A NOTE ON PPL FREE/COVER MUSIC
For those Instructors who use PPL free/Cover music, you may have noticed that some tracks have music that sounds quite different from the Masterclass original.
There are several reasons why the Cover music may need to be different, such as:
- It would be inappropriate for us to create a Cover recording, due to language/cultural references in the track.
- The melody or uniqueness of the sound prevents us from creating a Cover recording that is sufficiently different from the original; this is mainly applicable to Instrumentals.
- We’re working more closely with several artists/labels who ask us to not create recordings of their tracks.
To make it as easy as possible for you to learn the release, different tracks will now also be accompanied by Masterclass videos. You may have spotted this in your Q2’23 releases, and your Q1’23 releases have also been updated. Happy learning!
BODYATTACK™ 121: LISA OSBORNE
Presenters: Lisa Osborne, Jackson Fuafiva Osborne, Sivi Rabukatoka, Kipa Tiivola, Lydia Johansson
“What’s exciting about Release 121?” says Lisa Osborne. “Well, we have a brand-new option for Track 3! From now on, Instructors can choose whether they want to use the traditional Aerobic Track, or the new Circuit Track. This new track is easy to learn, easy to teach, and feels fresh and modern. It’s something I’ve trialled with teams around the world, and the feedback was that they loved it! I’ve been looking for a way to bridge the gap between Tracks 2 and 4 in the shorter formats, and this just feels great.
“The Aerobic Track 3 is absolutely still a wonderful option, but Instructors now have the freedom to choose the track that best suits the people in their classes. When they get the release, they’ll also see they now have two options for the Cooldown. They can either teach the choreographed track, or they can simply teach the same stretches in whichever order they like, using the same Cooldown music. Another way to make things easier for teachers!”
Presenter Lydia Johansson says of the new Track 3: “It’s such a cool way to mix old-school aerobics with modern circuit training! It’s ideal to prepare the body for the rest of the workout without too much complexity of coordination.”
BODYBALANCE™ 101: JACKIE MILLS AND DIANA ARCHER MILLS
Presenters: Fraser Beck, Maggie Cheng, House Chaalane, Bram Prima Halim, Rebecca Reznicek, Niko Viskari, Andy Zhang
“I LOVE this release!” says Bram Prima Halim. “The music, the simplicity of the workout, it gives an overall feeling that is soothing yet strong. All the working tracks are challenging and empowering at the same time. It’s a truly beautiful release.
“My favorite song is Track 9b. It’s one of those songs that makes you feel that everything is okay again. It’s beautiful.
“There’s a new move in Track 3b – Standing Strength. It’s a Flower Pose, but at a very different angle which is so cool. Make sure you check it out on the Masterclass video. Of course, there are different options for everyone.
“You now have the option to do the Hip Openers after all the working tracks, so the class format can be slightly different. You can choose to stick with the traditional format, or after the Balance Track you can go straight to Core-Abdominals and Core-Back, then add in the Hip Openers after that. This would be more reflective of a traditional yoga class, where we’d complete all the working tracks in standing before coming to the floor for stretches and twists. It’s pretty cool because we as teachers can cater to the people in front of us, choosing the format that best suits them!
“Instructors and members are going to love this release because of the way it makes the body feel. At the end of the class, they’ll feel very complete.”
BODYCOMBAT™ 96: DAN COHEN AND RACHAEL NEWSHAM
Presenters: Rachael Newsham, Dan Cohen, Marlon Woods, Vili Fifita, House Chaalane, Kipa Tiivola, Lula Slaughter, Reagan Kang
“The Muay Thai Track is the highlight for me of BODYCOMBAT 96,” says Reagan Kang. “This release has great energy – I absolutely love Muay Thai because it brings out the warrior in me and feels really authentic.”
Fellow Presenter House Chaalane adds: “This release exudes martial arts discipline, but is also fun and accessible! It’s got an old-school music vibe, with the intensity and energy of current training trends. It’s a very challenging release and you’ll feel very proud of yourself when the Cooldown is played (which is a super cool song – ‘Calm Down’ by Rema and Selena Gomez).”
“BODYCOMBAT 96 is tough and athletic, and the music is awesome,” says Kipa Tiivola. “I love Track 2 – it definitely kicks us into the workout by challenging our lower bodies and elevating our heart rates. Muay Thai is also a favorite – it’s sharp, brutal, and inspiring.
“Music-wise, I love Track 5, which has two tracks combined. The contrast between them is great: the first part will make you feel strong, grounded, and confident, then the second track lifts up your energy levels. It may even inspire you to sing along!”
BODYJAM™ 104: GANDALF ARCHER MILLS
Presenters: Meno Thomas, Dannielle Lally, Bianca Ikinofo, House Chaalane
“This workout is a toastyyyyyy one,” says Dannielle Lally. “You step into the fire from the get-go because of the music and the moves, and it literally doesn’t stop till you say goodbye! It’s my first time ever answering these questions and yes I’m going to be cliché and say the ‘music and moves are the highlight’ but fr fr (for real for real) THEY ARE. You can’t tell me starting off with ‘Red Ruby’ is a power play, because when that hits you’re already thinking and moving like a baddie!
“I should talk about the elephant in the room, or lack of, and obviously I mean Gandalf. You’ll notice very quickly he’s not presenting this release due to injury. It was a new experience not having him film next to us, just as it’s new for you watching too. You could say we went through the same feelings because, let’s be real, he’s big poppa G and it hits different with him not being there 100 percent of the way. BUT even though you won’t see him, his essence and energy are fully present in the release.”
Meno adds: “It’s a journey of emotions, a diverse release with different music genres. You'll notice this workout has tons of new quirky moves that feel amazing in the body. G collaborated with the incredibly talented choreographers Bianca Ikinofo and Summer Bradley to bring us the magic that is BODYJAM 106. When you’re doing this workout, you’ll feel like an ultimate boss! My favorite tracks are ‘Escapism’ and ‘Designer’; these two tracks have such internal feels that you can just switch off and enjoy the moment.”
“It’s a straight up challenge, I’m not going to lie,” says Dannielle. “Block 1 absolutely smashes you with cardio ̶ it goes hundies ̶ but that’s the beauty of it; when you’re so deep in the dance and you’re in this internal dance battle with your fitness. Getting to overcome that is exhilarating and empowering – you appreciate and enjoy the journey.
“When you’re learning this release, pay attention to the textures of the moves and how they’re compatible with the music. Use this to inspire your coaching and enhance those connections with your participants. For example, in Block 1 ‘Hold The Line’, the moves are grounded but energetic, which mirrors the music. I wanted people to go full noise from the start, firing up their legs and feeling energized for what’s to come.”
BODYPUMP™ 126: GLEN OSTERGAARD
Presenters: Glen Ostergaard, Marlon Woods, Des Helu, Maggie Cheng, Bronte Terrell, Lula Slaughter, Maddalena Boccella, René Vogel, Reagan Kang, Billy Aw, Rebecca Reznicek, Niko Viskari
“What’s my favorite track?” asks Bronte Terrell. “It has to be the Squat Track! It’s a BIG track musically and I think Instructors will have so much fun with this one. You can play with the music, the lyrics, it’s a vibe, it’s got character and it feels like ‘old school big Squat Track energy’ which we haven’t had for a while. I LOVE it!
Presenter Niko Viskari agrees: “This track has goosebumps written all over it. The beat just hits hard, the bass is insane, and I think we all love a little drama in BODYPUMP.”
BODYPUMP 126 welcomes back the Narrow to Wide Press, last seen in Release 108, and this was Reagan Kang’s favorite track. He says: “The Chest Track has a cool, calm, and focused feel. Of course, it being Drake is a bonus! My favorite song is ‘Icon Living’ for Biceps. It nailed the feels of the workout.” Plus there are 32 mid-range pulses… ouch!
Bronte adds: “Aside from the epic musical journey, this was a really unique filming because it was the first time international presenters were able to enter NZ for filming post-COVID. For me, this marks overcoming so much and more. It’s hope, a new beginning and it represents something that we’re ALL a part of.
“It’s super special to see your home country represented and it reinforces the global impact that Les Mills has. Despite everything going on in the world, anyone and everyone belongs here. We’re connected by fitness and the feeling of togetherness can be deeply comforting and inspiring. It’s priceless.”
BODYSTEP™ 132: MARK NU’U-STEELE
Presenters: Mark Nu’u-Steele, Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimons-Nu’u, Otto Prodan, Dee Rowell, Manami Sato, Ethan Morrow-Wilson
“What’s great about BODYSTEP 132? I’m still loving the functional step tracks from our new format,” says Mark Nu’u-Steele. “My favorites are Track 5 Mixed Strength – for the integrated leg strength and upper body work with the pushups; Track 7 Hip Strength – for the mobility and strengthening around the hip joint; and Track 10a Glute Strength – for the training we do to fire up the glutes. I walk out of this class feeling like I’ve had THE best butt and thigh workout!
“My favorite song is Track 4 ‘Fiesta’! I love the feel-good fun vibes, and the diversity of having Spanish lyrics.
“We’ve introduced three small pockets of off-the-beat training throughout the workout. In these three pockets, we encourage participants to give their bodies what they need, whether that be moving slower than the beat, in time with the music, or even faster than the music. I love that this normalizes moving out of time with the music – it’s great for helping those with timing issues to feel at ease, knowing that it’s totally acceptable to move off-the-beat at any time in the new format.
“This is our second release with our new Functional Step Training format. By now, Instructors will have experienced and understood the reasons for the format change, and also experienced more participant success in their classes. Hopefully they have a new crowd of participants joining in and training with their loyal regulars! I’m looking forward to a year’s time, when Instructors have enough releases of the new Functional Step format that we can all transition our classes fully into this new format.”
LES MILLS CORE™ 51: CREATIVE TEAM
Presenters: Otto Prodan, René Vogel, Maggie Cheng, Bronte Terrell, Maddalena Boccella, Rebecca Reznicek, Lydia Johansson
“LES MILLS CORE is always such a great functional workout and this particular release feels very innovative,” says Rebecca Reznicek. “There are lots of loves that have been inspired by the world of personal training, modified for the group fitness setting. For example, there’s a Plank Plate Slide in Track 2 and we’ve got a Modified Get Up in Track 5. They feel very fresh – new to the program but familiar from the personal training space.
“My favorite track is Core Strength 2 Track 5. I really enjoy the Modified Get Up and I think most people will feel very successful in this move. Plus the song is really cool! Music-wise, I love the Alt Track 3, ‘I Will Never Let You Down’. It actually makes me a bit emotional! I just really enjoy the feel of that song.
“There’s lots of cool innovations in this release. As well as those I’ve already mentioned, there’s also a lunge with a knee lift and a pulldown of the resistance band to challenge our stability. All these moves feel really empowering once you’ve mastered them.
“During filming, there was a moment where I was anxious and worried about the track I was teaching next. It came over me unexpectedly and I’m not sure where it came from – but everybody was so supportive. I was very worried that my having a moment would slow down filming or let people down, but what I found was the complete opposite. People I’d looked up to for years and years, along with teammates who I’d just met, were so kind and gave me all the time I needed. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it.”
LES MILLS SPRINT™ 32: GLEN OSTERGAARD
Presenters: Glen Ostergaard, Khiran Huston, Bronte Terrell, Billy Aw
“This release has insane training and wicked music!” says Billy Aw. “Track 2 makes us feel like a total badass. I also love the Warm-Up; the music is so uplifting and powerful – it’s the perfect start to the workout.”
Glen Ostergaard adds: “The Accelerated Warm-Up is a big four-minute effort to warm the leg muscles and pump up the heart rate. It really sets the tone for the class.
“Track 2 is Power and we have jumps up and down to challenge the legs and spike the heart rate. The real core of the class is the Sprint Tabata, which we do twice.
“The highlight of the whole thing is the Strength Power track in the middle, with the ‘beat test’. I took a piece of music and sped it up by 5% every 8/8 counts. You stand up, load a heavy resistance on the dial, and then the beat gets faster and faster. You’re basically stringing yourself out in a 2-minute race, then you rest and do it again. You’re trying to stay on the beat and trust me, it’s freaking hard! That was the highlight of the whole class for me.”
LES MILLS TONE™ 22: CREATIVE TEAM
Presenters: Khiran Huston, Vili Fifita, Kaylah-Blayr Fitzsimons-Nu’u, Bram Prima Halim, Lula Slaughter, Maddalena Boccella
“I ain’t gon’ lie, this release is hard but so much fun to do and film!” says Lula Slaughter. “The music was just perfect – every track you could train hard to, but also jam out in your car with. My favorite song is ‘Scandalous’, I legit had that song on repeat from the moment I received the music.
“The creative minds are always in the lab cooking up various ways to torture us in this incredibly functional, fun program. Just kidding... not! You will see the Duck Walk (my favorite) paired with a move we haven't seen in a while, the Surrender Squat. More movements from the fitness floor are creeping into TONE, which just makes my smile so big! And if you absolutely love Burpees, then Peak Cardio 2 is for you.
“Instructors and members are going to absolutely love the challenge of this release, the functionality of the movements and the music! If you don't have TONE in your clubs, you are MISSING OUT!
“Any funny stories? Well, we filmed BODYCOMBAT two days before and I did a superhero landing on my knee. That night it swelled up as big as a tennis ball. It was a bit painful and bruised the day we filmed, but at least the swelling wasn't as bad. When I demonstrated the floor variation for Surrender Squats on that same concrete floor I was crying on the inside but smiling my butt off on the outside! We can do hard things in TONE!”
RPM™ 99: Glen Ostergaard
Presenters: Glen Ostergaard, Dee Rowell, Amy Lu, Bas Hollander, Bram Prima Halim
“A big focus for our coaching this round was around language,” says Glen Ostergaard. “Dan Cohen coached the team, and he took what we’d started last round to a whole new level. As RPM Instructors know, we have a broad demographic in our classes. Cycle is a very accessible class. It’s the program everyone can do, no matter their age or fitness level.
“Our coaching was about making everyone in the room feel included. If you come into the class and you’re feeling great and you really want to push it and go hard, you can. If you’re a bit tired and had a long night with your children or whatever and you want to cruise a bit today ̶ hide in the shelter of the pack ̶ that’s fine too. It was about making everyone in the room feel unpressured to perform, while giving everyone what they needed to get the workout they came for.
“When you watch the Masterclass, you’ll see what I’m talking about. Dee really set the scene for the class in the Warm-Up and then we threaded that motivation through the rest of the workout. You’ll see high motivation in Track 5, high motivation in Track 7, and Dee’s motivation in Track 1. They’re the key ones.
“We also focused a lot on the ‘what’s in it for me’ as a participant and tried to bring out the benefits of the class for them, as well as thinking about how what we say is landing for the members. It’s so important to put yourself in the shoes of the people in your classes and think about how they’re going to receive your coaching.”
Dee Rowell adds: “This release has a beautiful musical journey. It’s super-fun and energizing, with really uplifting music. My favorite track is Track 1 ̶ it’s such a beautiful way to welcome your class into the workout and it’ll put everyone in a good mood and get them excited for the workout ahead.
“I love the fast pace of some of the tracks. There are relatively short bursts of work which means you can go really hard in them. My favorite song is Track 7! It’s got steep heavy mountain climbs which match the music perfectly. It’s an epic mountain track and the song just brings it alive.”