You fitblrs who want a good interval workout will probably want to read this.
Prior to today I had only seen snippets of Les Mills Combat. I knew that it would be fun, but I didn’t know much beyond that. This post is only about my first day with the program and should not be considered to be a full review.
Combat was my workout this evening, and my first impressions are very positive. I did both of the workouts on the first DVD, “Combat Kick Start” and “Combat Power Kata”.
I first watched the introductory “Basics” DVD which goes into detail about the various techniques that are used in the program. Seriously, watching this DVD is a requirement for anyone who is starting this program! This is not your typical “introduction” that attempts to sell you products. You will watch this if you want to keep up with the workouts.
What I found surprised me. They give solid instruction by clearly explaining how to avoid injury and, more impressively, how to correctly perform the techniques. The “Basics” DVD is essentially an introductory class for any traditional karate class. The instructors take time to explain and show each technique, from how to properly form a fist to how to (up) block, punch, and kick. Their form in everything is solid.
If someone masters the form (hand and foot positions) of the punches and kicks, then they will be weeks ahead of any other new student at a dojo should they decide to formally train in karate. Though I don’t know anything about the other styles from which Combat takes its inspiration, I have no reason to suspect that it’s anything other than done well.
I went into the “Basics” introduction expecting something silly where the form of the techniques was way off and only useful for exercise. What I found instead was something much more respectable. Kudos to the Combat team. With that said, I am not saying that Les Mills Combat will teach you how to use karate, but it is a good, quick introduction to some of the basics.
The actual workouts on the first DVD are fairly short. The first, called “Combat Kick Start”, is only 30 minutes long. The second, called “Combat Power Kata”, is a bit longer at 45 minutes. These are, of course, your beginner workouts. They’re not quite as intense as one may expect, but there are ways to increase the intensity of each.
“Combat Kick Start” is a great beginner workout. It’s not too intense, but you’re definitely going to sweat. “Combat Power Kata” is a bit more intense, and is probably a good starting point for intermediates.
In spite of its name, “Power Kata” is not all about performing kata. Both of these workouts are in fact interval workouts, which I was very pleased to see. Interval training is MUCH more effective at burning calories than a non-stop aerobic routine. Plus, the addition of plyometrics should aid in increasing both stamina and strength as well as adding to the calorie burn.
If you’re curious about the form of the techniques as used in the exercises, I would say that it’s mixed. Occasionally it’s very good, but the speed of the exercise occasionally makes it very difficult to maintain or use proper form. Remember that this is an exercise program, so don’t get too hung up on form (but definitely still do your best).
The only negative thing that I can say about Les Mills Combat so far is that the DVD of the first workout has a production defect near the center of the DVD. I need to examine the other DVDs to see what shape they’re in, but I will do this tomorrow or Friday. Hopefully Beach Body can send me a replacement, because it’s almost impossible to get the first DVD to play. I’m crossing my fingers that the others work well.
So far, so good. I’m enjoying it and I rather suspect that I’m going to have a lot of fun with Les Mills Combat.