Break a sweat with P&N!
New mamas and moms-to-be review the latest fitness gear and programs.
Program: Empower Boxing Boot Camp
Fitness level: All levels
Reviewed by: New mom and P&N reader, Andrea Bergener.
After having my baby six months ago and still breastfeeding, I was frustrated that I still wasn’t down to my pre-pregnancy weight. I was a little skeptical when I received the Empower Fitness 12 Rounds Boxing Boot Camp with Jaime “The Hurricane” Clampitt kit in the mail. It comes with a medicine ball, weighted gloves, and jump rope, all equipment that I already had at home, but was having a hard time finding the time to use. But, I’ve done kickboxing classes and DVDs before and enjoyed them, so I was ready to give this new program a shot. Before I was married (or even met my husband), I lost about 75 pounds in a year’s time, and felt like I was in pretty good shape, but once I got pregnant and after having the baby, the only exercise I manage to fit in is walks around the neighborhood.
The DVD begins with a short introduction about why boxing is a good workout and how women’s boxing is gaining popularity, in fact it was in the summer Olympics this year for first time. It introduced the instructor and her experience as a boxing champion. It then explained format of the workout: 12 rounds that are each 2 minutes long. After that is a separate instruction chapter that demonstrates the stance for each type of punch and the different combinations used in each round. This was done slowly, then at regular speed. Compared to other kickboxing programs I’ve done, I thought this program broke it down the best, especially if you are a beginner.
The workout begins with a warmup of jumping rope. I wasn’t able to do it for very long but there is a modification for toe taps on the medicine ball instead. I then tried to complete the rounds wearing the weighted gloves, but they didn’t stay on for every long. Punching for two minutes doesn’t seem like a long time, but my arms tired quickly. There is definitely more of an emphasis on working your upper body but using the correct positioning for punches works your abs and there are also rounds of cardio and squats to work your lower body. There is an extra ab workout after you complete the twelve rounds. The workout gradually builds up in intensity and begins to cool down for the last couple of rounds. My favorite kinds of workouts are crosstraining and interval training, since I get bored easily, so I liked that the rounds are short. Just when you think you can’t do it any longer, the workout switches so you work different muscles.
Completing the twelve rounds with warmup and cooldown, takes just under 35 minutes, so it can be done during a naptime. There are many modifications to make the workout more or less difficult. The video quality is very simple and looks like it was filmed pretty cheaply, but it wasn’t a deterrent or distraction. I liked the instructor and the two other women who were sweating along with her. They were fit, but not super skinny and you can tell they’re all working hard with you.
After the workout I feel energized, not exhausted. My husband noticed a difference in the tone of my arms after just three times doing it! With all of the ways you can pace the intensity of the rounds I will definitely continue to use this program. With all of the stress that comes from being a mom, being able to punch the air is a great stress reliever and makes me feel more confident and empowered.
You can purchase the entire kit for in stores and online for $39.99, which I think is a great deal, given that you get all the equipment included.