CIA 2505: Kickbox Boot CampKimberly Spreen
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
Just as a side note, on the DVD I have the title is Kick Box Boot Camp! (yes, with the space between kick and box and the exclamation point).
I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once.
This has already been broken down well, so I’ll just add a few thoughts about my experience with this video.
I used my 15 lb. body bar, which was fine, if maybe a little light, for legs and back but too heavy for me for shoulders. I also used 3 lb. dumbbells, and that was good. (I don’t have a lighter body bar, or I would have used it, and I don’t even have a broom or mop handle or dowel hanging around.) 2-5 lbs. is truly best for the one pair of dumbbells you’ll use, unless you have strong, healthy shoulders and are used to punching with weights, at which point you could go up to maybe 8 lbs. If like me you go heavier than maybe advisable, at least the first few times through, I’d recommend not doing this in conjunction with other activities stressful on the shoulders, though; doing this after ShovelMax can make for cranky shoulder joints.
I used my full-sized club step with 1 set of risers, which is what Kimberly and crew use. I agree that you don’t really need a full-sized or even the home-sized step and could use the equivalent of a Fanny Lifter or high step for this, especially if you don’t have tons of room in your workout space.
Kimberly and company arrange their step vertically. You’ll need just enough space in front of your step to place the body bar and dumbbells, but you’ll need enough space behind it to come into a plank. You’ll need quite a bit of space to each side to lunge onto the step, although if you are starting to feel the space squeeze you can stay on the same side for that series. You’ll probably want to be able to hop onto your step from both sides, but if you’re really tight on room you could probably find a way to do that also all on one side, flipping to the back instead of shuffling behind the step.
I’d consider this an intermediate / advanced workout. Experienced intermediates can find ways to make this appropriate for them as needed, while those crossing over into low advanced will find this adequately challenging, assuming they’re not looking for a killer workout. Because Kimberly doesn’t do tons of reps but moves at a fast pace (sometimes too fast for my tastes), it’s hard to go very heavy and really sink your teeth into form (which is what I like to do to increase intensity), so I could see an upper limit of how hard I could make this. I consider myself an int./adv., and I felt this was at the right level for me to feel worked out without feeling wiped out.
Kimberly several times describes this as a cross-training video, and I think that’s a good way to categorize it. Not only would it be a nice one to throw into a kickboxing rotation (maybe in place of the sculpting videos in the Turbo Jam or Turbo Kick series), but it also makes a nice change from your typical gym-style home video (meaning the ones that go through the body parts systematically). If you do this regularly, however, I’d make sure that you felt you had worked your back, especially the rear delts, sufficiently as Kimberly ends up spending a lot of time working the front delts (somewhat unintentionally, I think, as the body bar limits her choice of exercises).
There are reasons why I should like this video: First, I’ve always liked Kimberly as an instructor; she has a “girl next door who teaches at the local gym” quality which appeals to me. Second, I much prefer to train movements (a la The New Rules of Lifting, kettlebells, and preparatory Olympic lift work) over muscles, and the exercises here fall more into the former category over the latter. Third, I like kickboxing, and I’m one of those who, if forced to choose, would rather punch more than kick more, although even I missed having some kicks in here. Fourth, I like warm-ups with dynamic stretches and related movements to get the blood flowing and get the body comfortable with the range of motion, even if I felt this warm-up could have had a little more variety for the lower body and core. Fifth, I like total body weights workouts that keep my heartrate up. My current goals revolve around weight loss and control, and I find these types of workouts work best for me in working toward those goals. Sixth, I’m not the biggest fan of really high rep stuff - I can certainly use endurance training, as endurance does not come easily to me, but I prefer not to have to do 72 reps – and the rep count here seems perfectly reasonable to me. Seventh, I like that Kimberly trains some explosiveness and power here with some (gentle) plyos and that she includes some balance training.
And yet there are reasons why this didn’t click with me. I’m not the biggest fan of cardio and weights circuits, although this isn’t quite as clearly structured as such. And while we’re on the subject of picky personal preferences, I also prefer to work my lower body with more weight; really only the lunge series onto the step is done with any significant weight, assuming you’re using a weighted body bar. Now, that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel anything in my lower body the next day, just that I was left feeling I needed more for it. More importantly is that my body walked away not entirely convinced this was as good for it as Kimberly claimed. Some of the exercises in the second part of the video didn’t feel entirely comfortable to me. Push-ups and plank jacks with hands on a body bar plopped on top of a step made me nervous, as I could just see the bar rolling out and me flat on my face if I lost focus for a millisecond. Lying prone on the step and raising one’s legs behind was hard on my lower back, which is extra sensitive these days for several reasons. I already mentioned the shoulder achiness, although that wasn’t entirely Kimberly’s fault since I was the one who didn’t have a lighter body bar and who decided to do this on a snow day. Also, as much as like Kimberly, I wanted her to be more direct with her cuing and encouragement here; I don’t like people shouting and demanding things at me (“Don’t be a quitter and wimp out on me; give me one more NOW!”), but Kimberly was almost too polite (“Could I ask you to give me one more?”). Just tell me to do one more!
This kind of sort of reminded me of Tracie Long’s Longevity and Focus series, particularly Longevity’s Staying Power and Focus’ KickBack, which both incorporate kickboxing moves, including some where you hold weights while doing them. I prefer Tracie’s take on this, I think. But if you’re really looking for a kickboxing “boot camp” with a real punch and some kicks, check out Ilaria Montagnani’s Atletica by Powerstrike, which I think is one of the better recent releases out there, even if it’s quite challenging. Actually, if you missed the kicking here and wanted to alternate Kimberly’s workout with something that has more kicks, Ilaria’s Bodystrikes (1 and/or 2) might be just the thing.
If you were hoping for more kickboxing moves on the step, you might want to look into Kelly Coffey-Meyer’s Step Kickboxing videos (she has two), although they’re cardio-focused. (The first one has a separate strength segment which isn’t particularly kickboxing-related.)
If you were looking for a circuit where you alternate cardio kickboxing with segments of weight training, take a look at Janis Saffell and Guillermo Gomez’s Hardcore Kickbox Circuit.
If you like the portion where Kimberly does blocks and strikes with the body bar, check out her CIA 2705: Absolute Kick-Boxing and CIA 2904: Cardio Combat Surge, where she has longer segments devoted to just that.
This is basically a cardio sculpt/aerobic weight training workout which uses a step (placed in a vertical position), light hand weights (for punching), and a body bar (for strength moves). I don’t have a full step, so I substituted the bottom (blue) section of my Fanny Lifter. This worked fine, although next time, I think I would be better off using the shorter (purple) top section; I also think you could forgo the step entirely and do the workout on the floor, especially the cardio segments. I used an unweighted dowel for the body bar, but I don’t think this provided enough resistance (even though I was wearing my 1-lb. weighted gloves), so next time, I might try dumbbells instead.
The workout begins with a 5-minute basic warmup; instructor Kimberly Spreen spends a lot of time warming up your shoulders in particular since you’ll use these muscles a lot during the workout. Next comes 25 minutes of cardio sculpt. Kimberly uses the step to add intensity at times, but the impact is still fairly minimal. The simple choreography includes punches, bob-n-weaves, side steps, lunges, knee lifts, and a single knee-kick move. The cardio segment segues into about 10 minutes of more toning-specific moves using the bar, including a fun block move, squats, rows, planks/push-ups using the step, and lunges onto the step. Next is 8 minutes of core/abs work, mostly oblique moves while seated on the step with balance v-sits between each set. I was a bit disappointed in the core work, as I didn’t feel it was very intense, but I liked that Kimberly included some balance moves. Kimberly finishes the workout with a 9-minute segment that includes some nice lower body stretches (again using the step) and a Tai Chi-like cool-down, which brings the workout in at about 57 minutes total.
In general, I liked this workout, although there were a few disappointments. First of all, I wore my heart rate monitor the entire time, but it showed that I was only in my target zone for about 15 minutes, which was frustrating since I did feel like I was working hard. It’s possible that because this was my first time with the video and I was just learning the moves, this may have affected my HR, so I’m hoping that my time in zone numbers will improve. Also, as mentioned above, I didn’t feel that the core work was very intense, so I’d be inclined just to skip it in the future (luckily, the DVD is chaptered, so this would be easy to do). Finally, although Kimberly was a good instructor and cued well overall, there were times when she slipped up a bit—e.g., at one point she cued “upright row” when she meant “front raise.” She also has a tendency to be a bit goofy in her comments, although she does come across as very down-to-earth.
In summary, this is a solid cardio sculpt workout, and I’m hoping to get greater cardio intensity from it in the future.
This was my first video with Kimberly, and I liked her, although she can be a bit goofy. She generally cues well using mirrored cueing, although she got it wrong when cueing from the side. She also occasionally misnamed moves as described above.
I am not one of those that do breakdowns, but I wanted to post my impressions of this workout. In a word-WOW.
You will need a body bar or dowel, very light dumbells or handweights( I use 16 oz soft weights) and a step.
This is a non stop interval workout with lots of fun and interesting moves. The step is used primarily for cardio drills in between boxing segments. Its all very doable choreography wise and Kimberly's cueing made it possible to do the workout the first time through would missing a beat. Although the drills do add power, its concentrated on the step onto the bench, not coming off the bench so its easier on my knees than many workouts. The kickboxing is really misnamed in a sense-its upper body punching and knee strikes rather than actual kicking, but its still a blast. There is one part where you use the bar to strike and block. It made me feel like Uma in "Kill Bill". Kimberly also includes those killer boot camps in the workout she does so well. I am always tempted to curse during these. Finally, you finish with some very interesting and effective core moves on the step and a stretch and balance cooldown. its a geat workout, full of energy and fun. I am spent after doing this one.!!
Kimberly is a great instructor. She has lots of energy and I was able to follow her cuing without missing a beat.
The menu items are: Intro; Warm up to Kick Box Boot Camp; Core Training & Stretch; Bio & Content; Credits.
EQUIPMENT: Step, body bar, LIGHT dumbbells/handweights as you'll be punching with them(I used a 10” step and 3 kg/6½lb handweights as is my usual) and have them ready at the end of the step closest to the TV - the step is located with the small end to the TV and you stand behind it.
SET: Spartan but with a warm Asian feel. Kimberly is out front in yellow sports bra and long black pants, Dana & Shelby behind in all black.
MUSIC: Brisk techno-style with a strong beat to follow.
GENERAL COMMENTS: This has a little of everything for those days you don’t want TOO much of anything but still want a decent workout. I agree with Kathy that it is misnamed as the kickboxing parts don’t have any kicks and also that her cueing is impeccable so it’s easy to follow. There is no fancy step aerobics, no major weights work and the blasts won’t have you gasping for air – so no dread factor involved! It’s an all-rounder and does that job VERY well. You could have this for a long time and still happily reach for it. Here’s the breakdown:
Ch. 1 (00:00) = Intro
Ch. 2 (00:12) = WARMUP (~5 min)
Marching; step touches; toe taps & side lunges with various long arm movements; back stretch.
WORKOUT (~ 40 min)
Ch. 3 (04:59) = Cardio.
(1) Builds up from step touches to wide jogs with one foot alternating between the floor and the step.
(2) Bob & weaves whilst moving forwards & back straddling the step; jabs; and knee strikes.
Ch. 4 (08:03) = Cardio.
(1) & (2) combined.
Ch. 5 (09:34) = AWT with light hand weights.
Bob & weaves moving fore/back as before; jabs; crosses; knee strikes; torso twists in plie position; and squats.
Ch. 6 (12:25) = AWT with light hand weights.
Side shuffles; torso twists; bob & weaves; hook shots; upper cuts; and body shots.
Ch. 7 (14:38) = Cardio.
Squats with shoulder rolls; taps on the step in straddle position which move to double speed for a long set of leaps with a light touch on the step (here they chant “Won’t give up, NEVER give up!”)
Ch. 8 (15:53) = Quads & abs.
Side squats off the step; squat + shin block combo; slow version of same. Same again on the other side. Alternating squats then up-taps from one side which build to add propulsion (speed skating style). Same again other side. Then on continues to alternate sides with fewer reps. Single leg lunges onto the step alternating with fore/back shuffling jump rope; knee strikes onto step. Same other side. Continues on alt. sides with fewer reps.
Ch. 9 (22:25) = Punching drills & cardio.
March on top; straddle march; squats with shoulder rolls; squats with 2 quick alt. jabs; squats with shoulder rolls again; then a series of alternating punches (jabs; crosses; fast jabs; double jabs; speed bags; alt. crosses + double jab with a squat; hook, rib, & body shots). Then continuous speed bag with a pulsing squat; wide quick running which moves to a fast up/up down/down on the step; squats; squats with high reaches whilst moving forwards to pick up body bar.
Ch. 10 (26:31) = AWT with body bar.
Squats; step taps moving to back of step; side steps; wide toe taps whilst rotating bar b/w horiz.-vertical. This movement increases to a full strike with the bar, and legs forming a rear lunge. Step touches & knee repeater to do same on other side. Then side steps; march and move to side (and facing) the step.
Ch. 11 (29:04) = Quads & abs with body bar.
Left leg lunges onto the step; change to a 3-pulse; add torso twist on 2nd count; back to singles. March to repeat on the other side. March on top; move to stand straddling the step.
Ch. 12 (31:34) = Back, shoulders, & core with body bar.
Stand straddling step with bar overhead; then move it slowly from one side to the other (rainbow), then increase the pace. Squats with a shoulder press (going from the step to overhead); bent-over rows. **Single row, put bar down across step, walk feet back into plank for pushups, jack feet in & out twice, jump to squat position, repeat from ** several times. Alternate between reps of rows & standing front raises. Bar on step & walk back to plank; then several reps of (drop to knees, one pushup, back to plank); hold plank position; slowly lower body to lay down on step. Roll the bar off the end – you're done with it.
Ch. 13 (37:22) = Glutes & lower back.
Lying on step with legs wide; slow reps of (raise legs and bring heels together then drop wide to floor); hold up with heels together; reps of (bring heels to glutes with thighs off the step); reps of (hold legs bent and raise thighs); then pulses of same. Child’s pose stretch. Achilles stretch in low squat. Hamstring stretch in forward bend. Stand for slow shoulder rolls with increasing arm movement.
Ch. 14 (40:45) = Core.
Sit on step, right leg out to side, left bent in front with foot on floor. Hands at ears (as for crunches) and lean slowly to the left and up again. Several reps of those for obliques. Extend arms overhead and hold in the leaning position. Left hand down, right up and extend left leg for a T side plank. Sit on step for slow V-sits with bent legs, includes holds. Do the obliques on other side and another set of V-sits.
BALANCE POSES & STRETCHING
Ch. 15 (46:35) (~10 min)
Uses both yoga-style and standard stretching with balance poses for abs, hamstrings, hip flexors, hamstrings again, calf, neck, arms, and back.
Chapter 16 (56:50) = END CREDITS
Kimberly has a very pleasant manner, offers constant encouragement and reminders of form. No false hooting, patronising tone or constant chatter. That is, there’s nothing about her to bug you! She’s young, fresh-faced (no heavy make-up) and slim & toned without being ripped & muscular. She's really likeable!