Friday, March 8, 2013

Les Mills Combat: Combat 60: Extreme Cardio Fighter

Today I cheated. Instead of waiting for week three of the schedule to do the 60 minute Les Mills workout, I did it today. I'm a day ahead in the program, so I figured I could fit it in. I'm so glad I did -- the Combat 60 workout is definitely a keeper.
The workout is primarily led by Rach and Dan who alternate segments, however, two other trainers also got to do a segment each, which was a nice bit of variety. The entire workout clocked in at around 55 minutes.
We started the workout with a dynamic warm-up focusing first on our upper body with some boxing moves and then on the lower body with some TKD moves. I like the functional warm-ups that I've seen on all the Les Mills Combat workouts, as I definitely feel they prepare me for what's to come while not being too intense at the onset.
Today's workout seemed mostly inspired by boxing and TKD. There was also some Karate and Muay Thai thrown in. Most segments seemed to alternate between an upper arm heavy segment and then a lower arm heavy segment. As always, I was very impressed with how much leg work was included in the workouts.
Overall, the workout featured a lot of boxing segments as usual. These involved quick movements with the hands. We did a lot of lateral shuffling, which got the heart rate up. We also got to do some shoulder fakes, a new move.
My favorite segments were the leg segments. One section had us doing twelve side kicks and then sets of front and back kicks. This was great work for the legs. Another excellent segments was one that incorporated hand and foot work and featured a jump front kick. I absolutely love front kicks and found this to be a lot of fun.
More than most I felt that this workout had a mixed martial arts feel. Many of the segments would add in a move or two from Karate, such as a block or Karate punch. This was added to the boxing and TKD elements. We also got to see some moves I remember from The Basic DVD but hadn't done yet, such as the punches that you throw over the shoulder (I forget what they're actually called) and downward punches. I have yet to really see many of the Capoeira and Jiu Jitsu moved yet. We did one Capoeira move once and have done no Jiu Jitsu as far as I can tell. I'd really like to see these martial arts get more heavily added into the program especially since they're the ones with which I'm least familiar.
Throughout the workout we were definitely moving consistently, and I always felt engaged. I liked the inclusion of some power moved and running segments to keep the heart rate up. Again, I think that these workouts have some of the best leg work I've seen. I find that lots of kickboxing-style workouts are very upper body focused and mainly featured punches with only the occasional kick. I can say that this is definitely not the case for Les Mills Combat, and I'm super glad about that.

The workout ended with a brief five minute resistance segment before the cool down. We did push-ups followed by circle push-ups, which I assure you were quite the challenge. We then did crunches followed by circle crunches. We performed two sets of each. While these seemed easy at first, I definitely saw that they were building in difficult quickly.
The workout ended with a good stretch that focused on the lower body. I finished the workout feeling energized. I had a great time, felt like I work my body, but was not exhausted. Definitely a fun workout!

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