XKO (Extreme Knockout) Kickboxing WorkoutLarry Lam
Year Released: 2000
Categories: Boxing/Kickboxing/Martial Arts
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To put this review in perspective, you probably should know that I''m waking up from a huge kickboxing binge and find that I'm a staunch Tae Bo Advanced Live series devotee. The only other kickboxing videos I can see myself doing as frequently would be Katrina's GI Jabb Cadet Workout, maybe Cardio Kicks, and, now, definitely, XKO Kickboxing. (Dawei Cardio Kickboxing is challenging, but ... I'm not worthy. Someday.)
Thanks to Deb and Nancy for introducing XKO Kickboxing to this forum!
XKO is a compatible change of pace to Tae Bo. The videos have great visual and sound clarity, a high-energy cast, and a very motivating club-music soundtrack. Larry Lam? I really like him. Whatta nice guy! He has a motivating yet down-to-earth stage presence and is careful about form. His athletic choreographed style of kickboxing reminded me a bit of Billy Blanks' style. Highly recommended to those who tend to prefer athletic-style kickboxing intervals over CIA'ish kickboxing choreography..... Really, I can't imagine anyone not liking this series, but you might not if you prefer complexity. v This is the perfect add-on tape. The cardio is too short to do on its own, unless you want a shorter workout. I'm using XKO: The Xtreme Knock-Out Workout solely as a add-on to my Tae Bo Advanced Live workouts that have shorter cardio sections (Volumes #6 and #9 come to mind). After I'm done with XKO, I pop my Tae Bo back into the VCR and finish with the rest of the Tae Bo workout.
As with Tae Bo, I like the fact that there isn't lots of jarring high impact with the XKO workout. My knees and feet never bother me after I complete XKO (-- unlike Cardio Kicks). If you want to lessen the impact in your cardio sessions, this might be another reason to look into XKO.
I give this video a big A+, particularly when used as an add-on kickboxing workout. I also hope that Larry Lam produces an advanced, one-hour long kickboxing video in 2001. I'll be first in line to buy it.
Production/Look Excellent. Very Hollywood. This looks to be filmed on a large sound stage, very industrial looking metal framework along the edge of the stage with lighting along it. The stage is dark with an occasional smokey look, but not interfering with the workout, reminds me of the first couple of Reebok step videos with Gin and that "MTV" look.
As far as the background people…size of the crowd changes during sections…but it is a good size group, like a Tae Bo audience. Once again, very produced in wardrobe department as well. Crowd is dressed in black outfits from various makers with splashes of red and white here and there for contrast.
Sound Great sound done by Power Music.
Equipment/Space A chair or support is needed for the lower body tape. Very little space is required. Longest combo is 4 shuffle steps to the side.
Intensity/Modifiability Larry has this tape split up into sections allowing beginners to experienced kickboxers the opportunity to get a super workout in one tape. There are instructions and reminders throughout to modify your workout toward safety for beginners and if you are an experienced kickboxer and put your all into this tape…you won't be disappointed.
If you want drills and the feel of a live KB class taught by a Martial Artist, this tape is for you. But, if you are looking for cool choreography with dancy moves and multiple combinations that build into a routine…you won't find it here, this is strictly a punch and kick, get your heart rate up workout.
Instructional-4mins Larry has in-put from an Aerobic person, Debra Yates, during the intro and Debra is usually working out next to Larry on the right of the screen. This intro is the best instructional section I have ever found in any KB tape. Larry explains/demonstrates punches and kicks extremely well along with showing clips of the class in slo-mo demonstrating the same move. Debra's input is showing modifications and differences between aerobic kicks and KB kicks. They both stress safety and the importance of form first. Warm up-6min Larry starts the class with a traditional Martial Arts courtesy bow. The bulk of the warm up is bob and weaves, simple bounce moves, jab & punches but not with all out effort..yet. Jumprope movements are used to keep the energy up. All this with some lunge type leg stretches interspersed throughout.
Basic-10min Your feet are moving constantly in this section. Shuffles, side to sides, an L step…all of these with punch combos with more intensity. You'll see jacks, speedbags, knee smash ab crunches and some front kicks will be introduced. Larry has the beginners end when this section is over. He says cool down, watch the rest of the tape and get some water. Might not be a long workout for beginners, but if you haven't done too many KB tapes and are new at it…this could be enough for you.
Advanced-10min Everyone changed clothes..still looking hip..and dark, the crowd also got bigger. This is certainly more advanced. Starting with side knee crunch combos and you'll be kicking more here, roundhouses and sides. More focus on intensity with all your moves to get the most out of it. You end this section with flurries..very fast uppercuts and it leads you into the…
Burn-5min Another outfit change and the crowd is now smaller. The music is much more hip and fast. You continue with flurries and fast moving combos…you feel like you are in Flash Dance with that ultra fast foot work. Then there is a fast side punch combo, punching hi and lo while squatting. Then slowing down getting ready for the cool down. Loved this section..the music was right, the drills are fun and it's the end!
Cool down-3.5min Soft piano music. Standing stretches and deep breathing with a couple of martial art type of moves for the arms…ending with the courtesy bow.
Bonus tape-lower body workout-14min Great lower body workout consisting of standing kicks. This is where you will need a support. Very basic but effective. Larry demonstrates proper technique on kicks and puts you through 45 second drills with each leg. You will be doing front, roundhouses, side and a combo round/side kick in this section. I love this tape. I am not a big fan of the "on the floor" lower body work and I am thrilled when I can do it standing! Also like that it's a separate tape…easy to tag on to another workout. Anyone who wants to learn proper form for kicks should buy this tape for the instruction alone!
OK…things that were a little off and might bother folks. During the warm up static stretches, everyone bounced with the beat until the last one and Debra(the aerobic world person) told Larry "no bouncing"..it was cute because Larry told everyone to stop or Debra was going to kill them…almost like it had happened in rehearsal and you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Beginners may not like getting left at the end of the basic section and having to fast forward to the cool down. Larry cues his own right or left instead of ours. Occasionally the camera is on the crowd instead of Larry with a change of movement or different punch so you see them slowly catch on and you might miss a beat or two into the change.
Over all…I love this tape. I guess I am fairly advanced exerciser and I like a lot of intensity. It's more important than choreography for me and this tape was right up my alley. The visual look of this tape also played a big part of my liking it. I am partial to good production. I also felt like I was in a live class very similar to one that I take which made me happy:O).
Instructor-Larry is superb. He is very natural in front of the camera and has no problem cuing, reminding everyone of technique and motivating you at the same time, he makes you feel comfortable and part of the crowd. I can't stress enough how good he is on instruction and form.
I just got done working out to this and absolutely loved it!!! Nancy C did an excellent job reviewing this video in detail so I won't go into too much detail...but had to share my enthusiasm. I've been looking for a workout comparable to Cathe's kickboxing and Billy Blanks and think I've found it. The music was just awesome and very motivating. I'm a music person and if the music isn't there for me I don't enjoy the workout even if it's a good one. I also prefer my workouts to be athletic with moves to keep intensity high as Nancy does. This was not dancy or choreographed at all. The energy level in the class and with the instructor was outstanding. The production & stage setting is just as Nancy described it and I also like this 'look'. I really liked Larry Lam as an instructor and would not hesitate at all to order another video from him should he put one out...which I hope he does! The moves were totally fun and very Taeboish like...yet you have that opportunity to punch and kick with power and emphasis like with Cathe's new kickboxing videos. I'd say the intensity was an intermediate to advanced. The 'basic workout' was more intermediate but still elevated my heart rate and the 'advanced workout' really kept my heart rate on the higher end...although I'd have to admit it was never as high as with Cathe's tapes. There were a couple disappointments. The major one was it was too short!! I think the cardio (minus the warmup and cooldown) was only about 25 minutes. He also showed clips in slow motion so I found myself losing the rhythm but there were not very many instances that he did this. He also did not do any back kicks.
I also tried out the Lower Body Burn which is his chair companion workout and that was very tough!! He did an excellent job demonstrating how to do the front, side, roundhouse kick and then you practiced them at a slow pace for 45 seconds for each side and it's tough to do them that slow. I think it averaged to about 25 kicks per leg for each form of kick. But my legs are still aching from that.
Thank you, Nancy C for submitting your review as I would never have found this gem :-))One more final comment is I felt this video is like what Bodypump is to strength training. The music and stage setting make Bodypump unique just as the music, stage setting and energy level makes this kickboxing workout unique. He had so many participants working out with him especially in the advanced workout that I couldn't count them!! But like Nancy mentioned it really makes you feel like your part of a 'live class'.
Also..my cardio love is kickboxing so I'm always partial to these type of workouts too but then I'm also usually very picky with them too and have come across many disappointments:-) I know everyone has their own style of kickboxing workouts they prefer but to give you an idea I did not care for Todd Gheisher's advanced workout, nor Debbie's Boxingbody. I liked only a couple of the GI Jabb workouts. I tend to prefer the Taebo and Cathe kickboxing style. So for those who prefer these type of workouts too, then I think you would really enjoy the XKO one