BodyAttack is a commercial group-fitness aerobics program including some sports-derived movements, aimed primarily at developing cardiovascular fitness. The program is created and distributed by Les Mills International, with music and movements varied every few months. In the UK it is offered at around 1,300 health and fitness facilities, approximately one fifth of such facilities in the country. It consists of a standardized class that is either 55 minutes or 45 minutes in length, led by an instructor who leads participants through various exercises to a contemporary music soundtrack. Like BodyPump and other Les Mills programs, the movements, exercises and music are standardized for all instructors, with the company releasing a new program every three months. As with most aerobics classes, the aim is to develop numerous domains of physical fitness, particularly cardiovascular fitness and stamina.
The structure of a BodyAttack class never changes, although various tracks may be sidelined to shorten the workout to either a 45 or 30 minute workout.
There are two blocks of work, which both have one cardio peak each. Block One starting with a warm up, and peaks with a plyometrics track, Block Two starts with a circular running track and peaks with a power track. You will be reaching near maximum heart rates during these two peak tracks, especially during the power track.
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BodyAttack originally had a track list consisting of 12 tracks, but shortened it to 11 in 2004 with BodyAttack 46. Instead of completely erasing one track, the Upper Body Conditioning and Lower Body Conditioning tracks merged into one track combining them both.
- Track 1, Warmup. The focus is on getting the entire body warmed up.
- Track 2, Mixed Impact. This track focuses on getting your legs ready for jumping and getting the heart rate up.
- Track 3, Aerobics. This track uses big, aerobic movements such as jumping jacks and single knees.
- Track 4, Plyometrics. First cardio peak of the class with big, explosive movements such as plyometric lunges, jump squats, burpees and skaters.
- Track 5, Athletic Strength. A combination of conditioning and strength moves such as pushups, tricep pushups, squats and lunges to condition the entire body.
- Track 6, Running. With a focus on athletic movements to improve running motion, participants also run around the room to bring the heart rate back up.
- Track 7, Agility. This track is designed for speed and agility work. Typical moves include ladder runs, side bounces and forward sprints.
- Track 8, Interval. This track uses big movements, such as kicks, side flicks and running to get the heart rate up and then lighter moves to bring the pulse back down for each interval.
- Track 9, Power. The second cardio peak, often including high knees, burpees, jumping jacks and other plyometric moves.
- Track 10, Core. This track targets the entire core (abs, back and posterior muscles,) frequently utilizing crunches and variations on planks and hovers.
- Track 11, Cooldown. A track to relax and do a lighter stretch.
Few published studies have investigated the BodyAttack program scientifically. One study investigated the energy expenditure and oxygen consumption of three male and three female participants (mostly instructors) during a typical 55-minute BodyAttack class, undertaken in a controlled laboratory setting. Average energy expenditure was 660kcal for the male participants and 602kcal for the female participants.
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