Video Fitness

Street Kickbox (Advanced)

Zak Lee

Zak has made a kickbox workout that's a 180-degree change from that ill-fated one he made years ago with that Ellen person yammering at his side (Kick to Fit). This one is definitely gritty, not polished, not a stellar production level -- but it gave me a good sweat! You are pretty much constantly moving your feet as well as your arms. Cardio-wise I got a workout that was just about as intense as Taebo Get Ripped. However, one's form can suffer easily from the fast reps so you have to be careful.

Zak and several women, some of them with distractingly bobbing bosoms but all looking serious and focused, work out in what appears to be a parking lot in front of a nondescript building. Perhaps as inspiration, Zak is shirtless.

This is not a workout for the kickbox-inexperienced. The moves are done double-time, most of the time. You pretty much are moving non-stop for 40 minutes, with a brief dynamic stretching bit at the beginning (even the warmup is quite active--various punches while constantly moving the feet in step taps). Zak moves quickly from one move variation to another, and with his thick accent and sometimes lacking cuing, I usually had to miss the first couple of reps to catch up. But there are a LOT of reps of each move.

You do a lot of speedbag with jump rope (one foot forward, then the other) as a transition move.

Examples of punching combos - you start with the commonly seen boxer's shuffle in one stance plus punch. You go from 12 o'clock (straight in front) to 3 o'clock with that punch. Then you do double punches to 12 and 3 while doing fast feet! Then you do 12 o'clock punch plus 9 o'clock punch with your other hand. Then you do jab plus cross on one side, then quickly switch to jab and cross on the other side. You do something like 24 to 32 reps of each of these variations.

Kicks -- you might go to right front kick and step back, to front kick plus lunge and touch the ground, to front kick plus back kick. You do knee raises plus roundhouse, to double-time roundhouses, to front kick plus roundhouse, to machine gun kicks.

Sometimes a little insert box appears, with Zak's head speaking in voiceover over the actual workout footage. This can actually be very good because it gives him a chance to talk more clearly and give pointers.

There is one little "blast" in the middle, obviously filmed at another time, where you do a few minutes of fast feet with punches, cross-country ski with punches, and more speedbag with "jumprope."

The music is something like techno-jazz with a frisky drumbeat. It's clearly on a continuous reel, but I liked it.

The picture is a little fuzzy; no crisp colors or pretty background here. But one could argue that it gives it that "gritty street feel" as per the title.

I didn't try the intermediate one, which apparently gives more breakdown of moves.

Instructor comments: Zak is certainly eye candy, and he has a pleasant, friendly yet suitably commanding demeanor. It's a little difficult to understand his accent especially over the music. His cuing is sometimes non-existent, but the moves are simple enough to pick up so that it's not a huge deal.



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