The Real Deal: Workout Review of Les Mill’s Combat

Happy Monday fit people!

Today is exciting (and COLD!) as I get to review one of my very favorite workouts of all time: Les Mill’s Combat. I’ll try to do it justice :)


So, let’s start by setting a little foundation. Les Mills originated in Auckland, New Zealand, where Les Mills himself was one of the country’s greatest track and field athletes. He and his wife Colleen opened the very first health club in Auckland in 1968. Their son went to UCLA on a track and field scholarship and took over the business in the 80′s. Les Mills programs have changed the way people work out for the better with program like Body Pump, Body Step, Shabam, RPM, Body Attack, Body Vibe and, of course, Body Combat. ALL of these programs take the VERY best of exercise programming (which is what gets you results) and blends them with a party atmosphere (which increases compliance). Les Mills leads in the pack in programming and design all over the world.

Now, Beachbody (those people who brought you P90X and Insanity) have teamed up with Les Mills to make compliance even simpler…you can have the workout of your life right in your living room. Beachbody acquired the Body Pump program (complete with weights and steps) and rolled it into a doable package to help shape your body and earn strength. While in New Zealand, the founder of Beachbody noticed a large line forming for the next class…that huge line formed everyday for Body Combat. So, naturally Beachbody wanted to make such a great program available to everybody.

So, what can you expect from Body Combat?

The workouts are efficient. What I mean by that is that the workouts are designed to work FOR you, not against you. The secret behind such efficient workouts is fast twitch integration training. Body Combat is a beautiful mixed martial arts blended and inspired workout to help you feel more powerful AND get the results you want. These different forms of martial arts training (Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Capoeira, Jiu Jitsu) are sequenced according to how the body if forced to adapt to each move. The means that safety and fluidity of motion are insured throughout your workout. The sequences are escalating with varying speeds. This way you play on the differing heart rates to really blast fat AND shape lean muscle.

The best part is that these trainers really know what they’re doing.


Dan Cohen has competed in just about every discipline and has a black belt in Kickboxing and Karate. His form is killer and his humor will keep you going when you’re tired.


Rachael Newsham has trained in many of the forms and is proficient in Muay Thai, boxing and Kickboxing. If her abs don’t keep you motivated then her tough-love-trainer style is bound to keep you on your toes.

Though Combat is created for maximum results and serious athletes, there are PLENTY of modifications to make it safe for ANY and ALL fitness levels. If you’re like me and suffer from knee issues and arthritis, then follow the modifier so you can crank out the needed intensity without the added impact. Combat is a program that doesn’t exacerbate my injuries any further :)

In the Combat Challenge Pack, you get the DVD’s (7 workouts total), a nutrition guide with recipes like Mediterranean eggs, roast beef sandwich and grilled steak, plus a guide to building your workouts with 3 different options depending on your fitness level and goals. And don’t forget, you also get Shakeology in the challenge pack, which helps to regulate the digestive system and blood sugar while promoting weight loss. BONUS? Yep, this particular challenge pack is on sale this month: YOU save $70 of the whole kit, so it’s a little more than just buying the Shakeology and you get an entire program to help you get in the best shape of your life.

Bottom line, Les Mill’s Combat will help you shed excess weight, gain self-confidence and lose the junk that’s holding you back. All you have to do is push play :)

Keep moving,


Want the pack? Grab it in the CHALLENGE section right now!


Hello fit peeps and welcome to workout Wednesday! Today is, you guessed it, a workout review of an awesome class I took a couple of months ago at Pure Barre in Houston.

Let me start by giving props to Shelby. She was at the front desk when I came in, knew my name and had even set up my space in class :) .

The highlights of the space itself (besides the customer service, which is way above the bar…get it?) are the things all of us ladies really care about:

  1. Extremely clean.
  2. Very positive and upbeat attitude…even the traffic won’t get you down.
  3. Easy access to everything from equipment to restrooms.
  4. NO high pressure sales.
  5. Cool space, both in decoration and in literal cooling. I recommend a light sweater or cover up as you enter, but trust me, you’ll bust a good sweat.

You can tell as soon as class starts that Pure Barre holds their instructors to a higher form. They instructions are so clear you could almost do the whole class with your eyes closed, though I would recommend it. The lighting is low enough to de-stress the eyes and brain, but bright enough for you to see what you’re doing. The ladies in the class were gracious and very accepting of the newbie in their midst (and I stuck out a bit as the tallest one!). The music is popular and loud enough to drown out negative thoughts, but the instructor will adjust the volume accordingly so you can always hear.

The entire vibe was awesome and I felt better just upon walking in. Now, Pure Barre has a wide range of workout videos online (you can order yours through their website) and I highly encourage it, BUT I cannot stress the help you will get by attending a class. Class prices are very affordable (they offer everything from single sessions to monthly and yearly rates) and all the equipment is already there. You may even be able to buy a sweet pair of Lululemon pants after lifting your booty in Barre :)

Why is the barre so hot? It works! Women are always wanting a way to lift their booties and sculpt legs and arms without dreaded bulk (not as bad as one may think people) and barre delivers. Pure Barre brings all other Barre classes up to a higher level of expectation in my opinion. Log onto their YouTube for loads of form tips and you’ll see what I mean. Pure Barre: truly raising the barre in Houston.

Michelle [Read more...]

DVD Review: Yoga Booty Ballet


It’s that time again :) Today’s review is near and dear to my heart as it is the very FIRST infomercial DVD I ever bought! Back when I was 100 pounds more than myself I saw an infomercial for Yoga Booty Ballet. Now, as with all infomercials, YBB made it seem like it would fix all of my problems. Infomercials can totally suck you in with all the flash right? Well, I got sucked in and ordered, even though we really didn’t have the funds at the time. i must admit, when I frist tried Yoga Booty Ballet I though I was going to die! Check out my take on a popular workout, ahead of its time :)


This is by far one of the MOST fun workouts you will ever do! YBB blends yoga, ballet, Pilates, and dance into every workout. Though I realize it seems a little old school, YBB has come out with lots of new workouts which you can check out here. Yoga Booty Ballet is led by Teigh McDonough and Gillian Marloth, two great friends and awesome instructors. The workouts are short enough to be extremely doable in any time budget and they are so much fun that you forget you’re actually getting some calorie burning on!

The Yoga Booty Ballet Live is my ABsolute favorite! It features Hip Hop Abs and Cardio Cabaret, both of which will leave you going “Zumba who?”. I kid you not. The Hip Hop Abs is a great way to work the core while standing and they finish with a full course of ab killers designed to get you the core you want. Cardio Cabaret is a great, get-your-sexy-on workout that blends easy to do choreography with muscle toners and lengtheners.

Gillian and Teigh play well off of each others strengths and give clear, concise instruction so you feel as though you know what you’re doing at all times. The full set comes with the original series, which also includes dynamic strength training. Remember, you train the way you want to look. These ladies specialize in dancers physiques and long, lean body lines.

Even though I have owned these DVD’s for nearly a decade (and yes, it got much easier!), I still keep them in rotation anytime I need to release some tension or just want to feel great. Check them out here and see for yourself! Yoga Booty Ballet was one of the original ballet workouts brought straight into your living room. No special training required :) Just have some fun!

Till next time, choose a healthy life!


Review: Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed and Shred

Hey Fit Lifers!

Today I am reviewing another Jillian Michaels workout DVD. Why so many JM DVD’s? Well, people eat them up like candy after a rough week since she’s a “celebrity trainer”. That term is a whole different post. Anyways, I feel it is best if we are educated about what we are getting into :)

So, on average I like the DVD. The one downside is that if you already own a lot of JM DVD’s (30 day Shred, No more trouble zones, Killer buns and thighs, etc) you aren’t getting totally new workouts here. JM has her brand of fitness and it’s short and sweet. These DVD’s fit into just about any schedule and she truly has found her workout niche. There are two thirty minute workouts on this DVD each with beginning modifications. I like the way she talks about breathing since many of us choose not to do that during our workout. Overall, Extreme Shed and Shred is great for those who are still more drawn to their couch than the gym, and that’s JM’s specialty! You can get in and out fast, however you will not be burning enough to return to your couch for the rest of the day. If you’re more of an avid exerciser, then you’ll want to opt for something more challenging.

Beginners enjoy! More advanced athletes, run over to the next :)

Remember, you get a home DVD workout review EVERY Monday, so come back next Monday and I’ll be tackling the original P90X PLUS giving you some information on the differences in P90X2.

Don’t miss it!

Have a healthy day,


DVD Review Monday! Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs

If you are looking for those buns and thighs that really hold up (against gravity) then Jillian Michaels Killer Buns and Thighs workout DVD is a great place to get started.

Jillian is perhaps one of the most well known trainers out there and is putting out serious amounts of DVD’s like there is no tomorrow. SO, in light of that, some of these DVD’s can get pushed to the wayside. Her videos are all doable for any fitness level and they are very beginner friendly. If you’re a heavy lifter, look elsewhere. IF you are just starting out and need modifications, this is a good one to start with. She uses a chair in a couple of workouts, but you can always omit that if you don’t have one that fits the bill, or if you’re just not comfortable with props yet. the pace is steady and easy to follow. My biggest recommendation is to make sure you perfect your squats beforehand. I only say this because knee injuries are rampant amongst video exercise users and that’s normally due to a lack of personal instruction and/or body awareness.

Is it worth the bucks? It’s on for $8.99 so I say go for it and throw it into your rotation 2-3 times per week. Once you’ve outgrown it, loan it to a friend or donate it to the library, but this is a good starting point for a great ending ;-)


P.S. Head back tomorrow for some tough love about those resolutions and goals!


Dance Central 2

OK, so I am severely excited about my Christmas purchase for the fam (read:FOR ME!) of the Dance Central 2 for Kinect. I did a review on the first one a while back and you’ll remember I’m not a gamer. So, this is a huge deal for me to totally get into a game of any sort. I tend to get a little too competitive for board games! Shocking, but I digress…

So, Dance Central 2 has been steadily blowing me away. We even fired it up for a bit during our new years eve party. The moves make you feel a little more like a dancer, even when you don’t look like one :) . My entire family danced for a couple of hours Christmas morning, which was great since we eat cinnamon rolls (I had egg whites cause I’m weird like that). The dancing itself is pretty low impact, but the more intensity you bring to the moves, the better the Kinect reads your movements. That means you totally win! But we aren’t talking about competition here…

Both of the kids love Dance Central 2 and mostly we do dance battles. Do it with friends and family and you get the added benefit of great big belly laughs. DC2 also has a fitness component that I can really say is excellent. The workouts range from 10-45 minutes and offer EVERYTHING. My kids did them with me and we all got sweaty and seriously out of breath (on the easy setting!). Best of all, you can pick your level so you feel good about your workout.

Dancing is a serious workout and a great way to bust out of you workout rut or simply  supplement your existing routine. I’m heading into the living room to bust a few moves when I’m done here :) . Don’t have a Kinect and can’t invest right now? Turn on some tunes and dance like no one’s watching!

OH, and I have a new Bob Harper workout that I’ll be doing and reviewing tomorrow so stay tuned. Get up and get something done!