CIA 9809: Kickbox Express Workout

Janis Saffell
Year Released: 1998

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

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I recommend this tape for the fun factor and for the fact that you can get a 1 hr 20 min workout. I like working out with this group. I watch Silk and one of the two front women (I don't know their names) for form. I'm in the minority, I know, but I much prefer this tape to Kick-It. I could go ahead and do each of the routines while she's teaching, something I can't do on Kick-It (I don't know why), and I much much prefer the cardio segment before the conditioning.

Instructor Comments:
My idea of a good tape is one I do all the way through, go for an hour or more, and get both cardio and conditioning without having to change tapes. For me, this tape is excellent. The warmup elevates my heartrate nicely, and there is something very exciting about the way we finish stretching and go back to jumping rope. I find I am really energized and ready to rock. For the cardio kickboxing section, approx 44 minutes, after you've done the tape the first time you know what the moves are and you can just do them all the way through instead of waiting for her to build them. And I use alternating front kicks for my holding move while she's teaching the last segment, so I get a very energetic, very kick-y w/o. The jumproping is just long enough for you to wear out and then actually come back to life. I love the conditioning section. I get wonderful shoulder work and leg work, and my heart rate stays elevated. Stretch on your own while they kind tai chi their way through a vague sort of stretch. In fact, this would be a good place to go to Keli's 9902 stretch section which is, I think, the world's best.

Beth Lee Simon


People have said that they learn a lot from negative reviews, so here goes. I did this video twice (actually, I didnít even do the whole thing), and I so disliked it I traded it without even giving it more of a chance.

Just to give you a little background, I consider myself an intermediate/advanced exerciser and do mostly the Firm, Cathe Friedrich, and CIA videos, with some Kari Anderson and Gin Miller thrown in there. For kickboxing videos, I do Tae Bo, which I think is OK but not the greatest, PowerKicks and Kathy Smithís kickboxing tape, both of which I really like.

The main thing I didnít like about CIA 9809 is that I felt like it took forever for Janis to teach the moves and I was stuck doing a lot of basic moves while I watched her. She also did a lot of moves at half tempo, which is a method Iím not crazy about because my heart rate falls. Then once we finally got to do the combination, sheíd only run through it once or twice and never let us do it again. (No taking it from the top, for those of you out there who hate that.) All that work and time for such a small reward! The other big thing for me is that it was that same old music from CIA 9701. Music is a very important part of the workout for me, and I just couldnít get into it.

I didnít even bother doing the jumproping section Ďcause I hate jumproping, or the toning section because I prefer other tapes to CIA tapes for strength work. Basically, I decided life is too short to spend more time trying to like this video.

Mary Truscott


I am not in the "100" club. But consider myself extremely fit (short of being a trained athlete). I crosstrain with many videos including the more advanced Cathe Friedrich videos (for strengh and step aerobics) as well as Aerojump (1/2 hour of solid jumprope) in addition to yoga and running. I am, however, a kickboxing neophyte.

I bought this video in hopes of further crosstraining and because it had a jumprope section. I watched it once, and did the entire video yesterday for the first time. I will simply tell you what I got out of this on my first attempt. If you want a detailed description and breakdown of this video I would advise reading another review as well.

The warm-up was sensational! However, for most people, jumprope is too intense for a warm-up! I am used to jumprope, but felt winded while doing this. I feel that this would better have been used as a second half of a warm-up or the beginning of the aerobic section.

After that section, I was disappointed in the intensity of the kickboxing section. Part of this may be due to the fact that I am still catching on to the routines and that kickboxing is new to me. I would have enjoyed more simple choreography and more plyometric moves, such as jumping jacks and lunges, to increase my intensity. The pure jumprope section was great. Of course I love jump rope. I still have work to do in order to catch on to her side-side cross and jump combination. Unlike the warm-up, if you do not like jumprope, you can simply fast forward through this section. The toning section was interesting. I was not, however, sore the next day. It did not seem strenous enough. Perhaps I am just a stick-in-the-mud. I now know that I do not like Tai-Chi. I felt as if I was doing nothing. What was I suppose to get out of it? With Tai-Chi I did not feel challenged in strength, flexability, balance or coordination. I would rather do advanced yoga . Perhaps if you like relaxing, spiritual moves, or need practice in order to be able to stand on one leg for even two to three seconds, this section will benefit you.

You have to realize that my review reflects my intractable need to complain. I still intend to use this tape at least three or four times a month. This is a relatively advanced (although not the most advanced) tape. It is also diverse, lengthy, and interesting. Of course, it is a CIA tape and meets high quality standards when in comes to correct workout structure and technique. Janis definitely know what she is doing. If you want a grade I'd give it a B+/A-.

Instructor Comments:
Janis definitely has an MTV/ESPN2/Crunch thing going on. I felt like I was watching a fashion show. I know many video instructors change outfits for different sections. With Janis, you notice it. When the toning/cooldown section started there she was in her bright orange top after primary red in the jumprope segment and blue in the kickbox segment. I did not mind this at all. Even at 33 I still like a little "attitude"(I'm sure teenagers roll their eyes at that word). If you do mind this, or the word awesome, be aware! Her cueing and technique are fine, but not exceptional (I'm thinking Cathe here).

Irene Haralabatos


The first time I did this video, I really liked it. I'm not exactly sure why, but after doing this couple of times I can hardly stand it anymore. I think Janis is a decent instructor but she spends so much time breaking down the combinations that my heartrate stays low and I'm tempted to fast forward. I barely broke a sweat until the last combination (which is the hardest). I liked this combo the best but I could hardly make it through the other ones to get there. The jumprope section was very difficult for me (maybe it's lack of coordination) and it's about all I can do to just jump up and down, much less "ski" and "jog." I thought the conditioning section was boring and basically useless. The only other negative comment I have is about the warmup, which starts out immediately with jumping rope--I am an advanced exerciser but I thought about dying while doing the warmup. She says after a minute or so that "you'll feel a little warm." Maybe it's just me, but I was heaving and sweating like a pig. I think the warmup is harder than the rest of this tape! On the plus side, the music is good (anyone who does Cathe will recognize it!) Overall: decent workout but I will probably be putting it on the exchange soon.

Instructor Comments:
I kind of like Janis. She's a little goofy and she seems confused at times as to what she's doing/what leg she should be on, and her cueing could use some work. But she's very down-to-earth and seems friendly.



This is my ALL time favorite video. It took me several tries to finish the whole video without stopping. I like choregraphed kickboxing moves and I love this in comparison to Power Kicks which I have but I don't like it very much. As a matter of fact, I am putting Power Kicks on the exchange in hopes for CIA 9702 with Janis. The only problem you might have with this video is you definately need a large space for it. I use it in the basement where I can roam all over the place. I don't use the jumprope section because I don't have one, I bought this tape purely for the kickboxing and I was NOT disappointed. The only other kickboxing tape I had ever done was Stephanie Steele's which was totally different and Kickbox Express was definately an improvement.

Instructor Comments:
I really like her. She is motivating without being to sugary. She looks very fit and is easy to follow. She's just so cute!! I can't wait for more of her videos to come! She is supposed to be filming a new CIA video this summer!!



The first time I tried this video I was scared. I couldn't get through the whole thing and thought it was too hard for me. But the next day I did it again and things seemed to fall into place. Now it is probably my favorite video. The cardio is great and even continues through the conditioning section. That heartrate doesn't come down until the very end. I would highly recommend this video to anyone who wants to be challenged. I give it an A+!

Instructor Comments:
I like her personality a lot. She gave me motivation during the really tough parts. I felt that she did a nice job with cueing. She is incredibly fit and has great form. i would like to see her in more videos soon.

Anne Quinio


I love Kickbox Express. I like really intense, long workouts and I didn't think this would do it for me, but it does. The kicking at fast punching really gets my heart rate up. The jump rope warm up is really hard on my "cold" calf muscles. I feel better jumping when I have had more stretching for my calves. By the last part of the warm up after the stretches, I do feel quite warm and ready to jump. Those hip flexor stretches really feel great. I love all the combos in the main kickbox/aerobic section of the workout. Like most reviews the middle starts picking up a bit with four kick jumps and jumping jacks with arms going straight up and down over my head, it is hard. I feel after that point I am getting a little winded but her next combos allow for a slight recovery. The last combo with the 4 kicks is great, I just wish I could do it for longer. I would shorten the one before to allow longer time for this. It is overall a lot of fun and good exercise. Sometimes I do the jumprope section without a jumprope( I can't find mine) and it manages to get my heart rate up just fine thank you. I don't do it every time though. Jump rope is great cardio work, but hard on my body. I love the end conditioning section. It is like fast versions of really interesting boxing-toning moves that manage to keep my heart rate up and burn more calories, especially with the 2 lb hand weight. My middle back, shoulders are really sore the next day. I also love all the kicks(front and side) and butt work. I really feel the work in my hamstrings. Overall I love this workout and I do it on days when I desperately don't want to exercise because I know it will always motivate me, keep me going and give me a great workout.

Instructor Comments:
I like Janis, I have her previous CIA tape and I loved her personality and workouts so I bought her latest one. She seems genuine and looks like she is really enjoying herself on the tape (she laughs and smiles alot). It is definately easy to tell she takes her kickbox instructions seriously because she has really excellent form on her punches and kicks. Very inspiring. I would like to see more great workouts with her teaching them.

Robyn A .


It was the best video I've ever done. i am 20 years old, and have been exercising for the past eight years religiously. My goal is to be an exercise physiologist, so I have tried everything. This video is just plain old fabulous and I never get tired of doing it. i have absolutely nothing negative to say about it at all.

Instructor Comments:
Janis is my idol in life. I think she is physically perfect and has a great disposition. She has achieved in life what I hope to be able to accomplish. I consider her a star and would be honored to ever be graced by her presence. i think she helps the world of fitness become fun and challenging and have every fitness tape she has ever made.

Kim wiands


I got 16 minutes into this, and then popped it out of my VCR and put Aaron Lankford's Power Kicks in. I confess, I just don't see the appeal of this video. After 16 minutes, I was bored and ready to quit, not to mention confused. I wasn't even close to my target zone - I still felt like I was warming up. Okay, *maybe* it would have gotten better, but I just wasn't interested in finding out.

Instructor Comments:
Janis could use a little improvement in her teaching/cueing.

Annie S.


I've done this video about five times and really am not too crazy about it. It does come out to be over one hour of cardio, the music is my favorite CIA soundtrack, but it is definitely intermediate. I really like Janis, but she does a bit too much instructing before going into the moves. I've never done kickboxing before this video, but I did pretty good even though I did get off balance at times. I did the jump rope section without the rope, and really felt that part of the workout, especially in the calves. The conditioning section is more cardio and after I finish this video, I have to do abs and upper body work to feel like I worked out. I will do this video occasionally when I want to hear great music and have time for a longer workout.

Instructor Comments:
Likeable instructor, a little too slow in teaching.

maryann parker


This video has already been broken down, so I'll just give my overall opinion. This is my first CIA video, and when we started jumping rope and doing push-ups during the warm-up, I got scared! But I made it through the entire tape the first time, and even felt good enough to do it again the next day. That was a mistake, I was so sore! I usually do The Firm, which are 45-60 minutes long, so I would either get bored or too tired to do the entire 93 minutes, but I was wrong. Time literally flies when I'm doing this workout. The last section, "cardio sculpt" is the toughest, I found the squats unnecessary! Actually, they're not, but by this time I'm a bit winded, and I can really feel the squats! So I'm just whining. Overall, I think this is an excellent video. Definitely worth trying for anyone who wants a kick-*$! cardio workout.

Instructor Comments:
Within the first half hour, you know that Janis likes the word "awesome!" But aside from that, she's wonderful! She's smiling throughout the whole video, and although she makes a few mistakes, I don't look at it as a flaw--I mean, how many mistakes did I make?! This is one of the only non-Firm video instructors that didn't get on my nerves, which is saying a lot



First, let me say that I ordered this tape after doing Tae Bo for a month and a half. I have been doing Kickbox Express for about a month and I know that I am in the minority here, but I am not totally thrilled with this one. There is nothing horribly wrong with the video - it has interesting combos, pretty good music, Janis is friendly, and it is long - but it just doesn't make me want to rant and rave about it. I find it to be good for endurance but it just doesn't give me as intense of a workout as Tae Bo.

She has long combinations which are pretty cool. Janis confuses me when she cues something other than what she does. But if you watch the girls behind her you will be OK during that part. The jump rope section was fun the first couple of times I did the video but now it is boring. The ending cardio sculpting segment is not overly challanging but it is different from the normal workout fare. She does say awesome alot but it hasn't gotten annoying yet.

Basically this is a good workout. It is a good alternative to Tae Bo if you don't want to spend the $60 BUT you won't get as intense of a workout with Kickbox Express.

Cinnamon Conrad


The video has been described in detail already, so I won't describe every part of it. I enjoy this video. I don't mind the choreography that goes with the kickboxing and found it fairly easy to modify for my workout space which is about 8' by 5'. I love variety and having a kickboxing tape that's a little different is okay with me. (have to say I haven't tried tae bo or Power Kicks, yet)

This video has a nice variety of choreographed kickboxing, jump rope and then straight kickboxing drills. The number of background exercisers surprised me, there are probably 7 or 8 and CIA usually has only 2. There are no real form pointers which I would have appreciated even though this is an advanced tape, it never hurts to have form reminders.

There are several remarks about off-cueing, but I didn't really notice. I did notice that sometimes Janis was doing something other than she was cueing, but noticed that the verbal cueing was on and she was off.

She does say awesome enough that even my husband who was in another room commented on it. WHO EDITED THIS TAPE ANYWAY?

Instructor Comments:
Janis seems to be a very strange mix of consummate fitness professional and teeny-bopper. On one hand she puts together an "awesome" (forgive me) workout with interesting choreography, style and variety. On the other she seems to be trying way too hard to be cool. Others have mentioned that she says awesome about 500 times, even during the tai chi cool down, which I found very odd. Her cueing didn't really bother me, although I noticed that at times she wasn't doing the same as she was cueing. Personally, I like Janis and most of her comments don't bother me, although I think even I would have noticed how many times she said awesome, and even AAAAweeeSOME.



I don't have any other kickboxing tape so I can't compare it with Tae Bo or Power Kicks, etc. To me this tape seem more like a combination aerobics/kickboxing tape. At least that's what the first section is like. This suits me just fine because I'm having a lot of fun with the choreography. You do need a lot of space though. Sometimes I have to go diagonally because I run out of room. But I have to do this with a lot of my Hi/Lo tapes so I am used to it. It's good that we do some jump-roping during the warmup. I need to really have warm muscles otherwise I might pull a muscle doing some of those kicks. We also do pushups during the warmup and we do them with only one leg. The other leg rests on top of the supporting leg. This is the first tape that I own where we do pushups that way. I like that since I used to do pushups on my own this way. A person does need to know their punches and kicks because Janis does not break them down. I enjoy the first section more each time I do it because I'm starting to "memorize" the choreography. So now I can put my "all" into the moves. But the four continuous kicks, jumping jacks, jab combination still kills me. It is in the middle of the first section and is the hardest part "aerobically" during the whole tape IMHO.

I haven't done the second section because I don't like jump-roping. The third section is good to practice your kicks and punches. It is also a good conditioning workout. I think I can probably talk my husband into doing this section at least once. There's no complicated choreography to frustrate him. Overall, this tape is a keeper.

Instructor Comments:
She says awesome a lot. But like the others said, I don't even notice when I'm working out because the choreography is so much fun. I don't like the "Spice Girl" ponytails though. I thought she looked much better in Crunch's Brand New Butt but I guess you can't do kickboxing without putting your hair in a ponytail. Janis has a fun personality.

Helen Stephens


After doing this tape several times, I don't think I will ever find another kickboxing tape that I enjoy as much. The tape starts off with a bang-so much of a bang, in fact, that I do a warm-up on my own before I move to the tape's warm up! The warm up, which is about 8 minutes, consists of jumping rope, some runner-type stretches, and full body pushups. Janis points out that we "should be feeling a warming sensation" during this part of the tape. Uh, yeah!

After that, Janis moves into a 44 minute kickboxing session. The moves are very choreographed, and it may take a while to pick them all up. Sometimes, Janis' cueing is a little off, but I find that if I follow either of the female exercisers directly behind Janis, I can stay on the beat.

There are some very intricate combos in this section, although Janis does start off basic and builds the movements in complexity. Some of the combos are a jab, cross, upper, hook series, which she then combines with a leg combo. She also has several really good kick combos, including one with a flying side kick, and the one that always kills me--a series of four jump kicks forward followed by a bunch of jacks and jabs. Very tough! However, my favorite combo on the tape is towards the end. You do a front kick, a roundhouse kick, a side kick, a spin back kick, two jabs, and then a flying front kick. I always feel like Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I do that series, although I am sure I look more like vampire bait. I am tired by the time this part of the tape is over.

But Janis isn't done with you yet! Next is a 14 minute jump rope segment, where Janis chats away while jumping rope in a manner that seems to defy all known laws of physics. I'm still working on this section.

Finally, there's a 16 minute conditioning segment, where you do more jabs, kicks, and a series of plyometric jumps. I find that by this part of the tape, I am begging for mercy and wondering how Janis manages to look so great after over an hour of very intense work.

After all this, you get a Tai Chi cooldown, which I sort of stumble through in a exhausted daze. I then spend at least 10 minutes stretching on my own.

This tape will really challenge you, especially if you use good form and really concentrate on making your kicks and punches as strong as possible. In addition, you will build some serious ab strength, as kickboxing requires a very strong center (back and abs). I would not recomend this tape to someone who is new to kickboxing, because as Janis points out, the tape is advanced and she assumes you already know your kicks and punches. In addition, Janis has the habit of saying "extend all the way" during punches, which you are not supposed to do (and she doesn't do it) I'm guessing she means extend yourself all the way, i.e. give it your best, as opposed to a full arm extension.

This tape was worth every penny, and will continue to challenge me for a long time. If you like kickboxing, and are familar with your kicks and punches, this tape is a wonderful investment.

Instructor Comments:
Janis looks amazing in this video--very cut. In addition, she manages to talk normally while performing a series of four jump kicks alternating with a jack/jab combo. I am in awe. Her favorite word in this video is "awesome," but after doing the tape several times, you don't even notice. One thing that is sort of distracting: the spice girl style pigtails. They took some getting used to.



This is the best kickboxing workout on video, in the world in my opinion! I LOVE this workout and it is this workout that gave me the strength and courage to get help with personal issues in my life. I thank Janis for making such an incredibly awesome (I know Janis loves this word) workout. It starts out with a thorough 9 minute warmup. Janis does jumprope but I jump on my mini trampoline. She then does some really great stretches for the hip flexors and hamstrings. She also adds 2 sets of pushups to really get the blood pumping. The music is brand new from Dynamix on the warmup.

The Kickboxing section starts off with a side punch with a grapevine and a kick and is loads of fun. Janis breaks down the moves slowly so it is easy to catch on. Not that is is easy though. There are some combo's that I'm still working on! Like the shuffle to the side and do a front kick and side kick with a jump and then a fun arm punch pattern which is a single, single punch, upper, upper punch, cross, punch, upper, upper. Does that make sense? She goes very slow and then does it really fast and boy can I tell you my abs have really firmed up with this workout!

Kickboxing really works the abs because with all kicking and punching, your abs really need to stabalize your back. My back was really sore the first few times I did the workout and then as my abs got stronger, my back didn't have to support my weak abs as much. Kickboxing is the way to go if you want some toned, strong abs! I've done mass ab work through crunches and floor work but Kickboxing has done more for my abs then any crunch!

The choreography during the workout is very challenging compared to all the other kickboxing I've tried. I like this workout more then Tae Bo because it's filled with fun combinations. There is some high impact like jacks with a jab and then kicking while you hop forward for 4 counts. This really gets my heartrate up!

The last combination has some dips in it with scissor hops. Then you do a front kick, side kick, round house kick and then turn around and do a hop kick with a punch pattern. It is very complex. It is a little hard to do with carpet but I manage.

I found that when I first did the workout, my heartrate wasn't that high since I was trying to learn the choreography but then when I finally got the choreography down, I really sweated and my heartrate was really high. I just put my whole heart and soul into the workout and was amazed at how I felt. I felt wonderful when I finished. It wasn't a wiped out feeling like I feel at the end of a Cathe Friedrich video but an energized feeling.

This Kickboxing section is 44 minutes. Janis is wearing a bright blue tank and pants and there are 3 men and 3 woman background models wearing black. The girl to Janis' right is a Miami Dolphin cheerleader. She has great form as well on the kicks and punches. The music is the, Step Works/Cathe Friedrich, CIA 9701 step/CIA 9703 slide soundtrack and CIA 8003 step soundtrack with Jennifer Mills. For some reason, I didn't mind the repetative music. I was having too much fun with the choreography.

Next is the jumprope section which is 14 minutes. I just jump on my mini trampoline. The jumproping choreography looks very hard. It's not just jumping but whipping the rope from side to side doing single, single double double and also lot's of foot work with jumping in between. It is just Janis and this really muscle guy named Silk. My daughter asked why he wasn't wearing a shirt and his you know whats were bouncing. Needless to say, he is VERY muscly. The next section is Kickbox Conditioning. It is 26 minutes and has a lot of punching at tempo (upper cuts, jabs, and so on). There is also some plyo hops and lots of front kicks. It is really a great endurance workout! Endurance meaning that you don't use heavy weights but still work the muscle to failure with lots of reps.

Janis brings back the entire group that was in the cardio section but they've changed clothing. The cool down is a Tai Chi cool down with minimal stretching. I like it that it is different from a normal cool down. The music is very relaxing. I didn't like it that as Janis was talking at the end of the cool down, it just cuts her off and they show the credits. I wish they would have let her say goodbye.

Maybe someday, with practice, I will be able be able to do a roundhouse kick like Janis. She kicks so powerful and yet elegantly. Like a Ballerina dancer doing karate. She is also very beautiful which lights up the video and brings a Christmas feeling into your home. Not only does she have an outer beauty but her inner beauty shines throughout the video as well. She if full of smiles and laughter that is completly contagious. I highly recommend this video. It not only will shape up your body but also will give you great inner strength and confidence as well. Thanks Janis! You will never know how much you mean to me and how your workout changed my life!

Instructor Comments:
Janis is one of my favorite CIA instructors. Tall, blonde, gorgeous, perfect body. She leaves me in awe with her perfect form on all her kicks. Her choreography on all kicks and punches is well balanced and a lot of fun! She wears her signature kickboxing gloves during the workout. She says awesome way too much but I don't notice so much after I've done the workout over and over. I just tune it out. Janis has a incredible toned, lean body and looks like Baby Spice with her two pig tails.

Mandy Lee


Janis Saffell wastes no time, right from the beginning you are jumping rope and there is even a push up section and this is just the warm up. The first section is a choreographed kickboxing section, which I really like. I think Janis did a good job designing the choreography for this section, it flows together well and I feel tough when I'm doing all those kicks, punches, and upper cuts. Boy are my arms tired when I use handweights. I like how she doesn't waste time breaking down the kickboxing moves, she tells you this is an advanced workout and that you should know your kicks and punches.

The next section is a 15 minute jump rope section, I am probably an intermediate jumper because I think I'm jumping higher that I'm supposed to (you are only supposed to jump high enough to just clear the rope) and I can't do the crossover-jump through the rope-crossover move, but I'm not giving up, I plan to practice this routine on its own until I master it. The last section is the kickbox conditioning section which includes plie squats while punching, dips, etc. and then a Tai Chi stretch. I also discovered that I really like Tai Chi, maybe better than yoga, so the next tape I'll be buying is a Tai Chi tape. One thing I love about all of these kickboxing tapes is that I'm always sore the day after. It must be hitting some neglected muscles or something. Another of my favorite CIA's.

Instructor Comments:
Another CIA instructor that I really like. Janis cues well and has a great personality. She looks as if she's having alot of fun and when the instructor is having fun, somehow it always radiates back to me and then I'm having fun as well. The only thing I can fault her for is that she says "awesome" about a thousand times. I'd like to try her 9702 video.

Wendy M