Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Amy Bento Kickbox Xtreme Workout|
Actor: Amy Bento
Genres: Exercise & Fitness
Are you are ready for a nonstop, full-blown cardiovascular push? If you're a kickboxing fan who hasn't felt the "burn" for a while, Amy Bento's Kickbox Xtreme was made with you in mind. If you have never been a fan of kick... more »
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Joyce S. from LODI, WI
Reviewed on 11/11/2010...
Some of the combination's are hard to follow and keep up with the different steps - very face paced, suggest to review the DVD before doing the workouts.
You definitely get your heart rate up and burn many, many calories!
I prefer a kickboxing DVD where the combination's are easier to follow and in intervals, bringing your heart rate up, but then bringing it back down some to catch your breath. Pacing yourself throughout the workout so you are able to make it to the end.
High Intensity, But With a High Learning Curve
Leo | ny | 05/07/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Mine is the perspective of a 26 year-old guy who works out 30 minutes to an hour every day, who loves cardio kickboxing and bootcamp/interval training. So, I was really looking forward to trying this DVD when I got it from Netflix, since Bento combines kickboxing cardio with intervals (presumably of plyometrics). In some ways, I was very impressed, but ultimately the flaws of this workout hinder it from taking a role in my regular routine.
On the good side, the intensity level is right where it should be. Bento's regimen is intense enough for a person of moderate to advanced fitness. Her style reminds me a lot of Cathe Fredreich, whose cardio kickboxing offering ("Kick, Punch, and Crunch") is one of my favorites. While this is generally a good thing (she has a similar attitude and style, which is to my liking), I also somehow felt like maybe she was trying to copy Cathe... but, then again, it could just as well be the other way around for all I know. Bento's moves are diverse and compelling, and her various intervals really get you moving, breathing, and sweating. Her approach to kickboxing is more in-depth and perhaps even maybe a bit more authentic (using the word "authentic" with a wide degree of latitude). I'm willing to bet that there are more real moves borrowed from actual kickboxing in Bento's routine than in Billy Blanks or any others I've tried. But, in a moment I'll explain how all this is a moot point.
What I was most impressed with, however, was the DVD itself. I've absolutely never seen a fitness DVD that made such excellent use of DVD technology. The workout is, all-in-all, well over an hour long. It consists of a fairly lengthy program that proceeds from warm-up to cool down, as you might expect. But most fitness programs only use chapters to divide the major parts of the workout (ie: "warm-up", "cardio", "cool down", etc). Bento's intuitive design breaks the workout up into individual routines, small sets that allow the user to jump between various combos and sections. So, for example, if there's a particular combo that's too intense or not intense enough for you, skip it. If you have favorite sections, pick and choose and re-order the workout to meet your desires. If the workout is too long, skip around and just do some of the routines and when you feel tired skip to the end. If you finish and still feel like you want more, you can easily skip back to whatever particular excursive you want to revisit.
The best thing, though, is that they include a special feature called "NRG Remixes". These are alternate playlists that rearrange the sequence of the routines and tailor them to particular needs. This is a great idea and should be the future of fitness programs. For example, there first NRG Remix is "quick" and cuts out several routines to cut the total time almost in half while still being fairly intense. There are various other "levels", too, so you can work your way up to doing the full workout with all the routines. These also change the order of sequences to mix up your workouts, keep things a bit interesting, and challenge your muscles by limiting repetition. This would work even better as Video on Demand, because they could use a larger number of routines and essentially randomly mix workout routines on the fly. But I digress. I hope more fitness instructors adopt this format.
Alas, all the great things about this DVD and the workout itself are overshadowed by a huge flaw that other reviewers have already pointed out: the routines are just too complicated and hard to follow. There is a huge learning curve. Every workout routine that includes new moves is going to take a little getting used to, but Bento uses very intricate and convoluted combinations and sets of moves that are just frustrating to keep up with--not because they are necessarily so physically taxing, but because they are hard to remember and repeat without error. They also demand a great deal of balance and coordination. Bento often strings together several different sequences of moves and then alternates them in ways that I found confusing and annoying. This is really not necessary, since it's perfectly challenging (perhaps more so) to do one intense small set of moves and then move to another. Bento seems bent on turning my kickboxing workout into a lesson in choreography, which just slows me down and keeps me from getting my heart rate up as high as I could otherwise. After about 30 minutes, I gave up trying to follow yet another series of complex moves that required way too much space, memory, and coordination for me. This might be appealing to those that like something akin to dance, but that's not me.
Also, Bento compounds this flaw by not building up her moves slowly enough so that new users can catch on and follow along. She's not a good instructor, in that she doesn't ever stop to explain proper form, help you get the moves down, or even to adequately explain what it is that she wants you to do.
I've been doing kickboxing workouts for over 2 years now with series from at least 4 or 5 different popular fitness personalities, and I've never been this annoyed trying to follow along with an instructor. If I could ever actually get the sequences down, then I might enjoy this workout and I'd love the DVD. But, who wants to keep trying the same workout DVD over and over again trying to remember the overly complicated sequences of various punches and kicks? In the mean time, you'll just be constantly confused rather than energized and pumped: "wait, we're on that side now??" "!#$@, now we're kicking again?", "UGH! Which side are we on???" "Which leg is doing what now???"... and so on ad infinitum.
In the end, what could have been a GREAT workout DVD is instead reduced the equivalent of trying to play Simon, and it's hard to get a good workout when you're constantly yelling at the TV and getting angry that you're on the wrong side or that you've missed yet another transition.
Hard core and hard to follow
MS | IA United States | 05/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Amy Bento is hard-core. All her workouts are probably not for beginners. I love cardio-kickboxing, but this one is a bit too complicated in the combinations (and this is coming from a Step instructor!). I don't feel like she focuses on form enough, either, so I worry about people injuring themselves without proper form and trying to follow tricky steps. If you like Amy, try her Boot Camp DVD...it's a real butt-kicker too, but easier to follow."
Second Time a Charm - Complex+Fun!
dusty | Ohio | 07/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I originally didn't like this workout, because it left me frustrated with its complexity (like other reviewers here). However, I love Amy Bento and own everything else she comes out with. I consider myself advanced and have tackled other complex workouts recently, so I dared to pull this one out again. I must say, I'm so glad I did. This time, I was able to follow along quite well with just a few modifications and was amazed with Amy's perfect, careful cueing. How could I miss this before? I think I wasn't listening. If you pay attention, you will be able to follow and get a fabulous, fun, sweat-filled workout, plus you'll feel accomplished being able to do it. I also added weighted gloves to increase the intensity. If you like Tap Less-Step More, Seasun Zieger workouts, and Amy's newer hi/lo and kickboxing DVDs, you will be able to do this. But if you don't enjoy complex choreography don't try it and then give it a bad review - not fair at all!!"