Video Fitness

Tai Box: Kick To Fit

Zak Lee

First I really want to stress I tried watching this video once, got halfway through, and decided just to do it once and that's all I will ever do it. I do have Tae Bo, B Fit Cardio Kickbox, Kardio Kick, Power Kicks, 9809 and 9702, as well as Fitness Kickbox and out of all of those including the Rachel Hunter tape and Stephanie Steele tape which I used to have; this is the worst.

The good things are the choreography of the actual aerobic portion is decent and the stretching segment at the beginning. The isolated standing segment for kicks is good, not spectacular and so is the floor leg work. The ab work is nothing new and frankly went too fast IMHO. The self defense aspect of this tape is questionable IMO as well.

Basically this tape is suppose to be "ten rounds" of kickboxing. There is only 20 minuntes of kickbox aerobics.

Round 1 is a pretty good stretch segment. It is about 8 minutes long. The problem with this is there is 8 minutes of Ellen K (the co-host) running her mouth about how she hates working out, questioning Zak if she needs to shave her legs, and just make one rude comment after the other.

Round 2: Warm up/breakdown of moves about 8 minutes. Zak does a good job of breaking down the moves, saying go low if you need to. Ellen of course is there with her remarks, which I suppose wouldn't be so much of a problem but Zak's accent makes him difficult enough to understand without Ellen constantly interrupting.

Round 3: Aerobic portion, 20 minutes. This is a pretty nicely choreographed workout and who knows this may be salvagable to add on to another tape. Again Ellen is there and she messes up a lot of the moves, but tells us that's ok because she hates to work out.

Round 4: Breathing technique I have no idea how long this is because it seemed to long. You go from a pretty good intensity workout to STOP nothing! Zak explains how to breath to cool yourself down within two minutes and (from what I could gather) that you don't need a traditional cooldown.

Round 5: Isolated movements. This is similar though not as intense as in Power Kicks. You use the chair for stability as you practice your kicks.

Round 6: Floor leg work or as Zak calls it practiciing your kicks on the floor. Not intense at all, Firmies won't like it.

Round 7: Ab Work. Nothing great here. And he moves too fast IMHO. There is a weird move where you sit in a straddle and then bend on leg over the other to do lower crunches.

Round 8: Stretching, this segment is too short. He only stretches the legs and not the arms which you do use a lot during the aerobic portion, of course that was about a half hour ago so you probably have already stretched while watching Ellen's MTV Zak Aerobic Fantasy Workout.

Round 10: Self Defense. This was basically to tell you self defense is all about attitude and the regular stuff. Nothing bad here.

I know I am missing a round there somewhere, but this is an annoying tape. First it is difficult to understand him coupled with the fact that his lovely co-host keeps degrading him. She called him a blockhead. She said his butt was his best view. She said he didn't speak good English (well duh it's his second language). She doesn't like working out, which I figured out the first time she said it. She kept telling us how lucky we were to have her here.

Then between the aerobic segment and the cooldown (or maybe right after the cooldown) there is the MTV Zak Aerobic Fantasy Segment where Ellen imagines what "Zak Aerobics" are. Basically it is Zak running, kicking, and jumping at what appears to be Death Valley (good scenery) with fellow "classmates." You apparently need numchucks (sorry I can't spell it), sticks, and a huge amount space to sprint with the motorcycle AND outrun it, as well as a large variety of props for this, and to think I thought I used strange things with the Firm! I don't get this segment at all. It reminds me of a fitness show where you learn stuff, but not a workout tape. There is way too much dialogue going on between the two of them during and between rounds, which include introductions. Needless to say your heartrate isn't going to stay up at all unless you do something on your own like tear the tape out of the VCR and stomp on it.

I know there has to be SOMEONE out there that likes this tape. Maybe a friend of Zak's? I really hesitated to write this review, but I felt (thanks Nancy) that if I wrote it maybe I would be saving a few people $10 that could be spent elsewhere.

Stephanie Bridges
01/08/99

I couldn't even manage to get through the whole tape to preview it. The preview was so bad that I didn't want to waste my time trying it. Stephanie was a much better person than me for actually attempting this video.

Stephanie gave an excellent description of the whole tape so I'll just add that I think this is a good tape to get off of the exchange just to see how bad it is. It's an excellent example of how not to make an exercise video if you expect anyone to get a serious workout from it.

My advice: do not waste your money on this tape. Get it off the exchange, have some good laughs, and then pass it on.

Instructor comments: From some of the demos during the tape, you can tell Zak Lee knows his stuff. He probably would have done much better if he hadn't been paired up with that Ellen woman. He went for too much of a light-hearted video.

Sharon Muha
1/10/99

I have been working out in the gym for the last ten years using cardio machines, weights, and some aerobic classes, and lots of outdoor running. This video was my first video tryout. What a disaster. Zak Lee, who is supposed to be the professional in this video, lets his partner insult him throughout the video. I was embarrassed for Zak Lee and wondered why he allowed this video to be distributed in the first place.

I happened to buy this video because I had just had a fantastic introduction to kickboxing at the local gym from a visiting guest kickbox demonstrator by the name of Libby Norris who is an excellenct instructor. After one class with her, I felts sore all over. I intend to invest in the new Billy Blanks tape, as well as Intense Moves, Aerobox, Kicbox Express, as well as some others. I am plunging into the video experience headon and am basing my choices on the informative reviews found on this site. I am hoping that the Zak Lee video was a fluke and is not indicative of the quality of these other videos.

I would never recommend this video to anyone. Zak Lee seems to be a competent instructor, however, he seems to hold back on the cardio and he has probably watered down his moves to a beginner level because his punches involve no bending or twisting of the side -they are just direct punches out which is the lazy way of doing things. I did not feel that my back, upper body and abs got a workout at all. This would be a possible video for someone who wanted an introduction to kickboxing with all the twists and intensity taken out, but just make sure to watch it with the volume down because the cohost really is unprofessional and immature.

Maybe Zak Lee will do better the next time out.

Surbhi
eucalyptus@golden.net
02/16/99

sorry I bought it. The instructor Zak is o.k. but actress Ellen is terrible and lets the viewer know that she hates exercising throughout the whole video. Why did she agree to be in it? (duh)

sharon b
sbradl02@lausd.k12.ca.us
03/14/99

Over all the video is ok. The warm up is ok and the workout is not bad either. The other segments of the tape did not hold my interest. To be honest, I wish I would have saved my $10.00 and bought Tae Bo. Ellen K pretty much ruined anything good about this tape. Her sexual innuendos about Zak Lee could have been left out.

Instructor comments: Zak Lee is a good instructor. He knows his stuff. I wish he put a little more into the aerobic part of the tape. And he definitely could have left out Ellen K who not only did not do the moves correctly but said some embaressing and unecessary things.

John Traylor
jtray@juno.com
3/22/99

I'm sure the other people that have reviewed this tape have been exercising for quite some time and have experience with these types of exercise. Since I am new to the world of physical fitness and 50lbs overweight, I found this tape quite good and challenging for a beginner. If you overlook the rude comments by Eleen K and focus on what you are there to do you might enjoy it.

Instructor comments: I like Zak Lee. I think he is quite personable and he seems like a competent instructor.

Mo
mrscorn@email.women.com
04/09/99

I found Zak Lee to be charming and fun. I actually got a good workout from the tape. BUT his co-host was a major distraction. Since it's apparent that Zak knows what he's doing, he should immediately make another tape, minus ellen k. I would pay to see Zak teach, but he needs to surround himself with fit and intelligent people...Only then would his abilities shine...At least Zak is on the right track. Go Zak!!!

Janice W.

4/9/99



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