Video Fitness

Cross Train Express: Kickbox

This is a nice, no-frills, compact workout that leaves me feeling like a got a pretty well-rounded workout. The kickbox section (about 30 minutes including the warmup) starts with impact moves and finishes with arm drills. It's fun and it's also a good workout, but Cathe seems to find it much harder than I do. I would rank it high-intermediate in intensity compared to other kickboxing tapes, but Cathe groans and wails throughout like it's killer. I wonder if maybe she shot some other videos that day and was worn out? Her class members don't seem to find it overly difficult, either. There is one section that *is* killer, though, and that's the plyometric lunges. Whew! After you're done with the cardio, you move into about 10 minutes of biceps work. It's very good and thorough, but it doesn't leave me as "pumped" as the biceps section of Cathe's Maximum Intensity Strength. Finally, there is some agonizing plank work at the end. I really like this part, too, and I admire all these women for having the strength to be able to complete it without resting! Grade A.

Annie S.

Be forewarned, this is not "real" kickboxing, and there really isn't any substantial kickboxing form instruction given. This is strictly kickbox-flavored aerobics. If you're looking to seriously learn kickboxing, this is not the right video. However, if you've already learned kickboxing technique in a live class or with a good kickboxing video, it can certainly help you out when trying this one. However, Cathe does not use true kickboxing form. Just something to keep in mind if that's the sort of thing that bothers you.

Cathe's cuing in this video is nowhere near as good as usual, but once you've been through it a few times you get an idea of what's coming up. (From what I've read on the forum, this is a pretty common problem in a lot of kickboxing videos.) I do love this workout, though. The pace is slow enough to allow for powerful movements with full range of motion, but fast enough to keep you aerobic. I think my favorite part is the punching drills (except for the backfist punches -- they feel a little weird). My biceps are usually so tired after the punching drills that I have to switch to a lighter weight than usual for the bicep work.

As with the other CTX videos, the strength work -- in this case, biceps -- is very thorough. Crazy 8s, barbell curls, rotating curls and concentration curls are all utilized to work the biceps. Cathe also uses plank work and traditional crunches to work the abs.

Instructor Comments: Cuing could be better, but Cathe's form pointers are great as usual. Powerful choreography. Music goes very well with the workout.

Lynn Lounsbury

Of all of the six-pack, I expected to like this one the least since I am not a big kickboxing fan. In fact, I didn't even like Cathe's Cardio Kicks (takes up too much room and not intense enough, although I LOVE the drills). However, this turned out to be one of my favorites of the CTX series!

The cardio section starts with an active warmup including sets of progressively higher front kicks and side kicks, then you go right into boxer shuffles with jabs. Lots and lots of jabs - your arms will feel the burn. A long set of alternating front kicks and back kicks, then you repeat this whole section on the other side. Then you take a break from kickboxing with some intense high impact work. Different moves with a simulated jumprope (regular jumps, ski hops, front and back hops), then scissor moves, then a set of 32 power scissors - yow! Then you do that whole sequence on the other side. This section really gets your heartrate thumping. Then you do a few kicking sequences, then it is on to arm drills. These arm drills really burn, and if you really do them with power they do keep your heartrate up even though you are stationary. Then you cool down. At this point, I like to tack on the drills from Cardio Kicks to add 15 more super intense minutes. But if I don't have time I still feel like I got a solid cardio workout in 30 minutes.

The biceps section is good - I go lighter than I do for MIS or PS because it is designed as more of an endurance-builder. Two sets of crazy-eights, two sets of alternating bicep curls, two sets of hammer curls which turn inward, and then a set of concentration curls for each arm. I like to do my heavy lifting at the gym, so I really enjoy this bicep section as a compliment to heavier lifting.

The plank work for the abs is tough, but I really think it is a great challenge for the abs and back. That is followed by traditional ab work.

I really enjoy this video. It won't wipe you out, but the time flies and when you are done you feel like you got a great workout. As I said I am not a big kickboxing fan, but I like Cathe's style of mixing it up with high impact. And those arm drills make me feel so strong!

Grade: A-

Instructor Comments: Cathe is simply the best instructor out there. It's true that she gives few form pointers, but she made it clear when she released these videos that the kickboxing is designed for people who have experience with kickboxing. That's exactly why I like Cathe's videos - she designs them for advanced exercisers so you don't waste a lot of time jogging in place while she explains a move.

Melanie H.

I really enjoyed this workout, but it was not at all what I was expecting. To me it was more like a "kickboxing lite" workout.

The beginning of the video is a bit of a space hog as Cathe has you doing grapevines and side steps in a big diamond pattern. I have a fairly large workout area and used pretty much every bit of it. It would be easy to just do them side to side for those with space constraints.

The intensity was intermediate to me, and there was a lot more arm work than there were kicks. Cathe does everything slowly enough that you can concentrate on what you are doing and really make yourself work. This workout kept my heartrate in the moderate zone, but it was pretty consistently in the same range.

There is a segment where Cathe does "jumproping" but without a rope- she states that many home exercisers are unable to use jumpropes. I liked this section, which was moderate impact and fun to do. I did not do the power scissors though because I know from trying them in other videos that my knees just can't handle those due to how fast you are jumping. Instead, I did crosscountry skiing, and heel digs.

The arm drills are very intense and really give a great arm workout. I felt this through my shoulders, forearms and back afterwards. I won't make the same mistake of doing this tape in the evening after having done the PS Chest/Shoulders/Triceps in the morning! The biceps work was stuff Cathe does in her other upper body workouts- crazy 8s and lots of curls.

The one thing I REALLY didn't like about this video is that during the ab work you do planks that really engage your arms. My arms were wiped out from all the arm drills earlier in the tape! I don't know the name for the moves, but first you are raised on your arms with the arms straight in a plank. My arms were shaking so badly I could not keep it up. Then you turn over and do a plank the other way, with your body supported by straight arms, face up. Again, this was a killer after the arm work. The rest of the abs were crunches and variations there of, and did a good job on my abs.

Couple of other minor negatives:

  • The music that seemed recycled from the other CTX videos.
  • One of the background exercisers is obviously a beginner on kicks and punches as she looks very awkward doing all of these and does not always have correct form.

Cathe seems really challenged on this tape, which is far from her most intense workout. She also uses lighter weights than usual on the biceps work-she actually used 8 lbs on concentration curls while I was able to stay with 10.

Overall a solid A, and definitely a keeper for me. I like having a less intense kickboxing video too- AND you don't use a step. It is hard to believe there is actually a Cathe tape with no step to be seen!

Tara Whitmore

The Warm-Up 9 minutes. She takes you through steps, side to side, easy scoots, alternating with jabs, uppercuts, and marches. then 3 marches and a kick combos,and easy side kicks.. the moves are all simple enough.. the kicks are still low here...

The Workout Boxer shuffles (jumping side to side) jabs w/ shuffles, a lot of repetition., cross punches, aftern 2.30 min alternate forward and back kicks...(high!) about 25 combos each leg...

Then we do maginary jumprope, alternating feet, then together then side to side together, jumps into lunges... double hops... a lot of repetition for each move... then all again...

Knee lifts, then a knee, kick, side kick, cross punch combos.. then same combo other side of body...

After 15 min, jab punch, and side punch (concentrating on upper body only), just to give you an idea: first 8 reps per side then 16 reps then 4 reps, then alternating punches.. then alternating upper cuts..

Weightwork Cathe uses a 25 lb barbell

biceps curls...2 entire sets 8 lower 8 upper
biceps curls...this time with hand weights alternating
rotation curl...alternating hands 2 sets
concentration curls... one hand then other...w/ leg behind arm

abwork: hold in plank position arms extended bring knee in if possible.. 1 total minute per leg..
reverse plank position approx 25 seconds per leg..
roll up crunches.. 3 only
then regular crunches..

Summary Beginners will have no trouble following this workout - the amount of repetition assures that. Intermediate and Advanced will get out of it as much as they put in... and how hard they punch or kick....


Instructor comments: If you don't know Cathe, you should! She has Gym style weight tapes, and/or she has step tapes but she also has a few cardio tapes and kickbox that are worth checking out.
The Crosstrainers gives you a taste of each in small increments. She is an excellent instructor and cues well.


3 July 2003

I have to admit, I love CTX. The music, the organizations of each segment, the exercises themselves. If you have the dvd, it would be fun to create your own "premixes". I did this last night, doing the warm-up and cardio from 10-10-10 and the triceps, followed immediately (though on the second disc) by the biceps and cardio from Kickboxing.

Kickboxing's cardio is like a mini-version of Cardio Kicks I think. Some serious leg drills, then a combo or two, and some awesome arm drills. I'm always amazed how high my heart rate stays while my legs are pretty still. Those arm drills can be downright violent (but keep the motions controlled), you're working so hard!

The biceps start with "crazy 8's"...this will really fry those poor biceps and you're just getting started! Then she goes to a three count up and one down. Then it's alternating curls followed by rotating alternating curls...the second group of curls start out like hammer curls then you rotate your palm inwards. She ends with concentration curls. My biceps always complain the next day!!!

As always, she ends with a nice stretch.

Instructor comments: Cathe is a comfortable fit for me as a video instructor. I'm not sure I can really explain it. I like her level of enthusiasm and her goofy sense of humor. I also like her take-no-prisoners attitude...she is dead serious about working hard and getting a lot done in as little time as needed! She's rather no-nonsense and challenging and encouraging.

Lydia Jasper

5 Nov. 2005

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