Before Jillian Michaels released her 30 Day Shred phenomenon, she had a line of workout DVDs in a series entitled, “The Biggest Winner” – clearly a wordplay on The Biggest Loser. This series included a Cardio Kickbox DVD. This line is from 2005. Fast forward to 2012 and Jillian has released a new Kickbox workout DVD called Kickbox Fast Fix. I am going to review both of these on this blog and see how far Jillian has come.
The Biggest Winner (How to Win by Losing) Cardio Kickbox – this is roughly a 20 minute workout. At first it was almost painful for me to watch. This was clearly a “scripted’ workout session and the clothes everyone was wearing were almost “costumish.” The workout is a basic intermediate level intensity that a beginner could do. Jillian does offer a modifier. There isn’t a lot of kickboxing here but nonetheless you never stop moving so you will work up a sweat. There are a few punches, a few kicks, some jumping jacks, jumping rope, etc. There are no punch/kick combinations – not even the basic jab, cross, hook, uppercut – the only thing that comes close is the front kick/back kick “combo.” There is a warm up and about 3 circuits in this workout. It’s hard to tell where a circuit even ends and a new one begin because she repeats some of the movements almost randomly. At the end of this workout a background performer says, “that’s it?” That pisses Jillian off and she makes them do an additional 30 seconds of jumping rope, 30 seconds of jumping jacks and 10 pushups to end it.
This may have been the “birth” of the tough Jillian that we saw in her later DVDs. You could definitely tell that Jillian was a lot more unpolished and unsure of her on screen persona than she is today. Sure she still acts tough in her latest videos but she carries a different kind of confidence that she doesn’t in this video. It could be maturity, it could be her huge success.
If you are looking for a quick workout that doesn’t require any equipment or a lot of thinking then this is for you. I used to do this one in the morning before work. I’m glad I revisited it. It was nice to compare her to the new workout.
Kickbox Fastfix – Unlike the earlier kickbox DVD the new release contains 3 20 minute workouts and also offers a tutorial for those who are unfamiliar with kickboxing terms and movements. Each 20 minute workout follows the same formula. There are 4 circuits. They begin right off the bat without a warm up so if you feel the need, remember to warm up on your own. There is a short cooldown/stretch at the end of each workout. The workouts have a certain focus within each Number One is for the upper body, Number Two is for the lower body and Number Three is for the abs.
I would have like this better if it had been one or two longer workouts with an option for premixes to break them down if you wanted. When I do these, I do them altogether for an effective workout or I do one as a finisher to my normal routine. The workouts are intense enough but sometimes she cuts combos out and I suspect it is in an effort to keep within time constraints. I do like that Jillian changed things up with the set (as opposed to her last several) and gave us more background people (familiar faces at that). Please watch your knees whether on carpet or not. I have hardwood floors and still could feel a twisting in my knees on some of the combos.
After reading several other reviews of this workout DVD, a huge complaint among others is that Jillian does not work both sides of the body evenly – mostly on the combinations. I know how much of a pet peeve this is for some. It doesn’t completely ruin it for me because it’s more of a cardio focus than strength but I did want to point it out so everyone is aware of it before they make a purchase. You could modify that by switching sides each time you do the DVD or if the combo is repeated on the workout just switch sides at that point.
I think this kickbox workout DVD was a good try for Jillian but I just don’t think it quite hit the mark. Given that Jillian’s specialty is martial arts, I really think that she could have done better. If I had to rate, 3 1/2 stars.out of 5.