Monday 5 January 2015

January: Jillian Michaels' Kickbox Fast Fix

Read also: 2 Weeks4 Weeks & DVD Review

Fun Rating: ★★★★☆    Difficulty Rating: ★★★☆☆     Results Rating: ★★★★☆

   As much as I hate to leave Dragon Ball Z behind, this month I'm finally returning to a DVD-based workout. The past few months have been spent on workouts I've found from websites or magazines, and while I think that's a pretty good thing as far as money and sharing finds goes, it does mean I've not had an 'instructor' for a while. You may not realise it, but even a DVD instructor who can't see you can help a lot. They will generally not stop talking, constantly telling you what not to do on each move, and what you should keep in mind - such as don't slouch, and keep your mind on the muscles you're working or keep your core strong, etc - but that's extremely valuable. Websites and magazines can only give you brief snippets of info because they want to keep you interested (though I feel that the reader's attention is probably a little higher in articles like these as it's not a light-hearted gossip column, it's something they're genuinely interested in doing correctly), so having even a DVD instructor who can't see what you're doing can show you how to do things much more easily than a picture can.

   This month, I've decided to return to two things I love. Kickboxing, and Jillian Michaels. I've used two of her DVDs in the past - the 30 Day Shred and Yoga Meltdown - and they were both amazing. She has loads more, but I'm not really interested in buying DVDs on vague strength and resistance training, I prefer my DVDs to be...well, 'themed' I guess. Specific. And while the 30 Day Shred isn't exactly 'specific', it was famous enough for me to want to give it a go.
   I did kickboxing back in August last year, using a workout I found on called Kickbox Fusion. I also had two 10 Minute Solution DVDs about kickboxing which I have since leant to a friend. So I know the basics - guarding, hip movements, bob and weave, jab/cross/hook/uppercut and a kick. That certainly will help be with this month, but there is an additional section on the DVD that will teach you these things so you can do the three workouts themselves with a little more ease.

   Jillian Michaels' Kickbox Fast Fix is a DVD made up of three 20-minute routines; one focuses on the upper body, another on the lower body, and another on the abs, but if you've done kickboxing before you know it's not all strength. There is a lot of all-over body work involved, and a lot of cardio, it's just that one routine will (I'm guessing at this point, since I don't start the workout itself for another 30 minutes while my breakfast goes down) focus on punches and arm strength, another on kicks and leg strength, and the last on balance, evasion and core strength. All of these are important, but taking a quick look at the back of the DVD, Jillian has used compound moves rather than targeted moves, so while you're going through the upper body circuit, your lower body will still be engaged. This is the best thing to do - never underestimate your lower body. Your bum and leg muscles are some of the biggest in the body, so if you're throwing punches or rowing dumbbells while you're in a static half-squat, you're burning far more than you would be if you were standing upright doing it.

   There is a reason Jillian Michaels is so effective, and that's because she knows what she's doing. You may also be wondering how a 20 minute workout a day could possibly get anyone anywhere, but the fact is that it is the intensity of your workout that counts, not the amount of time spent. If you keep intensity high and rests short, you can do shorter, 20 minute workouts and burn more than you would with 40 minutes of steady cardio, and that's a proven fact. Jillian uses it to her advantage, because shorter workouts rope people in to try it out, and while the intensity is high, the simple fact that "it's only 20 minutes" sticks in people's mind through that toughness and they will keep coming back. And when they come back, the results will appear.
   You could say I've jumped on the Jillian Michaels bandwagon, and I have. But that's because she's amazing, and with everything I've learned from other DVDs and publications, I also know that every single thing she says and does has a fair amount of research behind it and it completely credible. So, yes, I'm on the bandwagon, and I'm quite happy rolling along on top of it, thank you very much!

   I'll be back in 2 weeks with my usual update! But you can follow me on twitter for some inpromptu "holy crap that was hard" tweets if you want a quicker update.


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