BodyStrikes Vol 3 is crazy intense! For my current fitness level at least. Let me give some background on how I am using the BodyStrikes workouts. I am currently doing Mark Lauren’s 90 Day Challenge. I am using Mark’s program to rebuild my strength after a major surgery. Mark’s program is all bodyweight training. I am supplementing it with other workouts. One of those is Ilaria Montagnani‘s Bodystrikes workouts. The first 4 weeks of Mark’s 90 Day Challenge I did his Level 1 workouts. I also did Ilaria’s BodyStrikes Vol 1. The next 5 weeks I did Mark’s Level 2 workouts and I also did Ilaria’s BodyStrikes Vol 2, which is longer and more challenging than Vol 1. For the final 4 weeks of Mark’s program I am doing Level 3 of his workouts. I purchased Ilaria’s BodyStrikes Vol 3 for the sole purpose of using it during the last 4 weeks to supplement Mark’s Level 3 workouts. All I can say is–appropriate! Mark’s Level 3 workouts are kicking my butt–and so did this workout! It is longer and much more challenging than both Vol 1 and Vol 2. And Ilaria gives you no breaks. It is nonstop. The first two BodyStrikes workouts are low impact (there is impact in Vol 1 but Ilaria also gives modifications if you don’t want impact). This one has all kinds of jumping (though in her intro and at least once in the course of the workout, Ilaria gives modification options–but more on that in a minute). I had to pause this DVD multiple times to take break. According to my FitBit, for 45 minutes of this 57 minute workout, I was in my peak heart rate zone. And it felt like it.
Also, the choreography is not only faster paced than her other two BodyStrikes workouts but more complicated. I had a hard time remembering all the moves even though you repeat them a zillion times. I’m sure being exhausted didn’t help matters. This faster pace also makes using her low impact modifications more difficult. It is hard enough to keep up with her pace while remembering what kick/squat comes next and also execute a modification. I didn’t modify anything and it wore me out. In fact, this workout wasted me so much the first time I did it, I didn’t post it until I had done it a second time. It wasted me again–but I will admit, not as bad as the first time. But I still had to pause the DVD player a few times and walk around my workout room. This is an endurance workout and I have not yet built up the endurance to do this workout straight through without breaks. Maybe at the end of the 90 day rotation. If that happens, I will update this review.
Like Vol 1 and Vol 2, this isn’t exactly a kickboxing workout as there are no punches. It is all kicking and lower body drills. It also has a long warm up that includes kick drills. Like Ilaria‘s other Bodystrikes workouts, her warm up is made up of push ups, squats, jengas (alternating reverse lunges) and kick drills. The workout itself consists of kick and squat combos. She teaches each lower body combo individually then at the end of a teaching session combines all of the combos taught thus far–so it is taught in layers. At the end of the 4th combo you do the “finished product” combining all of the combos together. And just like in Vol 1 and Vol 2, the teaching consists of doing each move many, many times. So you are really drilling the lower body. This is endurance level bodyweight strength work–and cardio too, so metabolic training. My legs were weak and achy afterward, and I felt physically drained for hours. I did not have DOMS afterward, which really surprised me. But I guess doing BodyStrikes Vols 1 & 2 for 9 weeks before doing Vol 3 prepared my muscles.
After Ilaria builds the entire workout by drilling you through every combo below numerous times (for 34 minutes to be precise), you get a brief recovery of marching in place (this is the only break you get in the entire workout, too) before you run through the entire thing repeatedly without a break–for 10 solid minutes. And she adds little things to increase intensity, such as a push up at the end of #6 and touching the floor with one hand each time you squat when doing #7. And if you aren’t completely exhausted and spent at the end, she adds on lots of wide plié squats with your heels raised to finish you off. Ilaria also mentions that the workouts she leads in classes are even longer than this one!!! WTC? These people are machines!
Finally, this workout ends with a 1 minute stretch. ONE MINUTE. After 56 minutes of beating the crap out of your lower body. Every time I did this workout I finished it off with a long, lower body focused stretch.
Bodystrikes Vol 3 is 57 minutes long; 30 second intro, 10 minute warm up (warm up contains 2 sets of 8 push ups) and 1 minute stretch (stretch includes balance moves). During the intro, Ilaria shares that this workout is more intense because she adds burpees. Vol 1 has burpees too but it is definitely not as intense as this workout. However, it is a lot more than the burpees that make this workout more intense than Vols 1 & 2! As mentioned above, she does give burpee modifications in the intro and also during the workout tells you how to modify a few of the moves. Remember, it takes 34 minutes to build all of the combos below, then you run through 1-7 non-stop for 10 minutes.
- 3 front push kicks + one side kick + one squat + 2 front push kicks (hold the second kick isometrically for few seconds) (this combo is done on both sides of the body)
- 3 plie squat jacks + round house right + round house left
- 2 round house right + squat left + round house left (this combo is done on both sides of the body)
- Forward crescent kick + reverse crescent kick + two 45 degree turning jump squats (this combo is done on both sides of the body)
- Balance on left leg and kick other leg front, side, front then circle it to side and lower (balance move) (this combo is done on both sides of the body)
- Squat, place hands on ground, jump feet out to plank, rotate torso while raising right arm to ceiling, then rotate torso while raising left arm to ceiling, jump feet back in to hands and stand (later she adds a push up to the end)
- Side squat to right + right front push kick + side squat to left + left front push kick (this combo is done 2x) (later she adds toughing one hand to ground when squatting)
Final exercise (this isn’t done until 54:30 minutes into the workout):
- Plie squats, raising heels at top of squat; keep heels raised and continue to plie squat