CIA 9902: Kickbutt Combat

Keli Roberts
Year Released: 1999

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

I did this video for the first time after reading Angela's description on the forum of working out live with Keli Roberts. I did all 90+ minutes of it in one workout. I came away from the workout thouroughly pleased with myself, the workout, and Keli. The 40-minute cardio portion is a lot of fun - it intersperses high intensity jump rope work with kick and punch combos. My form was starting to suffer towards the end, so I don't think I could have done any more cardio than that. I thought the jump roping work made it a pretty intense interval training workout. There is some toning with resistance bands (she uses Spri brand, but I got mine at Target - Prospirit brand and they worked fine). I thought the use of the step platform as a balance (standing it on its narrow end and then leaning on it to practice kick stances) was very unique and effective. The toning definitely focused on improving your legs for kicks, your arms for punches, and your lower back (also for kicks). As others point out, there is no abs section, but there were some exercises targeting the lower back (I hurt my back awhile ago and I appreciate lower back work much more than abs - but more on that later). There is a LONG, and IMHO, very nice stretch section that lasts about 15 minutes. Every stretch is held for a nice long time and gives you time to calm down from the aggressive stance you have to adopt for the workout (I have been known to come into the room throwing punches after some kickboxing workouts).

After I did the workout, I read the reviews for this tape. And as much I really enjoyed the workout, I could see where some of the negative reviews were coming from. One criticism was that the workout was not intense enough. The impact and intensity was not ultra-high a la Tae Bo (which I can't stand - sorry), which is one reason I liked it - I never felt I had to sacrifice form for speed. I had just been on the forum and read about a conversation that Keli Roberts and VFer Angela McLean had. Apparently Keli Roberts thought that Energy Sprint was Karen Voight's best tape. 9902 is alot like Energy Sprint - intervals (albeit much more intense), not too complicated choreography, long warmup, long stretches. Another criticism was that there was no ab section on the tape. In the same exchange with Angela McLean, Keli also described a back injury she had and said something to the effect that "though she could crunch until the cows came home, she had no stability through her core", which is what the lower back exercises develop. As one who used to do crunches until the cows came home and recently developed a lower back injury, I totally agree with Keli. So, I actually prefer the lower back work. It's not something that's stressed in a lot of videos and it will help with your kickboxing form.

I liked this workout MUCH better than Tae Bo (haven't done the live tapes). If you like Kathy Smith's Kickboxing and Aerobox videos, or are ready for a step up from Karen Voight's Energy Sprint, you will definitely enjoy this one.

Instructor Comments:
I thought she could NOT have done a finer job cuing or performing the workout. Her enthusiasm fired me up and inspired me to make it through those tough portions of the workout.

Jackie D