Over the past week, a number of Fitness First Philippines branches launched the newest Les Mills group fitness program releases. My favorite program among them is BodyJam (as if my regular readers didn’t already know), and last month I wrote a preview for the latest release, BodyJam 39.
I did say I’d hold back on judging the quality of this newest release until I’d seen it in full. Last Wednesday was the first time I did the complete release, at the Fitness First SM North EDSA branch. It was a pretty jampacked class (pun may be intentional) since the only other branch that had launched it earlier was the Fitness First Plus branch in RCBC, where regular members couldn’t enter. In fact, it was so crowded that I kept stepping on other people’s toes and couldn’t quite get full extension on the armlines. I also attended a launch class at the ABS-CBN branch last night, and while not as tight for space as Wednesday’s launch, the crowd response was just as favorably strong, if not even more so.
Some impressions of each block of choreography and music:
- Canned Heat – Jamiroquai: Gets you into the dancing mood with retro-disco moves using choreo quite different from the two previous releases.
- Buttons – The Pussycat Dolls: Not only sexy, but it really isolates and warms up those shoulders and hips.
- Mundian To Bach Ke – Panjabi MC / The Power Of Bhangra (vs. Motivo) – Snap!: “We’ve taken Bollywood and put it into BodyJam. The result — BollyJam!” This was a fun first cardio block with very energetic choreo taken from Indian dance. I only wish it were longer!
- Hips Don’t lie – Bamboo – Shakira feat. Wyclef Jean: Starts off very simply, but with a tricky heel-toe combo toward the end, I like the challenge this track presented.
- Boom Boom – Chayanne: Middle-of-the-pack choreo, rather forgettable. Previous Jam releases had much stronger, more memorable Latin tracks, but I guess with a program nearing its 10th year (the upcoming BodyJam 40 marks that anniversary), BodyJam is bound to have a dud or two sometime.
- Deja vu – Beyonce feat. Jay Z: Recovery? What recovery? You could take this one easy, but with hiphop choreography this good I just had to break out. Ü
- Mesmerized – Faith Evans / Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake / S.O.S. – Rihanna / London Bridge (Oh Shh) – Fergie / Dance4Life – Tiesto feat. Maxi Jazz / Love Sensation ’06 – Loleatta Holloway: Great cardio block! The choreography is challenging enough if you want to push yourself and your heartrate through the roof, but it’s broken down very well. Best of all, it doesn’t seem like a workout, but rather like a dance party. I still hate the London Bridge portion though, but maybe the hootchie roll will grow on me.
- I’ll Do 4 U – Father M.C.: After smashing yourself doing the Dance4Life block, the groove-down will be a welcome relief. It’s a bit too simple for my tastes, however, because at that point I still feel like dancing and there’s just a lot of stretching in this track.
Overall, it’s a great workout that’ll challenge fitness levels, but that’s why I like doing BodyJam: it gives me an opportunity to dance my heart out while helping me reach my fitness goals. Ü
UPDATE: I’ve recently gotten hits for BodyJam 40, which is three months down the line for us here in the Philippines. However, it’s launching sooner in other countries, so here’s the sizzler/teaser for BodyJam 40.