All Cardio Hi-Low Knockout

Amy Bento
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Abs/Core , Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts , Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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Note: The full title of this workout is CIA 2805: All Cardio Hi-Low Knockout.

I’m reviewing this workout after doing it 2-3 times.

General workout breakdown: Lindsey has already provided a nice overview, so I’ll provide times and flesh out a few details.

Total running time = ~85 min.
Warm-up (8.5 min.) Here you’ll do a basic combo on both sides, with a fair number of repetitions (4.5 min.), before doing a series of dynamic and static stretches, primarily for the lower body (4 min.).
Combo One (11 min.)
Knockout One (3 min.) = chop & (jump) front kick; in between move = double crosses
Combo Two (7.75 min.)
Knockout Two (2.25 min.) = down, thrust, jack on the floor, jump back to standing, standing mountain climber (i.e. alternating lunges), (alternating 1-arm) speed bag; in between move = speed bag
Before moving on you’ll do one run-through of Combo One on both sides, Knockout One, Combo Two on both sides, and Knockout Two (4 min.).
Combo Three (8.25 min.)
Knockout Three (3.5 min.) = rainbow, side kick, double front knee smash, double front kick; in between move = “break it down” (aka quick feet, tire / football run, etc.)
Combo Four (9.75 min.)
Knockout Four (4.75 min.) = shuffle to the side – touch down – knee smash – back kick – crescent kick, upper cut – slip – double jab
To finish this off you’ll do one run-through of Combo Three on both sides, Knockout Three, Combo Four on both sides, and Knockout Four (5 min.).
Cool-Down (2 min.) You’ll start in bob & weave, then breathe while keeping the feet going. You’ll then do a simple combo of very basic hi/lo steps before ending with a quick stretch for the back.
Abdominals (9.5 min.) Beginning standing, you’ll circle one dumbbell in front of your body, then lean on one leg. Coming down to the floor, you’ll do a modified partial Turkish get-up, coming up onto a side plank on your elbow. This segment ends on your back. You’ll start with bent legs off the floor, reaching the dumbbells to your hamstrings; next comes a series where your feet rest on the floor while you rise up to seated, then you bring the dumbbells overhead while your legs come up for a reach out & tuck in; and in the final series you combine both sets of movements.
Stretch (6.75 min.) While seated you’ll alternate rounding the upper back & expanding the chest, do a front plank, and 1-legged seated forward bend w/ rotating over the leg. You’ll roll onto your back for some knee to the chest moves that get into the inner groins, both knees to chest to release the low back, and spinal twist with bent knees. You’ll come onto all fours to round and release the spine, then sit back into a shell stretch (aka child’s or embryo), before moving up to a quick reach forward while kneeling and a mini camel, ending seated with a few more breaths. I found myself needing to add a stretch onto the stretch, as my calves, hip flexors / quadriceps, outer hips / glutes, and shoulders needed some more attention.

Just adding on to what Lindsey wrote, Amy’s choreography also draws from very basic dance-inspired hi/lo, with mambos, chasses, and pivots, but has much more of an athletic feel, especially with all of the lunges, squats, and ski jumps. The pace here is fast but not lightning speed, and there isn’t a lot of downtime, although you’ll get a (what was for me a much needed) breather before and after most of the knockouts. Amy tries to do things evenly on both sides, but sometimes it feels like the second side might get one or two less run-throughs.

Level: I’d recommend this to low to mid-advanced exercisers, as I agree with Lindsey that this is non-stop high intensity. Int./adv. exercisers comfortable with basic kickboxing and moderately complex hi/lo should be fine, too, but you’ll have to be creative in taking out impact and/or pivots and quick turns if a lot of that bothers your body.
I consider myself an int./adv. exerciser, and I found this one quite the challenge to my cardiovascular system – doable, but definitely challenging! I love choreography and am at least an intermediate plus in kickboxing; with that background plus my recent revisit of Amy Bento’s cardio videos I find this one pretty easy to pick up, but I can’t promise my results there will be typical.

Class: 2 women (Angela and Uchenna) join Amy, who instructs live. Uchenna takes out one pivot and pumps up and down instead of doing jumping jacks; that’s basically it for modifications. (During Knockout Two Amy says to watch Uchenna for a modification, but the only thing she seems to be doing differently is maybe not going as low in the lunge, er, mountain climber, which could just be due to her range of motion.) Given the amount of impact and even the decent amount of pivots and quick turns included in this workout as shown these two suggestions are insufficient; one would prefer that Amy either make a real effort to offer modifications, as she does in many of her other workouts, or leave them out altogether than make such a token gesture. (And, no, not having many moves that are modifiable / easily substituted for isn’t really the issue here, although, yes, it would take some effort to come up with ideas that offer similar intensity without the impact or torque.)

Music: upbeat remixes of top 40 hits (I could recognize a Kelly Clarkson song and I think a Madonna tune - don’t ask me what they’re called, though - and Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way”; for what it’s worth, several of the tunes feature male vocalists). Amy matches moves to the music well, even to the point where the song that plays during the warm-up says something about warming up, which she points out.
One thing to note: the music is loud in relation to Amy’s voice, and those who find it distracting to have loud vocals while trying to listen to an instructor may have trouble distinguishing Amy’s cues from the music.

Set: the 2008 CIA set with the purple-gray walls with an orange stripe, “windows” in front of the so-called blue barn doors, and black patio furniture off to the back. It’s a bit of an odd set with its color palette and everything going on.

Production: clear picture and sound, mostly helpful camera angles (there are a few quick shots from the side or overhead that almost tripped me up). It’s what you’d expect from the CIA, except for maybe the sighting or two of the one camera (although this seems to be par for the course in the more recent series).

Equipment: supportive sneakers (and jog bra, if applicable). For the core segment you’ll want light dumbbells (5-8 lbs. are used) and maybe a mat; you may also want the mat for the stretch (depending upon your flooring).

Space Requirements: Ideally you’d have some space, like enough to take a big step and kick front and back as well as take a few steps to each side and kick. I had to shorten up the traveling and change the directions in a few spots but managed to make it fit in my space, which is currently a little bit smaller than usual; most likely I wouldn’t have to do that if I had my room fully at my disposal.

DVD Notes: After the CIA intro (which by now is so dated it’s cheese-tastic), your main menu options are Warm-up to Workout, Stretch to Workout, Workout Sections (for some odd reason the warm-up is not included here), Pre-Mixes (Combo Mix, 64:14 min.; Knockout Mix, 44:02 min.; Quick Knockout Mix 1, 55:31 min.; Quick Knockout Mix 2, 56:56 min.; as usual, the chapters included in each premix are listed – I think this should be standard on all premixes; there’s less mixing and matching here than in some of Amy’s other workouts, with the two quick knockout mixes simply being one half of the workout or the other), Bio & Description, and Contact & Credits. A nitpicky thing: when you’re making a selection on the menu you have to make sure the purple circle in front of your choice is one that’s ever so slightly bigger; this could be clearer – like having it turn to yellow then instead of once you press it.

Instructor Comments:
Amy cues pretty well here, actually. As always she still cues ahead of the move and introduces a chunk of moves at a time (she doesn’t do a lot of layering; what you see the first time through is pretty much what you’ll get for the rest of the run-throughs), but I feel like she’s more forthcoming and descriptive with her cues here than she has been in previous efforts, which helps reduce that learning curve a little. I wouldn’t say that she cues and talks so much I’ll find her instruction tedious after many more run-throughs, though. She does include directional cues, mirror cuing for her verbal ones, but she also does a lot of pointing instead of simply saying “right” or “left.”
As always, Amy brings a good amount of energy to this one, and her fun personality adds a little extra spark, too. She’s very comfortable in front of the camera, and the camera is very comfortable working with her.



This is an 85 min (with multiple shorter premixes and its very well chaptered) hi lo and kickboxing w/o led by Amy Bento with 2 background exercisers. The set is bright and open. You will need one set of lighter dumbbells for the ab section. I usually dont notice the music unless its really good-and this is! Very upbeat, recent songs that I recognized-made me want to get & keep moving!

The dvd has some (I think 3) hi lo "combos" The cardio is nonstop heartpumping and will keep you moving! The choreo is more advanced than I usually go for but its not truely advanced choreo. Amy combines some classic floor aerobics (grapevine, repeater knees, kick ball change) into unique combinations. Her cueing is very good or I wouldnt have been able to follow (I am choreo challenged as many of you know). She teaches you a move and then builds on it. Then you go through the entire combo a few times. Its not repetitive or boring because you have to pay attention to the moves to get them right. I did combo one twice and had it down 100% by the 2nd go through.

There are 4 kickboxing "knock-out" segments. These are shorter than the cardio combos but also more intense! These kickboxing combos are not as choreographed as the cardio segments -I followed along very well. She combines classic kickboxing moves (cross punch, side kick, front kick, speed bag) with some tough cardio (squat thrust variation, fast feet, jump rope, plyo jumps) to really get your heart rate up without a ton of impact.

The ab section is awesome! First you do some standing ab & oblique work with a dumbell. Then you go down to the floor for a Turkish get up variation (with a dumbbell), and some weighted crunch varations.

This dvd is really a few different workouts because of the premixes included. You can do all "combos," you can do all "knock outs," or a combination of both. I did combo 1 twice, drills 1-3, and then the weighted core segment for a 50 min sweatfest! I really enjoyed this workout and will definatly use it again. There really are so many options of how you can use it.

Because of the choreo and the nonstop high intensity I will go ahead and say this is an advanced workout. It was definately intense and a real calorie burner but I dont think I went anarobic. If you are good at moderate choreo and like kickboxing and/or cardio I would say this is the workout for you! Its got 85 minutes of footage on it! Quite a bargain IMO!