High Intensity Kickbox Challenge

Tracey Staehle
Year Released: 2006

Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts

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I’m reviewing this workout after previewing it once and doing each portion once each.

General workout breakdown: This workout combines just over 35 min. of kickboxing & athletic intervals with 45 min. of total body sculpting and conditioning.
The kickboxing section alternates kickboxing combinations with “intervals,” of which there are 7. Moves include bob & weave, torso twist, squats, push-ups, jump rope, jumping jack, spider, step touches, and side lunges; punches, blocks, etc., include jab, cross, hook, and upper cut, high block, low block, and ridge hand and speed bag; kicks, etc., include front, side, back, jumping front, roundhouse, knee smash. The warm-up here is about 5-6 min.; the cool-down is about 4 and includes a few static lower and upper body stretches.
The weights section presents standard standing upper body weighted exercises with balance challenges and floorwork, some of which also has additional balance challenges. (This is often described at VF as functional training, although I consider much of what’s found here more of a twist on the usual with additional balance and corework. This style of strength training seems to be what Tracey gravitates towards and may prove to be her niche.) After a short warm-up of squats, she moves through the following exercises: standing side crunch; more squats; lateral raise, upright row, bicep curl – all w/ hinge forward (& leg raised, if possible); standing with one leg lifted while doing shoulder raise / press; holding arms in front at 90 degree angles while pulsing, then overhead press; anterior raises, first while standing with one leg lifted and then on both legs; spider (from elbow plank to full plank); reverse and regular crunch and squeezing stability ball between legs while supine; side leg lift and small circles, knees in and out; chest press (elbows wide & then narrow, then French press, w/ back on stability ball or Bosu; bridge, with both feet or one foot on ball or Bosu, also rolling ball in and out . She alternates between various tempos, including pulses, and static holds; she also alternates between one arm / leg and both. Tracey also sometimes includes stretches after each body part has been worked. This portion ends with a supine stretch series of about 5 min. that focuses on the lower body.

Level: I’d recommend this to someone at least at the solidly intermediate level, preferably at the intermediate / advanced level, with prior kickboxing and weightlifting experience. Low to mid-advanced exercisers may also find this suits their needs, especially if they do the whole shebang in one go.

Class: 2 women join Tracey for kickboxing; 4 women join her for sculpting, with 1 showing modifications for some exercises.

Music: upbeat music, some of which is vocal, with a driving beat. Genres are all over the place, including a club version of what sounds like “Phantom of the Opera”; other styles include more techno or clubby plus more Latin or pop-style. I’d say it’s better than average, even if I’ve heard a few songs before.

Set: the 2006 CIA set (brownish walls with window-like cases displaying assorted objects, random black furniture scattered around the back, etc.).

Production: clear picture and sound without any wildly distracting camera work. (This is a CIA production, after all.)

Equipment: You’ll just need sneakers for the kickboxing. For the weights you’ll need 2-3 pairs of light to medium dumbbells, stability ball and/or Bosu, mat (or equivalent).

Space Requirements: For the kickboxing you should be able to take a couple of big steps and kick in each direction (front, sides, and back); this can be a space hog. For the strength you’ll need to be able to walk out to plank in front of you, lunge to the back (or just shift up to the top of your space), and take a step and lunge to each side. You should be able to lie down with arms and legs extended, too.

DVD Notes: The main menu offers you these options: Intro to Workout, Workout Options (Warm-up for Kickbox, Kickbox Workout, Cool Down, Warm-up for Sculpting, Stretch), Pre-mixes by Tracey (Warm-up & Kickbox Combos, Warm-up & Intervals, Kickbox Warm-up & Sculpting), and Contact & Credits.
The person who acquired my copy noted that the sound track and picture were sometimes slightly out of synch, especially later on in the kickboxing section. Although Tracey used CIA to film her first two series, I think she used a different replication company or something, because I’ve had a couple of sound and color issues with them. Personally I haven’t found them to be too distracting, but if you’re especially sensitive to those sorts of things you may want to purchase your copy from someone with a good exchange policy.

Comments: Now that Tracey has released a few more workouts, I have to say that I personally prefer Cardio Sweatfest’s kickboxing workout and The Parts Series’ weights work to what’s on this disc. One move that bothered me in this video is the spider move, where you drop from standing to rotating around on your hands and knees; since I’m not super fit, my heartrate is too high for that quick change in elevation. Still, this first effort could have its place among some collections.

Instructor Comments:
Tracey cues decently, although she exhibits the typical gym group instructor habit of preferring encouragement (“We can do this,” “C’mon”) over form instruction and sometimes trips up her train of thought, perhaps because she had a lot on her mind (see below). She mirror cues. Her on screen persona is pleasant and nice, without being too hyper or energetic.
Tracey’s form tends toward sloppy in the kickboxing; her energy is definitely low, and you can see that in her face, too. She attempted to film 3 60-90-min. advanced videos in one day, and all of that physical (and mental and emotional) exertion clearly had started to take its toll by the time she got to the kickboxing portion of the shoot. Tracey has a pretty good understanding of kickboxing mechanics, however. She does seem to perk back up some for the weight section, as she’s a little more enthusiastic and forthcoming with cueing in that one. Her core is amazingly strong, especially considering she filmed the strength section after several hours of stepping and kickboxing!



Tracie, along with Donna and Dani, will work you out with fun combo's done to upbeat music.

Kickbox Challenge:

The warmup is pretty slow & basic. Jabs, crosses, hooks, upper cuts are done at a slower pace. She also incorporates high blocks/low blocks and some twisting moves to work the obliques. The meat of the workout, which is approximately 25-26 minutes, really heats up. Tracie demonstrates lots of forward moving combinations. I have 6-8 feet of forward/back space and I had to modify. (example: Tracie does 4 alternating traveling kicks forward and she ends up right in front of the camera) This section has lots of varied intensity with higher intensity intermixed, making it have an almost interval feel to it) All the usual kickboxing moves are there, as stated above, along with kicks, bob & weave, and squats. Tracie demonstrates a cool move that reminds me of a spider. You are down on all 4's and you'll move one leg back which "flips" you over and you keep repeating this going one way & then the other. (your arms will feel this one)

The total length with warmup, kickbox moves and cooldown is about 35 minutes.


In the first part of this segment, Tracie incorporates lots of one legged balance work that will work your legs, back, biceps and shoulders. Lots of variety and the moves are very functional fitness based. This workout is more for toning/shaping rather than building muscle. I would recommend lighter weights due to the varied reps, pulses and sets. To work the core, Tracey demonstrates plank variations and also uses the stability ball. All muscle groups are worked, including outer thighs, hips and glutes. Chest and tricep work is done with long sets on the stability ball. Glute work using the ball will really fire up the buns and hamstrings. Lots of variety shown here and you will feel it the next day!

The strength portion is approximately 42 minutes and concludes with a relaxing stretch.



I didn't like the Kickbox segment at all. Tracey's form is not all that great. Heck, mine isn't either, but I'm not making a video of myself doing it.

Her background exercisers had better form at times, but still not that great.

Some of the combos were interesting but the form and mixed up cuing really threw me out of the mood.

I decided there was no way I'd do the kickbox segment again when I have so many other really good ones.

Her level of intensity is not 'High' as suggested by the title, but rather 'Moderate'. Her bob and weaves need to get lower, for the up down punches she should be jumping instead of just squatting...

The other segment was fantastic, and I will definitely do that again (the 46 minutes of weights/abs)

Instructor Comments:
Tracey is friendly and has a nice demeanor.

Her cuing is not all that great all the time. Several times she mixed up her lefts and right, and at one point was saying hook/upper when she was doing upper/hook

This drove me nuts because why didn't she just redo those segments?