Video Fitness

P90X Series: Kenpo X

Tony Horton

This is a Kickbox workout with a minimum of choreography. It seems to me that Beachbody was NOT trying to create a workout for people who have lots of different styles of kickbox tapes, but for those that have never done kickboxing before.

This workout is a warmup plus 45 minutes of drills and then a cooldown. The drills aren't very creative. Some are just kicking, some are just punching, some are blocks, a few are combinations, but it's not fancy in the least.
He has 4 cardio breaks sprinkled throughout that had you doing jumping jacks and plyo jacks to keep/get your HR up.
I found the intensity to be very uneven because there were lots of places that you used your arms only. My HR plummeted during these parts of the workout.

I would compare it to Aerokick with Silk Manning in terms of intensity, but would say it's even less choregraphed than that workout is.

If you are looking for guaranteed intensity from your kickbox workout, and own Cathe's Kick, Punch and Crunch--I'd say that might be a better choice. Having said all that,I used weighted gloves when I did it and I had light DOMS in my back and arms for a couple of days. The blocking moves are new to me and really work your arms in a different way.

I really did enjoy the workout though and the background exercisers were really fired up and into it.

As a cardio workout I'd give it a B-.
As an alternative arm workout with a bonus cardio effect, I'd give it an A.

Instructor comments: Tony is Tony, but I like him just fine.

Janet Frost


I love, love, love this.

You do combinations of punching, kicking drills interspersed with 2 minute hi-lo impact cardo (running in place, then jump rope simulation, then jacks, then x-jacks (high jacks))

The drills start out 'mundane' (but enjoyable still), and then he throws in blocks and elbows at the end.

It felt intermediate to me, but I didn't go all out in the cardio.

I also wore my 1lb hand weights during this, and am glad I did.

Overall a solid cardio workout - fun to do. I will definitely be pulling this out regularly.

Instructor comments: Tony is fun and motivating in this. He clearly is enjoying himself.

One of his background exercisers is a kenpo-expert and he regularly compliments the guy on his amazing form.



This workout is part of the P90X set, which includes 12 workouts. I shared an order with another Vfer because most of the strength work did not interest me, and I am quite happy with the purchase. All of the cardio is gym-style, very accessible to someone like me who has only the most basic grasp of choreography and is a huge klutz to boot.

Of the workouts I have, Kenpo X was the trickiest for me to master. It is a wonderful drill-style routine where you focus on pretty much one thing at a time for set intervals. What tripped me up was the combo sections where they would put the previous few moves together. I tripped over myself the first time, but after two or three passes through the workout I was able to keep up.

The routine begins with s standing stretch cycle and a few yoga moves for warm-up, then starts slowly with a punch section. First you do a pivot with no punch, then you combine the four main punches (jab, hook, cross, uppercut) into various combinations. There were two or three of these which, as I said above, got progressively more complicated: first a job, then a jab/cross, then a jab/cross/hook, then a jab/cross/hook/uppercut. Each was in its own little section, with the usual beachbody countdown clocks counting down the reps.

There is a cardio break of running on the spot, jacks etc. and then a kick section which, as above, builds in complexity. It culminates in a three-direction kick and some moving lung-type moves with punches. Then there is another cardio break, and a block section. You practice several blocks one at a time, then there is a “star block” which combines all of them.

There is another cardio break, then the last section has several different moves. There is a knuckles thing where you twist out, then come back and do kicks. This is done twice, with side kicks and then with back kicks. Then there is an “elbow series” which is like punching up and out but leading with elbows, not hands. Then there are vertical punches, another cardio break, then a short cool-down.

It took me awhile to get to know this workout, to both get the hang of it and then decide I like it. But I am glad I gave it a chance. I really like Tony, I like his other cardio workouts, and I am happy to have enough quality Beachbody routine in my collection.



The total time of this workout is about 59 minutes.

This is a very basic kickboxing video, but it does have variety. There is a class of one woman (who completed the P90X test class), and two men. One of the men helped Tony Horton create the workout. The other man is the other Tony from Power Half Hour videos. I like that they use real people who completed the test class in all of the P90X videos.

There are different segments. After a warmup with some yoga moves (Tony is very hot on yoga), you move into a segment of punches. In between each segment is a “break” (in the book that comes with the P90X series they actually call it a “cardio break”, which is probably a better description), which actually gets my heart rate up more than the kickboxing segments. During the breaks you do running in place, jumping jacks, and “X” jumps. The next segment is punches and then kicks, another cardio break, then more kicks, another cardio break, then blocks, a cardio break, punch kick combinations and then a cool down.

My heart rate gets very low during the blocks. I approach this video like interval training, where I try to get my heart rate up really high during the cardio breaks and let it fall during the punch, kick, and block segments. Also, I was at the Beachbody message boards and they were pointing out that Kenpo X isn’t just cardio, it’s also a back workout and designed to increase hand/eye coordination. So when it was designed to be more than a cardio workout.

All in all, I would say anyone expecting this to be a real cardio workout like Tae Bo would be disappointed. But if you look at it as more than cardio, it is a good, solid workout. I like it.

Instructor comments: I really like Tony. I didn't do any of the Power 90 videos, but he seems "real" in the P90X series.

Debbie Wagar

September 18, 2004

I love kickboxing, and although I hadn't tried any of the videos in the P90X series, when I had the opportunity to borrow Kenpo X, I jumped at the chance. Instructor Tony Horton leads a mostly drill-based kickboxing workout that will really fry your upper body in particular (especially if you wear weighted gloves like I did!). The workout begins with a 12-minute series of yoga-like stretches. I didn't like how Tony jumped right into the stretching without warming up the muscles first, but I did enjoy the stretches, especially the hip openers.

The cardio portion of the program begins with a twist and pivot move: standing in fighting stance, you'll simply twist your body from side to side without throwing any punches. In fact, Tony really emphasizes the movement in your hips and torso throughout this entire workout (I could definitely feel it in my sides the next day!). For the next 13 minutes or so, he leads you through punching drills only, from simple jabs to jab-cross-hook-uppercut combinations. There's nothing too complicated here, but working on the arms alone for so long really gets them fatigued! Tony generally does 25-30 repetitions per side, sometimes performing the final 5-10 reps at a faster speed and/or with sound effects; countdown clocks on screen show both number of reps left and total workout time left. Following the punches comes the first cardio interval (there are 4 of these 1.5 minute intervals throughout the workout). Tony does jogs, jump rope, jumping jacks, and finishes with 10 power jacks (jumping into an X position).

The next 10 minutes consists mainly of kicking drills. Tony does front (ball), side, and back kicks, then combines all three. He does some kick-punch combinations and throws in some unique moves that I haven't seen in other kickboxing videos, such as a step-drag to the front, a sword/hammer move to the side, and a punch-claw move (a total time of about 3.5 minutes). There are two cardio intervals during this segment, one after the kicks only and another following the combos. The final cardio segment is a 5-minute series of blocking moves. Although I found these to be fun and enjoyable, my heart rate went down during this segment, and I couldn't follow Tony when he combined a series of blocks together. There is one more cardio interval, and then the final aerobic move in the workout is 100 vertical punches (ie, thumbs up, palms in) to the front; Tony starts these slow, eventually speeding them up and actually completely more than 100 reps.

The workout ends with a 4.5 minute cool-down. Tony does about 1.5 minutes of a gentle aerobic cool-down (eg, slow jog, kicks) and then moves into 3 minutes of yoga-like stretches, including wide-legged standing forward bend, down dog, and a standing quad stretch. The entire workout time is just under an hour, or about 58.5 minutes. Overall, I found this to be a good kickboxing workout, although I wish that the intensity level had been a bit more consistent throughout. It would probably be best-suited to those who prefer kickboxing drills and simple combos to more choreographed kickboxing routines.

Instructor comments: This was my first exposure to Tony, and I was surprised by how goofy he is! He frequently calls his 3 background exercisers "dude" (including the one female) and says things like "whatever turns you on." He sometimes exercises, sometimes moves around the class, and he does not mirror cue. Although I didn't have any problems with his instruction or his personality, I can definitely see how some people might find him to be annoying. I thought the music (which was barely audible at times) enhanced the workout nicely, but the DVD offers both music off and instruction off options.

Beth C (aka toaster)

March 8, 2007

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