I thoroughly enjoyed using the Kukuwa African Dance workout DVD last month, and, to be honest, I rather liked returning to Jillian Michaels' Ripped In 30 and giving all four weeks a second run-through. It's true that I only used it three days a week, alternating the other three days between cardio and yoga, but it was good fun nevertheless. Kukuwa even managed to wiggle its way into strength days once I'd finished Ripped!
I actually only used half of Kukuwa last month. I only used the intermediate dance workout - six different high-intensity 5-minute dance routines - and it did a damned good job, I think, but that means I still have the advanced workout, another six high-intensity, 5-minute dance routines, and so that will serve the purpose of July's cardio days just perfectly. Having not touched the advanced workout at all, all six dances will be new and, hopefully, more high impact. It must be called 'advanced' for a reason, right?
So this means that it's the strength days that will be seeing a brand new DVD, but I admit that I have little idea how strength-orientated it is.
Through July, while using Kukuwa's advanced workout on cardio days, I'll be using Jillian Michaels' Extreme Shed & Shred. The reason I say that I'm not sure how strength-focused it is is because it's described as a workout that 'blends everything from kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to yoga and weight training'. However, just because weights might not be used as much as in other JM DVDs, body weight can also be an insanely effective tool. Plus, it's Jillian Michaels. Whatever it is, it must be effective. And if I end up taking a month with a little less use of weights then so be it - I'm sure August will return to it.
Extreme Shed & Shred is another DVD that consists of 2 45-minute workouts, so I'm expecting a lot from it. I used her Hard Body DVD a few months ago and that was pretty intense as I was used to using her workouts for just 20-30 minutes, so 45 minutes non-stop was pretty intense. I did it, though, and I loved it - I'm even considering returning to it the next time I'm stuck for a new strength circuit and find new cardio instead. But because that was also 45-minute workout, I'm hoping for the same high intensity and the same struggle, if not greater.
I have to say that I'm really quite excited this time, too. Hard Body actually had me a little daunted, but the whole kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, yoga and so on blend sounds really awesome. I absolutely love kickboxing in particular - Jillian's Kickbox FastFix DVD is probably my most used of all of them as, being just 20-minutes and almost entirely cardio, I add it onto the end of strength routines from time to time and even did it following half an hour of Kukuwa a number of times in the last month alone. It's a sport that I actually really enjoy it and am getting quite good at, if I do say so myself - it's unbelievably satisfying to be able to kick at head-level and then return to fighting stance without a single wobble. So while all of its use is probably resulting in working with a lot more muscle memory rather than much fat, it's the one case I don't mind it because it's fun and I'm visibly getting better at it. But I wouldn't mind finding a new high-intensity kickboxing workout DVD. In fact, that's a mission I'm going to set myself on right now!
I also have these amazingly loud new capris from USA Pro, they're 'acid rose' and I've seen them a number of times on their twitter, but they were always a lot paler on their website which put me off. I liked their vibrancy. But I decided to take a chance and see just how bright they are. In short: bright. I couldn't be happier with them. And they have the usual moisture-wicking, 4-way-stretch fabric and the flat waistband that I come to expect from USA Pro. Plus there's a concealed pocket at the back of the waist but I never use it - I've never had any need to. I workout at home so any music is usually played outloud and I don't have any electrical gadgets and doo-das to keep with me even if I was out of the house. But it's nice to know it's there if I decided to go running with an mp3 player.