Prevention: Kickstart Your MetabolismChris Freytag
Year Released: 2008
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
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I tend to like Chris Freytag workouts and this workout is my favorite of hers. It flows. It is fun. It's engaging. I'm not sure what it is, but this one is a keeper for me.
There are three main sections: Fat Blast, Ab Attack, and Body Sculpt. I tend to do the first two sections when I want a fun, shorter cardio workout that gets my heart beating harder. She puts together fun combinations in Fat Blast. Ab Attack is my favorite abs section in any dvd. It is comprised of standing moves and I can really feel my abs when I am done. When I have the time, I add on at least part of Body Sculpt. It's not great for serious strength work, but does give some toning work. It does move faster than I like, but I just keep up the best I can. I tend to me a slower mover.
Chris is competent, clear, and fun in this workout. She tends to be cheerful without annoying mannerisms.
Today I tried out Kickstart Your Metabolism from Prevention Fitness Systems, with Chris Freytag. I really liked her, and thought she cued very well. She offers lots of form pointers throughout each workout, and also included lots of helpful visuals. She’ll say things like, keep your body straight like you are working in front of a pane of glass, or lay back and position yourself on your jeans pocket, and keep your arms against your side like you are holding a piece under your arm. I found these cues very helpful. The music in this workout is also pretty good – very good in some cases, and decent in others. There is a lot of club type music, and also some recognizable fitness music that you hear in other workouts. I wish the music had been a little bit louder, but overall, the music is pretty catchy with a good beat. There is a beginner modifier, Kat – and the other background exerciser appears to be Jessica Smith, from Knockout Body.
I had a lot of fun with this workout, and am very happy that I bought it! Chris builds each combo slowly in stages, getting you into the rhythm of how the combo will flow, making it very easy to follow along. Chris is also very encouraging, with "come on", "go!", "yeah, yeah!" etc. Plus, none of the combos are very complicated, but I worked up quite a sweat and my heart rate definitely stayed up the entire time. There are some higher impact moves, but Kat always shows the low impact version. I wore my weighted gloves for most of the workout, but took them off when I got to the last workout, Express Kickstart. I figured the pace would be even faster during the express workout, so I didn’t really want or need the added resistance for that. Overall, I felt like I got a very good cardio workout from this one!
I wish this workout had a programmable menu, like the 10 Minute Solution workouts, as there are four different workouts on this dvd. It would be nice to program them in the order you wanted, but I suppose it’s not very hard to select them manually. The menu choices are Introduction, Play All, Fat Blast, Ab Attack, Body Sculpt, Express Kickstart, and Kickbox 101. The Introduction offers a nice overview of each workout, showing clips while Chris tells you what the focus of each will be. There isn’t any stretching in these workouts, it would probably be a good idea to add some stretching afterwards. On to the breakdown…
Kickbox 101 is a nice little tutorial, going over kickboxing basics. It’s close to 5 minutes long and Chris offers instruction on en guarde, bob n’ weave, front jab, hook, uppercut, cross punch, front kick, back kick, and side kick.
Fat Blast is just over 15 minutes long and is all kickboxing, with lots of familiar moves and fun combos of kicks and punches. It starts with a high energy warm up, which lasts about four minutes. The first combo builds up to a side jab, cross, back knee, back kick, front knee, front kick on each side. The second combo contains grapevines, moving side squats with speed bag arms, and a tap into a side kick with triceps extension. Then you repeat the sequence on the other side. The last combo builds up to jab, cross, hook, hook, bounce on your toes, front kick, front kick – then repeated on the other side. You finish the workout with a quick sequence of hooks and uppercuts with squats in between.
Ab Attack targets your core, and is about 16 minutes. The warm up starts with boxer shuffles, bob and weave, punches, and hooks. You also do some fun side to side squats with an elbow thrust, and a knee up with twisting arms. Next up are standing side to side twists, standing oblique crunches, and side kicks with a side punch. The figure eight series was fun (and I could feel it with the weighted gloves) and Chris offers a good visual – imagine that you are swinging a wet towel – to get you going. Figure eights with the arms are done side to side, with a mini squat each time. I might want to add a dumbbell to this part next time. The next series of exercises contains fast cross punches with squats in between. The workout ends with floorwork – planks, side hip thrusts, side lying crunches, and full sit ups with cross punches at the top.
Body Sculpt is just over 16 minutes, uses light weights, and combines strength training exercises with some kickboxing moves. Chris and Jessica are using light weights, and Kat starts without weights. I just used my weighted gloves, since my focus today was cardio – though I did want to do this segment anyway. Lots of combination moves are used, so my heart rate stayed up pretty well. You start with reverse lunges into a front knee with biceps curls. Then you quickly transition to a reverse lunge into a front kick, with a punch from the opposite arm. The squat series begins with squats alternating with back rows. Next up are diagonal lunges with low and high punches to the working side. Weighted punches to the side are next, followed by a fun jump rope (without a rope) sequence. In the plie series, several plie squats are done with different feet widths and toe positions, with speed bag arms added in. Biceps curls with a glute squeeze are next, followed by a lateral shoulder raise with palms up – which moves into an isolated double biceps curl at the top. The lunge series starts with alternating front lunges with single overhead shoulder presses on the opposite side – and then the shoulder work changes into alternating jabs. A short set of push ups, followed by kneeling triceps kickbacks with a glute kickback wrap the workout up.
Express kickstart is a fast paced 8 minute routine -which I think would make a great warm up or add for any workout. There is a quick warm up with bob and weave, jabs, side to side shuffles, squats, and front kicks. The next segment is very dynamic, and includes a quick front kick – back kick combo, overhead speed bag with boxer shuffle, and jump rope. The last combo begins with cross punches to the front into bob and weave to the back, and also has squat side kicks with a triceps extension. The workout ends with a short cool down (~1 minute) with a bit of stretching.
While I'm pretty new to Chris, I really like her workouts! I love her energy, and her cueing is very good in the workouts I've done with her.
I have all the Prevention workouts and this is by far my favorite. It may be partly because I am partial to cardio kickboxing, and this is Chris's first real KB workout that I know of. I believe it's also probably the toughest of all the Prevention workouts -- solid high intermediate.
Chris and the Prevention girls work out in a room blandly outfitted with standard warm wood floor, ecru prefab walls and a "doorway" behind them that offers a view of a concrete block wall. They wear black pants and light blue tops.
The 15-minute cardio workout is simple and straightforward, but with enough reps of each drill so that you get a decent sweat going. You do side to side shallow squats with elbow strikes, the standard punches and then simple combinations. One is two squats to the side with speedbag, then side kick. Another is jab cross front hook, back hook, back knee, back kick, front knee, front kick.
The ab workout is mostly standing, and still gives a moderate cardio effect. You do figure 8 arm swivels, torso twists slow-time and double-time, and the same standing side crunches that Taebo utilizes so much. Also knee raises slow and fast, and side kicks with arm extensions. (I didn't see how that was specifically ab work, but it's ok with me). The floor work includes side lying knee raises, first one leg, then both bent legs then both legs straight. You finish with planks and planks with side to side waist dips.
The strength workout was mostly compound and I thought it much tougher than expected. You do back lunges, then with knee ups, then with kicks and opposing arm "punch" holding a light weight. The lunges are pretty fast so your heart rate gets up there. It reminded me of the lunges in Tone It Up.
Other moves include plies with shoulder raises, side lunges with "slow punches" (really a lat row and a high shoulder raise), biceps with standing glute squeezes, and tricep kickback while on all fours, extending the opposite leg to work the glute.
There is an 8-minute express workout that includes shuffles with fast punches, squats, and kicks, running in place and elevated speedbag (over your head); also shuffle forward, cross, two steps back; then squats and roundhouses.
When done all together, it provided me a solid sweaty hour that satisfied me without killing me.
The music is sort of like Dynamix greatest hits. I recognized music from Larry Lam's XKO workout of almost a decade ago, plus other lively if somewhat generic workout tunes. It actually wasn't bad at all, IMHO.
If you at all liked Chris in any of the other Preventions, and you like simple kickboxing drills as a form of cardio (her style is remiscent of Gilad's) then this might be a good bet.
I like her better and better with each subsequent Prevention workout. She is professional and brisk, not a lot of bantering but warm and encouraging. She sometimes repeats some of the standard platitudes (burning fat, raising the metabolism) but it didn't bother me. At one point she says of the metabolism-boosting: "That means you can eat more. I like that!"