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Combat and Flow

by Courtney on June 27, 2011

Happy Monday!! Just catching up? It’s ok, I am too…here’s what you may have missed:

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Last night as I was getting ready for bed (i.e., brewing the iced coffee for the week, folding laundry, watching Man vs. Food Nation, laying out gym clothes) I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do for today’s workout.

Typically, Tuesday & Thursday are my early morning gym days, but I decided to check my gym schedule just by chance, to see what was available.

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BodyCombat & BodyFlow? Hmmm…sounded interesting.

I noticed that both of them were “Express” classes, meaning that each one was 45 minutes instead of the regular hour. I figured, “Hey, why not give it a shot?” so I set my alarm for a bright and early 5:00am and headed out this morning with a piece of pb & banana toast in hand.

So what was the overall verdict?

I really liked these classes! Here’s a little overview of the two…

Both BodyCombat & BodyFlow are classes created by Les Mills (which is also where BodyPump comes from).

First, BodyCombat…according to the Les Mills website,

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BODYCOMBAT™ is the empowering cardio workout where you are totally unleashed. This fiercely energetic program is inspired by martial arts and draws from a wide array of disciplines such as karate, boxing, taekwondo, tai chi and muay thai. Supported by driving music and powerful role model instructors, you strike, punch, kick and kata your way through calories to superior cardio fitness. Like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new BODYCOMBAT™ class is produced every three months with new music and choreography.

My Thoughts:

  • There were only three of us in today’s class (today was the actually the first day of it being offered on Monday mornings) so I think I’d like it more if there were more people to pump up the energy.
  • Because it was the “Express” class, the instructor left out Track 5 and the abs/push ups track. I’m curious to see what they’re all about.
  • The moves were not too difficult, and I was able to catch on fairly easily.
  • I still look like a tool when I punch, but I don’t care.
  • If you’ve ever taken a kickboxing class, this is very similar. Lots of punching, uppercuts, jabs…you get the idea.
  • There’s a lot of focus of coordination and stability, which was challenging, but good.
  • I may have punched myself lightly in the face three times once.
  • I have a feeling my shoulders and obliques are going to be SORE by tomorrow…
  • It was a GREAT way to mix up the cardio and I was sweating like a beast. Winking smile

Immediately after BodyCombat, BodyFlow was up next. Again, according to the Les Mills website,

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BODYFLOW™ is the Yoga, Tai Chi, Pilates workout that builds flexibility and strength and leaves you feeling centered and calm. Controlled breathing, concentration and a carefully structured series of stretches, moves and poses to music create a holistic workout that brings the body into a state of harmony and balance. Like all the LES MILLS™ programs, a new BODYFLOW™ class is released every three months with new music and choreography.

My Thoughts:

  • I brought my own yoga mat to class, which I would recommend.
  • The music in this latest release was awesome and super relaxing.
  • I’m not sure which tracks were skipped with being the “Express” class, but there was a series of sun salutations, some Pilates moves, a lot of hip openers, and lower leg work.
  • The class ended with about 10 minutes of meditation. Normally, my mind is still going a mile a minute, but I actually found myself quite relaxed. The instructor (who is actually the same instructor I take for BodyPump) is awesome, and was really able to get in the zone.
  • I left the class feeling super relaxed, energized, and less tense.

*****

I really enjoyed these back to back classes; it felt so good to stretch it out and relax after such a hardcore, sweaty workout beforehand. The two classes definitely complement each other really well, so I think I may have to try this combo again next week!

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PHEW…ok, that was super long-winded. We’ll make breakfast quick.

Iced Coffee, with a side of Creeper Winking smile

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Cereal Combo (another triple threat!): Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Kashi Heart to Heart, Kashi Golden Goodness, blueberries, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and chia seeds.

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So glad I finally remembered my chias this time!

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Lots to do today…gotta jet!

Question for the Morning:

Do you enjoy group exercise classes? What are your favorites?

If you’re never tried one, what do you think you’d like to try?

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 27, 2011 at 8:48 am

Those two classes sound awesome. I am a huge fan of group fitness classes, but unfortunately my gym doesn’t have them anymore. It’s quite tragic if you ask me.

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2 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) June 27, 2011 at 8:49 am

I’ve tried both of those classes and I LOVE them!! (I think BodyFlow is called BodyBalance over here though but I’m not sure…) Haha only 3 people in the class?! That’s crazy!! Our Les Mills classes are really popular and tend to have the max (around 40 people) there!! Have you tried BodyAttack? That’s even BETTER than BodyCombat in my opinion!! SO fun! :D

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3 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 9:32 am

Yes! BodyAttack is fun, but I go through phases with it

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4 cait June 27, 2011 at 8:51 am

Wow! Can I come to your gym? My gym actually is offering that and now I’m curious to try it myself :) I’m def a big fan of group fitness because everyone’s there to motivate one another! It def is an energy booster for me! xo

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5 Ericka Andersen June 27, 2011 at 8:56 am

Hey Courtney — just curious what gym you go to? I’m obsessed with classes and I just can’t get enough of them. The one you go to looks like it has a TON of early morning options. I’m just wondering if whatever gym it is has a branch in the DC-area, where I live. Thanks!

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6 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 9:31 am

It’s a Golds Gym :)

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7 Corey @ Family Fresh Meals June 27, 2011 at 8:58 am

Great workout girl! My most favorite group class is Xtend Barre ( I have mention that to you before) A combo of ballet and pilates all in one! I agree, the more people there are the more pumped up you get….. especially in a kickboxing class. That must have been weird with only 3 people! heheh
XO

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8 Jamie aka "Sometimes Healthy" Girl June 27, 2011 at 8:59 am

hehe I didn’t think those descriptions were long-winded at all…I think that’s because I tend to write a lot, maybe too much?

I’m a big fan of group exercise but I do find it hard to make it to the classes on the schedule – before work because I’m tired (haha) and after because I can never actually leave on time!

BodyCombat sounds totally my speed and very similar to a class I take here in NYC called PowerStrike. In general, I just find kickboxing very empowering while delivering a great cardio workout. I also like spinning when the instructor is good – I think it makes all the difference in the world.

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9 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries June 27, 2011 at 9:00 am

I’m glad I’m not the only one that looks like an uber tool while jabbing, hooking and upper cutting :) And side kicks don’t fly with me either because I feel like I look like a peeing dog. I like group classes like spinning and body pump, but I’d rather do kickboxing type workouts alone :)

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10 Hannah June 27, 2011 at 9:01 am

i take body combat when i can at my gym and my arms are always sore the next day!! its so crazy cause you are not even using weights!! i am trying to get into group classes.. but i really like the ones that push you.. so it depends on the instructor!

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11 Kori @Don'tKnowSquat June 27, 2011 at 9:05 am

I’ve never been much of a group class person, especially when it comes to “coordinated choreographed” classes. Mostly because my ADD seriously kicks in where there’s “steps” to follow. You should have seen my try step in college! I envy people who can keep up though.

However, I do love bootcamp classes, where things are more focused on drills instead choreography. It’s like sports practice, or a really kick-ass gym class. Sprints, thrusters, etc.

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12 Lindsey June 27, 2011 at 9:11 am

My gym only has a spin class (which I attend sometimes) and regular bootcamps. I have done other yoga classes at studios as well. I would love to try BodyPump, if we ever get it here!

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13 Chocolate, Cheese and Wine June 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

Those classes look great! I love my Kickboxing class!

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14 Erica June 27, 2011 at 9:25 am

I love Body Pump! My gym offers Body Combat & will be offering Body Flow soon too. Have you ever tried Body Step? I’m curious to see what that’s all about…

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15 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 9:29 am

Yup! It’s pretty intense…left my lower body sore for days! ;)

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16 Kelly June 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

I love Body Combat although I haven’t done it in years! I don’t have a gym membership anymore since Keith and I have a very extensive home gym! The group classes are the one thing I definitely miss.

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17 Molly Carter June 27, 2011 at 9:35 am

I LOVE going to classes. It takes your mind off the burn. Body Pump is my favorite. I have a love/hate relationship with spinning. It sucks while you’re doing it, but it’s worth the results!

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18 Jordan P @ food, sweat, and beers June 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

I’m definitely a Combat fan, though it TOTALLY shreds my shoulders by the next day!! I feel like I can barely reach across the table to grab my water at work….

Flow I’ve actually never tried BUT was thinking if I can get home from a hairstyling trip, I might try out my gym’s 7:30 class. How active is it? Like, is there a fair amount if jerky movements? (just got my wisdom teeth out, and I’m not supposed to do anything too jerky for fear of dislodging blood clots).
(I’m sorry I’m the grossest commenter before 10am.)
(ew, dislodging).

Anyway, thanks for the review!

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19 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 9:50 am

Haha, I found it to be very smooth and flowing. I think you’d be fine!

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20 Jodi June 27, 2011 at 9:39 am

We don’t have a gym with classes like that anywhere near me! If they did, I would definitely take advantage. Body Flow seems like such a cool thing to try!

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21 Katherine June 27, 2011 at 9:49 am

I tend to prefer exercise classes because I am held responsible, I cannot miss a class. I just won a free month of boot camp near where I live and I absolutely love it!

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22 Liv @ The Salty n' Sweet June 27, 2011 at 9:50 am

I actually love Body Flow, since the gym I used didn’t have a great yoga class, but Body Combat really intimidated me! The girls in there looked so fierce ;) But I think I’ll have to try it out sometime, just to see.

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23 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Definitely try it out! Don’t let the other girls intimidate ya! :)

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24 Lindsay@ In Sweetness and In Health June 27, 2011 at 10:13 am

I love group fitness classes. However, my current gym doesn’t offer very many good ones :(. Hopefully when I go home I’ll get to take some at my gym there! Those classes sound awesome!

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25 Khushboo June 27, 2011 at 10:44 am

I’m terribly uncoordinated so I always feel kinda nuts in classes like body attack! Also I prefer running solo or spinning for my cardio! That being said I absolutely love classes for strength (body pump) or yoga!

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26 Melanie June 27, 2011 at 10:45 am

I’m a fan of cycling classes and vinyasa yoga! Both get me to push myself harder than I would working out alone. And I feel so good afterwards!

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27 Cait @ Urban Fencepost June 27, 2011 at 10:53 am

I LOVE exercise classes. I do several classes a week. My favorite is probably Muscle Max (I think it’s fairly similar to Body Pump). I like the motivation!

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28 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles June 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

What an awesome morning you’ve had! You go girl!…. I love doing exercise classes. Did them a lot in college and found that the scheduled time made me know when exactly I was going to work out, because I didn’t want to miss it! No worries, I have punched myself a time or two ;) possibly more. Shhhh….. Happy Monday!

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29 Sarah June 27, 2011 at 11:14 am

I love group exercise classes, but I can never find any good body pump instructors near me in NYC!! You’d think there would be TONS of them, but I can’t find a good one near the village :(

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30 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Wow, really? What a bummer…I guess you should just come here to Upstate ;)

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31 Olivia June 27, 2011 at 11:19 am

Taking my first blody pump class Wednesday but now I’ll have to try these too!

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32 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Oooooo FUNN!! Hope you love it as much as I do!

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33 kerry June 27, 2011 at 11:32 am

i cant believe you did both classes, i would have died! They sound good though!

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34 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy June 27, 2011 at 11:50 am

I normally like group classes, but lately my gyms are kind of so-so..I’d rather just workout at home :/.

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35 Kristen June 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Hi Courtney! I’m a new reader (just since last week) and I am loving your site! To answer the question, I am not a group workout girl. I have tried multiple times, and I just rarely seem to enjoy the classes enough to stick with it. I love running, lifting weights, and doing other cross-training activities, but I usually prefer to work out alone or just with one friend. But to each their own… I think each person should do whatever they enjoy. Exercise should be fun, not a chore (at least, most days haha!). =)

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36 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Exactly! Group workouts aren’t for everyone, and that’s good that you already know that and haven’t other things that you enjoy.
Thanks for reading, Kristen, and welcome! :)

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37 Cat @Breakfast to Bed June 27, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I am IN LOVE with Krav Maga and kettlebells! Sooo much fun!!

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38 Mac June 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I love exercise classes, my favorites are spin classes and classes similar to Body Pump. I’ve actually never been a member of a gym where they had the official Body Pump, bu they always have their own version of it.

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39 Karis' Kitchen June 27, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I love body flow!! Body attack and combat are ok, but I love everything about flow. 53 hasn’t been released at my gym yet, and I’m looking forward to it!

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40 Candice June 27, 2011 at 1:37 pm

i love love love combat!! I only teach pump and attack.. but am wanting to do my combat training. Flow is not huge in utah. so I have actually never taken that class but im sure with les mills its awesome!

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41 Kristine @ Running On Hungry June 27, 2011 at 2:00 pm

I am loving a TRX class I just took for the first time last week… and also mat pilates classes! I’m not really one for the group class (I have NO rhythm and am seriously uncoordinated!) but I enjoy those!

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42 Jessica @ Bake a Little June 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

LOVE your cereal combo bowls!

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43 Amber @ Stop and Smell the Wildflowers June 27, 2011 at 2:35 pm

I used to take both BodyFlow and BodyCombat at my college gym when I was there. I really liked both of them! I enjoy group classes because I feel more motivated to push myself when there is a live instructor and other people who are also pushing themselves along-side me.

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44 Erica June 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm

i’ve only ever tried yoga…i really want to try zumba because everyone raves about it but i’m too self concious and uncoordinated! lol

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45 Shayla June 27, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I love love group exercise classes….most of the week I do spinning and bootcamp classes…I probably only work out on my own about 1 day a week…I just love the energy group exercise classes give and I love being around people and having the instructor push me when I’d otherwise probably take it easy ;)

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46 Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 27, 2011 at 3:57 pm

I REALLY want to get certified in BodyCombat!! Our gym doesn’t offer it, but I love love loveee fitness kickboxing! As for Body Flow, I wasn’t a fan..I prefer power yoga over the thai chi type thing that Body Flow seemed to be, but it’s still a great class. My favorites of Les Mills are Body Pump and RPM. Body Attack’s fun but SO hard on the joints!

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47 Nicole @sugarcoatedsisters June 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I like group workout classes when they are actually difficult! I get frustrated when the classes are too easy and I barely break a sweat.

I’m dying to try bodypump!!! Our gym doesn’t offer it and it is a major bummer because I’m terrible at getting myself to lift weights on my own.

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48 ashley June 27, 2011 at 4:43 pm

i have never done any type of yoga but have wanted to try body flow at my gym! do you recommend it for a beginner? is it a lot of moves and poses or more relaxing? thanks court!!!

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49 Courtney June 27, 2011 at 4:58 pm

In the Express class that I did today, I didn’t find there to be many challenging moves and class is pretty slow paced, so I think it’d be a great idea!

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50 Carissa June 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Thanks for the fruit salsa recipe! It came just as I got to the grocery store! Making it asap! Sans kiwi though.

You’re the best!

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51 Kayla @ Sprouty Buns June 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm

I’ve heard/read so many great things about Body Pump but with a free gym in my apartment building I can’t justify spending the $$ for a membership. These other classes sound great! I might have to splurge and try one out – just for kicks :)

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52 Lisa June 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I love anything dance related (used to be a dancer, wish I still was!) and usually go for Zumba, Cardio Funk, Hip Hop and anything that sounds vaguely coordinated to music.

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