July 23, 2009

The Ultimate in Cranky Fitness

Sometimes you really just need to let your anger out.

Please note that, as advised by the Cranky Fitness Legal Department, we are not recommending this practice unless you're a) rich, b) a celebrity or c) acquainted with a really good lawyer.

So what's an angry person to do?

Punching someone out when you're angry can be really satisfying. Then again, getting sued... not so satisfying. That's why I like kickboxing. I mean, the other person doesn't need to be physically present when you swing the punch or kick at them. You might bruise a knuckle or something. Also, they might hit you back. No, much safer to do it this way. It's the ultimate in Cranky Fitness.

And besides, the other person might not deserve all that anger. They could be innocent. (Yes, you're still pissed off, but do they deserve that?)

Once you've got all the anger out of your system and you're nice and sweaty, you can go egg their house deal with the issue in a calm, sane, adult fashion. (Or else you can call them up and scream at them, but at least you'll have burned some calories first.)

You don't have to be the high-energy lean, lithe, and mean type to get a kick out of kickboxing. It can be fun.

Okay, maybe not this much fun. Stop giggling, dude!

And it turns out that kickboxing doesn't require a box filled with rocks.

In case you do not have a kickboxing class handy when you've got steam coming out of both ears, I recommend this Kickboxing DVD: Cardio Burn Kickbox.

What struck me about this (newbie-level) video, in addition to the fact that I was able to release a lot of anger by following along, was that the instructor, Patricia Moreno, talked a lot during the workout, but it wasn't annoying. Even when she wasn't cueing you up for the next move, her talk was remarkably helpful. I tend to zone out everyone instructors when they talk on and on, but in this case I found myself jerking back to attention and focusing on what she had to say.

Lots of comments about patience, practice, aiming for precision and power.(Not only does she use alliteration, she uses alliteration that's exactly the mot juste, which is a neat trick while you're dancing around kicking things.)

The DVD has two sessions: one 30 and another 50 minutes long.
She throws in some yoga moves at the beginning and end for warm up/cool down. Overall, the DVD is high energy,* but not overwhelming. I liked her energy.

*At least, from the point of view of someone who's a newbie when it comes to kickboxing (though not to being cranky).

Have you tried other kickboxing DVDs that you'd recommend? Or do you prefer sitting on the couch watching Uma Thurman or somebody get angry instead?


  1. I haven't tried kickboxing when I'm angry, but I do a good yell. When my kids are fighting and I have to break up their attempt at kickboxing each other, I say, 'stop, lets scream!'.

    We then scream for about 5 seconds and then end up laughing at the craziness of it all. It releases the tension and we move on.

    I'm pretty sure the neighbours think I'm murdering them though. :)

  2. Actually, I think that's probably really good therapy. Maybe you should encourage the neighbors to scream along :)

  3. Great post, I love the cat pic, been house sitting for an angry diabetic cat this week so THAT rings true.

  4. I like Turbo jam. Especially "Punch, Kick and Jam," which ends with some Capoeira-inspired moves.
    I love that in kickboxing you can make the moves low-impact and still work up a good sweat.
    And I REALLY like the screaming idea!!!!

  5. I spent last week caring for an affection-impaired cat, so I can relate to the irked feeling.

    Azusmom, I loved how I could do a low-impact workout and still be sweating at the end of it!

  6. Cardio burn kickbox? Probably lame-er than Tae-BO!

    Look at those flimsy and pathetic leg movements that they think are front kicks. Bleh.

    If you're going to kickbox - DO IT RIGHT. Speed bags, heavy bags, thai pads and an occasional sparring partner is what makes the experience a REAL workout.

    Plus, roundhouse kick training is probably the best workout you can do to get a great ass. Mostly because its fun as well as super effective.(ladies take note)

    Now go kick...

  7. I haven't tried kickboxing, but I am intrigued by your review. Now I just need a dvd player....

  8. For a cranky person, I am weirdly fortunate in not having anything in my life currently that's making me feel angry. So I'm kind of in a more bouncy-dancey phase in looking for new cardio ideas, not so much a kicky-punchy phase.

    However, the idea of an articulate instructor with a gift for language is quite appealing! Perhaps there's a whole new market for aerobics dvd's for nerdy literate types? Wouldn't it be a kick (so to speak) if, say, Sarah Vowell or David Sedaris would take on the cardio market? Witty repartee accompanied by a thumping beat, what's not to like?

    Or hey, Merry, you're clever and witty, perhaps you can do the first installment of our new Cranky Cardio series?

  9. Yeah, if Merry will do it, I'll buy the whole series of Cranky Cardio. Hopefully you'll include some of that scream theraphy. I'm lucky like Crabby to not much to be angry about in life right now, but it just sounds fun!!

  10. Oh, my God, the thought of Sarah Vowell talking me through anything is tremendously appealing. Also, even when she's angry, that midwestern voice is awfully calming for the rest of us. Then I wouldn't *need* to kick someone's face in... Hmm...

  11. I've never tried kickboxing, but about eight years ago when I was going through a difficult time I bought a punching bag and hung it in my basement. It turned out to be a great stress reliever. I haven't used it in years, but it's still hanging there, just in case.

  12. I have never done kickboxing but always wanted to just for the great workout, work the whole body, get some frustration out too! I think it is a great idea. Maybe in the future for me.. OR I can buy a punching bag & go at it!!!

  13. Sometimes when my kids are losing their minds and screaming at the top of their lungs I sometimes wonder what the world would look like if adults did that! Now I know!

  14. You know how I love me my kickboxing
    ;) Never tried this video though! I'm not much of a DVD workout fan...

  15. That cat is kick ass. I would not hide the cat nip from that dude.

    I used to take kickboxing at my gym and really enjoyed it. Especially when the instructor let us kick him while he held that body pad thingy (technical term). I really did try to kick the crap out of him.

  16. Thanks so much for recommending that DVD, I already qued it on my NetFlix. I've been debating a few and wasn't sure of a good one. I can't wait to try it out!

  17. KickBoxing for Dummies is a good one! For the more dense types like myself, it helps to have someone spelling things out for me. And the instructor is a very likeable girl with a cute Austrailian accent - not annoying at all.

  18. Uma Thurman in Kill Bill? I taught her all those kick-ass moves. Uh huh.

  19. Thanks for all the laughs and the DVD review. I'll have to add it to my Netlix queue.

  20. Sweet! I've been looking for something to get me motivated to work out. I figure between this and a few other perks, I'll be willing to work out more regularly next month.

  21. I haven't found a good kickboxing DVD yet, but will look at some of these.
    Kickboxing is fun! I haven't done much of itm but it let's me pretend I'm Uma for a bit and kicking some ninja ass :)

  22. I'm looking at the Moreno DVD from the perspective of a KB newbie; I read one review that said it was more appropriate for beginners than for seasoned KB veterans.
    (Why are veterans referred to as being 'seasoned'? Do they get pepper sprinkled on them or what?)

  23. Oh man kickboxing is just my thing. I love martial arts as a form of exercise, both mental and physical. Kickboxing is less mental workout usually, but oh man is it good for all the reasons you'd think.

  24. I yell, swear and stomp around when I'm angry. Then if that's not enough I take a hot bath and knock back some Chardonnay. If I'm REALLY HUGELY angry, I cry.

    But I guess kickboxing would be a lot easier on the larynx...

  25. This seems to have turned into a fitness blog of only the most cursory standards.

  26. Negative comments are always written by Anonymous. Why is that?

    To steal Frank's phrase, "Anon, you are as astute as you are courageous."
    We try to limit the cursorying to a PG level around here :)

  27. I sooooo need to try a kickboxing class. I've had a little taste in aerobics classes before, but it was not full blown kickboxing.

    I definitely need to give that video a try. Preferably, on a day when I need to blow off some steam. I'm sure you burn more calories in a kickboxing class when you are at least a little pissed off. Merry, have you seen any studies on that one.?....LOL!!

  28. Hi Crabby,

    Glad to hear that you liked this one. It's on my never ending to-do list - and I've heard from many that it's a good one, esp for beginners. Patricia also has another - Core Cross Train, I think? There was some re-labeling of her workouts, but I think she only has two kbox workouts that are different from each other, though there may be four different titles.

    I'm also still pretty new to kickboxing, but really, really liked Prevention's Kickstart Your Metabolism and 10 Minute Solution Knockout Body. I've heard great things about Cathe Friedrich's and Tracey Staehle's kbox, but have yet to try them myself. Amy Bento has kbox workouts too, but her's are more complicated, choreography-wsie - and therefore scary to me, LOL. ;) All are on the to-do list, though.

    Other kbox instructors that I see recommended a lot are: Guillermo Gomez, Kimberly Spreen, and Kathy Smith. And if you looking for more boxing vs. kickboxing - Michael Olajide Jr. has several boxing workouts available, too. And Danny Sullivan's heavy bag workouts seem to be some of the best available out there - but you need a heavy bag to get the most from those, I think. Jillian Michaels has a kbox workout too, but since it's an older one, her cueing isn't all that great, and it's higher impact (if that matters to you), from what I've heard.


  29. I have never tried kickboxing. I'm afraid if I had to lift my leg that fast it would only be one time only. There would not be any repeats.

  30. I do like Billy Blank's Tae Bo dvds, though I do find myself yelling "shut the *#*@ up Billy and pay attention to the count!" once and awhile.

    Kickboxing is fun, but the most fun I ever had with it was when I was first introduced to it (and exercise in general) when taking a class at a local Karate school with my best friend. It whipped our butts into shape! It was one of those classes even the super-fit instructor was panting and dripping sweat, and you would all moan when walking to the locker room to change/wring out your clothes. Absolutely fun until the instructor changed and they started forcing us to do jumping jacks, which gave me high school gym flashbacks!

  31. I have a GAIAM balance ball that came with a workout DVD that was rather the same, not too chatty. Maybe it is the focus of their DVD line.

  32. Can't speak to the videos, but I can say from personal experience that whenever someone who is new at my facility tries kickboxing for the first time they (almost always) end up LOVING it! It's my preferred exercise, too, and has a way of magically removing the cares of the day.

    Look, it's simple: Sometimes at the end of the day there's nothing better than beating the sh** out of something.

  33. a good hard run in the mountains is usually been my best therapy

    if you scream in the forest and there's no one there... did you really scream?! :)



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