Amy Bento
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

I’m reviewing this workout after doing it 3, maybe 4, times.

General workout breakdown: This DVD has 79 min. of workouts combining kickboxing and American boxing, with some Wing Chun (a style of Chinese boxing) added in, followed by flexibility training. One workout consists of simple fight-style combos (although, as Amy points out, this whole workout is about the “fitness fight” rather than actually training you for self-defense) followed by a few quick upper body drills while the other uses a heavy bag for a few more combos and some more upper bodydrills. The stretch portion focuses more on dynamic moves and repetitions rather than long holds; also, light weights can be used to encourage further opening.

Main workout (~48+ min.)
- Warm-up (8 min.) begins in bob & weave, then a bob & weave w/ torso rotation & twist, with shake and (jump) rope in between; you’ll next work through jabs, crosses, hooks, and upper cuts, then follow a similar pattern with front, side, roundhouse, and back kicks. After a few more rounds of rope, you’ll do some dynamic stretches for the lower and upper back, then some static standing stretches for the hips. [While I like this style of warm-up for kickboxing workouts, running through the basic punches and kicks, I wouldn’t have minded a little more prep for the lower body, like a round of chambers, before jumping into the kicks.]
- Combo 1 (5.5 min.): jab – cross – hook & set, grab – throw – 2 low kicks. In all four combos (with one exception in Combo 4), Amy introduces the first half of the combo, runs through it 8 times, introduces the second half and runs through it 8 times, then puts both halves together for 8 run-throughs; she’ll then repeat that on the other side. You’ll then do the combo on both sides, usually doing 4-8 run-throughs on one side before switching to the other.
- Combo 2 (6 min.): alternating elbow strikes – knee smash & set, roundhouse kick – upper cuts – soft block
- Combined 1 & 2 (1.5 min.)
- Combo 3 (4 min.): jab – cross – jab – jump switch – roundhouse, shin block – 3 alternating back kicks
- Combo 4 (3.75 min.): alternating jabs – alternating hooks – front kick, high block – jump – jump (front) kick [Note: Amy forgets to run through the full combo on the second side, which is unfortunate.]
- Combined 3 & 4 (2.75 min.)
- Quick Upper Drills (3 min.): roll (think low speed bag done about chest height) & hook; jab – cross – jab, cross – jab – cross, knee smashes
- Cool Down (4 min.): This is where you’ll see the Chinese boxing. You’ll stomp & punch, then stomp w/ knife hands & switch punch. The cool-down ends with rolling shoulders, rounding the upper back, clasping your hands behind your back for a chest stretch, side bending to stretch your side wall, grabbing your foot for a quadriceps stretch, and inhaling & letting go plus some gathering of chi.

Heavy bag bonus (~21.5 min.)
- Bag Combo 1 (6.5 min.): jabs, crosses, alternating knee smashes, roundhouse kicks. In both bag combos Amy runs through
- Bag Combo 2 (11.5 min.): 3 moving jabs & cross, alternating hooks, hook kicks (substitution: side kicks)
- Quick Upper Drills (3.5 min.): double jab & upper cross; rapid fire jab & cross; alternating back knife hand / chop [I think Amy had called this a “whack” in Kickbox Xtreme]

Stretch (14.5 min.)
This segment begins standing for scooping & pushing out air. Move to seated with legs bent in a diamond shape, roll back onto the back, and then bend forward w/ legs extended out to the side; following that series comes one with a similar starting position, only this time reach arms up as legs go out. Put the weights down for a spinal twist w/ legs in a zig zag position, then roll over to extend the top leg up into a stretch; then comes a more upper body-focused reach up & over w/ legs in zig zag. Pick up the weights again for alternating side bends w/ legs extended; next roll onto back & extend the legs out. Drop the weights to do a seated forward bend & rolling back up. End seated with relaxing breath, releasing the shoulders, then come back to standing for a sort of chi-gathering / bow.

Level: I’d recommend this to intermediate through intermediate plus exercisers comfortable with at least basic kickboxing or other martial arts. Intermediate / advanced through maybe low advanced exercisers can add lightly weighted gloves and of course the weighted bag to kick up the intensity. While more advanced exercisers might be disappointed with this one, those who would like to try Amy but are unsure if they can handle her normal level of intensity may find this one perfectly suited for them.
I consider myself an int./adv. exerciser, although I’m probably more of an int. + when it comes to kickboxing because I have no martial arts training, I’ve done kickboxing almost exclusively at home with videos, and I don’t do kickboxing regularly (I tend to revisit this style for a month or two a few times a year). I wore my weighted gloves for the entire thing and got a decent and very doable cardio session in by focusing on form and power, but even then this still feels a notch lower in intensity than Amy’s other kickboxing workouts. I’d call it moderately challenging at best rather than challenging. That said, I prefer kickboxing routines that offer intensity through focus on technique (e.g. Powerstrikes) over those that throw punches and kicks while jumping around, and this one is definitely in the former camp.

Class: 1 woman (Toni) joins Amy for all portions but the stretch, where she is joined by 1 man (Calasanz, her master trainer); Amy instructs live in all parts. Toni provides the lower impact modifications (although there aren’t many high impact moves, frankly) and, in the heavy bag section, non-equipment variations; she does not, however, take out the few quick pivots and turns that are included. As many have noted, Toni’s punches and kicks lack some oomph; in the early stages of pregnancy at the time of filming, she obviously is lacking her normal level of energy and is trying to make it through filming on sheer determination alone. (Apparently another person was originally scheduled to join Amy and Toni, and the camera angles seem to support that.)

Music: upbeat, mostly instrumental, with a strong beat. I’ve heard much of this soundtrack before.
Just as an FYI, the back cover says the bpm is 130.
Amy’s voice is audible over the music, which is also audible without having to turn the volume way up.

Set: Calasanz’s dojo. The interior space, with white walls and wooden items, comes off as darker than what we’re used to from most staged sets, but it doesn’t bother me as “dark” (although I don’t think Leslie’s “bat cave” set is remarkably dark either, honestly). The setting adds an authentic touch to the workout at the same time that it, for me at least, seems to change the timber to a slightly more serious one compared to Amy’s kickboxing workouts filmed on the CIA set.

Production: clear picture and sound. The steady camera angles primarily show both exercisers in full and if anything err on the side of not giving close-ups.

Equipment: Maybe sneakers and, if you’re used to working with them, weighted gloves. Amy uses one of those Everlast standing bags for the heavy bag section, but if you don’t have a bag strapping on weighted gloves makes a sufficient alternative. And for the stretch you might want a mat (depending upon your flooring) and a pair of light dumbbells (Amy uses 3 lbs., Calasanz uses 5 lbs.).

Space Requirements: You should be able to take a step and kick to the front, back, and sides; if you’re tight on side-to-side space it’s easy enough to reorient yourself to do the side kicks. You may need a little more space if you’re working with the bag to do the workout as shown, but if you’re tight on space and not working with the bag you can make it work in the same area you use for the main workout. This is definitely Amy’s most compact kickboxing workout; in fact, I’m willing to bet it’s her most compact cardio workout period.

DVD Notes: After a quick NRG fitness intro, the main menu options are Introduction, Rumble, Chapters, NRG Mixes (Quick NRG, 42:49; Combined NRG, 46:50; and Ultimate NRG, 1:10:18; descriptions of which chapters are included in each premix are found on this page), and Credits.
Note that the very first batch of Rumble DVDs have a glitch that would not allow you to select the Stretch from the Chapter menu; some have found that the next batch, which corrected this, has a short moment of pixilation or even freezing at one point during the workout that quickly resolves itself.

Comments: This is a good workout to use if you’re trying to get used to weighted gloves, as you can use them for a combo at a time until you’ve built up to the whole workout. The tempo is also slow and controlled enough that you can focus on executing punches cleanly without having to worry about keeping up with this strange weight on your hands.

This workout has gotten very mixed reviews. People used to Amy’s usual level of intensity – and in some cases also creativity – were disappointed by this one, while some of those who normally find those things too much were more pleased with it. I like it, but I don’t find myself reaching for it all that often; it kind of gets lost in the shuffle on my shelves. I’d like to see Amy make a Rumble 2 in the future, especially if she makes sure she doesn’t miss a whole set of run-throughs on one side and bumps up at least the energy a small notch; I also hope the next production escapes the Murphy’s Law moments.

If you find the more recent Powerstrikes - that is, 4 & 5 with just Ilaria - a nice amount of challenge, you’ll most likely find Rumble about your speed, too. But if you find them “too easy,” you’ll undoubtedly think the same of Rumble. If you found Cathe’s MMA series so not advanced, you’ll probably scoff at the use of “advanced” to describe Rumble as well. But if you found much to like about the MMAs, especially Kickboxing and Boxing, you may like this one also.
The only other time I’ve seen a hook kick (in my perhaps somewhat limited experience of kickboxing videos) has been in Janis Saffell’s offerings. With Janis seeming to have disappeared from making kickboxing videos (something I hope is temporary), Amy seems to be picking up where she left off on choreographed kickboxing workouts, even if Amy’s workouts are usually even more choreographed with less breakdown, although Rumble is an exception to that.

Instructor Comments:
Amy is decently clear with her instruction here and gives out quite a few form tips and reminders. She gives out a fair amount of directional cues, both verbal and visual, mirror cuing when she does so. Here she has clearly consulted with Calasanz, as her choreography and form (for the most part) are closer to martial arts than fitness kickboxing than in her previous offerings. As always Amy’s upbeat personality is a plus, but here she’s not quite as quick to crack jokes, perhaps inspired by the setting and style of workout.