Aside from doing BodyJam, I also engage in another Les Mills group exercise program, called BodyCombat. It’s a cardio and conditioning workout based on various martial arts, and it can get very intense because the combinations of punches, kicks, strikes, and katas are easy to remember and repeat. If you know the sequence, you can increase the intensity. I’ve even heard you can burn up to 1000 calories during the hour-long class!
I miss my Wednesday 7:30am class at Fitness First Greenhills with Mader Fhe; she could really get her students hyped and pumped up. Mader Fhe’s motto for us all was, “If you make a mistake, just smile!” She’s also the BodyCombat program coordinator for Fitness First in the Philippines, and I think she’s really whipped the program into the best shape it can be. The instructors now always show how to perform the moves properly, which is a good thing because doing the exercises with poor form increases the chance of injury.
We, her regulars, knew each other by sight and we all had our preferred spots within the group exercise studio. It even got to the point where we’d gossip about other regulars. There was this one guy who always dressed in matching colors: for example, if he was wearing a red shirt, he’d wear a red sweatband, wristband, jogging pants, and shoes to go with it. He’d wear his jogging pants hiked up to wedgie-height, too. He claimed he was an aikido black-belt and really liked showing off in class; problem was, he was off the choreography by about two beats and we all tried to stay clear of his flying offbeat kicks and punches. But it was all good because we were there to sweat it out no matter what others around us were doing anyway. Mader Fhe’s class always left us with endorphins pumping through our bloodstream. It was impossible to be in a bad mood afterwards.
I used to attend BodyCombat classes twice (sometimes thrice!) a week, but had to cut down to one class, on Fridays at 6:30am, when I got hired and couldn’t fit the later-morning classes into my schedule. I can’t not do BodyCombat, though; it’s different from my dance-based classes and works out different muscles which don’t usually get targeted when I’m dancing. BodyCombat always leaves me aching all over, but it’s a good kind of pain. Ü