10 Ways This System is Superior to a DVD Workout Program

Think about this as you contemplate buying the latest and greatest DVD Workout Program being touted on TV and on the internet.  These DVD programs have audio.  That means that every time you workout, you are going to be listening to the same music (not music that you like, mind you) for ALL of your workout sessions, for the rest of your life.  Not only that, everything the instructor says, you will have to hear EVERY single time you play that DVD, for the rest of your life.  Even if there are 8 different workouts, you are still going to be stuck listening to their music and their dialogue each time you want to train.  And read the reviews on Amazon (the negative ones, where you find out what is irritating about the different ones) and you are going to hear how much it drives people crazy listening to the same thing over and over.  So, with that intro, read on and discover why the Kickboxing At Home Workout System is far superior to a DVD.  ANY DVD program!

1.  There is far more variety.  12 workouts in all, and all 12 are for every level, from beginner to advanced.  Some DVD sets come with multiple workouts, but most of the time only one or two are usable at your current level.  Even after one year of doing this program, you will probably have only seen the same workout 10 or 12 times.  This prevents burnout and helps keep you interested and enthusiastic about working out.  We also spread out ALL the workouts to cover your entire body, not devoting a whole workout to “abs”, or “legs”, or any other specific muscle group.  No one needs THAT much work done at once to any body part.

2.  Much less repetition due to the built in flexibility of the System:  the first 4 rounds are open to the addition of your own material, so YOU can decide what seated stretches, standing stretches, dynamic stretches, and shadow boxing you want to do.  Sure, you may want to use the same warmup stretches over and over again, but should you happen to come across a book or video that is showing you something new that you want to try, you simply add it into your stretching rounds, whether its seated, standing, or dynamic.  If its a technique, you can add it into your shadowboxing round.  This way your program can continually grow or evolve according to your needs or desires.  With a DVD, you’re stuck with what they give you, EVERY single time!

3.  Unlimited variety in the music:  with DVD’s, you are stuck to listening to THEIR generic terrible music EVERY single time you workout.  With the “Kickboxing at Home” System, YOU are the dj to your own workout.  One day you might want rock, the next day hip hop, the next time acid jazz or fusion or funk, or whatever… Being able to put on the music that YOU like, and are in the mood for, EACH and every time, is a huge plus.  HUGE!

4.  There are no tedious introductions and explanations to suffer thru:  DVD’s always have someone talking, introducing things, instructing, etc…. It might be good for the first time, but what about 6 months into the program and you’re still having to listen to ALL that annoying stuff EVERY single time you want to work out???   No way!  (Read the Amazon reviews from people who have been on a program for a while and you’ll see.)

5.  DVD’s can’t have you hitting an actual heavy bag.  Therefore there is no resistance behind your strikes.  You are at risk of hyper-extending your joints and causing injury.  (Did you ever wonder why they are wearing gloves??? )
But the best part about having a heavy bag is that the resistance it adds is what’s going to build muscle, increase bone density, strengthen joints, activate your core, PLUS, that’s the most fun thing about hitting and kicking:  IMPACT!!!   AmI right???   Of course!
6.  Most DVD’s have you doing cardio-fluff techniques that aren’t as directly translatable to an actual fighting scenario. Because your weight is not being transferred into any object, your stance and weight distribution upon impact is not quite as realistic and your muscle memory and neural pathways are being developed in a manner different than a fight situation.   Plus, with cardio DVD’s, you don’t have a target, and you aren’t visualizing an opponent.  With our System, you are impacting a bag. That’s the kind of balance and coordination you’re going to need in an actual violent confrontation for self defense. You have the weight of the bag pushing back against your fist, and that force is transferred into your arm, your shoulder, THRU YOUR CORE, into your legs, and into the ground… MUCH more effective for toning and building strength!

7.  All other workout DVD’s “pad” their workouts with all kinds of boot camp exercises!  Burpees, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, sit ups, running in place, pushups, and all sorts of other exercises that are NO fun to do.  The “Kickboxing at Home” System has been designed to work these same muscle groups, but by doing something fun and interesting on the heavy bag.  This gets your mind off the “workload” and puts it into the “fight”, where time passes much more quickly, and with a lot more excitement and fun.

8.  DVD’s put your neck, and possibly your whole body, in an improper alignment.   DVD’s teach you to look at a screen, when your eyes should be laser-focused on your opponent.  When you’re trying to watch an instructor, yet your technique is moving your body with momentum in a different direction, this can cause you to crane your neck unnaturally and lead to neck injury and headaches.  Our System has you ALWAYS looking at your opponent, and NEVER taking your eyes off of him.  If there is ONE crucial habit to form for self defense and fighting, this is it.

9.  More stress relief and mental peace.  A DVD has constant INPUT into your brain thru your eyes and ears.  It doesn’t allow you to relax and escape into the workout.  It doesn’t allow you to think about your fight and your technique; your thoughts are constantly interrupt ed by the “talking heads” pulling you out of your zone and distracting you.  The “Kickboxing at Home” System will take your stress level from an 8,9, or 10 and bring it all the way down to a 1,2, or 3, EVERY single time you workout.  This has been anecdotally proven thru countless uses and training sessions and has never failed.  Following the Instructions as written will lead to a perfect workout every time.
10.  You don’t have to workout in the same vicinity as a TV or computer.  With the Kickboxing At Home Workout System, you are either working out at a gym, in your garage, or in a basement, and hopefully you’ve turned the entire area into a workout room so that it feels motivating and energizing.  Maybe its just me, but I can’t workout in a bedroom or in the family room; the atmosphere just isn’t right.  I don’t want to see all of the distractions of daily living.  I want an ESCAPE from my daily life, at least for an hour!  No TV, no computer.  Just the heavy bag, my System, and my music.  Now THAT’S a workout!!!

Should I Be Working Both Sides or Just One?

The old “Left side/Right side” dilemma can be cause for heated controversy, but let me give you one man’s opinion on the matter:

Here’s what many trainers say:

“You should only train on ONE side. Period!”

Why?  For several reasons:

One:   You have a “dominant” side.  This side puts your strongest hand in the rear where you can throw your most powerful punches.  The “Orthodox” fight stance means your left hand is up front, and your right hand is in the rear where it can stay poised for a knockout punch:  the Right Cross.   If you’re left-handed, this is reversed and you’re fighting “Southpaw”, where your left hand is kept in the rear.

You want your strongest hand in the rear because that’s where your strongest punch comes from.

Two:   “You will fight the way that you train!”  In a fight, you will want your right hand in the rear, so that means you need to train with it in the rear so that there will never be any confusion as to how you will stand or punch in a fight.  You want to develop all the right habits so that it becomes second nature to you.    Switching sides during training only confuses the issue and your solid habits.

Three:   There is a lot to work on in fighting and in your technique.  You need to have your strong side completely MASTERED, and until you’ve done that, you have no business taking training time away from it and working on the other side.

Four:   It will take longer to develop your skill set trying to work both sides.  Its confusing enough trying to learn the body mechanics, transfer of weight/force/power, proper kicks, guard and fight stance, etc. from just one side. Adding in the other side will erode some of your progress as you get confused and you’ll be left with a weaker side and a stronger side, but no side developed enough for ultimate survival in the ring or on the street.


The above is the argument of many trainers, and they are all valid points and I respect that.  If anyone wants to train that way, it is certainly appropriate and there’s no need to change.

I however have a different opinion (of course!), and some of it is because of my unique physical makeup (which I will allude to), and others may have different reasons why working BOTH sides makes sense for them.

So here they are, lets start!

1.  Bruce Lee felt that your strongest hand, instead of going in the rear, should be up front, where it is going to be doing most of the work.  After all, you will jab far more often than you will throw a cross, so your best hand should be in the driver’s seat.  Also, your strongest hand should be up front to block because typically it is more coordinated than your weakest hand.   So already we have a fly in the ointment about which side should be up front.  Bruce Lee cannot be ignored.

2.  You may suffer an injury in a fight which may necessitate your switching sides.   You could break your front hand on the attacker’s head, and may now have to protect it in the rear.  Your front hand could get injured from a knife or other weapon.  You could suffer damage from kicks to your front leg so that you have to put it in the back.  Your eye could suffer and injury and your vision needs may require you to change your stance.   Now, if you haven’t become proficient on that other side, how comfortable are you going to be?

3.  Training on both sides evens out the wear and tear on your body:  your hands and joints.  If you throw 10,000 jabs during your training lifetime, and 1,000 right crosses, that means your left arm is getting 10 times the workload of your right.  You could develop and overuse injury to your hand, and your shoulder especially.

4.  Working both sides may in some way prevent you from developing conditions based on overuse.  I have two bones fused in my neck.  If I look too long to any one side, it causes migraines.  In a fight stance, your neck is looking to one side more than the other.  Switching sides on a regular basis allows a break in each direction before problems can set in and evens out the stress.

Not all of your limbs get used equally in training.  The front hand seems to punch more, and the rear leg seems to kick more.  Switching to the opposite side gives all body parts a chance to participate equally in the training, so if you’re training in order to maintain a strong, healthy, fit, balanced body, it just makes sense to work both sides as equally as possible.

5.  Sometimes after a technique you might inadvertently land with your “other” leg forward.  You are not in charge of the fight.  Your opponent can and will do things to throw a monkey wrench in your game plan.  You might throw a switch kick completely intent on putting it back forward when you land, but your opponent has moved in on you, and now that leg is stuck to the rear and you must both attack and defend from this position.   Wouldn’t it be nice if you were just as proficient on this side?

So there you have it and the case is made for training both sides equally.  Read thru the arguments and “let each man be fully convinced in his own mind” as the Good Book sayeth.  If you’ve decided you want to train both sides, and your trainer will let you, your next question might be how to go about it.

Here is what I do:  if I’m doing a drill, lets say “5 front push kicks, 5 rear push kicks”, I will simply do the set, then switch stances and do the same set from the other side.

If I’m executing a combination, I might do it first on one side, then on the next, alternating continuously until the bell rings.  Or you might want to do the first half of the round on one side, then switch, whatever.  I try to really equalize the work on each side, but you might not need be quite so anal about it and perhaps you just want 25% of your training to be on your other side.   Whatever works best for you and is your best interest depending on your training needs and your body structure.   While I realize that this little treatise in no masterpiece, I hope it is able to serve as food for thought for those that are wrestling with this issue.

How this System uses the best of Science and Psychology

The Kickboxing At Home Workout System was designed over a period of a few years to follow the best practices of exercise science and psychology.  Every effort was made to be in complete alignment with what the top experts and researchers were revealing.   For many workout routines, you have to wonder if what you’re doing is in agreement with what the researchers are recommending; with this program you do not, because it is in complete harmony with the best training knowledge science has to offer.
Consider these few areas:

1.  The Weariness of Decisions:

Psychologists have discovered that making numerous decisions wears out our mental faculties and leaves us less satisfied with our choices.  Our System was created so that when you stand before the heavy bag, you already know what to do, so that you don’t have to make a decision or choice about what technique or combination to throw! Without using this System, you would actually have to make choice after choice, up to 30 times per round, leaving you much more mentally fatigued after your training session.  That is why you’re left with no stress after your training sessions on this program; it has been specifically engineered to accomplish this goal.

2.  H.I.I.T.
Exercise scientists have discovered and reaffirm with study after study that high intensity interval training is the best way to get maximum “bang for your buck” with your exercise routine.  Going at high intensity, followed by a short break, over and over again, has been proven to be much more beneficial than doing “endurance” workouts, like long-distance running.  There are always articles coming out about “the best way to exercise”.  Aren’t you glad that all you have to do is follow the System and all of that has already been taken into account for you?  You never have to worry that you’re not on the right track.
3.  Getting Psychology on your Side:  
Most people struggle with having the intention to exercise, but when the time for it comes they meet with resistance in their minds because they don’t enjoy what they’re doing and therefore look for a way out.  This System was designed so that when you first start each session you’re always starting with   “Round One:  Seated Stretches”, so that what you’re about to do is EASY and you need not be worried whether or not you’re “in the mood” or “have enough energy”, etc.  The next few rounds slowly increase the energy output so that each round simply flows into the next, and each one gets you in the mood for the following one.  This lets you use your psychology to work FOR you and not against you.  You will have much more long-term success with this type of System; in fact, moreso than any other workout routine!
4.  Muscle Confusion Principle:  Exercise scientists have been touting for decades to mix up your workout routine, create “muscle confusion”, and to keep your body guessing and adjusting to the stimulus you’re placing upon it.  In all fairness, many of the latest workout programs accomplish this goal very well, like the P90X for example.  In our System, each workout has you doing a unique set of combinations on the heavy bag, until you’ve gone thru all 12 workouts.  For most people, this is less than once per month, so you will never get sick of a workout.  You will probably only see the workout 8-10 times in a whole year- how could you possibly get sick of it at that pace?  You can’t and you won’t!
5.  Long-Term Solution vs. Short-Term Fad:   The HUGE advantage this System has over every other workout routine is that it is tempered so that it can be used week after week, month after month, year after year- without burning you out!  Most routines go for the impress factor by showing how hard they are, and how rapidly you’re going to see maximal results.  This is short-sighted, and only works for a small minority of people.  Most of them will burn you out quite quickly, and you will begin to hate doing them, and possibly start hating exercise in general.  You will go gangbusters for the first 6-8 weeks, then you will take a deep plunge off the exercise wagon and you won’t return until you’ve developed the intestinal fortitude to begin again, or you’ll wait until “New Years” to resolve yourself to pick back up, or you’ll spend more money getting the latest DVD program from the infomercial.  And you’ll repeat this cycle over and over again. You will always be taking one step forward and two steps back.  And you run the risk of getting sick and injured if you try to stay on.  Oh, by the way, I hope you enjoy “bootcamp” exercises, because almost all of the programs are nothing more than numerous bootcamp exercises given to you in various combinations and intensities, week after week.  They are no fun, and you will have to FORCE yourself with every ounce of willpower to continue, and this internal battle will take place every single day.  Believe me, I’ve done it, and so has probably everyone you know- and yourself- and it has never proven to be an effective long-term strategy to making exercise a consistent part of your life.  With exercise, NOTHING is as important as CONSISTENCY.  Even a poor program- that you will do, is better than an awesome program- that you won’t do!
6.  Avoiding Overtraining:   One of the most often overlooked biological factors to a successful workout system is the ability to recover.  Without recovery, you cannot progress.  Most programs have you going way past the point you can recover from before your next workout.  Any effort that is given past this point is simply wasted energy and effort.  Energy, mind you, expended on something you hate doing (ie. bootcamp exercises).  The Kickboxing At Home System has been specifically designed so that YOU can control the energy output level and adjust it to your own level of fitness.  A beginner and an advanced athlete can both use the exact same workout and each get the results he or she sought after with equal success.  How and why, you ask?  Because the heavy bag rounds are easily adaptable to one’s specific physiological makeup:  if you’re less fit, you simply do the fight combinations with less vigor, take more time between each combo, use less footwork and movement, etc.  The Rounds are adjustable to between 2-5 minutes, so each person can choose their own ideal level.  Or if you have less time one day, simply put the Round Timer on 2-minute rounds and go at full intensity.  I love doing it like this every now and then; its so much fun!
My general advice to people is to exercise around 85-90% of their potential.  You need that extra 10-15% that you left in the tank to recover with after the workout.  Most other exercise programs constantly are pushing you 100% day after day, which leads to overtraining.  Here’s what happens when you overtrain:
– Your body stops responding to exercise.
– You get sick or develop and injury (this is your body’s way of forcing you to slow down).  You will typically get a flu-like illness, a throat infection, or something similar.
– You lose motivation and enthusiasm for training.
– In a really bad case, you will actually burn/lose muscle tissue and start moving backwards in your progress.  Translation:  all that hard work for nothing!!!
There are many other ways in which this Workout System aligns itself with the soundest principles, not only of workout science, but of psychology as well.   It has been designed to avoid injuries, create a strong body for your “golden years”, increase bone density, enhance flexibility, develop coordination, balance, and athleticism; develop greater cardio and respiratory endurance, build more lean muscle tissue and decrease fat stores (one of the major health liabilities leading to heart and coronary disease).
It also greatly reduces stress (which is bad for you both mentally/emotionally AND physically).  It can serve to increase your self esteem and body image, as well as help you deal with things in life in a more empowered manner.  Because it is easy to stick with, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and self-discipline, and that can bleed over into many other areas of your life.   When you’re on an exercise program that is much too hard and burns you out, and therefore causes you to QUIT, it damages your self-image and can make you feel like a failure and lessen your belief in yourself.
This Workout System has been designed to counter those liabilities and turn them into strengths.  If you have not yet gotten started but are interested in doing so, why not let TODAY be the day you take your first step?  This is a program you can get on and stay on with full assurance that YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT TRACK because you’re working WITH science and psychology in the most effective and efficient manner possible!

Should I Memorize the Kickboxing Combinations in Order to Get Better?

I received this question the other day, so I figured I’d post a reply to it here so that others may benefit. The person was going to set about memorizing all the combinations, thinking he needed to do so in order to be more effective.
THERE IS NO NEED TO MEMORIZE the combinations, so don’t weary yourself with such a task.
There is nothing inherently special about each of the combos. There is no need to think, “After I throw a jab and a cross, then I should also throw (fill in the blank)…”
The combinations are created simply to give you TONS of ways to put strikes together. In an actual fight, techniques will simply “flow” based on where you see openings or weaknesses in your opponent. Sure, some techniques naturally follow others, and for various reasons.  For example,  a right cross naturally follows a jab because the jab serves as a distraction and/or creates an opening for the right cross to land.

A rear leg kick might naturally follow a jab too, because you’ve put your opponent’s attention “upstairs” so that the “downstairs” technique (a kick to his leg) will be more likely to land.

A left hook follows well a right cross.  Why?  Because the cross tilts the opponent’s head back and lifts the chin so that your left hook may now knock his chin off of his body.  Well, that doesn’t literally happen, but it sure makes a nice “lever” to shake his brain around inside his cranium!

There are many combinations that do simply “go together”, like peanut butter and jelly.  In fact, almost ALL of the combinations, with the exception of just a handful of “drills”, are put together simply because they DO make sense for one technique to follow another technique.  But that still is not incentive enough to memorize them.

In fact, memorizing them, while being a bit beneficial, has a few drawbacks and is simply not necessary.  For one, the combinations are always written down on your Workout sheet, so you HAVE to refer to them anyway.  To memorize them will simply add fatigue to your brain, and diminish some of the “stress-relieving” properties of the workout.  Why hold all this extra data in your mind?

Also, many of the combinations are very very similar.  Sometimes the techniques contained therein differ only by the order in which they’re performed.  This makes them more difficult to memorize because they lack enough distinction.

Well, the question was asked, “Should I memorize the combinations?”, and the answer is a simple, “No”, so why belabor the point any longer?  Now go have fun with the workouts!

Good… Better… Best? Why sometimes good enough is best.

Fitness is a lifetime endeavor.  Whatever you choose to do to stay in shape, it should be something that you can realistically foresee keeping up for your entire “exercise life”, or at least the “exercise era” that you’re currently in.

Unless there are valid reasons for you training beyond that level.  Here are examples of some valid reasons:

  • You are training for a specific goal; eg. a marathon, sport, event you have to participate in, etc.
  • You are an athlete and need to be competitive at a high level
  • You absolutely love exercise
  • You are relatively young and can quickly recover from super-intense workout regimens

Here are some reasons to moderate or temper your exercise routine:

  • It’s easier to stick with long-term when each session doesn't overtax your system;
  • You will avoid burning out, losing motivation and enthusiasm for exercise;
  • You will avoid overuse injuries (repetitive stress) on your joints;
  • You will be keeping the gains you make from your exercise sessions.

When you train too hard, you must continue at that same intense pace or else your body will start to reverse back towards whatever pace you’re maintaining long term.  Translation:  if you were “extra intense” for a few months, but then find that you’re unable to keep up that level of intensity, all of that extra effort will only profit you DURING that intense phase; you will slowly lose that progress when it’s not maintained.

Why train harder than you’re able to gain from?  That’s like having a bank account that can only hold $100,000, yet you’re working overtime at your job month after month earning extra money, but only able to permanently keep that which can fit into your account.

Here’s what you should do:  train for the season of life that you’re in.

  • If you’re an athlete- train like an athlete
  • If you’re in your 30’s- train as someone in their 30’s
  • When you’re in your 60’s- train as someone in their 60’s
  • Consider your schedule, the time you have available to train, your resources (access to equipment, gyms, exercise areas, etc.), your preferences, your level of self-discipline and motivation, and your needs (whether or not you are at risk of disease due to obesity, etc.)

So how does all of this relate to “Good- Better- Best”?

There are a lot of programs out there that are absolutely great.  They are super intense, will get you in great shape, will challenge you to your ultimate capacity.  This would be considered by the casual observer to be “best” (= most difficult).  What are some of these, specifically?  Cross Fit is a great program.  P90X, Insanity, TRX, certain bootcamps, etc.  You can get on these programs and be pushed to your very limits, or perhaps beyond.

But the question you must ask yourself is:  how long can I keep this up?  If I begin to dread my workouts because they are burning me out, what will I do?  You will probably do what most people do:  quit exercise.  Maybe permanently, but at least for a while.  The result:  you will feel bad about yourself, you will question your “commitment” and discipline, and you will wait month after month until you can finally muster the inner strength to start back on an ultra-rigorous exercise scheme.  After all, you’ve been lead to believe that that is “the best”, so why would you want to waste time with anything else?   “No pain, no gain”.

Person A rides their bike twice a week, plays tennis with their friends, goes on evening walks, engages in a weight training session twice a week at home… and loves it!  This person stays in great shape, is happy, looks forward to their exercise, keeps a positive mental state, and is a consistent exerciser for their entire life.

Person B signed up for “The Ultimate Workout”, whatever that is, was pumped about it for the first several weeks, was getting in much better shape, and was super happy about actually getting started on this long-put-off exercise goal.  After a couple months, burnout began to set in and it became much harder to force him/herself to go; however, he mustered every ounce of willpower and was able to be consistent for another few months.  But you can only fight YOURSELF for so long, and eventually he was able to come up with excuses to go much less frequently, and finally- not at all.

Person B gave up on exercise even though he was on the “best” program.  Person A was only on a “good” program, but 10 years later is in very good shape.  And Person A will continue to be in very good shape (notice I did not say “phenomenal” shape) for his entire life.  Person A enjoys exercise and will therefore DO it!   Person B has been taught that exercise must be painful and grueling and has therefore come to dread it.

Which person is on the best program?

Perhaps its time to take a realistic look at what’s “best” for you.  What is best is what you WILL do.  You can achieve this with will “power”, or by simply being “willing”.  Using “power” implies overcoming a force in the opposite direction.  Overcoming force is conflict.  Conflict causes stress.

When you are simply “willing” to do something, this usually means that you like it.  There is no inherent force to fight.  There is no dread of exercise or fear of burnout.

So you can see that there is no “one size fits all” exercise solution.  It depends on the makeup of the individual, and his/her circumstances.  Person B may be perfectly “willing” to do the ultra-intense phenomenal extra-strength workout program.  Person B might actually like it and it causes no inner conflict at all, and if he can do it continually and still recover and grow from it- great!  That is his best workout.

But if you are 35, 55, or 65, and have never been an exerciser and need to lose weight in fear of diabetes or other weight-related ills, perhaps doing Person B’s workout is not “best” at all as far as you’re concerned.  There is nothing about a “workout program” that makes it best.  Best only comes from the MATCH between you and your workout, the compatibility of your makeup and circumstances to the workout’s demands.

There are of course workouts that are better than others.  For example, lengthy endurance workouts that wear out your joints and promote muscle loss are not going to be good for much except your heart/lungs.  There are also certain ways of working out that are just not as efficient or effective as others.  Some of them aren’t using the best of science and research when they’re created.  Some are much too convoluted and complicated as the trainer/designer gets too “cute” with the exercises in an effort to be “unique”.  Some want to get out stability balls, resistance bands, one-footed/one-handed, off-balance, funky movements when a simple lift or movement could easily serve the same purpose.

So, you have to be smart in your selection and choice of an exercise routine.  Use what you know of science, common sense, and your “gut instinct”, and choose what you feel will work best for you.  Don’t fall for hype, propaganda, commercialism/consumerism, and fads.  What you don’t know- learn.  And while you’re learning, DO something- walk, do pushups and situps, stretch, whatever.  Just GET STARTED and create the habit of exercise (and start enjoying its benefits), and you have the rest of your life to “fine tune” your program, to add or remove what does or doesn’t work for you.

Your BEST program is one you like, believe in, will actually do, and can keep up for a long, long time.  If it doesn’t fit that criteria, go ahead and do it if you can, but keep searching for one that does.   Remember, there is no “best”, just “best for you”.  And don’t let anyone tell you differently!

All the BEST to you!

Can an intense workout help you live longer?

Members:   I thought this article written by Peter Bowes was certainly worth sharing with our community here:

Bombarded with adverts promising a longer, healthier life, BBC News Los Angeles correspondent Peter Bowes goes in search of eternal youth.

Are you a jogger or a weight lifter? Do you run marathons or take part in triathlons. When it comes to breaking a sweat, each to their own. But what kind of exercise is best if you want to live longer? In particular, is shorter and sharper better than longer and duller?

According to Dr Stuart Gray from the University of Aberdeen’s musculoskeletal research programme, a key factor in reducing the likelihood of early death from cardiovascular disease could be high intensity exercise.

“The benefits do seem to be quite dramatic,” he says.

He admits, though, that many in the medical establishment are still promoting moderate intensity exercise.

Gray’s study has shown that short bursts of activity, such as sprinting or pedalling all-out on an exercise bike for as little as 30 seconds, result in the body getting rid of fat in the blood faster than exercising at moderate intensity, such as taking a brisk walk.

And getting rid of fat in the blood is important as it reduces the chances of suffering a heart attack.

A fitness class at Results Fitness
High intensity exercise is designed to burn fat. The early morning workout at Results Fitness in Santa Clarita, California, puts the claims for high intensity exercise to the test. The gym, owned by husband and wife Alwyn and Rachel Cosgrove, bases its classes on the latest research from medical journals.

The Cosgroves treat their gymnasium as a fitness laboratory.

Instead of people learning to exercise either from a trainer at their gym, or a friend, or from a magazine, Alwyn Cosgrove wants to bring the latest research to bear on how we should be exercising.

“The medical database is full of stuff that works. All we are doing is putting it together and trying to make something better,” he says.

The metabolic zone class, a 45-minute interval training session, is designed to burn fat. Everyone wears a heart-rate monitor and works at their own pace, according to their body’s response to the workout.

“We want to get them up to 85% and above of their maximum heart rate,” says Rachel Cosgrove.

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My body is my machine and if I do not take care of it no-one else will”

Cyndi MadiaGym-goer

The class includes explosive exercises, such as slamming a medicine ball on the ground at high speed. After a rest period, when the heart rate should drop to 75% or below one’s maximum, the next round starts.

“Research has shown that the interval effect – when you are working at an intensity that you could not hold longer than a couple of minutes followed by full recovery – is when you are going to get the best results when it comes to fat loss and increasing your metabolism,” says Rachel Cosgrove.

“We have been open for 12 years and we have tracked every single workout that our clients have done. In line with the research, the shorter, intense workouts are what give our clients the biggest bang for their buck.”

Cyndi Madia, 42, a busy mother with a full-time job in a school, enjoys the early morning workouts. “My body is my machine and if I do not take care of it no-one else will,” says Madia.

“I have seen my parents falling apart at 60 and saying they are old. I do not want to be be like that.”

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High intensity training (HIT)

Dr Jamie Timmons, professor of ageing biology at Birmingham University, says that with just three minutes of HIT a week for four weeks significant health benefits can be achieved.

HIT can help aerobic fitness, that’s your lungs and heart’s ability to get oxygen into your body.

It also helps improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin removes sugar from the blood and it controls fat.

Despite HIT’s benefits some people, for genetic reasons, will respond much less to HIT than will others.

Worries about growing infirm are shared by another gym-goer Alecia Menzano.

“My mother will be 83 in March. She has never enjoyed any physical activity, she has had a hip replaced, she’s got severe arthritis. I don’t want to be like her, confined to a wheelchair and unable to get on to the floor to play with my grandchildren,” says Menzano.

James Madia, a 51-year old police officer, has been working out in gyms for more than 30 years. To his surprise in the past two years he has seen his body fat drop from 26% to 10% by using the Cosgroves’ high intensity approach.

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 what if season

What if we could stay young forever? What if everyone had a car? What If? is a season across BBC News looking at visions of the future.

What If (special report)

“Coming from the guys’ gym environment, where you are pumping iron, it did not seem all that serious,” he says.

“Then I took a class and almost crawled out of here on my hands and knees and realised, ‘Okay, this is harder than it looks.’ It definitely is challenging.”

In the absence of long-term controlled research on human beings, the impact of exercise on lifespan is difficult to quantify. However, a study published in The Physician and Sports Medicine suggests that older athletes on intense training programmes are capable of achieving remarkable levels of fitness. MRI scans have shown that a 70-year-old triathlete can have as much muscle mass as a 40-year-old.

“The idea is to create this organism, this human being, that can continue to function late in life,” says Alwyn Cosgrove.

“My gut instinct is that if I improve the quality of every single day from a nutrition level, from an exercise level, and by just building the strength in the body, that perhaps, I can extend lifespan.”

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Avoiding America’s #1 Killer

According to a number of news and health articles I’ve read over the past year, there is a silent killer that seems to be sneaking up on people without even raising the least suspicion.  To get right to the point, apparently there is a direct correlation between the amount of time you spend SITTING DOWN and the length of your lifespan.

Sitting down too much is related to high rates of mortality and morbidity.  You wouldn’t really think much about it unless you were made aware of it.  I mean, everyone already knows that you need to lead somewhat of an active lifestyle, and that exercise needs to be a part of your weekly routine.  But even when you’re not exercising, you really need to be aware of just how much sitting  you do.  Those who sit most are most likely to die soonest.  Those whose lifestyles consist of too much sitting also tend to develop disease.

Most of us can’t help how much sitting down we do.  You may be a truck driver on long hauls.  You may have a desk job that ties you to a computer for most of the day.  Then when you get home, there’s a lot of sitting that needs to be done:  eating meals, watching tv, using the computer, etc.

If we HAVE to be tied down with these sitting tasks, what can we do to mitigate our risk of early disease and death?

My number one tip:  take frequent breaks from your sitting spells.

Take time out at work to get up, even if its just to walk down the hallway for a minute or two.  Avoid sitting for prolonged periods that are uninterrupted by breaks.   Even a small break, if it breaks your sitting spell, is worthwhile.

At home, lets say you know you need to spend 3 or 4 hours on the computer; what can you do?

For one, don’t try to accomplish ALL your “standing activities” at the same time, and all your “sitting activities” during the same sitting spell.  If you know you have to clean up the kitchen, wait until you’ve been at your “sitting task” for 45 minutes to an hour, and THEN get up and go clean up the kitchen.   You might then see that you need to do another chore; if so, wait until you’ve done another 30 minutes of your sitting, and then use that chore to break your prolonged sitting.

Try to have a very good mix of sitting and standing.  Don’t say, “I’m going to get all of this (insert task here) stuff done, then I can go to my computer and stay there until I have all my work accomplished.”   Instead, conserve some of your standing or walking tasks, and intersperse them with whatever it is that has you sitting:  tv, meals, computer, etc.

Don’t try to “make up” for your prolonged sitting by saying, “I’ll balance out 5 hours of continued sitting with 1 hour of activity.”   Its the periods of “prolonged” sitting that are doing the damage, so try not to have them; and if you absolutely must, try to have them as infrequently as possible.

I don’t know WHY this prolonged sitting is so terrible for our health.  I don’t know if its due to circulation, if it sends a signal to our body that we’re not doing so well, if it has something to do with our internal organs not being jostled around enough, or just what may be the problem.   Perhaps its a mixture of those, or something that is yet unknown.

What IS known however, is that prolonged sitting is BAD.   It is now a known fact.   Lets all do what we can to avoid the negative consequences of all this sitting, and adjust our lives, our work, our tasks, and our recreations so that we are standing not only more, but more frequently.   Is there something that you do while sitting, that could actually be done standing?   Just yesterday, after being on the computer for awhile, I went to play my guitar.  Even though I’d rather sit and do it, I made myself stand because I JUST got off the computer, which was ALL sitting.   Just  a while ago, I saw that I needed to unload the dishwasher.  However, I had just gotten home from doing errands, so I decided to “save” that task to use as a “standing break” from the work I knew I had to do on the computer.

I am going to make a SERIOUS effort to avoid prolonged sitting, and I suggest you do the same!

PS.  Spread the word!


Here are some article links that will testify to the truthfulness of the above:

How Should Brand New Beginners Use This Program?

#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?

How Does This Program Compare to Cardio Kickboxing?

There are a lot of kickboxing routines, programs, and DVD’s out there… how does one know which one to choose?

Let me start with this broad sweeping statement:

If all you are looking for is a good cardio workout, then I think ANY of the workouts or DVD’s can be a suitable choice.

Exercise is so important.   THAT you do it is more important than HOW you do it.   If you find something you like and it works for you, then more power to you.   There is no reason to pit one program against another.  The worst thing that can happen is someone talk you out of something you enjoy and are getting benefit from.

This program differs from cardio kickboxing in that you’re making impact on a heavy bag for every strike, and therefore have the weight/resistance of the bag pushing back on you with as much force as you’re putting into it.     So for me, you get a lot better bicep/tricep/shoulder/chest workout when your arm is slamming into a 100 lb bag than you would just striking the air.

When you do a Push Kick with all your strength, your quads are really going to get worked having to push that heavy bag away from you.

When you twist in with a hook punch to the body, your abs and obliques are really going to feel it as 100 lb bag is pushing back against you.

Plus, its more fun to train authentically.   You’ll get a lot of satisfaction throwing an effective combination at the bag, one that looks like it could really take care of an opponent, versus just punching out to the right side and flicking a  kick in the air before you go into a squat, come back up and do it again.    Again, not to knock any other exercise programs…. they’re ALL good and worthwhile, but this program is cardio AND resistance.    Regular cardio kickboxing does have one advantage, however:   it is done without a heavy bag!   So that means ANYwhere, and that’s great.   But there really is a “night and day” difference between the two, so much so that they probably shouldn’t even be compared – they are two separate types of working out.

The Kickboxing Underground  method of training may be too rough for some people.   Your shins might hurt hitting the bag.   You might scrape your elbow, or hurt your wrist.   Plus, some people just feel too violent hitting something; they’re more of a calm, peaceful type of person.   This type of realistic fight-scenario training may make them feel uncomfortable…. so it may not be for everybody.

If you don’t do this program, just do something you enjoy.   I can’t stress that enough!    Its HARD to exercise consistently, if you do something you don’t enjoy it makes it twice as hard!

Get out and ride a bike; play tennis; play basketball;  just get out there and get your body moving.   Its all good!   THIS program was designed as a systematic way to ensure that you get your exercise in consistently, that’s its effective as possible, and that you’re accomplishing all aspects of fitness in the same training session:  strength, cardio, and flexibility.

How Does This Program Compare to “P90X”, “Insanity”, etc?

Q.  What is the difference between this program/system and some of the others out there, like “Insanity”, “P90X”, etc?

A.   One thing I’m sure about is that those programs DO work, and I think they’re great, especially for people who enjoy training that way.   If you’re already on one of those programs, you may want to just alternate this training method with your other program and do both.

The primary difference, besides the Kickboxing Underground program being full of such variety, is that you’re not doing any exercises (besides stretching) that are simply exercise.      By that I mean, “exercise for exercise sake” , which is simply finding ways to push your body that force you to use a lot of energy (and willpower).   For example, squatting down low and jumping up in the air is exercise to force your quads to work, and with each repetition your quads are getting more and more fatigued and it becomes harder to catch your breath and push through “the burn”.   That is not at all fun; there are only so many “sessions” that I’d be willing to push myself to do that before I start making excuses about why “I need to miss my training today”.    Only the most motivated and self-disciplined will be able to use a program like that long term.   (However, if you ARE very self-disciplined, and love exercising, then those types of programs are really good.)

Now, compare that to how our legs might get used in the “Kickboxing At Home” program…   We have a round where you’re executing a push kick, or two.    Instead of thinking about how uncomfortable your quads are feeling, you’re now just simply concentrating on following the timing of the bag, and judging the distancing required, and making sure your stance is balanced, and trying to perfect your technique of putting the most energy into the bag (making your kick the most effective).    You’re also thinking about defense (what reaction the opponent might make), you’re working in whatever punches are in the combo, you’re perfecting your footwork and mobility, …..  a bunch of stuff  OTHER  than just thinking about burning out your quads!

The same could be said about every other muscle group, including your cardio.    At no time during the workout are you concentrating on “exercise”;  instead you are simply performing the given combination.   All the focus is on the technique, the combination, and the elements that make up the 3-minute round, eg. the footwork after each combination, moving around the bag, keeping your hands up and ready to respond to the opponent’s movements (or the way the bag is swinging).

While focusing on something else  (being “in the moment” of the fight during the round),  you achieve your goal along the way as a natural byproduct.

The “Kickboxing At Home” method is not just a “program”, it is also a “system”.

The “Program” is each of the individual workouts, so technically you’re doing 12 different “programs” on 12 consecutive training sessions.

The “System” is the way the 12 individual workouts or “programs” are put together with the understanding of how each affects the whole,  and the entire philosophy behind this method of training.    There are many, many elements all working together here,  from the timing of the rounds,  to the use of a round timer,  to the reasoning behind the order of exercises, the number of rounds, the rest periods, the necessity to be free of distraction during the training sessions, and so on.

It might sound complicated, but to the end USER of the system it is quite simple:   you just take your workout page/program for that session, place it where you can refer to it, and follow along.   No thought required.   So much thought went into the DEVELOPMENT of the system, that in order to USE  it no more is required, that’s why I believe this might be the only comprehensive system of its kind available anywhere.    There is nothing to choose during the workout, no options, no decisions to make; yet, in spite of those “restrictions”, you actually come away with MORE variety than you could have ever gotten through various “options”!

This lack of thought and decision-making by you is one of the reasons you will get such a powerful anti-stress, anti-anxiety and anti-worry effect from the exercise session.    You will never feel more stress-free than at the end of your workout session!    This effect is able to be achieved by the system because of the countless “trial runs” and tweaking over months and months and months of constant use and refinement.    This was not a “product” created to be marketed and sold.   This was a private system and method used with myself and my clients that simply became too good to keep private!

This is a no-hype zone;  you will always be told the truth here because I’m not looking to get a million “buyers” (although that does sound pretty good now that I think about it!).   I’m looking to get as many people exercising as effectively as possible and to have their lives be benefited as a result.   I KNOW  for a fact that this system will do it,  and if you get on the program you will never again have to worry about your exercise program being the right one.   You WILL get results.   You WILL get more fit.   You WILL get stronger.   You WILL  get healthier.   You WILL have a better body to grow older with, increasing your enjoyment of life.   You WILL have less stress and anxiety.   You WILL feel good about yourself.   You WILL  have fun.   And you WILL  learn how to use your body more effectively, move with better balance, and be more athletic and prepared for life.

Is this program right for females too?

A lot of people wonder whether this program is effective for, and attractive to, females.

Well, even though this program is not a “chick workout”, and it is designed for fight training as well as to get in shape, females seem to love it!

Girls like kickboxing, and though they may be used to a different type (probably “cardio” kickboxing), they (or you) will still like the “rough and tumble” feel of this type of training. When I take a private client on, I never train a female differently from a male.

Getting in and staying in shape is hard, whether you’re male or female. It takes discipline, sacrifice, and sweat equity to mold your body into the lean mean fighting machine it needs to be. As long as you’re committing to this type of goal, you may as well do it in as effective a way as possible. Using your time wisely by getting in your cardio, your strength training, and your flexibility (as well as developing skills), in one easy-to-follow workout formula just makes sense.

One reason females like this training is because a lot of them are motivated by “losing fat”, and this workout is a fat burner for sure!

Some just like doing an authentic type of training rather than something that’s been “dumbed down” for the masses.

I must stress, even if you’re not doing this program for the purpose of getting better at kickboxing (which is most people), you still MUST focus on improving your form and technique at every session. Why, you ask?

There are 3 main reasons:

1. You are already spending the time in front of the bag, it doesn’t take any more time trying to improve. Use your time wisely; it is limited.

2. Being better at something makes it more fun. You’re less likely to get injured, you get your mind off of outside concerns for a brief period, it gives you something constructive to focus on, and its benefits spill over into other aspects of your life. (Plus, if you ever have a friend over to workout with you, don’t you want them to be impressed with your new skills? Of course you do!)

3. Focusing on improvement of your fighting skills takes the emphasis off of pushing yourself so hard, so its easier to do. This is simply just part of the system, a built-in mechanism. If you’re not going to try to improve your balance, coordination, distancing, footwork, power, speed, strike technique, defense, fight stance and guard, etc., then your mind is not going to be focused properly to perform this workout. You have a lifetime to improve, so no rush and no stress, but make sure you are always looking for your own errors and inefficiencies, and try to improve them- every session!