Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My 61 Day Experience with Beachbody Les Mills Combat

I realized today that I never did a 60 day update for Les Mills Combat! I wanted to do an overall review of the program and put all of my BodyMedia screen shots in one place, but that never happened and I don't have time to find all of the pictures now, so I'm going to do an overview and skip the screen shots. You can read about My full 60 days of Les Mills Combat. Unfortunately, it's backwards. Maybe next weekend, I'll put them in order.

What the program comes with

The basic program came with an instructional DVD and six workouts. I bought the program from a coach, so I got a free DVD. Be sure to buy from a coach so you get the free DVD with your Tworkouts. Most of the programs have one and if you don't buy from a coach, you might not get your free DVD. If you need a coach, you can sign up through my Beachbody site. You also get a tape measure, the booklet that explains the program, a card to record your stats before and after and a nutrition guide.

Nutrition Guide

I did not use the nutrition guide during the program. I skimmed through it, but I wasn't in a place where I could tackle the workout program and the Nutritional program. I'm a rather picky eater and I had finally come up with a food plan that was working for me. I didn't want to feel forced into a nutrition plan while committing myself to 60 days of a workout plan too. 

The Fitness Guide

The Fitness Guide mainly talks about the program and the people in it. There is an overview of the different martial arts that make up the program and each person in the video gets a blurb. The Fitness Guide also has the calendar. There are three different calendars. Two of them can be done with just the basic program, but the third one requires the extra DVDs that are in the upgrade package. 

The Workouts

The Basics

The Basics is an instructional DVD that you should go through once, but you probably won't do it ever again. They show you the different types of punches and kicks that you'll be doing. They also talk about the different martial arts that are in the program. I highly recommend at least watching it even if you don't get up and actively participate. 

Combat 30: Kick Start

This is a 30 minute combat workout. It's all about punching and kicking. I really liked this workout. I have a play by play for the workout on my first day of Les Mills Combat. This was a great workout because it gave me room to grow. I didn't do the jump kicks to start, but over time, I got stronger and I was able to do them. The workout is doable even when you're 290 pounds and out of shape. I was breathing heavy and sweating up a storm, but I got through it. The more I did the workout, the more effort I put into it. I didn't get bored with it because I continued to grow with it. This workout falls off the calendar after week 5 in the Warrior Program.

Combat 45: Power Kata

This program is a little under 45 minutes. It's all about punching and kicking. I really liked this workout the first time I did it. There were a lot of moves that made me feel all badass and gangster. There were downward punches and these descending elbows. There was also a section of lunges disguised as martial arts. I didn't mind doing lunges in this workout. We started this one on Day 3 and we did this one all the way through the program. It continued to be one of my more favorite workouts even though I did it about once a week for 8 weeks. I never got bored with it. I was able to put more oomph into it and make it just as intense as day one. You can read a play by play of the workout on my Day 3 review of Les Mills Combat.

Combat 60: Extreme Cardio Fighter

Whenever I did this workout, I thought it was my favorite and then I would do Power Kata and think that was my favorite. I really did like the combat workouts as a whole. I started my weight loss journey back in 1999 with TaeBo and I still love martial arts workouts today. This workout was really only 54 minutes even though it's called Combat 60 and they talk in the DVD about it being a 60 minute workout. That worked out good for me a time or two when I was running late. Those extra six minutes can be the difference between getting to work on time or coming up with an excuse for being late. You can read the play by play from Day 15 of Les Mills Combat. The workout appears on the first day of Week 3 and runs through the first day of Week 6. Before and after that time frame, you don't do this workout. I kind of missed it when it was gone!

Combat Live 60: Ultimate Warriors Workout

This was a 52 minute combat workout that was filmed live in Bristol, England. There are about 400 people in the crowd all doing combat. I have no idea how no one got kicked or punched in the face. Madness. I really liked this workout. It appeared in week 6 for the first time and went through the end of the program. You can read a play by play on Day 40 of Les Mills Combat. I needed to modify some stuff the first time I did this one. I don't remember it having any jumping kicks in it though which is odd because Combat 30 had them and that was the beginners type workout. Writing this review is making me want to do these workouts again. Once I'm done with PiYo, I might need to do a Les Mills Combat rerun week.

Combat Live 30: 

This workout was actually longer than 30 minutes and it didn't have a cool down which made it even longer. I was running late that day. Eeek! Okay so, you can swap Combat Live 30 in for Combat 30 to mix things up a bit more for you. I didn't do that because I wanted to follow the program as it was laid out, but after doing this workout, I realized that all I did was miss out on some variety. It's a nice 30 minute workout and has a bunch of punching and kicking in it. You can read a play by play of the workout on my Day 61 of Les Mills Combat. I refused to end Les Mills Combat on Shock Plyo, so I did the bonus workout once I was done with my 60 days. 

Power HIIT

This was a 30 minute HIIT workout. HIIT is High Intensity Interval Training. In my experience, that has always meant some sort of structured timed workout. For example, you go crazy for 40 seconds and go slower for 20 seconds. Crazy would be running on a treadmill and slower would be walking as an example. This workout had it's intense moments, but it wasn't very structured as far as the high intensity periods and the rest periods. I wasn't a fan of this workout the first time I did it, but I got better at it and modified less. I still hate burpees and push ups, but I feel stronger doing them now. This workout did have one section that I really liked. I love lifting weights! I got to do that in this. It was pretty much all shoulder stuff which I'm not very fond of, but it was lifting weights so I got over it. You can read the play by play from Day 2 of Les Mills Combat. Just ignore all of my whining. I survived this workout. You start this on Day 2 and it runs through the entire program except one week towards the middle where you have NO HIIT workouts. It was my happiest week ever on Les Mills Combat. 

Shock Plyo

This also a 30 minute HIIT workout. It didn't like this workout the first time I did it and I never really grew to like it. Anything with burpees, skaters, mountain climbers and plyo lunges is just ot  my thing. I love the Combat workouts. They make me feel like a badass. I feel like I can do anything and conquer the world, but the HIIT workouts make me feel like a fat out of shape lump on a log. As I got far enough into the program to start noticing improvement, I started to dislike the DVD less, but I never great to like it. I still can't do a blasted push up on my toes! When PiYo is done, I had better be able to do one! You can read a play by play of the workout on Day 5 of Les Mills Combat. It's a good thing it followed a rest day. Otherwise, I might not have made it through! This workout started on Day 5 and went through the end of the program. It actually ends on Shock Plyo. There was one week where I didn't have to do Shock Plyo. That week was my happiest week during the program. 

My Results

I started out at 290 pounds and I ended at 275. I lost 15 pounds doing Les Mills Combat. I was hoping to lose 20 pounds, but I may have put on a little bit of muscle with all of those lunges and squats. I went down a size in my jeans as well. The measurements that I took on Day 1 were not correct. I haven't included my final measurements because I can't find them and because if Day 1 was messed up, there's not really much point in comparing them to Day 60. I'm stronger, I'm lighter and my pants are smaller. It was successful. 

I had non scale victories during this program too. I stuck with the program for 60 days. I worked out when I didn't want to. I worked out when I knew I would be late for work because I woke up late. I didn't let being tired or cranky get in the way of doing this program. I did all 60 days. The only deviation was one day when I read the calendar wrong and I did the wrong workout. I switched the Friday and Saturday workouts. 

I loved the structure of the program. I loved that for 60 days I did not have to think about what workout I was going to do. Before this program, I would plan a week at a time. I didn't always have a good plan either. I would get DVDs from the library and mix up some strength training and some cardio, but it was just kind of a whim what to do when I woke up. With this program, I was forced to do things that I did not like such as burpees and lunges. I got better at them. I got stronger. I'm having real life positive changes because of this program. I love photography, but not portraits of people. I must prefer to take pictures of mother nature, but to do that, I have to get outside and hike. I'm able to get to places I wouldn't have gotten to before this program. 

Back in 2005, I started losing weight by focusing on weight lifting and doing a little bit of cardio. My husband and I would go hiking on the weekends. I always wanted to die when the hikes were over. I could leg press 500 pounds and 20 pound bicep curls, but I couldn't walk to the top of a hill without wanting to die. I would be gasping for breath. My heart would be racing. My glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads would be on fire. That's not happening this time. I'm attacking the hills! I still get out of breath. I still need to take breaks, but I'm not gasping for breath. My heart doesn't feel like it's going to beat out of my chest. My glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads are not on fire. We did a hike yesterday, and I didn't even feel it this morning when I woke up. 

Overall Thoughts

I'm quite happy with my results from Les Mills Combat even if I didn't lose the 20 pounds that I was hoping for. I love the program. I plan on doing it again once I get the upgraded DVDs. I would recommend this program to anyone who likes martial arts type workouts, but I will warn you that it can be killer on the knees. They show modified stuff, but it's so hard to tell yourself to modify! I want to go all out all the time! 

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