Year Released: 2001
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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This 50-minute video is good for time-crunched kinds of cardio days. The warm-up, cardio, and cooldown portions take only about 45+ minutes, and you can skip the core conditioning. Even with the core conditioning, the workout clocks in at 50 minutes.
The workout is based on martial arts moves, and has some high-impact jumps and lunges, which can be modified. There are also lots of kicks and arm moves.
Ginette and her two background exercisers, Fred and Isabella, are dressed in baggy martial-arts pants, which immediately conjure up visions of the CIA Boot Camp workout pants fiasco--the heavy army fatigue pants got heavier and heavier the more Donna and Helen sweated. One does begin to wonder if Greg has a bad-pants vibe for Canadian instructors. However, these pants don't cause any trouble, so that fear is perhaps ill-founded.
Ginette breaks down the moves carefully, so I would think that a cardio klutz could handle them (but I'm not a cardio klutz, so I could be wrong about that). She has incredible energy, and I find her enthusiasm contagious.
The core conditioning is done with weighted balls (Ginette uses 3-lb. balls, Fred uses 5-lb. balls, and Isabella uses no balls). The core work is done standing, and is effective.
Another very enjoyable workout from Ginette.
I get a kick (no pun intended) out of Ginette's enthusiasm. Her body is inspirational to me, because she clearly isn't in her twenties any more but has great muscle definition and energy.
About me: I generally consider myself an advanced exerciser in that I can do high-intensity, high-impact moves; have a lot of endurance and flexibility. Recently, I’ve been having problems with my joints.
I bought this workout because I needed something that was low-impact (or easily modifiable to low-impact) but high-intensity. As other reviewers have mentioned, there is a LOT of marching in place. In between the marching are relatively short martial arts-style combos, but this is definitely not a pure kickboxing workout.
I did the warm-up and about 10 minutes of the workout, then took it out of the player and put it in my trade pile. I decided there was too much marching and the moves in between were often too high-impact for me (scissor kicks, plyometric jumps, etc). If I modified, I ended up with a boring workout. If I didn’t modify, my knees started screaming at me.
I think even if my knees were up to it, I wouldn’t enjoy this workout because of all the marching. Maybe there’s less marching later in the workout, but the first 15 minutes were so full of marching that I didn’t feel like trying the rest.
In summary, this workout is unusual, but doesn’t make the most of your time and is not very interesting if you want or need to modify high-impact moves.
Ginette is very energetic. She has a slight accent, which surprised me. She also looked a little older than I expected, but this is completely irrelevant to the workout. Her cues were a little unclear, but once I saw the moves I was able to follow easily. Ginette and her background exercisers were wearing baggy pants and tank tops, which were sort of a nice change from overly (and sometimes pointlessly) revealing workout attire.
A year or so ago I decide I MUST have Urban Tai Chi. After finally acquiring it via trade I popped it in the VCR for a quick preview. A phrase that caught my attention was "Energy to the kidneys". Well, I just could not picture myself listening to this phrase over and over again. On my exchange list it went.
Fast forward a year, I decided I MUST have Kamikaze. Why? Good question. As soon as I come up with an answer I will let you know.
Happily, this video contained no shout outs to internal organs.
The workout started promisingly enough, with a nice warm up using large range of motion movements. She really gets your heart pumping for the first combo with a series of scissor steps. The video seems to go downhill from there, though. The intensity just was not there for me. Many combinations were taught too slowly. The slow pace of instruction made the workout seem much longer than it was. I kept looking at the timer on my VCR ("I've only done 20 minutes???"). Finally, the second (and last) time I did this video I pulled it out and did another one instead.I just could not finish it.
Urban Tai Chi and Kamikaze
I'm reviewing both of these together, because my comments pretty much apply to both. They are both high/low workouts (mostly low) with Tai Chi and Eastern-type movements. They are definitely unique -- and they won't be for everyone. I think these are the kind you'll either love and do all the time, or else you won't do them at all; there's not much in between. They are excellent workouts, with good intensity for the most part, although Ginette does do a fair amount of marching in place getting ready for the next move. Some of the power moves might even be considered killer intensity. I think of the two, Kamikaze is probably a little more intense. Despite their uniqueness (the good kind) and the overall good workout, I can't bring myself to do them. This style just doesn't interest me. They do look fun, but when I start doing them, I get bored. Ginette herself is great, and I'd buy something else of hers if it were a different style. Despite the fact they're not for me, these are A+ tapes, both for originality and for the workouts themselves.
This video features a martial arts inspired cardio workout unlike any I have tried before (except for Urban Tai Chi, Ginette's other CIA video from this year). It lasts about 50 minutes total and consists of a 7 minute warmup, 35 minutes of cardio and 8 minutes of core conditioning and cool-down. I used it as an easier workout the day after intense cardio, but you could easily up the intensity by making larger movements.
Ginette is working out with two others, Fred and Isabella, who were also in Urban Tai Chi. They wore white tank tops with baggy black pants. The music was instrumental techno and not very noticeable.
I hope someone else gave the breakdown because I don't remember too much. There were five combos which increased in complexity, and the fifth combo was just basic kicks and lunges. There was no TIFTing at all. You learned the combo on one side, repeated on the other side, and moved on. The core conditioning was all standing and you could use weighted balls (I substituted 2-1/2 lb weight plates).
This was different from most kickboxing workouts I have tried. The punching was not boxing style (i.e. jab, cross, hook and upper cut) but rather karate style, where you pull one fist back and down to your waist while the other arm punches. And along with punches there were a variety of blocks, strikes, and other cool arm movements where you move them in circles. I liked that there was a lot of emphasis on lower body moves. Ginette taught many kind of squats, including sumo squats and side squats with a block. As for kicks, there were front, side, crescent, back hook, and roundhouses incorporated into the combos. For the most part this was low impact except for some jumping jacks, running and hops,which could easily be modified. There was a lot of marching in between but I didn't mind because it provided a nice break after the more intense sections. Fred demonstrated beginner modifications, such as knees instead of extended kicks.
For the most part the combos were not too complex, although some of the latter ones went very quickly and I probably should have rewound to learn them better. I think it would help to have some experience with kickboxing or martial arts since Ginette doesn't really teach technique or form.
This workout felt very "Eastern" to me. Maybe it was the outfits and the Asian background exerciser, or maybe it was the moves. I enjoyed this more than Urban Tai Chi and I felt like I was in Kung Fu theater doing some of the arm movements and kicks. Overall a nice change of pace.
The Hi/Lo Workout For the Urban Warrior The Hi/Lo Workout For the Urban Warrior
Production: CIA set, gray background with pastel color blocks of blue and yellow. Why they didn't use the red Asian set for this is beyond me. The setting would have been better. Two background people, Fred and Isabella. Fred will modify some of the kicks and Isabella doesn't use any resistance in the core work at the end. The group is in black loose pants that are tight at the ankles and they all have white tanks on. Genette is in pigtails and is very fit with well-toned arms.
Sound: Dynamix instrumental blend, very upbeat and Genette’s enthusiasm to the music enhances it.
Equipment: Short section of core stabilization uses “incrediballs” which look just like Karen V’s small green balls. I'm pretty sure a set of light weight dumbbells would work nicely as a substitute. One background person modifies without using anything.
Intensity: Intermediate to higher depending on the energy you put into the Kickboxing moves and how much you want to put into all those marches(She marches a lot)! You could easily control this workout and make it vary depending on how you feel that day. However, with all the changes in tempo and breaking up of the routine with marches, don't count on this as being a very intense workout if you are advanced in Kickboxing. Not to say you can't have fun and a good workout, but you will probably find it hard to maintain your zone throughout the entire workout.
Workout: The bulk of the workout consists of 5 combos, all of which have about 5 little combo moves to make a whole segment. She has you TIFTT with the small combos but she doesn't put the entire workout together at the end and I think she skipped doing the TIFTT on the very last combo.
Warm up: Marches in place (you'll see these a lot), taps to the side, moving into static lunges to warm the legs, adding arms (warrior arms) that have a karate feel to the movement. Horse stance with some strong arm pulling movements. Front lunges with palm strikes. Picking up pace with bouncing shuffles to the side with single, single, double counts…she sings little phrases to the beat. You do the same with a single, single,double scissors move.
Combo 1: (Vs, Jacks, Plyos) March for a few 8 counts. V step move that you add elbow strikes to. Another V step move X3 with knee up and hop hop that you add genie arms too..and that move is pretty cute. More marches. Jumping power scissors with a double hop coming out of it before you go to other leg. Marches;O). Jacks X3 into plyo jack alternating open plyo arms and closed plyo arms with each plyo. TIFTT, complete with all the marching breaks between each little combo;O)
Combo 2: (kicks) Moving forward with alternating knees up that turn into kicks forward and shuffles back but with some fun karate moves to spice it up. A couple of other fun kick combos using side kicks and side lunges/squats. She is really into some of these and is fun to watch, she sings a lot of the beats with little phrases or sings out the cues. Once again you TIFTT once she has gone through them all once. But still broken up with marches in-between.
Combo 3: (sweep kicks, squats) Like the others this has about 4/5 little combos. These seem to focus on sumo squats and sweep kicks along with one that does a back hook. TIFTT…with marches.
Combo 4: (higher impact cardio)She starts off with what she calls a cliff hanger. You move forward and come down into a side plie squat (sumo squat) come up quickly with a little double side kick on same leg, down again, then up with same double side, run back and come forward to do the other side. Next you do a v step running and then with knees up that moves into a knee slam into side to side moving back. This is pretty fun done to tempo and she really sings during this one! This one also contains some high impact hamstrings with warrior arms(extended arms that cross in front while doing hamstrings). Finish with strong alternating plie squats(sumo). TIFTT..marches too;O)
Combo 5: (legs!) March! Slow front lunges with front punch. Front knee chamber that moves into front kick at tempo. Squat/side kick combo. Round house combo that's fairly simple and I think she skipped the take it from the top on this one, so you only go through that series once.
Cool down: Deep breathing, toe taps and wide open arm movements. Circling the hip thingees. Then you grab what she calls,incrediballs, for some core strength movements that consist of slowly moving one leg while balancing on the other and then some isolation holds with one knee up. Also some deep squatting moves while moving the arms around in big movements. Ending with some lunges and side to side movements.
Quirks: This tape will absolutely catch heat for all the marching. If you don't like chatty instructors that sing out cues or add little“ba bum pa baaas” to the beat, you wont be pleased either. You might also find that all the combos patched together with marching in place chops the workout up too much. Although, it does give you a chance to catch up or get on the right foot if you're a choreography klutz like me.
Instructor: I actually found Genette very refreshing and I liked all her sound effects. She is also fun to watch. She moves great and adds her own flair to moves..even those gosh darn marches. She was very good at giving form pointers as well. I liked her, I hope she does more…preferably with less marching and more consistent intensity;O).
I ordered this tape because CK Sales was out of Urban Tai Chi, my first choice. I'm glad I did! I've done it a couple of times now - enjoy it more each time.
It's described as a hi/lo cardio workout with Japanese flair. Being unfamiliar with what exactly Japanese flair is (and only hoping it might come with a complementary bowl of miso soup), I can only say it is a fun, not overly complicated hi/lo workout with a kickboxing or karate influence. The impact wasn't too bad - but then again I've been doing CTX lately so anything after that feels like low impact in comparison!
Five combos, all complete - once they're done, that's it, you start all over with a new one. Not really kickboxing moves a la Tae Bo - more cardio type moves like V-steps and marches with knee slaps, sumo squats, roundhouse kicks and such thrown in. After the combos there is a brief core work section where you balance on one leg holding these little genie balls in your hands - a little like the work on Christi's SBF. I just used my 2 lb dumbells. It was fun, and could have gone on for longer IMO!
However, as mentioned on the VF reviews, there is a LOT of marching. I don't think I've seen anyone but Charlene Prickett do so much marching. You can look at it either as a recovery phase, or an opportunity to keep the intensity up by marching high or wide - Ginette marches really HARD - I think she's actually using it to keep up the intensity and perhaps that is her intention. She also seems to need that time to instruct the next move - none of the moves are tricky, but they are different from what I'm used to from my limited kickboxing experience, so I was glad of the time she took to explain and break them down.
Ginette has a really enthusiastic personality that reminds me a little of Gin Miller in Intense Moves. Lots of "Ha ha!"s and "Let's go, let's go!" She also has a punchy "bada-bum, bada-BUM!" that I really got a kick out of. I can see how it could get on someone's nerves - but I found it very motivating and entertaining. I liked her a lot, and her upper body and shoulders are very inspiring!
The music was just there - not annoying, not standing out, just your usual Dynamix technobeat. Once in a while it would "pop" out to help emphasize a move, then sink into the background again.
I enjoyed this workout a lot, and think I could probably modify it to what intensity I want it to be once I learn the moves. On a high-energy day I suspect I'd substitute for some of the marches, or do some high-knee running in place. All in all, it felt kind of like a cross between Cardio Kicks and Charlene Prickett.
That's really my only complaint, the overkill on marching. I'd like to see her make another one, with the assumption her viewers had already familiarized themselves with some of the moves, and choreographed it to flow a little better. But I will definately do this one again. And be on the lookout for Urban Tai Chi.