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Denise Austin Power Kickboxing

I don't know what compelled me to buy a Denise Austin video. I suppose the kickboxing aspect superceded my aversion to Denise Austin and her voice. But, I was very pleasantly surprised with what a great workout I got. It was tough enough at 40+ minutes (If you combine both 20 minute sections). And you don't stop moving in between kickboxing rounds. It really kept my heart rate up. I would rate this video at Intermediate level, but could be a quick and light-day cardio workout for advanced. Having done Tae-Bo and Kathy Smith Kickboxing, I would say this is close to the Kathy Smith style. Denise shows good form. It seemed much safer than Tae-Bo, which I do not do any more now that there are safer and more well organized kickboxing workouts on the market. And I even liked it over Kathy Smith's video because the warm-up does not go on forever but is still thorough. Many of the moves are very similar to Kathy's but Denise incorporates some new and interesting combos. There is even some intense plyo work. This is a good workout. If you can get over Denise and the somewhat cheesy set (but still looks better than Tae-Bo) you will enjoy this kickboxing workout.

Instructor comments: Well, what can I say. I knew what Denise Austin was like from her morning TV workouts. She comes across as the quintessential big haired blond airhead with an irritating voice. She says things like "We're going to work those shoulders! Oh yes we will!" and "Let's burn some butter!" But since I liked this workout so much, I was amused instead of annoyed. In the second section, she forgets or just doesn't cue a round of moves and that left me scrambing for a minute to figure it out. But I think after you do this workout a few times that won't be a problem. You can basically ignore the other cast members. They don't really add anything special. Some of them seemed to be doing the workout for the first time too.

Rose S.
6/13/99

I knew this video was either a hit or a miss,considering my past experiences with Denise Austin's tapes.

In general, her tapes are too low intensity, but I do like to mix my workouts up--by doing low, medium, & high intensity workouts. I have been exercising with videos for over 10 years, and I consider myself an advanced exerciser, with my favorites being Kari Anderson, Cathe Friedrich, and Charlene Prickett.

On with the review: I have done this video only 2 times so far, but I really do like it! There are actually 2 workouts on this tape--they are a little over 20 minutes long each, but I do both parts at a time, skipping the cooldown on the first workout. Denise (or maybe I should say John, since John Griswold is listed as the choreographer at the end of the video), warms you up thoroughly, sprinkling the basics of kickboxing in among the stretches--jabs, cross punches, uppercuts, and front kicks. The workouts themselves alternate between these kickboxing moves, adding side, back, and roundhouse kicks to the moves above, and aerobic moves: marching, jump rope jumps and skips, side touches, jumping jacks, and high knee jogs. I particularly like the way the jumping jacks are integrated into the workout--they are spontaneous and fun, the way jacks are supposed to be.

I am not a very flexible person, and my hamstrings are particularly tight, so I was a little worried about being able to do the kicks. I really didn't have much trouble--the aerobic moves kept my muscles warm, and when I couldn't kick as high as the exercisers on the screen, I didn't feel like I had to (kick high even when I couldn't) to feel like I was getting a good workout, because of the aerobic moves and because there was enough of a combination of kickboxing moves so that I wasn't worried about my heart rate being in range.

Denise is very encouraging, and when she tells you that it's okay not to kick real high if you can't, it makes you listen more to your body and not push it too far. The cuing on this tape is typical Denise Austin- awful; she is the worst I've ever seen at cuing, a few times the people in the video cannot follow her either. This made me mad at first (but it also gave me incentive for my kicking & punching), but the second time I did the workout, it just seemed funny.

Anyway, the moves are basic enough that you can follow the workout without too much trouble. I would rate this video at medium intensity, if you do both workouts together and low to medium intensity if you only do one workout at a time. The first workout is low, and the second workout is medium. This is a very fun video, and it left me wanting more kickboxing! Good job, John!

Instructor comments: Denise Austin is very energetic and motivating. She can really encourage you to believe in yourself if you have doubts. However, she is probably the worst "cuer" around, and her tapes are usually of a bad quality--I think that most of the tapes are recorded in EP mode, making the tracking seem to be a little "off" all the time. The quality of this tape is much better than previous Denise Austin videos--I think that this tape was recorded in SP for a change.

jennfier
jenipen@webtv.net
6/19/99

Others have given a good breakdown of the routines, I'll just add some impressions. Not being a fan of Denise Austin's, I bought this video in spite of the instructor and in spite of the fact that I thought that "Power" and "Denise Austin" were pretty much mutually exclusive terms. I love kickboxing so much, and the tape was fairly inexpensive, that I thought I'd give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised by the workouts! Though short, they are fun, interesting, and powerful--especially the second workout. The choreography includes some moves I haven't seen in other kickboxing videos, like a "power jack", and I found the "jumprope-style" moves that are spaced throughout the workouts to be much more fun than actual jumprope moves. I also like the way that yoga moves are incorporated into the stretches. If you like Denise Austin, and want to give kickboxing a try, you're bound to like this workout. If you're lukewarm on both Denise and kickboxing, pass this one up. If you love kickboxing, but not Denise Austin, you might give it a try (depending on how talented you are at blocking out the instructor while doing the workout! I find that some of her annoying characteristics--see below--can be a source of humor, if approached with the right frame of mind).

Instructor comments: Denise is very "chatty" in this tape. She continually comes up with supposedly motivating sayings that I find a bit condescending, like "protect that BEAUTIFUL body", and clichés like "squeeze it (your butt) or no one else will". On the other hand, she doesn't do much in the way of cuing, or cues too late. For example, one more complicated segment where you do 4 jumping jacks, then 4 sets of alternating double punches, then 4 jacks, then 4 bob and weaves--repeated in various counts--is cued horribly ("lets go", "come on"!). Also, when she says "2 more", it really seems to mean "2 or 3 more". You pretty much have to "do what she does rather than what she doesn't say".

On a lighter note: it seems that Denise's endorphins kick in about halfway through the second routine, and she REALLY gets into the punching and kicking, though her "karate yell" *oof* sounds more like she just got punched in the *tummy* than a powerful focusing of her chi.

Kathryn Bulver
cfkmb@eiu.edu
7/4/99

I want to start by saying, I really like this video. It is broken up into two separate workouts: skills and drills. Each workout is approximately 25 minutes and can be done separately as an add on to a strength day or as a complete 50 minute workout. She begins the tape by going over form and giving a few pointers. She then starts the warm-up and flows into the workout. It's actually pretty fun! She throws in jabs, crosses, hooks, upper cuts, front kicks, back kicks, side kicks and roundhouses. She does them all as separate little drills and then at the end throws in some really fun combinations.

Between drills, she keeps you moving with jumping jacks and variations of jump roping. I consider myself an advanced exerciser, and this tape really got my heart going and my body sweating. I really, really like this workout!

The production quality is great, and yes, the big Denise Austin sign is cheesy, but I was too into the workout to notice. I would definitely recommend this tape.

To those who don't like Denise, I would say you should at least give it a try. You're really not losing much for $10 and you can always exchange it. Denise really surprised me on this one! And I know that lots of people complain that she is a bad cuer, but HEY so is Billy Blanks, but everyone seems to LOVE him! I don’t quite understand that. But this is not a discussion about which of the two is a better instructor in this category.

I definitely recommend this tape!

Christine B
cb@holly.colostate.edu
7-5-99

This workout is just the thing I needed to get me over my plateau and stop me from gaining more weight back. I've been exercising for 1 1/2 years and this tape is the perfect level for me. I wouldn't try it if I were a beginner because it is pretty intense. However, if the beginner tapes have gotten too easy for you, then this tape works great! Be warned, though! When she says to take a breather, she has you doing jumping jacks. The kickboxing moves are really fun, too. I'm going to stick with this workout awhile and see if I can lose more weight.

Instructor comments: Denise is so funny! Her quirky sayings like, "Burn that butter!" and "If you rest, you rust!" really make me laugh and have fun doing this tape. She does miss cues and isn't always on beat. When she says two more, she means several more. However, once I learned the routine, it wasn't that bad. I just factored her offbeat-ness into it.

Wendy Kane
wkane@ark.org
01/17/2000

I got this video for Christmas (I had asked for Power Kicks). At first I didn't want to open it, but I came to VF and read the positive reviews here. So I thought I'd give it a try. I wish that I hadn't.

I was looking for a true "martial arts" style kickboxing tape--and this was not it. Denise Austin's was much more aerobics with some kicks and punches thrown in. Her cueing was very bad--someone mentioned that she plain forgot to cue a whole section. Even some of the background exercises had trouble following her.

On a positive note, the video is a good intensity level--especially if you do both parts of the workout. For those who are looking for a tape that combines kickboxing moves with traditional aerobics, this might just be your thing. It, unfortunately, was not mine. I exchanged it for Kathy Smith's--more of a true martial arts video.

Instructor comments: I don't care for Denise Austin. I'm certain that she's very motivating for some people--beginners especially. But I find her too annoying and too condescending. And her cueing is not very good at all.

Jen B.
bown.6@osu.edu
1-17-99

I would not consider myself new to martial arts by any means. I am a college student who had to give up my Martial Art training due to schedule conflicts with classes. I attempted this video, thinking that Denise would be well educated in technique, and motivating. I found that it was basically a Tae-bo rip off. The other videos of hers I have throughly enjoyed, but I found that this was simply her catching the latest trend to make a buck. I felt that her claiming to teach proper technique in her advertising was a lie. I also found that she expected us to read her mind while we were working out. The video is extremely difficult to follow.

Instructor comments: Denise's is cuing is terrible, I found the moves and combinations poorly explained. I also found that the form with the exception of posture was poor. Denise left out the most important parts of technique (putting your entire body into a punch, and chambering, executing and re-chambering a kick).

Rachel Smiley
rmz17@hotmail.com
04-10-00

A few background exercisers w/her set in a boxing rink in a dark room. Don't remember any music. Kickboxing type wo clothing.

Begins with long intro for form.
"Skills" follows which is a slow, nice wo for beginners or for those days when your energy level might be low or to add on to other cardio. The flow of the wo is not really there since you go right from pretending to jump rope into a kick sequence. I don't find that this was choreographed well. It is not until the end that she starts an enjoyable kick/punch sequence.

"Drills" follows next. There is less jumping in this segment than previous and more kick/punch sequences. Speed of wo is better but still disjointed feeling in choreography. It would also be nice if someone throughout the video would be demonstrating lower impact versions of some of the jumping.

Warning: my physical therapist friend cautions against a sequence here where you are hopping while kicking and travelling across the floor. Says there is a high probability for hip/ankle injury. Just do kicking in one place or travel and hop without the kick.

Beginner only and could probably up intensity by using weighted gloves.
Total wo time: 47 min, cooldowns after each segment included. skills time: 24 min, drills time: 23 min

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars due to unsafe move.

Instructor comments: This is one instructor who could learn alot from Billy Blanks for more interesting kick/punch sequences! And after about the 20th time of being told that I was strong I tired of hearing it.

Linda (aka fanofladyvols)

1/03/05



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