Quick Fix Total Cardio KickJanis Saffell
Year Released: 2004
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
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I love this workout! And to think I almost did not buy it because I thought it would be too easy or not exciting enough for me. This little gem has got to be one of the best bargans of 2004 and here are my reasons why:
Janis Saffell - is well known in the fitness industry as one of the best kickboxing instructors out there today. Many moons ago, I purchased her CIA 9809 All New Kickbox Express Workout and did not really click with her teaching style or the workout. But in QF, she is exceptional. Besides being encouraging and down to earth, her cuing and form pointers are clear and consise.
The three ten minute segments - are divided into upper body, lower body and core work. These segments are chaptered on dvd so you can easily do one, two, or all three workouts at a time. The time clock featured at the corner of the tv screen is also a big plus!
The choreography - is basic and easy to learn. Since it is a kickboxing workout, you can make it as easy or as hard as you want it to be. It is truly a workout that beginners to intermediate-low advanced exercisers can do. There are two background exercisers working out with Janis and one of them shows modifications for all the moves. For example, don't want to do kicks, do knee raises instead. Don't like high impact (jumping jacks) follow the low impact version the background exerciser shows you. You also don't need a lot of room to do the moves which is one of the reasons why I did not care much for her CIA 9809 production.
The set and other audio/visuals - are fantastic and very professional. The set is open and airy, the workout outfits look great, and the music, while not vocals, is pretty good.
I got my dvd for only $9.95 and again, this is the best money I've spent on a workout in a while. I'm a fairly advanced exerciser and I mostly use this video as an add-on to other workouts. If you are beginning an exercise program or if you are advanced and want to get a good kickboxing workout that is not done at warp-speed but is a good, effective, and relatively safe workout, Quick Fix will probably work for you.
This DVD contains 4 10 minute workouts.
One focused on upper body, one on lower, one on core, and one was a "kickboxing blast".
Each started with a very quick warmup and went right down to business.
I did all 4 today, and I used my 1lb hand weights. Alot of the segments had jumping jacks in them.
I found this to be a steady intermediate. I had a good workout, and i'm sure I was in my cardio burning zone, but it didn't tax me - I didn't, at any time feel that I needed rest or couldn't go on.
I could have done this for another hour, I think!
But I LOVE it. It was fun, and I hope to do it regularly - especially on those days where I don't feel like working out.
Janis has REALLY matured into a wonderful exerciser. Not an 'awesome' was heard (though it never bugged me anyway), and she was encouraging, friendly, fun, and had some fun little routines.
I begin this review with three short disclaimers. Firstly, I am not a huge cardio fan. Secondly, I am not a huge Janis Saffell fan. Thirdly, I am the klutziest klutz that ever klutzed and I cannot handle anything with choreography. I do tend to be all right with kickboxing if the combos are not too lengthy, but it can take me a few tries to get the hang of a new routine, so my first impression of this workout was not overly positive. It grew on me though---by my second time through I could mostly keep up, and by my third time through I was going smoothly along with Janis and the crew.
The workout is extremely well-produced. It has a bright, airy set and Janis (plus her two background exercisers) are cheerful and competent. Andrea in the back right shows beginner modifications, and Janis frequently points these out throughout the routines. The unobtrusive ‘quick fix timer’ on the bottom right corner of the screen counts down the minutes left in each mini-workout.
There are three ten-minute workouts, each of which is complete in itself (or, as complete as a ten-minute workout can be). Done together, they make a nice high beginner/low to mid intermediate half hour cardio routine. The dvd version is chapetered by mini-workout and has a bonus workout which I am not reviewing.
The first section is arm-focused. There is a one-minute warm-up with some quick arm and leg openers and a back stretch. Then we get bob and weave, first alone and then with various punches. These are first done slow, then taken to a moderate, even tempo. She adds on things (different punches, jacks, bob and weave etc.) and repeats the combo with decreasing rep count e.g. 8 of everything, then she adds and we do it again with 4 everything, then we add and do two of everything. We then do a second combo involving hip twists moving into steps with various punches added on. This was a bit tricky for me because the moving punches were a bit much for my choreograpy threshhold, but by my second time through, I had figured out when to modify and was fine.
The second workout is leg-based. There is a quick one-minute warm-up with bob and weave, hamstring curl and a few stretches. Then we move into the workout, taught in the same style as the arm routine with a few slow reps then amping up the temp. We get knee-ups with twists and leg lifts, done first on right leg then on the left. Then chamber warm-up set, jacks break and alternating front kicks. Then side kick chamber warm-up set, front kick break, then alternating roundhouse sets. This is followed by some repeater knees, a thigh thing, and a combo mixing all of that up with front and roundhouse kicks. No back kicks, but this was a fun little routine and my choreography threshhold did not go into overload a single time.
The third routine is ab-focused. I should mention that they are wearing really hideous outfits here---yellow and black, with the background girls having giant bands of yellow on their lower legs. They look like bumblebees who are wearing those giant rubber hip boots you would take fishing in a swamp or something. Anyway, following a short unmemorable minute-long warm-up, we get side bob and weaves with arm sweeps and then punches. Then there is a v-step thingie with hip action and an odd punch combo. This was the second tricky choreography area for me. It was not until the third time through that I realized she was not alternating sides here, and once I figured that part out and resolved to keep my feet still, it made things easier. Anyway, there are a few jacks and standing crunches to break up this stuff, then we get alternating knees (slow and then tempo), low bob and weave with ‘circles’ and boxer shuffle with arm punches to the sky. To finish off, we get standing oblique twists, then a greatest hits mix of prior moves frm the routine.
I can see this being a really useful and convenient routine for me. I find features like the countdown timer very motivating. If I am tempted to quit and I see there are only a few minutes left, I will persevere and the time goes by very quickly. A less klutzy person than I should have no trouble at all with the choreography, but the less adept might need one or two passes through. No worries though, it’s learnable---and makes for a brisk, cheerful routine that many exercisers will enjoy.
This DVD contains 4 10-minute segments. The first 3 focus on upper body, lower body, and core respectively. The last "bonus" segment is intensive cardio.
I found that the segments moved along quickly. It seems like the kind of workout to try on a day when you're not feeling motivated to do more than 10 minutes--you might just find yourself doing 20 or even the whole 30 minutes. The set is bright and airy, and modifications are shown for beginners.
Excellent cueing. Friendly & knowledgeable.
I agree with the previous review that said this workout was good for low motivation days. You may say you will do just 10 minutes, but find yourself doing all four sections. That is what this workout is probably best for.
The workout consists of 4 segments-- each one with a different toning focus. That said, I eould not rely on this for that purpose. The first section is upper body focused. It seems more like straight boxing rather than kickboxing. The lower body focused section incorporates more kicks (well, of course!). The ab focused section does more torso twist and side bending movements. The bonus section is called something like "kickbox challenge" or 'blaster" or something like that. Anyway, it is the toughest section and has no specific toning focus (perhaps it is more cardio focused?).
That said, none of the workout is too intense. I would rate it high beginner-low intermediate. Intensity is increased a bit with a sprinkling of jacks and scissors.
The set is bright and airy-- it kind of reminds me of Step Works, but nicer. The music is instrumental and matches the workout well.
Janis and crew's outfits? Ummm...well..
Janis is warm and encouraging.
As has been mentioned, this DVD is broken down into 3 workouts with a different focus: upper body, lower body and core. I did the core workout, and really felt it in my abs. I previewed the other two and they look good, too.
There is a bonus workout that is on the main menu, but not listed as a choice along with the other workouts (wierd placement!). This one is the best of the lot. It combines upper body, lower body and core all in one workout and its fairly intense cardio. ALso, the workout outfits in this one are cute. The other ones have a HIDEOUS yellow and black bumblebee theme with much too lowcut tops. I kept thinking someone was going to have a mammary accident with all the jumping!! I hate having to look at someone's boobs flying all around when I'm trying to work out. Keep those puppies tucked in your bra where they belong. Sheesh.
I liked her. She cued and kicked well.
I've had my eye on this DVD for quite awhile now; I really enjoy kickboxing, but I was looking for a video that would help me squeeze in a short cardio workout when I didn't have time for a longer kickboxing session. This DVD fits the bill perfectly: with the bonus workout, you get 4 10-minute routines which work well alone or combined for an even more complete workout.
The first routine, Focused Upper Body, concentrates on punches. Instructor Janis Saffell starts slowly as she introduces each move, but the pace quickly picks up, and by the end of this segment, you'll be doing some double-time moves as well as some simple but fun punch combinations. The second routine, Focused Lower Body, is just the opposite in that it is all kicks, no punches. The kicks included in this segment are the front kick, the side kick, the roundhouse kick, and hip circles, a preparation for the hook kick (which she does not actually do). Again, the pace increases over time, and you end with basic combination moves. Workout #3 is called Cardio Kickbox Core, and it focuses on standing toning moves for the abdominal and back area. On the one hand, I was a little disappointed that this segment moves too slowly to really be cardio, but on the other, I thought it was an excellent core toning workout, with plenty of standing crunches, twists, and knee lifts. The Bonus routine combines all of the above--a mix of punches, kicks, and twists which provide you with an excellent cardio workout.
Although I believe that this video is marketed to beginners, I think it would be more appropriate for those who have at least a little prior experience with kickboxing, as little time is spent explaining proper form. I think that advanced beginners and intermediates will thoroughly enjoy these workouts, and overall, I give the DVD 4 1/2 stars.
Janis Saffell is a great instructor: her movements are clear and her form is always precise. She cues well, although I thought she spent a little too much time doing the moves at a slower pace --I was ready to pick it up after only 1-2 slow reps. She and the two background exercisers all have wonderfully strong, toned physiques. One of the background exercisers shows low-impact modifications for the few high impact moves (eg, occasional jumping jacks).
I’m reviewing this after doing it a number of times since getting it almost a year ago.
General workout breakdown: The 10 minute segments include kickboxing moves that provide a cardio workout. You probably won’t get much toning from this video unless you don’t normally do strength workouts. There is very little warm up (usually 1 min.) or cool down (usually 30 seconds) with each segment, so add in your own when needed.
“Focused Upper Body” includes only punches: jab, cross, hook, and upper cut. Janis teaches each slowly, has you do them at a medium tempo and then faster, and finally combines them into mini routines.
“Focused Lower Body” includes only kicks: front, side, roundhouse, and crescent preparation (knee circles)—no back kicks. Janis starts with the chambers, then adds on the kicks, finally putting them all together.
“Cardio Kickbox Core” focuses on the abdominals, including several standing crunches, combined with punches and kick chambers. This is the least intense segment, and thus would make a good cool down. In my opinion, the moves are a little repetitive in this segment, and the flow isn’t as good as in the other two.
The “Kickbox Blaster” (DVD bonus) is the most intense segment; I would recommend doing it at least one other segment rather than first off. This combines the moves learned in the other segments into quick combinations. The warm up is also longer, including planks and push ups.
Level: I’d recommend this to an experienced beginner; you need to have kickboxing / martial arts experience in order to perform this workout safely. More intermediate exercisers can pick up light weights and/or switch the marches to boxer shuffles, jumping jacks, etc., to increase the intensity.
Class: 2 young women join Janis, with one providing lower impact modifications. All wear Janis’ brightly colored outfits showing cleavage.
Music / Set / Production Notes: The beat-heavy music is nothing special; Janis and Guillermo also use these selections on Hardcore Kickbox Circuit and Kickbox Underground. The bright interior set with hardwood floors has minimal decoration; it’s the typical QF set. The sound and picture quality are very good.
Equipment Needed: sneakers.
Comments: There are some partial pivots, so be careful if you’re on carpet. And you need a bit of space for this workout. You should be able to take a small step and fully kick to each side as well as to the front.
DVD Notes: The DVD has the extra bonus workout, which you have to go back to the main menu to select (under “Bonus”). The introduction is chaptered separately, so you can skip that. The chapters cover each segment.
Conclusion: Definitely a keeper. It’s my least intense kickboxing workout, but sometimes I need that. I like Janis and her style, and the advantage of being able to pick and choose segments is another vote in its favor. It has a place in my collection.
The Quick Fix series are great for squeezing in 10 minutes here or there. If you’d like to do more than one segment, you may want to skip the cool down minute and march in place, do a boxer shuffle, or put in jumping jacks to keep your heart rate up. Intermediate exercisers can increase the intensity by doing more boxer shuffles or jumping jacks, which seems to make up much of the cardio emphasis.
In my opinion, this workout is comparable in intensity to any of the TaeBo Basic series, but Janis includes more combinations than Billy Blanks usually does. Janis also cues better than Billy Blanks and, due to her slower combinations, allows you to focus on form. If you like Janis, check out her Hardcore Kickbox Circuit once you’ve completely mastered this routine.
Janis is upbeat and encouraging, but not annoyingly so, coming across as wanting to be helpful. She cues well but doesn’t count out each rep. She intends for you to mirror her controlled movements. I’m no kickboxing expert, but Janis’ form seems good. She doesn’t include form instruction but does have a number of form pointers.
Okay, in my opinion, if you really want to lose weight with cardio, you should do at least 45 minutes. My ideal is an hour. Sometimes longer. But when you have a demanding two-year-old, a demanding husband and a demanding work schedule, sometimes an hour just won't squeeze in. That's when this workout truly is a beautiful thing.
There are four sections: arms, legs, abs and cardio. I'm sure the breakdown for these have already been posted. I will just add that if you find these easy, using light weights kicks things up a notch. By light, I mean from one to two pounds max. Any more than that will put wear and tear on the joints.
Aesthetically, the DVD is a bit much. Janis and her two background girls are consistently dressed in very bright and sometimes garish outfits. And it is absolutely criminal for anyone to look as thin in bright pink as Janis Saffell does! The music is also a bit much. Despite the costumes and music, I like the workouts enough to consistently do them when I am crunched for time.
Another great Janis Saffell workout is Hardcore Circuit Kickbox which is one to do when you have an hour!
Janis cues well and has a pleasant personality.
This is great video for a time-crunched day. The moves are fun, although I agree with an earlier reviewer that too much time is spent on the slow version of the moves.
This can be as easy or as hard as you want it to be, depending on how high you kick, how hard you punch, etc.
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the music in the second and third sections. It was different and energizing.
I would give this an A-plus, but the outfits - Ow, my eyes, my eyes . . .
Pleasant, good form.