Monday, March 4, 2013

Les Mills Combat: Combat 45: Power Kata

Today, I did my third workout from the Les Mills Combat program, the 45 minute Power Kata DVD. This workout definitely seemed to contain more mixed martial arts than the first Combat 30 workout, which was mostly more traditional boxing and TKD/Kickboxing.
The workout started with a quick warm-up and then moved quickly into a boxing segment. Despite my experience with kickboxing, my arms were definitely feeling it from yesterday's workout. The boxing segment featured today was basic, but got my heart-rate up.
Because this workout was called Power Kata, many of the moves were presented as being from Karate. Honestly, they seemed pretty similar to what I've done in TKD. That being said, I have absolutely zero martial arts experience, and could not tell you how "authentic" the martial arts in Les Mills Combat is. In a way, for me, this is not something I really care about. My goal is to get a good workout and have some fun. If I wanted to learn authentic martial arts I would take a class.
The Combat 45 workout, as with Combat 30, was broken up into sections. Again, as with Combat 30, the workout was very kicking intensive, which I absolutely loved.
We started off with a section of knee strikes and kicks, moving through roundhouses and front kicks. Then we moved into adding some upper body work with the legs, doing a series of uppercuts, jabs, and roundhouse kicks. Mixed in with this was one of the capoeira moves we had learned in the practice DVD.
The next section was all about Karate kicks. There were back kicks (and lots of them). This was added to a segment of front kicks with knees. Something which was new to me was the jumping sidekick. The form was a bit tricky to get at first, you have to kick with one leg as you power off the floor with the other, but once I got it the result was very rewarding.
Here the order of everything gets a little fuzzy for me. There was also an excellent excellent section of the workout that featured Muay Thai. We got to do some downward punches, again with kicks. Also featured was a set of knee strikes, which we did in sets of two follow by one set of jumping knee strikes. In this move you had to power off the floor on your supporting leg and bring your other knee to your hands (see the Les Mills Combat instructors doing the move below). In a word: awesome! This was definitely the hardest part of the whole workout.
The workout ended with another boxing-style segment followed by a cool down. I was actually really impressed with the cool down here. We did over four complete minutes of stretching and really got into our IT band, quads, and hamstrings. I sometimes feel like the Beachbody programs skimp on the stretching (unless you do an extra stretching DVD, and who has time for that); I was glad to see a simple, quick, and effective stretch worked into one of the workouts.
The Combat 45: Power Kata workout was definitely a lot of fun. I thought the length was perfect. The instructors did a good job of introducing move and then quickly increasing the pace, so we could get the most out of the 45 minutes.
Similar to the workouts I did yesterday, Combat 30 and Power HIIT, the workout was of medium difficulty. I felt moderately challenged, but was never huffing for breath the way I do with the Insanity/Asylum workouts.
I think that this workout is a great cardio program. The mixed martial arts is definitely getting me to use my muscles in a new way than just doing kickboxing. I felt a bit sore in my shoulders especially today. My legs are doing okay, but for someone who does less leg and plyo work, I would bet the kicking would leave your quite sore.
So far I'm having loads of fun with Les Mills Combat. The next workout on the schedule is Shock Plyo HIIT 2. I can't wait!

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