Martial arts is an activity that many are interested in but feel too intimidated to try. The cost for martial arts gym memberships can be quite high as well. One viable option is trying one of the many at home martial arts programs, such as Les Mills Combat by Beachbody. It is one of the most popular programs on the market today and has recently become increasingly popular with the MMA craze reaching its peak.
Burn up to 1,000 calories per hour. You’ll be doing Karate/Kung Fu, Capoeira, Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai/Kickboxing, Tae Kwon Do and Boxing—all in a single workout—and burning up to 1,000 calories per hour!
Les Mills Combat by Beachbody is one of the first comprehensive at home exercise programs based on martial arts and intense aerobic training. It is based on the BodyCombat gym class, also created by Les Mills, and proves to be a calorie burning workout with grueling sets of moves. Les Mills is primarily comprised of mixed martial arts moves, with interval training and some explosive plyometrics mixed in, for the most intense whole body workout around.
The Les Mills Combat program is 60 days long and it claims to carve your body into the lean, chiseled physique you have been dreaming of. The mixed martial arts program features moves from seven different mixed martial arts disciplines and blends them together for explosive and increasingly difficult calorie burning workouts. Beachbody claims that you can burn up to 1,000 calories with one of Les Mills Combat’s one hour workouts. Can this really be true? It all really depends on where you are physically when you begin the program and the intensity you do it at.
Before you begin, you will want to have a barbell handy, along with a few dumbbells in various weights as well. You will not need many of them and you will most like be able to get by with 8-12 pounds for females and 15-25 pounds for the males. In addition to the dumbbells, you will also want to make sure that you are wearing shoes. Martial arts is commonly practiced barefoot, but the moves in Les Mills Combat can cause you to slip or lose your balance. With the plyometrics, it is also a good idea to wear good shoes in order to help protect your knees from injury.
The Les Mills Combat kit includes seven workouts on five DVDs. It also includes a free extra workout titled Les Mills Combat 30: Live, a fitness guide, nutrition guide, tape measure, measurement tracker and Beachbody’s famous 24/7 online support program. As with all Beachbody programs, Les Mills Combat also comes with a money back guarantee. The Les Mills Combat guarantee is for 60 days, giving you ample time to try out the program and see if you are able to get real results! If you are not satisfied, you can return it for a full refund, minus shipping and handling charges.
As previously mentioned, there are a total of seven workouts in the program. Most are between 30-45 minutes long, although there are a few that are longer. All of the workouts include a warm up, although it is only a few minutes long. You will have some stretching at the end of each workout as well and this will serve as the cool down period.
The main instructors in the program are Dan and Rach. There are others in the background as well and most are Les Mills Combat trainers and Beachbody coaches.
One feature that is new to the Beachbody workouts with Les Mills Combat is the ability to adjust the volume in the workouts. You can increase it or decrease it to your liking. You also have the option of doing the program several different ways, depending on your fitness level, desired end results and intensity level. The various ways of doing the program will be explained farther down in the review and include options when you may be doing more than one workout per day. Regardless of which route you take with the program, you will definitely want to begin with the Les Mills Combat: The Basics workout.
Les Mills Combat: The Basics
This workout is definitely the easiest and focuses on teaching you the moves that you will need to know in order to do the rest of the workouts in the series. It begins by teaching you the various stances you will begin with and moves on to show you, step by step, how to master the mixed martial arts moves and defenses. Even if you have a history with mixed martial arts and/or a lengthy fitness background, you will still want to watch this workout at least once. The workouts in this program are very fast paced and some are tweaked a bit to add a plyometric move to it for additional calorie burning.
Les Mills Combat 30: Kick Start
This workout is 30 minutes long as is one of the more basic workouts when it comes to combining the moves learned in the Basics workout. It is very intense but will ease you into the combinations you will be doing later on. The workout will definitely make you break a sweat while doing basic boxing moves such as the jab, uppercut, cross and hook. You will also incorporate some of the basic kicks and should plan on moving the entire 30 minutes with no rest time. Keep your liquids nearby since you will want to grab a sip of water every now and then to make it through the workout and keep hydrated too.
Les Mills Combat 45: Power Kata
The Power Kata workout is a 45 minute long, cross training workout. It includes some of the moves in the Combat 30 workout and also incorporates some Muay Thai and Capoeira moves. It is slightly more challenging than the previous workout because it includes more complex moves and is also 15 minutes longer.
Les Mills Combat 60: Extreme Cardio Fighter
This workout is one of the longest at 60 minutes long. It includes a lot of repetition with sequence moves that will have your muscles burning throughout the entire hour long workout. Some of the moves are ones that you will be familiar with from the Combat 30 and 45 workouts and others will be new to this workout. You will definitely feel fatigued by the end of this one, if not before you even get half way through it. It is designed to make you feel the burn all over because you will be doing the same move combinations for an extended period of time. The workout culminates with an ab and push up workout as well.
Les Mills Combat 60 Live: Ultimate Warrior’s Workout
This workout is one that you may want to keep handy, even after completing your 60 days with Les Mills Combat, because it is a comprehensive, whole body workout that blends martial arts with core and cardio work. The workout features a good portion of Capoeira moves and all of the different combinations you did in Combat 30, 45 and 60. This workout is called the Combat 60 Live because it is filmed in a class format with hundreds of participants and trainers. While doing the workout, you will want to focus on one of the trainers since some of the participants tend to fall behind and skimp on form. This shows you just how difficult the workout can be if you put 100% into it.
Les Mills Combat: Power HIIT 1
This workout incorporates high intensity interval training, using short bursts of high intensity moves with short rest periods in between. It is said to be one of the most effective types of workouts for calorie and fat burning and is incorporated into many of the other Beachbody programs as well. For many that have completed Les Mills Combat, this is one of the toughest workouts in the series. The beginning is an upper body workout using dumbbell weights. It is followed by a lower body workout using your own body weight to perform lunges and squats. Most of the moves are plyometrics moves, adding bursts of energy with jumping and core work. The burpee push-ups follow and this tends to be the part that many participants fall behind in. Burpees alone are difficult to do but they are increasingly difficult in this workout, following the upper and lower body plyometrics moves. The workout itself is only 30 minutes long but do not let the length deceive you. It will be difficult but, after doing it a few times, you should get somewhat used to it and be able to complete it without modifications.
Les Mills Combat: Shock Plyo HIIT 2
This plyometrics workout features many explosive moves to help improve strength, endurance and overall power. The workout is approximately 30 minutes and consists mostly of propulsion exercises. It does not contain many of the martial arts moves used throughout the other workouts and focuses more on elevating your heart rate with strengthening moves using your own body weight. It is difficult but not as difficult as the HIIT workouts.
Les Mills Combat 30 Live
This workout is shot in a large group setting, similar to the Combat 60 Live workout. It was shot live in the United Kingdom and it is a shorter version of the Combat 60 as well. The Combat 30 Live includes moves designed to help tone your arms, back and shoulders with a bit of leg work mixed in. Do it alone or add it to the days that you are doing some of the shorter workouts above for increased calorie burn.
Les Mills Combat Fitness Guide & Calendar
The fitness guide will outline the different ways of doing the program in order to get the results you desire. It explains the Warrior, Supreme and Ultimate Warrior workout schedules and includes fitness tips to help improve your end results.
Eat Right for the Fight Nutrition Guide
The nutritional guide is included to aid you in your weight loss goals. It includes recipes, shopping lists and eating plans to help keep your blood sugar in check, burn more fat and help reduce your appetite. Since the workout is demanding, you will need to consume adequate calories each day, but your meals should consist of nutrient rich foods and not sugar laden treats full of empty calories.
Tape Measure and Measurement Tracker
The program includes a tape measure and measurement tracker to track you progress with Les Mills Combat and help you see the changes you are making in your body as you go through the 60 day period. You should take your measurements no more than three times during the 60 day period. Ideally, you should take your measurements before you begin, at the 30 day mark with the program and once again when you complete the 60 day training period.
Free Online Support
If you have questions on how to do the program, where you should begin or which workout calendar you should follow, you can reach out to the online forum awaiting your questions and concerns. Beachbody features 24/7 online support that includes Beachbody coaches, fitness experts and others like you taking on the Les Mills Combat challenge. You can log on at any time, day or night, and have a support system accessible at your fingertips.
As with most exercise programs, you can expect to get back exactly what you put into it. With Les Mills Combat, there are several ways you can do the program. The workout schedule that accompanies the DVDs provides instructions to do the plan at three different intensity levels. The different versions of the program are titled the Warrior Workout Calendar, the Supreme Warrior Workout or the Ultimate Warrior Workout Calendar. If you opt for the Warrior workout calendar, you should expect to rest two days of the week and do only one workout per day. Most of the workouts you will do will be the shorter, at 30-45 minutes long. With the Supreme workout, you will have only one day of rest and you will do one workout a day as well. With the Supreme, you will use the longer workouts more often than the shorter ones. As you can see, the intensity increases slightly with each version of the program until you reach the toughest way of doing Les Mills Combat. The Ultimate Warrior workout calendar will have you doing two workouts per day and resting only one day per week.
If you are doing the program for the first time and you are not a seasoned athlete or fitness guru, you should start off with the Warrior workout. If, after several days or weeks you do not feel it is challenging enough, then you can opt to do the Supreme and increase the intensity. The program is tailored so that anyone at any fitness level can complete it. Each of the workouts includes modified ways of doing the workouts, depending on your individual needs. There are instructors in the DVDs doing the workouts at high impact and others demonstrating the same moves at a low impact as well.
The more effort you put into doing the program, the more noticeable your results will be at the end of the 60 day period. As with all exercise programs, your diet also plays a large role in your end results. You cannot lose weight with exercise alone and you should adhere to the nutritional guide that accompanies the DVDs.
Les Mills Combat seems to have positive reviews from everyone that has tried it. It is difficult not to like the program since it was well designed to be doable by participants at any fitness level.
- The program is very effective in helping you tone up with moves that you probably were not doing before in your regular fitness routine.
- The music is motivating and the trainers in the video are encouraging and upbeat.
- The videos are all very different and don’t bore you with the same moves over and over again.
- The workouts include high and low impact ways of doing the moves so that anyone, even those with recovering injuries, can do the moves.
- The workout calendar gives you three options for doing the program so that you can use it over and over again and continue to see results.
- There are only seven workouts so you tend to do the same thing each week.
- The moves can be difficult to learn if you lack coordination.
Out of all Beachbody programs, Les Mills Combat seems like the one that is a good fit for men and women at just about any fitness level. It has a good balance of cardio moves with strength training blended in. It also includes plenty of mixed martial arts moves, including muay thai and capoeira, to attract those interested in learning a few new moves. The workouts are difficult but include modifications so that anyone, regardless of fitness level, can do the program and complete it. It also includes three different approaches on completing the program at three different intensity levels with the Warrior, Supreme and Ultimate Warrior options.
Overall, Les Mills Combat seems to be a great option for those that are looking for a diversified workout. You can do it several times in a row and each time get different results by opting to use the different workout schedules. It is a program that anyone can do and that can teach you a few self defense moves while giving you an excellent workout as well.
After working out inside of a gym for the last two years, I was ready for a change and Les Mills Combat was what I needed. It gave me a good cardio workout at a fitness level that I was able to handle.
Jeff Ferreira – August, GA
On average, I burned about 600 calories per workout, according to my Polar Monitor, and I ended up losing 12 pounds in two months with my first go around with Les Mills Combat.
Jennifer Gerber – Rockford, IL
Les Mills COMBAT is an awesome MMA program with some HIIT and plyometrics work-outs mixed in. You can even add in weights in some of the workouts. For the HIIT and the Plyo workouts, Dan and Rach are awesome in leading the program and are great at motivating, explaining, etc.
Leslie Hertweck – Team Beachbody Coach – Simi Valley, CA