#1- You don’t need to get much exercise at first.
You need to build into it slowly. AND, you’re going to need to take more time reading over the combination at the start of each round. If its going to take you a REALLY long time to discern how to throw the techniques, then set your round timer for 4 minutes instead of 3. This way you won’t be stressed or rushed. You can take your time really going over the combination. However, there’s not a whole lot of reasons why you need to “really get the combo down”, because the very next training session, you’re going to be doing completely different combinations, and you’re going to have to go slow again to try to learn these.
DO NOT WORRY. You need to be slowly building into this vigorous exercise, even if it takes you 90 days to do it. In fact, its really a great idea to take things this slow because your muscles and tendons, joints and ligaments, are going to need some time to strengthen and get used to having this kind of stress placed on them.
Also, this is a lifetime endeavor. Exercise isn’t just for 6 months, its for forever. If you haven’t been able to stay consistent in exercise before, then TAKE YOUR TIME getting your feet wet and building the habit. Don’t be in a rush. You may go through all the Workouts, numbers 1-10, and then do the 2 Formula Workouts, and then start all over at Workout #1 AND STILL BE TAKING IT SLOW. No Big Deal. You’re getting exercise, right? Your body is building up strength and endurance, right? You’re finally being consistent in a workout routine, right? You’re accomplishing your new goal of incorporating exercise into your lifestyle, right? Then in light of all these positives, don’t allow yourself to get stressed about not making “enough” progress soon “enough”.
A lot of these combinations are long, and even after being on the System for a year, some of the combo’s still take 2 or 3 or 4 “read overs” before you move to the bag with them. That’s the way it should be. If every combo was just 3 or 4 moves long, it wouldn’t be as interesting and wouldn’t build all of the skills you need. There are PLENTY of short combos, but not all of them.
#2- The actual Kickboxing techniques may pose challenges to you.
Even after doing this exercise for years, there’s not ONE technique that I take for granted. I hired a professional boxing instructor to come over a few months ago (he helped train Pacquiao and worked under Freddie Roach) and believe it or not, he straightened my JAB out! I mean, come on, the Jab??? That’s the most basic and easiest of anything there is to do! So after doing this for years, I still had room for improvement on the most basic of elements! How much more for the Thai Roundhouse kick? I have clients that have been training with me for a year who are still very unsatisfied with their Roundhouse kicks. Is it any big deal? Nope. Not at all. They’re still getting all the exercise they need, so their goal is being accomplished. I have to remind them every session to not be discouraged about their poor form (I think they feel they’re letting me down by not having it down pat yet).
So, You, Mr. or Mrs. Beginner, you are in for a lifetime endeavor of constantly improving. So, slowly but surely, look up a video on YouTube on one technique and learn the principles of it. Then as you do your workouts, really concentrate on doing all the right stuff that you learned, and avoiding all the errors you were taught to avoid. Then later, do the same with another technique. And so on. Each time you work out you are trying to improve everything you do as far as form is concerned, but NOT as far as cardio goes.
You do NOT push yourself cardio-wise on the program. You don’t need to. If you try to max out your cardio after a year, what are you going to do the next year? And the year after that? And the year after that? You will be in a vicious cycle that will end in frustration, injury, sickness, and overtraining. You only need to be in good enough shape to perform the 6 heavy bag rounds for 3 minutes each, and at whatever pace is appropriate for that session (depending on when you last ate, how you’ve been feeling, how much stress you are under, how your nutrition has been lately, and many other factors).
On a heavy bag, the rounds are tough, it doesn’t matter who you are. You won’t need to “push” yourself because the very act of performing the combination is going to be pushing you to your limit automatically. It is never easy. Its not like most types of exercise where you have to keep building and building and adding in more and more workload to stress your system and cause your body to adapt. The act of performing these combinations will do all of that for you, without you even thinking about it. You may not understand this now, but once you have been on the System for a while you will see what I mean. You’re never trying to “max yourself out”, you’re just focusing on doing the techniques as well as you can, recovering from those techniques and maintaining a vigilant guard, and recomposing yourself as quickly as possible to be able to ward off your opponent’s counter-attack, and or mount your own attack again. As you get really good and in great shape, the footwork and head/body movement before and after each combination is going to be adding a lot to your “workload”, so instead of you concentrating on “Oh, man, I’ve really got to push it!”, you will instead just be focused on imagining as realistic a fight scenario as you can and attacking/defending to your best ability.
As you are a beginner, take your time to know the individual techniques of each combination. Your initial goal should simply be to do the workout every other day. Once you’ve got that down pat, THEN you start honing your technique, but give yourself a 90-day break-in period where you resign to NOT be frustrated about doing anything wrong. After that first 90 days, start trying to minimize your mistakes and errors in form, but again, slowly but surely, not all at once. To make sure your form is as good as can be, think about these things as you’re executing the combo:
1. Am I telegraphing what I’m about to do?
2. Where am I open as I throw this technique? What should I be doing to minimize how my opponent might try to strike me as I throw this? Where is the hand that I’m NOT throwing with? Is is sagging down low, or am I able to throw my punches starting from my hand at guard position?
3. As I’m backing away from the bag after my combo, how well am I prepared for my opponent to rush me, try to take me down, or start throwing punches at me?
4. Am I throwing my punches at the right level? Is my jab too low, not really at the opponent’s face? Is my shovel hook really in the opponent’s floating ribs or liver? Or are all my punches just kind of at the same level, with no distinction in where they should be landing? (Common problem with EVERYONE I train)
5. Am I leaning too far forward or off to the side so that if I miss I’d really be vulnerable? Am I not in good enough balance to throw something else or something different if I needed to? Am I relying on the bag to catch my weight instead of relying on my own balance?