Food for Thought

Improving body and mind

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BodyCombat Facebook page

When I first started BodyCombat at the local Edinburgh Leisure Centre on 1st September 2012, I sniggered to myself why they would even come up with the term ‘Combat Warrior’. Sure, I felt sore muscles and pain from starting classes, but I just put that down to my non-existent level of fitness since I stopped participating in any sport whatsoever since I fell off a horse in 2009, had a concussion and ended up in a hospital overnight for observation and haven’t gotten back into taking lessons since. A year and 2 months down the line, I’ve fully adopted the view that for everyone who continues to attend lessons despite the gruelling combinations we go through, we really are all warriors and one tribe.

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Source: Les Mills – About BodyCombat

Whether you’re in one (or more) of the Les Mills programmes or simply devising your own training programmes at the gym, or get help from a personal trainer, the process of building up your strength and core, and improving overall fitness is the end game. Especially in Combat, the choreography and releases get harder and harder, so your body doesn’t get accustomed to going through the same moves. What I appreciate the most from my own Combat instructors is they switch up the routine, mixing old tracks with the new to make your body work harder. Knowing that you’ve gone through the routine before, and especially when it’s a track you like working to, you work your body harder as well. The way to really know whether you’ve worked yourself hard is the sore feeling in muscles you never realise you had…which, personally, gets worse over the next couple days before it gets better.

I’ve never been motivated by working with weights, although I have been contemplating possibly trying out BodyPump to improve my upper body strength, in turn to improve my fitness level in Combat. While the gym might be a place where people who want to build mass and improve their fitness levels independently works for some, I prefer the interaction and rapport you build with the instructors and others in the class, and when you’re there, you’re truly one tribe. Everyone’s working together through the same motions, working towards the same end goal, according to their own strengths and weaknesses. For those serious about building body mass, maybe getting a personal trainer is the way to go.

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Fit Scott blog

When I saw the blog update of my friend Scott over at Fit Scott blog, I thought this would be the best time to post about his blog post. I know of some people who are serious about training and weightlifting who don’t see the fitness classes as ‘sport’. Personally, I’m not trying to build up body mass or gain any real strength, I only want to build up my own fitness level and in the end, going through the right motions and working through the pain and thoughts in your head to give up is what builds your inner (and physical strength). So far it’s worked for me, and while there might not be obvious noticeable difference, I can see the definition in my arms when I’m in class and I feel better about myself.

Sometimes it’s difficult for people to get themselves motivated enough to go to the gym and work out. For me, it’s a pleasure and interest I get from Combat that keeps me going back. Seeing it as something ‘you have to do’ to get fit is like making yourself go to work. You might remember how good you feel after a session, but it’s the pain and the feeling of duty that makes it a chore. Being in a room with other fitter and built people might also be intimidating and self-conscious when it’s your first time stepping into the gym. It should be something you’re interested in that keeps you going back. It’s also important to remember that everyone in that room (whether you’re in a dance studio for a Combat class or in the gym), everyone started where you are in the beginning. Whenever I’m away on holiday and can’t go to class, I’m desperately counting down the days until I go to the next one. Which brings me to my next point. What if you want to do it in your own time, instead of joining a class?

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BeachBody Les Mills Combat kits starting from US$59.85 (approx. Β£45), BeachBody

I had contacted several gyms in Hong Kong about possibly taking classes there while I’m back for Christmas, but the sad and disappointing fact is that for non-members, a fee of Β£25 is required for a whole day pass for the gym and other facilities, you can’t sign up for the Combat class alone. So the solution I came to after speaking to some of the other people on my Thursday class is to get ahold of the BeachBody Les Mills Combat kit. I wasn’t looking to replace the classes completely and to get a ripped body in 60 days like the package claims, but I am looking to keep up my fitness levels in my own time while I’m on holiday and the BeachBody Combat kit was the perfect solution.

Preview of the BeachBody Les Mills Combat kit

Note:For customers outside of the US/Canada, they don’t take international orders, but I was able to successfully get my Combat kit from Real Fitness with Joe, a certified BeachBody instructor who takes international orders.

After you’re all tired by the way, have a read of this great article
a friend had posted on Facebook on how – and what times – to take a good nap without feeling groggy.

Do you have a preference for improving your fitness level, joining a class (whether it be Zumba or a Les Mills programme), hiring a personal trainer or devising your own training programme for the gym?

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