Saturday, April 9, 2011

Review: Jeanette Jenkins/The Hollywood Trainer: Kickboxing Bootcamp DVD

After being frustrated by the lack of a good cardio workout in most of the workout DVDs that I own, I decided to try a kickboxing DVD. I love the kickboxing classes at my gym, and I wondered how the DVDs would compare. As always, I went on Amazon to check out the selection and reviews. I was looking for one that seemed challenging for a medium-to-advanced person (such as myself).

After much research, I decided on the Jeanette Jenkins/The Hollywood Trainer: Kickboxing Bootcamp DVD.

First off, I'd like to address the elephant in the room: the cover design. I...just....there are no words. It's horrible. When I received it in the mail, I was scared that the workout would mirror the cover design (sometimes looking at things through a graphic designers' eyes is terribly annoying), but out of 18 people who reviewed it on Amazon, 16 gave it five stars and 2 gave it four stars, so I decided to forge ahead.

(This rug is the site of my at-home workouts. Sometimes I have hairy, 4-legged obstacles.)

I put the DVD in and this is the opening screen:

...still not feeling better about the look of it, but I pushed 'play' instead of 'eject' anyway.

Now, I'll be honest. I feel that I have much less endurance and momentum during morning workouts than I do during afternoon ones, and I was also feeling dehydrated, so this wasn't exactly my greatest workout effort ever.

I like the fact that there are kickboxing and weights sections. I felt the combination was very well-balanced, however I wish each section was just a little longer.

There are three people doing this video: Jeanette Jenkins (that trainer on the screen) and a man and woman in the background. I like when DVDs feature both sexes. It doesn't invite talk of "fitting into a bikini", or "looking great in a wedding dress," so I was glad to see the guy. I was also glad that everyone was wearing a shirt! There are no sports bra-clad ladies. I liked it already.

One thing that kind of threw me for a loop is that throughout the workout, JJ talks about her heart-rate monitor. All three of them are wearing one on their wrist. In the beginning, she tells you how to calculate your maximum heart rate, and in the end of the video, they all tell you how many calories they burned. I was shocked to hear they all burned over 700 calories! Now I want a heart rate monitor. I'm definitely adding it to my wish list.

...and now, an important message from our Sponsors:

I don't like it. I don't like it one bit. Get down here and pet
me whilst I chew on my bone.

 I said, I was feeling a little distracted during my workout this morning.

Ok ok, to sum up the video...I wish there was more punching, but I'll be honest, my arms were shaking at the end (possibly partly due to dehydration). JJ mixes all punches into the workout, and quickly explains each one while demonstrating it before kicking it up to full speed. She also does the same for the kicks. She offers an alternative of just doing knees instead of kicks if you need to take it down a notch. I love the fact that she seamlessly works you up to the kickboxing combinations. In kickboxing class, I always screw up combinations with too many steps, but I found the ones on this video very easy to follow.

The weights sections include a good mix of things, but only one set of each. The next time I do this video, I'll probably do those sections twice.

The warm-up gets an A+. The abs and stretching sections: C-. You're probably better off doing your own abs and stretching routines.
Come back to the mat, Aunt Emily. I'm not done
pawing and licking your face yet.

The verdict: I'm glad I picked this DVD. It's not as scary as the cover leads on. I could probably still go for more cardio, but if they really did burn more than 700 calories each, I'd say it's a winner. I still won't give up my kickboxing classes, however. It wasn't that good.

I'd probably give it

Do you have a favorite workout video to suggest?



  1. My husband and I just started the P90X workouts. I'll admit he is in WAY better shape than I currently am (I haven't worked out that hard since high school) so to say I was terrified is putting it midly. But I worked through it (the first week was rough but this week wasn't as bad, so thats encouraging). I've always wanted to try kickboxing. I'll look it up and give it a try!

  2. You're right...that cover design definitely could use some help. Lol!

    Glad it turned out to be a decent workout!

  3. I have a Polar heart rate monitor (in pink!) that I don't use anymore. I have sweated a LOT on the strap though (but I cleaned it!). If you want it, I can drop it in the mail to you (since I have your address now, bwahahahahaha....)

    I don't use it because my Garmin has a heart rate monitor and I pretty much only run and don't go to the gym anymore.

  4. Kara, that would be amazing! I sweat a lot, too, so I can handle it :)