Is this program better than having a live instructor?
No. There are a lot of great Instructors out there, but this system is designed to be used AT HOME, where its more convenient, free, available 24 hours per day, and can be done more frequently due to not having travel time. None of that can be said about a live Instructor. lol
For trainees who are no longer getting much from the group classes at the gym, this is a perfect fit.
What other equipment is a MUST? (Tell me now before I become a member!)
Only 3 things: a round timer; boxing or MMA gloves; hand wraps. The round timer can be had for free on a smartphone or tablet. Wraps are $5-10, and gloves might run you $40-60. You’ll also want water to drink, and a sweat towel. Oh yeah, and your music collection! (Having the kind of music you like will make all the difference in your workout.)
What should I do between the rounds, during the one-minute rest period?
Rest only. Don’t look at the next round combination. Don’t think about the previous round. Just walk around, keep moving, get water, etc. Don’t check your phone for messages, text anyone, or allow any other interruptions. If you want this system to work for you, follow this rule 100%. Its very hard to do in our “multi-tasking world”. You simply have to obey the "rule of the rest period". If you cannot resist checking your phone, messages, and email between rounds, you won't qualify for Membership with us. So come on... you can do this! (Just turn the notifications off, put it where you can't see it, and resist the urge. Hey, it's hard for me too you know! I feel your pain. But you'll be glad you did.)
“Why are all of the workouts 6 rounds on the heavybag? Is this some sort of magical/optimal number?”
There are several reasons:
1. If you’re not at your best that day, six is short enough that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And if after four rounds you are really feeling fatigued, you can console yourself with the thought of, “Ok, there’s only 2 more rounds left; I can do this!”2. If you’re full of energy that day, six still gives you plenty of opportunity to get all of your energy out. It will almost never feel too short. If you still have gas left in the tank, good! That unused energy will help you recover. Its not good to push yourself 100% all the time. I think its ideal to go about 90%, and use the extra 10% to recover with. Recovery is key to avoid getting sick or injured.3. Cardio wins fights.But rarely would a self-defense situation go longer than six rounds! So, if you can give six rounds your full energy and go non-stop during each round, you’ve developed such a level of cardio that you will be prepared for anything that should come up in life. No one needs to be in better shape than this. This is high intensity training.4. This definite number keeps you from overtraining.Its easy to think, “Oh, I should push myself one more round…” or, on some days, you might not have much energy and wouldn’t know how many rounds to do. Our workout formula gives you a definite stopping point each and every workout and keeps you balanced (avoids both laziness AND overtraining).5. Not going past six rounds helps you avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your joints.The heavy bag puts a lot of stress on your body; you don’t want your enthusiasm to get the best of you and push your body past the point it can properly recover. You would be tempted to do this almost everytime. It's just human nature to think you should be doing more, more, more.If you want to sustain a lifetime of training, six rounds is absolutely perfect.
Why don’t you have rounds of ab work? That is REALLY strange….
Your abs are getting worked every time you hit or kick the heavy bag. You’re doing 6 rounds of heavy bag training, that’s already a lot of ab work! And you’re working more of the obliques and “twisting” muscles in your core, which is much more important that just working your rectus abdominus, which is what situps and crunches work. You’re working those a lot too…. but the other core muscles as well… much more bang for your buck! You do not need any other ab work. You will already be maximally working those core muscles. You will also be burning the maximum amount of fat off of them. Situps and crunches will not help you lose one more inch of fat than the program will do alone. (But please, if you want to do situps or crunches, feel free to add a round for them- right before the heavy bag rounds, between one of the rounds, or at the end.)
Can I do this program at the gym?
Yes. It works exactly the same whether at home, a gym where there’s a bag, a fight gym, etc. The advantage of being at home is that you have control of the music!
I see that you don’t offer a money-back guarantee or a refund… WTF?
At the Kickboxing Underground your membership means a lot to us. We are not trying to "sell" a product and we don't allow affiliates to sell it, we don't hire marketing companies, and we don't do promotions. This is no gimmicks, no fluff. 100% substance. It has been my aim to provide so much information on this site that you will know for sure whether or not the membership and training protocol is a good fit for you. I mean, I go over everything.
I use this exact system for myself and my clients every single time I workout or train someone; it simply works perfectly. It would be insincere for me to say, "Try it and see if it's any good."
In fact, there is no system comparable to it anywhere in the world… it surpasses every other training system for giving someone a fun, productive, easy-to-use, easy-to-stick-with workout regimen that they can use for years and still love it.
Please keep in mind before you apply for Membership that this program is designed for intermediate to advanced trainees. You need to know the strikes and techniques. Typically, after someone has taken group classes for a few months, they would have a good enough idea of what's going on to be able to use the Program. If you are a beginner and are just looking for something different to do, I don't think this would be an ideal fit, in all honesty.
Is this workout program THE most effective way to get in the absolute best shape possible?
No, it is not. This site will refuse to make any exaggerated claims about anything. It is a great way for someone to get in shape, keep in shape, and increase their health and fitness, but it is not a way to get in the best shape possible. In order to do that, you would need to train many hours per day, and have a lot of nutritional support, and have a specific program designed just for you by a world-class trainer. You would also be training for very specific periods of time for when you needed your body to “peak”, meaning, you have accumulated the maximum amount of training your body could handle without getting sick or injured.
How is this different? This program is designed to keep you healthy, active, and strong for years and years, not for a short burst of ultimate fitness. You can only train so hard for so long before you accumulate overuse injury and possible burnout. This system is to help you temper those extremes, and keep you injury free and feeling motivated, energetic, and less stressed. But primarily it is designed to strengthen your bones, muscles, and joints, work your abs/core, give you a good degree of flexibility, and put in a very healthy dose of cardio at the same time. All the while sharpening all your skills.
Is this system the absolute best form of self-defense?
No, it is not. You may end up getting much much better at self-defense (and all the techniques are self-defense strikes), but it is not an “art”, it is simply borrowing from various arts (mainly Muay Thai kickboxing), to get your body in fantastic shape.
I don’t want to use a timer, can I still do this program?
Not very well. It is a drag not having a timer. If you always have to look at a stopwatch or clock to keep track of the time during the round, it takes some of the fun out of the workout, causes you to look in the wrong direction (you should be looking at your opponent!), and adds stress. Don’t do it. Invest in a timer (or better yet, get the free ones on your phone!)
Not being a video course, how can I know if I’m doing it right? What’s the #1 thing to keep in mind to make sure I’m performing correctly?
The single-most important thing to do is: treat each Round as though it were a 3-minute fight. You are FIGHTING until the bell rings. You must be 100% vigilant of your opponent and his potential moves. You must be extremely mobile, and ready to move fwd/backwards, side to side, in and out, etc. Do not allow yourself to be flat-footed (where you can be caught off guard) at any time. When you move in to throw the combo, think about what your opponent might do. When you move out, think about how he might be swinging at you, or coming forward with his own attack. Every round is a fight. Strike as viciously as you can. Be quick. Be stealthy. Move around. Pace yourself. Be always in balance. Aim to have the best technique you can muster. Keep improving, but do not allow yourself to be frustrated if you seem to be struggling with good technique. It can take a long time to get things right, but there is no rush. Along the way you’re getting a phenomenal workout, so don’t stress yourself out about improving too quickly. If you “master” something, you may tend to become bored with it; so pace yourself to improve over your entire lifetime, not in six weeks!
In fewer words, simply do this:
Start from a good stance and guard. Move in, throw the combo. Move back out and get yourself in a good stance again.
The first 3 rounds are stretching… I was always told you should stretch AFTER a muscle is worked (so its warm), and not before. Why do you do the stretching first?
The reason is not because “that’s the absolute best time to stretch”, you are correct about that. However, it is because its very easy to begin your workout when you’re sitting down on the ground. If its easy to start, you won’t dread beginning your workout. It is hard to throw yourself into intense effort. Letting you begin with stretching makes it easy, and also helps prepare your body and mind for the upcoming work. It makes sure every body part has a good range of motion, and can move in all directions without catching, pulling, or straining. This is not designed to be the Ultimate Flexibility Program, it is designed to be a total system that incorporates some stretching so that flexibility is not ignored or neglected. Keep in mind we also do one round of stretching at the end of the workout (when your muscles are warm).
How often should I do this training?
It depends on a few factors: your lifestyle, your eating habits, any other exercise you do, etc.
Three times per week if its your only exercise (minimum of two); two times per week if you’re doing something else or have a very strenuous construction job, etc. Or you may be just using this workout occasionally, for a change of pace. If its your only exercise though, really try to do it 3 times per week. Its a perfect amount!
What’s the deal with the “Formula” workouts that come after we do “Workout #10”? Can I just skip those and go back to “Workout #1” ?
Of course you can’t! Although they may sound like fluff, believe it or not, “Formula #2” used to be the entire workout program I used to do! That’s right, it didn’t used to be called “Formula #2”, it used to be called “Kickboxing Workout”, and it was good enough to be a standalone program. It's how I used to train myself and anyone who wanted to join in, and it worked out great! However, after 6 months or so, I decided that I’d make a few changes in the workout just to have a little more variety. It would be a second workout, and I’d just alternate between the two.
The Workouts #1-10 are very specific. It's still great to be able to use these Formula Workouts that require a little bit of thinking. It creates even more variety, additional fun, and a change of pace. You’ll like the Formula Workouts as much as the other training sessions, so don’t treat them as the System’s “red-headed step child”. Not only are they integral, they were “it” for a long time and they can stand on their own as a sole workout program.
What kind of shoes should I wear while doing the training?
An athletic shoe that is wide enough on the bottom to give side-to-side support. You could use running shoes, but typically that large heel cushioning is unneeded since we’re not really putting a lot of weight on the heels during training. You may want to invest in some form of “fighting shoe” if your budget will allow. You're looking for a "tennis shoe" kind of a bottom, so it won't rip your bag. Protruding tread like all terrain shoes should not be used.
What type of punching bag do I need?
You can just choose whichever one you like. If you currently have one, just use it until you decide you need something different. If you get to choose, then I’d buy a Muay Thai bag because its longer and you can have more practice with low kicks that way. But really, any bag will do. (My Thai bag cost $199.)
Hey, I’ve got a great idea… I’m gonna go without gloves and wraps to toughen up my hands! Good idea?
No, bad idea. Do not train this way. Your hands may indeed get “tough”, but when you’re in your Golden Years, you’re going to wish you hadn’t toughened them so much because they will be full of pain and limited mobility. The hands are delicate. Subjecting them to too much wear and tear can cause degenerative disease. Before you pound the bag’s face in, wrap those puppies up! And wear gloves! Every time. (Every so often you can experiment with no gloves, and you'll see how the surface of the bag can catch and rip your skin, and how much you need to back off on power in order to keep your hands safe. This is useful because you will need to use caution in a self defense situation that you do not damage your hands on your opponent. That leaves you extremely vulnerable, obviously. Take care of your hands!
Should I train on both sides, or just one?
I recommend both sides. A lot of time when you’re throwing a technique, you wind up with the other foot forward- now you’re in the opposite stance whether you meant to be there or not! You should learn to feel comfortable there, not just look for a retreat back to your strong side. You may also injure something (like your jab hand), and be forced to keep it in the rear. You might as well learn to be comfortable with it by practicing it. Plus, it balances out your body a bit. One more benefit: it adds variety to your workout, and challenges your coordination and balance- all good things to keep you adapting and growing and having fun.
Why don’t you put in rounds of pushups? Doesn’t that work your chest, shoulders, and arms? I figured that would be important….
You work your chest, shoulders, and arms every time you throw a punch on the bag. The bag is heavy; that is a lot of resistance pushing back on you all the time, that's how you work those muscles. You don’t need push ups too. (You want to avoid overtraining.) Hooks especially work your chest (and biceps and abs/obliques), and we do a lot of those. In fact, one of the combinations in the program is a round of nothing but hooks! – its a fun round, you’ll like it! Your biceps will be sore the next day. Just for grins and giggles, I'll put a link here of me doing the round of hooks. Man I really love the Hook round when it comes up. (I'll remember to come back and put it here.)
Can I do this when I’m traveling, like at a hotel, just hitting the air, you know, without my heavy bag?
As long as you’re somewhere new, I would recommend you take advantage of the opportunity to do something new, and go use their gym, or try to engage in something else. You’ll always have the bag waiting for you when you get back home.
Does your program include a dietary or nutritional plan?
No. This system was designed to achieve one major goal: to make it easy to maintain consistency in your exercise plan and habits. If you had to eat certain things at certain times, and watch this and count that, you would be adding a lot of extra stress and time into your goal achievement. It's hard to keep that up for a lifetime.
Here is what I most recommend:
Just eat sensibly, like you know how to. Avoid junk food as much as possible. Try to fill up on nutritious foods. Eat as much as you want, as long as the food is nutritious. Following this one piece of advice will take you a long way. You'll slowly want junk food less and less as you see the hard-won results from your exercise program.