Shock Cardio MMA Kickbox

Cathe Friedrich
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Abs/Core , Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

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I was pretty disappointed in this workout. I was looking for a KPC-kick-me-in-the-@$$ intensity that just wasn't there with this one. It was also pretty short, so all in all I just didn't feel like I burned a whole lot of calories with this one. I love the bright, airy set and was happy to see the two guys back from Boot Camp.



I was very disappointed in this workout, having expected something much more intense. I'm an advanced exerciser and expected so much more from Cathe. The description on the back of this DVD: "MMA: Kickbox is a 53-minute high intensity workout that wil blast fat, build stamina, increase flexibility and muscle endurance." For me, this workout did none of those things.

I would rate this workout as a very low intermediate, or even an advanced beginner. To try and make this workout more intense, I used1 1/2 pound weighted gloves and did jumping jacks while Cathe was shuffling side to side. My heart rate didn't even get into the low end of my aerobic zone!

What I liked about this workout:

--Mark, one of the background exercisers, made some funny faces during the routine. He looks as though he's really trying hard not to mess up and it's cute to watch.

--the core exercises at the end. They are a nice switch from endless crunches or planks. They had more of a pilates feel to them.

What was neutral for me:

--the music. It wasn't annoying nor was it particularly motivating. It was just in the background so I didn't really notice it.

What I didn't like:
(Please note that my comments are from the perspective of an advanced exerciser. Most of these issues could be considered good points for a beginner or intermediate exerciser).

--the LONG warm-up. I don't think a 10 minute warm-up is needed for a 30 minute low intensity workout.

--the LONG pauses between each punching drill. Cathe kept saying somethig to the effect of , "wow, I'm sure you're tired from that last drill, so let's just shuffle a bit." I did jumping jacks to try and keep my heart rate up, but even that didn't work for me.

--the lack of cool down. For the low intensity of this workout, a cool down wasn't really needed. But, for an beginner or intermediate exerciser, I think a cool down is warranted. She could have cut 2 minutes from the warmup and used this time for a cool down.

--one of the core moves really tweaked my back. You do a bridge pose and then bring your fist up and over your body to rest it on the other side. Cathe does encourage you to do the prior move if something doesn't feel right, so that's what I did.

I was disappointed that this workout didn't meet my expectations. I would have been more forgiving if Cathe had billed the STS Shock Cardio series as workouts of varying intensity.

I'll use this workout as an easy cardio warm-up before weight work, or as a second workout of a day. So, I don't feel like I've wasted my money. I'm glad that I purchased this at the pre-sale price though.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe is rather subdued. The energy just wasn't there, both because of Cathe's attitude and the music.

I thought Cathe's cuing was okay. I pick up routines pretty easily, plus I'm used to Cathe's moves, so I don't notice if she doesn't cue as well as she used to.

Nancy Loderick


Iím reviewing this workout after doing it once.

General workout breakdown: Lisa has already described this fitness video well, so Iíll just give some breakdowns.

Total workout time = 51.5 min.
Warm up (almost 10 min.): side to side, jab, corner jab, hook, upper cut, leg out w/ arms back, insole, knee crush, marching, front kick, side kick, back kick, jump rope (several variations), tap side to side w/ arms in guard, roundhouse chamber, roundhouse kick, arm circles, plie (sumo) squat, elbow strike in plie / sumo squat, single high kick, lunge & squat
Combo #1 (10 min.): jab - cross - slip - upper - double jab - temple smash (careful with this if youíre well endowed in the chest) - knee smash - crescent knee - side kick
Drill #1 (2.5 min.): chamber kicks (front knee & side knee)
Combo #2 (7 min.): double jab - cross - jab - upper cut - hook - shin block - front kick - back kick - roundhouse
Drill #2 (1.5 min.): firing leg out (fast roundhouse-type move)
Combo #3 (3.5 min.): jab - cross - elbow strike - rear knee - front knee - double round house turn - rock back - step knee - set
Drill #3 (1.5 min.): explosive knee clenches
Core Conditioning (9.5 min.): weighted reach slides, chest fly crunches, supine leg raises, elbow strike crunches, upward elbow strike with bridge, bike maneuver into core crunch, and push up - touching toe in plank (or elbow to opposite knee). Cathe includes some brief hip flexor stretches.
Stretch (6.5 min.): on hands and knees to release the spine in cat and cow, childís pose with arm underneath to streatch shoulder, forward bend while seated cross legged to stretch hips / glutes, seated chest expansion, side bend over one leg out to stretch hamstrings and obliques, forward bend over one extended leg to stretch hamstrings and low back, side-lying hip flexor stretch, and a final breath while seated.

Cathe builds up the combos in stages, usually in 2-3 parts, before running throught the whole combo 8x. The breakdown is done evenly on both sides. There are short pauses in between the stages, between sides, and between the combos and drills; these are usually filled with shifting / shuffles side to side or jump rope.

Level: Iíd recommend this to intermediate through maybe low advanced exercisers with previous kickboxing or similar martial arts experience. Cathe is clear that she assumes you already know what youíre doing, and she includes no form instruction plus few form tips and reminders.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced exerciser, with some experience in fitness kickboxing, although Iím no martial artist. (If caught on camera Iíd look more like Mark and Robert, sadly.) I find Amy Bentoís offerings and KPC doable challenges and Chalene Johnsonís Turbo Jam, Ilaria Montagnani and Patricia Morenoís Powerstrikes (the DVD ones), Kelly Coffey-Meyer, Kimberly Spreen, and Janis Saffellís offerings appropriate for my level of fitness. I found this similar to the latter group: enough to get my heartrate into that so-called cardio training zone but not in danger of wiping me out.

Class: Lorraine, Mark, and Robert join Cathe.

Music: courtesy of DJ BK Howe, itís upbeat, mostly instrumental stuff with a strong beat. Itís all right; it could be better, but it could be worse.

Set: bright interior studio with ďwindowsĒ featuring views of NYC rooftops and Cathe-labeled racks of dumbbells and other equipment neatly placed around the outside walls.

Production: clear picture and sound, with Catheís voice clearly audible over the music. Greg Twombly is the producer, so the camera angles are what youíve come to expect from his work and are mostly helpful rather than distracting.

Equipment: a pair of light dumbbells (Cathe and crew use 5 lbs.) and a mat for the core conditioning. To make the combos more challenging, people experienced with using weighted gloves can add up to 1.5-2 lbs. on each hand.

Space Requirements: If you have enough room to step and kick to the front, back, and each side, you have enough room for this. Itís compact as kickboxing workouts go.

DVD Notes: The main menu options are Introduction, Play, Chapters (identical to the divisions I listed in the breakdown), and Credits.

Comments: I seem to be in the minority in that a) I like this workout and b) I find it decently intense (see my comments under ďLevelĒ above). Itís not my favorite kickboxing workout, but Iím glad to have it at the preorder price (Iíd be hesitant to pay the full retail price, especially since I probably wonít use the abs portion much and am thus looking at only 42 min. of workout) and anticipate using it. In fact, Iím not sure itís my favorite Cathe kickboxing workout, which is KPC (Kick, Punch & Crunch). That said, MMA Kickbox resembles the kickboxing portion of Kick Max more (my favorite part of that DVD, actually), although less pivot-heavy and choreographed in feel, and isnít that different from the kickboxing on 4 Day split (which Iíve only done once, so I canít give a good comparison right now).

I would agree that of the STS Shock Cardios this is one of the easiest, if not the easiest, in the set.

Iíd have to do MMA Boxing and Kickbox both a few more times to determine which I find easier / harder and which I like more, but right now theyíre about the same for me. I found Boxingís combos less intense than Kickboxís while its drills were more intense than Kickboxís for me. In fact, my average heart rate for the two workouts was identical, but Kickbox was more of a steady state (especially since I resorted to bounces more than outright hops during the drills) while Boxing was more rolling intervals. MMA Fusion was the most challenging of the three, not just by design but for my capabilities, and again Iím going to buck trends by saying that was my least favorite of the MMAs.

Itís easy to keep this one low impact; just take out Catheís hops during the drills. (In fact, I kind of like it better without the hops.) There is one pivoting motion during the third combo, and you might have to get creative to take it out if you cannot pivot on your surface or if your knees donít like torque at all.

Instructor Comments:
Cathe cues decently. Note that she often cues on the move change in the warm-up and there arenít a lot of directional cues given. Cathe begins with some energy and finds it again during the core segment, but in the middle of combo #2 she struck me as slightly fatigued (more mentally than physically so), forgetting to do the one hook. (Iím wondering if maybe Kickbox was filmed after the others.) Sheís on the more serious side here, perhaps just her ďgame faceĒ for these MMA workouts.



I am reviewing this workout after trying it one time.

For reference, I am not much of a kickbox fan. I probably do a kickboxing workout, once or twice a year (usually, Kick, Punch & Crunch.) I didn't care if I really liked the MMA workouts or not.

I did like the Kickbox workout. I'm not that picky though, so I don't know how kickboxing fans will like this. I can see how those that were mostly looking forward to the MMA series might be disappointed that these are shorter and not super intense. It seems like Cathe made an effort to include a variety of intensities, and made the MMA workouts more moderate. So if you have all the Shock Cardio that's fine, but if you only really wanted MMA, it could be disappointing.

The warm-up on this one is good and very straight-forward - just punching and kicking (no hi-lo stuff), which I liked. There are 3 combos with 3 short drills. (This seems to be the format all the MMA workouts.) The drills are pretty short, just one move (kick or knee up) repeated for a while on each side.

There is no impact in this one. She does do that bouncy-jumping on one foot thing when she is doing the kicking drills, but it is not necessary. You can just keep your foot still or go up on your toes. (That is what I did because my legs were tired from doing Circuit Blast the day before.)

I liked the combos. There were two things I haven't seen before (but again, I don't kickbox much.) One was a head crunch thing that I liked, and then she had a turning move in the 3rd combo that was really kind of fun, once I got it. The cardio with the warm-up was only 35 minutes.

I found the intensity to be pretty moderate. It felt similar to me to KPC and other kickboxing I've done. However, since it was short, it sort of felt easier, just because when you finally start to feel it, it is over.

The core section was really nice actually. Every single move was different and new. Maybe not completely "new", but each at least had a new twist to it, so I really enjoyed it, and thought some of it was pretty challenging.

As I said, I can see why some would be disappointed with this one, but since I'm not a huge kickboxing fan, and just like it in short spurts - I'm pretty happy with this.

Lisa C