Saturday 3 November 2018

Core de Force 2.0 - 5 Weeks Later

   I could kick you in the head.
   Wait! Stay, please! I didn't say I would, only that I could.
   I've been using Core de Force 2.0 for five weeks now, and while I was already pretty good at kickboxing (toot toot), I have only grown. Like everyone else, some days I'm just not on top form, but on the average day, I can kick at shoulder-height. On good days, I'm hitting head-height. My head, probably - I am ickle - but it's so satisfying to see and feel it happen. And not only that, but where other kickboxing workouts involve fists, knees and feet, Core de Force - both the original and 2.0 - introduce elbows and defensive moves like rolls, slips and guarded knees. It's much more varied, with jujutsu and Muay Thai moves and combinations, all of which are revisited and, most importantly, recombined (goodbye muscle memory, hello nervous system).

   Unfortunately, 2.0, Mash-Up and Kick Butt have incorporated the most painful moves. Roll jumps are fine for 30 seconds, but 60 seconds is death. But at the same time, they're the most effective moves, and seeing the rolls and slips and Muay Thai moves come back in new combinations - moves I haven't found in any other program - does so much for enthusiasm. Rather than just jab, cross, side kick, roundhouse kick etc, you have slashing elbows, roundhouse knees, clinch knees, body jabs, ground-to-fighter stance switches, and all mixed in with body weight spikes like jump squats, firefly push ups, alligator push ups, triple lunge to ginga hops. You work your body from every angle, get in some intense cardio without losing muscle mass, some genuine and consistent HIIT intervals, huge variety, and you challenge your balance, your nervous system, your concentration and your speed. And with the addition of the two agility workouts in 2.0, you really get to key in on that last point. You don't need an agility ladder, you can always lay out some tape on the floor, or use the seams of floorboards as guidelines, but when I tried it with the ladder, I found that it really added a whole new level to the proceedings than when I tried it without. It's also true I stepped on it a few times and nearly died, but that really kicked up the matters of concentration and being aware of your space.

   Basically, I had an awesome five weeks with this workout. I tried the original Core de Force back in June, and I've not used any other kind of cardio workout or DVD since. Even when I returned to strength training July-September, I used it as a supplement and for my HIIT/cardio day. Because it is fun. It is effective. It is challenging in all the right ways. And I love the instructors. I usually get mind-numbingly bored of cardio very, very quickly, but that didn't happen in June, and it didn't happen in October, either. And with both the original Core de Force and 2.0 in my possession, I now have twelve incredible MMA videos that last 20-40 minutes, each of which I can trust to deliver amazing workouts that I will feel like doing whatever my mood.
   I'm moving on to a new resistance training plan for November-January, but I am absolutely going to keep using Core de Force to supplement and for my HIIT/cardio day. I fell in love with strength training because it's empowering, functional, and especially useful for me since I'm a carer for my mum, who can't stand up or move herself. But I also fell in love with it because it wasn't cardio. Now, though, I think I have finally found a cardio that I can give my heart to. I've loved kickboxing for years, but Core de Force truly takes it above and beyond.

   I'm fangirling a little bit, but we'll all survive! It's genuinely been money well-spent.


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