Video Fitness

CIA 2603 Criss Cross Cardio

Sheri Jacquelyn

Criss Cross cardio has left me on the fence. I cant decide if i like this workout or not. I am an advanced exerciser, who works out to Cathe and Mindy. I love their athletic style and how they kick my butt. Criss Cross Cardio had potential but didnt get quite where it could have been to make it really advanced. The warm up is decieving because its really fast paced and gets your heart rate going. Its about 8 minutes long and then you start the actual workout.The kick box cardio portion clocks in , together with the warm up, under 45 minutes so its a pretty short cardio workout. She starts off with basic punches and jacks and moves on to build up more punch combinations and turns them into combo's. There isnt a lot of kicking and she talks and makes you march for long counts in between. This made my heart rate drop and took away from the workout. Her cueing was a little off at times, but there are moves that everyone has seen before in kickboxing workouts. Overall its an ok workout - I like Sherri. She has two exercisers with her who keep up with what she is doing. The choreography is not hard to follow at all and the music is pretty good. Nothing memorable, but not as bad as some workouts i've done before.
After the cardio portion comes the Brazilian martial arts inspired caoperia. Its about 20 minutes long. She teaches you four moveswhich are done on each side and then you do them all together three times. At the end she does a challenging move that is pretty fun and made my arms shake a little.
I guess i'll hang on to this workout and use it for my light effort days. I would recommend Cathe's kick punch crunch for a great overall kickbox workout.

Instructor comments: Sheri is in awesome shape and is a great instructor. She is highly motivated and has a good time doing what she does.


I’m reviewing this workout after doing it twice.

General workout breakdown: This 63.5-min. video combines a kickboxing workout with capoeira drills.
*Warm-up (8.5 min.) starts right in with basic athletic and kickboxing movements, running through the basic punches (jabs, crosses, hooks, and upper cuts) and kicks as well as knee strikes, and slowly building up into a combo (which includes a turn kick). It ends with mostly dynamic stretches, moving from the wrists and arms down the body and then quickly back up again.
*Kickboxing (35 min.) runs through some drills, for lack of a better term, before building up three more extensive combos, which are added together somewhat. In between segments come quick plyo intervals (usually 30 sec. to 1 min. each). Sherri mixes more athletic aerobics moves (jumping jack, hamstring curl, repeater), with kickboxing (jab, cross, knee strike, front snap kick, bob & weave, shuffle, hook, upper cut, side kick, front jumping kick, ridge). Plyo / interval moves include squat jumps, shuffle w/ knee raise, leap to the side, step rock, high knees, jack jumps, jumping rope, knee crossover, side lateral jump rope, ski, squats, side pumping kick, and standing side crunches & rotations into jabs & crosses in horse stance. The segment ends with a couple of quick dynamic stretches (low back roll-ups, shoulder rolls).
*Standing Exercises (17.25 min.) is also called Balance, Leg & Core Work; it features exercises from capoeira (a Brazilian martial arts) which Sherri does in 8-10 reps per side before moving onto the next one. She does three circuits of the same four exercises, which she doesn’t name (one is a kind of reverse curtsy lunge, which I think is ginga; the next one is a squat into a front push kick; then comes a side lunge with a look to the side; and finally there’s a back kick). Sherri then ends with another exercise to bring in some upper body work; this one, involving squatting down and sending the one leg through the space between the hand on the floor and the other leg, is tough!
*Stretch (3.5 min.) begins with some hip rolls, lower back roll-ups, and shoulder rolls. Sherri then runs through some brief mostly static stretches for the hip flexor, outer hips (including the periformis), obliques, hamstrings, inner thighs, quadriceps, shoulders (back), triceps, and chest. It’s too bad Sherri moves so quickly through the stretches, because the stretch selection is thorough, especially for the lower body.

Level: I’d recommend this to someone exercising at the very least at a solidly intermediate level through low advanced with previous kickboxing experience. I think exercisers around the intermediate / advanced level who do kickboxing or martial arts with some regularity would get the most out of it; at least, that was my level when I did this workout, and I got a good challenge that didn’t wipe me out.

Class: 2 women join Sherri, who instructs live. For some intervals one shows lower impact modifications.
People mention how they don’t like forced, plastic smiles and how tough faces seem more appropriate for a kickboxing workout, but Sherri’s crew looks as if they were dragged into doing this. At least pretend you’re enjoying this experience at some level, ladies!

Music: mostly instrumental with a driving beat that work well for this workout, with some changes between segments (i.e. the capoeira part has more of a Brazilian flavor, the stretch is more, well, upbeat elevator music). I’ve heard some of the tunes before (a number appear on newer Evolution workouts, for example), as this is kind of your average “better than average” exercise video soundtrack.

Set: the 2006 CIA set featuring brownish walls with window-like cases displaying assorted objects, furniture placed along the back wall, etc.

Production: crisp picture and sound, good balance between the instructor’s voice and the music, nothing too crazy in terms of camera angles or quick shifts or close-ups. It’s what you’d expect from CIA.

Equipment: sneakers.

Space Requirements: Although Sherri offers the option of cutting out some traveling to make this more compact, you should be able at least to step and kick in all directions (front, back, left, and right).

DVD Notes: The main menu has these options: Intro to Workout, Start Workout, Workout Options (Stretch to Workouts; Warm-up, Kickboxing, Cool-down/Abs and Stretch; Warm-up, Standing Exercises and Stretch; Cool-Down/Abs; Standing Exercises; Stretch), Bio and Content, and Credits. There are chapters within each of the segments, but there isn’t really any way to access these from the main menu.

Comments: Definitely pay attention to the quick pivots and squats and lunges if you have knee issues. Sherri suggests doing the capoeira moves barefoot if you’re on carpet, for example. Also, I took out the turn kicks and just stayed front.

Like a few others, I’m on the fence with this workout. I enjoy Sherri’s personality, I find the intervals tough but not killer, and I appreciate Sherri’s more straightforward approach to kickboxing and capoeira. But I can’t quite figure out what this workout wants to be or how I want to use it. At times it feels like Sherri got a call a few weeks before filming saying, “Come on down to the studio and we’ll put your latest class on tape.” But at other times it feels well structured and designed with the home exerciser clearly in mind. As a whole, this workout has a little bit o’ this, a little bit o’ that feel with its mix of cardio, drills, plyometrics, and strengthwork. The many little changes make the time go faster, but at the same time they leave me wanting more (well, maybe not the plyos ;-)).

This could be a nice alternative to those who like the idea of Turbo Jam, with a kickboxing cardio portion followed by capoeira moves, but who aren’t into getting their funk on, facing Chalene & co.’s hyper energy and mugging for the camera, and/or ordering from BeachBody. Although kickboxing workouts are pretty easy to modify up or down, I think I would rank Criss Cross Cardio a hair more intense than the average Turbo Jam, especially since CCC has more plyo drills spaced throughout the workout rather than bunched in the middle.

Instructor comments: Sherri has an upbeat, positive on screen personality that’s not too perky, and she’s comfortable in front of the camera, so she comes off as natural and relaxed while still being professional. She cues well, with mirror cuing, although she varies how she cues: sometimes with lots of advance warning and sometimes closer to the move change, sometimes with more detailed names and sometimes with counting, sometimes with pauses to instruct and sometimes just throwing things in. She assumes you have some idea of what you’re doing, so she doesn’t provide a ton of basic instruction, although she’ll throw in form tips now and then. Sherri’s more of a kickboxing aerobics instructor rather than a martial artist, but she clearly understands kickboxing and exercise video instructing.


December 5, 2008

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