MMA Boxing is a very fun cardio boxing workout. I loved it! I can’t believe that over the past year I have hoarded so many Cathe workouts and put off getting this one. Pre-Xtrain, I thought “just boxing?” Hmmmmm–where is the kicking? How can I get a good working from just air boxing? Then I did Xtrain’s Hardstrikes + the heavy bag tabata bonuses (sans heavy bag) and it all became clear. I LOVE these types of workouts! I knew I loved kickboxing, but I love it even w/out all the kicking! And it is an excellent workout! First, let me add that I used 2 pound weighted gloves, which I do think is important to get the most out of the workout.
MMA Boxing is part of Cathe’s Shock Cardio Workout Series that was meant to compliment the STS strength training program. The series includes three MMA-style workouts: MMA Kickboxing, MMA Fusion and MMA Boxing. I love all three of them, but they are not intense workouts. I put MMA Kickboxing in the recovery workout category and MMA Fusion and MMA Boxing in the steady state cardio and/or recovery category, with MMA Boxing being more intense than MMA Fusion. I have to keep adding though, that is with 2 pound weighted gloves on, which increases the intensity of these types of workouts. Without the gloves, MMA Boxing would have been much less intense.
MMA Boxing is the shortest of the three MMA workouts, though not by much. It clocks in at 48 minutes. But it has a bonus the other two don’t have–a “Heavy Bag” bonus that is 20 minutes long. This bonus was one of the things that deterred me from getting MMA Boxing, because I don’t own a heavy bag and have no intention of purchasing one. Then I tried Hardstrikes Heavy Bag Tabata bonuses, sans bag, using only 2 pound weight gloves and LOVED it! I immediately ordered MMA Boxing.
Now, on to the review.
MMA Boxing is 48 minutes long; 7 minute warm up, 27 minutes of boxing + “blitzes,” 9 minutes of core work and 5 minute stretch. The heavy bag bonus is actually 19 minutes long and has no warm up or cool down. The only equipment you need for this workout is 5 pound dumbbells for the core section. Optional are weighted gloves (I think they are necessary), two resistance tubes (used as markers–totally not necessary) and a heavy bag for the bonus (not necessary).
The warm up consists of a lot of punches–jabs, hooks, upper cuts, bobbing and weaving and speed bags. The main boxing portion is made up of 3 circuits and each circuit has 3 parts. The first part is the punch combos that are done on each side of the body, then you move into an upper body “blitz” then a lower body “blitz.” For the upper body blitz you are just doing super fast shadow boxing. I won’t break down the punch combos for each circuit, but I will break down the blitzes.
Circuit #1 upper body blitz is hooks, first slow then very fast. For the lower body blitz Cathe uses two resistance tubes as markers on the ground. She makes a cross. You use these markers to do various jumps over the markers. First side to side, then front to back, then “L” (front back side to side), and finally a box–you just jump in all four quadrants created by the cross.
Circuit #2 upper body blitz is jabs, first slow, then double time then super fast. For the lower body blitz you will use one tube as a marker and you will do stance jump switches over the tube.
Circuit #3 upper body blitz is upper cuts, first slow, then double time then super fast. For the lower body blitz you do jump rope variations (with no actual jump rope).
Grab your mat and two 5 pound dumbbells for the core work: weighted sit ups, Russian twists with one dumbbell, knee ins, frog-style full sit ups first with dumbbells then without, reverse crunches, “back swim,” reverse crunch and it ends with bike maneuver.
Heavy Bag Bonus
I do not have a heavy bag, so I just did it with weighted gloves. Though I cannot compare my version to an actual version using a heavy bag, I feel like mine was just as intense. It didn’t look to me like Cathe and crew were hitting the bag very hard. I am comparing this bonus to the heavy bag tabatas in Hardstrikes. In Hardstrikes I feel like I still got an intense workout with my weighted gloves, but not as intense as they got with the heavy bags because they were hitting their heavy bags pretty hard. I didn’t get the same impression in MMA Boxing’s Heavy Bag Bonus. It could also be because it isn’t a tabata workout, so it wasn’t intended to be as intense anyway. Nevertheless, I really liked it and felt my weighted gloves made it just as effective as it would be with the heavy bag.
The workout starts with 8 count jabs circling the bag followed by jacks. You will come back to this little combo several times, except it the first time you do it is the only time you simply do jacks. All of the future times you do jack & jabs. This move becomes a bridge move between combos. I am not going to break down every combo, but I will say that in this bonus you get some kickboxing in addition to boxing. You do a series of round house kicks, then some knee smashes and you even do burpees. All of the punch combos are pretty simple in the bonus.
Overall, I loved this workout. It is fun and effective. There are no premixes, but it is chaptered well. There are some ways to use the chaptering to make this workout more useable (if you want to do more than just the main workout, that is). When I want to do it all, I play the main workout, stop right before the core work, do the heavy bag bonus, then return to the core work and finish out the workout. That gives you about a 68 minute workout. But if you want to keep you workout at an hour and get all the cardio, then again, stop it at the core work, do the heavy bag, then finish it out with the stretch, skipping the core work.