.
    The past two weeks, I have been teaching almost exclusively from BodyAttack 64 (watch for that review to come soon). This was the very first release I launched as a participant, and the beginning of my Attack career if you will. I remember at the time, both immediately post-launch, and then the first year after, that I didn't care for the release very much. Tracks 2, 5, and 12 have always been my absolute favorites, track 7 is an instructor favorite at my club, and track 9 is a huge crowd pleaser. The other 7 songs? I couldn't stand them at the time. When I made the decision to pull this release off the shelf and teach from it, I wasn't anticipating having a huge amount of fun with it. To my total surprise and delight, I've discovered a new love for tracks 3, 4, 6, 8, and 11. Tracks 3 and 8 in particular are really fun to teach, and I would say more fun to teach than just take as a participant. There are some great moments in there to play off of and create fitness magic, and I would now say 64 is one of my better-liked releases.

  4. It creates a better class flow.
    It is totally fair to say that Lisa (or any PD) creates an entire release with flow and variety in mind. I remember speaking with Chris Maddox, one of the US trainers, who told me that he once unintentionally taught a class with 4 or 5 tracks that had drop squats. I myself have experienced the same thing with square patterns. And I will say if your focus in a particular class is that move or pattern, then this isn't a bad thing. But if it's unintentional, it can look very sloppy/lazy to have 4 songs with the same-ish choreography. Also, you can wind up with an entire class of female singers, a class dominated by a particular music style or artist, etc, or if you're REALLY not careful, you can go over the time limit. The releases do flow much better and provide more variety when taught as intended. At the Orlando quarterly I attended last year, Susan Renata told us that whenever she teaches releases more than 3 years old, she teaches the entire release for that week, and then puts it away for a while.

One thing I am still trying to figure out is how long I should keep the same playlist/release from. When we launch new stuff, we usually only keep it for the required 2 weeks. I understand this from the instructor's standpoint. Here in the states, we get our materials 2-3 months before we launch (I do not know why we do it this way), so by the time launch comes around, we are already pretty sick of the new music. Then, during launch, we teach the same material for 2 solid weeks, and because we are teaming more then usual, it's not uncommon to do the same release 10 times in a 2 week period. It gets mind numbing. I myself will keep the new release for 1 additional week if I and my participants like it. But now, as I teach older releases, should I keep them for a couple of weeks for consistency? My gut instinct is to do whatever I teach for 2 weeks and then switch. This seems easier to manage and a good balance for regulars vs newer members.


This is a topic which I would really like some feedback on. If you are an instructor, I'd love to hear your thoughts/practices on heavy mixing vs teaching releases in their entirety, and how long you keep your playlists for?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Review: BODYATTACK 75

I've discovered that I really like writing reviews, more so than I like picking favorite tracks. I'm sorry for the lapse in the 101 series, and hope to resume it soon. But now, my long overdue review of Attack 75 is here! And not a moment too soon, as I will be debited for 76 in just under a week!

When I reviewed BodyAttack 74, I commented that it was "a step in the right direction". If that was the case, then 75 was one small step for Attack, one giant step for Attackers all over the world. I absolutely love this release and could not be more excited to be writing this review. I'm jumping the gun a little bit, but the anticipation started the moment I first watched this DVD, and by the time the first launch class came around, the energy was off the charts. It was hands down the funnest class I've ever been part of. Wanna know more? Let's dig right in!

As I've said before, I understand that everyone is different and has different tastes. It is not uncommon for me to find myself slightly at odds with some people on the Les Mills forums. We often differ on opinions, but I have to remember that some of these people have been Attacking a lot longer than I, and the program used to be very different. With that said, I could not believe when I was reading about 75 and some people were commenting how much they didn't like it. 75 is, hands down, my favorite release we've ever had since I started Attacking (Just to give you an idea, 64 was the first release I launched as a participant, and I moduled on 67. But I have every release dating back to 37).

I will admit this release is very well tailored to my personality. It lends itself largely to my teaching style, and almost every song on the playlist lit me up and inspired me to try harder. Bottom line... it's just fun. I remember in AIM discussing the essence of the program and how each program is different. There's this really cool diagram where they show the spectrum of member needs and where each program falls. I can see Attack 75 falling a little bit closer to Sh'Bam then most releases. I have not ever been an avid Sh'Bammer and don't plan on it (truth be told, I have no business in any dance class!) But when I think of Sh'Bam, I think fun, and when I think of Attack, I think of hard work (please don't read too much into this statement...) One of the forum comments I read was that 75 was way too easy. I don't think it was too easy, but I will admit it was easier than releases like 66 and 74. However, as I've said before, if it inspires me to work harder, then what difference does it make?

Music
Let's talk about the music. As of this writing, I have taken or taught 75 in its entirety 8 times, and I am nowhere close to tired of 10 out of 12 songs. With this release, I didn't even feel like I was working out until track 4. The first three songs are like big party. High energy, tons of smiles, and even if you can't always sing along due to fatigue, you wish you could. To me, this is the absolute perfect example of the Aerobic dimension, and I think Lisa was really smart to use 3 really well known top 40 songs in a row here.

Track 4 is a bit funky, but it serves as a nice contrast to the high energy we've just built in the Aerobic tracks. After we finish the first cardio block, we've got a really sexy/gritty upper body track, and the energy picks right up again. The running track is a remixed Cascada song, and I pretty much love everything she does. I was undecided about Agility when I saw the playlist, but the choreography took care of any doubts I had (more below). I didn't like track 8, although I like it better than 71,72,or 74 (more below). The power track really grew on me. Lots of people have said (and I agree) that the song would've been a great choice for the interval track. I do see their point, as it's got that emotional high we're all looking for in 8. Even so, I don't feel it was a poor choice for the power track.

And then... we have the leg track, which was the absolute highlight of the release for me. This leg track is hard (more below), but the song has pushed me to try my absolute best every single time we've done the release, and I've noticed definite changes to my body as a result. The core track is good, but not noteworthy for me. And the cooldown... didn't like the song, and that hasn't changed after teaching the release for two weeks.

Choreography
There's tons of innovation here. The warmup sees the return of a long lost arm combo that we haven't seen since BA56. It sets the tone perfectly for "the party" you're about to experience. In addition, we see the return of the "walk-it-up" combo from 70, where you walk to one corner, and then the other. I wish this had been introduced earlier in the track, as it felt a bit out of place by the time you get to it in the final minute of the song, but it's still fun. Track two is an absolute highlight. Yes, BodyAttackers everywhere get as close to Sh'Bam or BodyJam as we ever will by doing a modified Running Man (and then a legit one). This track just goes off. Every time the song starts playing, the crowd roars, and every time we get to the final block with the travelling running man, everyone busts a move (even me... the tall white boy who has no business doing so!)

The aerobic track is fairly cookie cutter for the first two blocks, although we do get the return of the diamond arms, which again, I love (I have this soft spot for difficult moves that I'm able to get... I think it makes me feel smarter or something). The third block incorporates a running combination which is similar to 74, and I like how the final block meshes the first 3 together. It feels intuitive and well organized. I do hope we get some more Aerobic tracks in the future that are like 70 and 72 (in that they are completely different from most Aerobic tracks... I like variety).

The plyometric track is not as hard as 74's was, but it is still challenging... for the mind too! There's a fun single skate-jump combo that was difficult for participants, but I appreciate the variety and challenge of something new. I find it interesting that the past two plyo tracks have had really hard blocks in the very beginning of the track. I wonder if this is intentional or an experiment, or just due to the music? We have walking burpees again in this release, although they are different in the sense that it's a 1 burpee-4 pushup combo as opposed to doing all burpees then all pushups. I've decided that one thing I don't like is going from a burpee into a wide-stance for chest pushups. I think this lends itself too much to injury.

Running has lots of shuffling, and then we do this fun robot-direction-switch combination near the end (similar to the running track in BA54 where you change directions mid-round). Agility is fantastic! I thought Lisa did an amazing job of integrating baseball training... the moves are convincing and fun to do, and the track is really challenging and a great leg workout. (One idea I took from this track was: in future baseball themed releases, do base running in the running track, where you'd run in a diamond shape instead of a circle.)

Now let's talk the interval track... sigh... The song would've been a good choice if every other word wasn't Falling. It's too repetitive. The choreography is basically two different squares and double knees, but I thought it fit nicely as an interval track. The power track is really good. It's on the easier end of the spectrum (probably the easiest one we've had since 69), but I really like the variety of moves. You start off with heel jacks, then high knee runs to the corners a-la-BA64, and then jacks. THEN, the diamond jump from the BA69 agility track makes a surprise appearance, which I think is really fun and again, adds variety. Add more jacks, then side-step-jumps. The third block adds 6 tuck jumps, and then repeat portions of the prior combo, but this time to the front instead of the corners. And finally, we finish with the annoying high-knee-crazy-fast-sprint that I hate! Other than that, I like the track and the song drives me to work harder.

THE LEG TRACK!!! Baseball training comes back in this track, and again, Lisa did it brilliantly. We start with side lunges like BA58 has, and then it modifies into a front lunge to the side. THEN, we layer in an oblique twist, and finally it progresses into a baseball pitching move. The final round is a catcher-style move where you go into a deep deep squat and transfer your weight from side to side, and then do 7-count squats. So fun, such a great song. Cannot say enough good things about it, and it's definitely my new favorite. I've noticed a huge difference in my body since this one came around, and I've probably tried harder in this one than I have in the past.

Abs are hard... again... with bicycles and 3-pulse crunches. The cooldown's choreography was cool. Sweeping arms are back, but the chorey is still simple enough for me (I hate learning cooldowns...).

Presentation
Lisa brought her A-game here. She taught 1,2,7,9,legs,cooldown. This is exactly what I taught the first time I taught the release. It was really fun to see her teaching style change in each dimension. Bevan, as always, was great (he taught 3,5,6,abs), and I can't wait to take classes from him when I go to New Zealand. I loved the small tribute he gave Lisa during the aerobic track. (One thing that I don't understand though, is after how many years of doing this, he still starts on the wrong lead leg about 50% of the time. I guess we all have our Achilles' heel!) Tomas (I think that's his name) had the same challenges a lot of non-English speaking presenters face, but I did notice how crisp his technique was. He moved pretty flawlessly, and I thought he did well enough with his two songs (4 and 8).

I seriously will find writing 76's review very difficult, because I love this release so much. It will be very very difficult to top this one. Most of these songs are in my repertoire to stay, and I would imagine a lot of them are new crowd favorites (in fact, I hope they don't burn-out-by-request). Lisa, you are amazing!