COMBATIVE CONDITIONING reviews
Here's a couple reviews from another website for Combative Conditioning:
At long last, here is my review of the new Combative Conditioning set. First i'll go over a bit of what is covered in the set. Then i'll discuss some criticisms, followed by strengths. I'll finish with who i think this set is best for. It should be obvious, but i'll note it anyway, that my opinion of various sections and concepts will be sprinkled throughout. You may have a different opinion, so keep that in mind. I may add some things in later on after my initial review because i forgot my notes at home.
The Combative Conditioning set comes with three discs, two of which are dvd's and one which is a cd for the computer.
The first disk begins with an introduction to the coaches, and an outline of the dvd's. It also describes some of the coaching philosophy that the program is based on. After the introduction, the coaches continue into a warmup, and then into the first two "Phases" of the program.
The first phase is "Balance and Stability." The program is set up as a progression, so the coaches advise not skipping phases. This phase stresses exercises that require balance, such as one legged variations of exercises, and exercises with a stability ball (a common theme throughout).
The second phase is "Strength and Compounding." In this phase there are compound exercises, blending elements of traditional strength exercises with more balance oriented exercises of the first phase.
The second DVD begins with phases 3 and 4.
In Phase 3 is power endurance. This phase emphasizes strings of exercises that challenge common body parts making it quite challenging.
Phase 4 is "Fight-Specific Training." This phase offers three different circuits based on the creators' philosophy. This portion will be more demanding of a wider variety of energy systems than the other phases.
The second dvd ends with a few bonuses like how to use what's available to you to add variety and fun to your workout, and includes Oberhue's (i think it was him) brutal run up a very long hill. I can only imagine what the many drivers that go by are thinking. (I also would advise NOT stopping in intersections to perform exercises like Tom does in the dvd, considering the road was reasonably busy!) There are some other extras as well.
Finally is the data cd, which contains some further extras (some are the same as the extras at the end of the second dvd). The data library offers many additional exercises not seen in the workouts (and elsewhere you are provided with the templates so that you can add these new exercises in yourself). The highlight of the Data CD for me is the printable workouts and templates. These items tell you exactly how to use the program as presented, how to progress over time, and how to modify the workouts based on your own abilities.
Here is a list of things that, as a coach, i didn't really care for, or thought could be improved. Each paragraph below represents a different point i would like to express. I will preface this by saying that the majority of these criticisms are essentially nit picks, and not particularly crippling to the overall design. I appreciate that the coaches simply presented their philosophy and didn't attempt to argue for it, which would have been a severe mistake.
There is a needlessly strict/inefficient structure to presenting exercises. For example, there are three "coaching points" and "bail points" for each exercise, while some need more or less, and so it seems somewhat frivolous. The bail/coaching points are too rigid in presentation, but this fact is merely a detail of my opinion. I find it far more important that they actually present these points to begin with; in a sound and otherwise reasonable manner. They address tempo too, which is often ignored on dvd's, but the tempo throughout is highly unregulated, and i'd like to see it cleaned up in future projects from these guys.
There is a confusing grouping of exercises as well. Some exercises could easily be grouped differently than they are, and although i understand WHY they were grouped as they were (they still make effective workouts), i think this could have been presented differently, but again, this criticism has no effect on the quality of the workout.
Personally, i think there is an over emphasis of unstable surface training. However, this moves into the exercise science realm, and is debatable, so i'll digress on this issue.
It says in numerous places that the data library contains 95 exercises, but i only count 92. Keep in mind that, even if i am right, 92 is still a hell of a lot of extra exercises!
I think that an experienced coach or athlete might not see a lot of new things in this set, but i think most people will see at LEAST a few new things.
There seems to be a decent amount of equipment needed, although a clever athlete could do the workouts with a relatively small investment in equipment or at a standard gym. For example, they have a cool band setup that i like a lot, but that i haven't seen anywhere else. The one flaw in the variety seems to be a lack in describing how an athlete could get by with no balls or bands (the most needed equipment), which i'd like to see from them.
There is a physical therapist in the introduction who gives an unfortunately edited speech. He is cut off posing a point that isnt self evident. However, in the bonus features his entire discussion is included which explains his position in greater detail. I would have liked to see a bit more on the actual dvd, but i doubt many other people would notice. And i think adding him in is a nice touch.
On section ("Design Elements") on the data cd didn't work for me, but i only tried in one computer. This may not be a normal problem.
(note from CC: This problem has been fixed)
I think the periodization model presented on the data cd could be longer, but it is more than sufficient as is. Essentially, i wonder what the coaches advise once the program is complete.
(note from CC: In the periodization form it states that once you have progressed through all four phases the idea is to start over again at phase one - at a higher difficulty level. Thus it is a never ending system that won't burn someone out by trying to maintain phase 4 level indefinitely.)
The following are a few strengths that i found with this set. They are presented as a point to a paragraph like in the last post.
This set is run by three intelligent and charismatic coaches. It's easy to tell that they are experienced and that they care quite a bit about the quality of their work.
The program is powerfully modifiable. It takes a lot of work to make a program on dvd easy for even beginners to modify, and they've done a good job of it.
The program is challenging for a very wide variety of athletes, from day one of training and up.
Although this set is marketed toward combat athletes, people without a sport would find benefit in it as well.
The design from beginning to end is a complete one. You are instructed from the warmup to the cooldown, to recovery on off days, and a short periodization plan. Most of what beginning and intermediate athletes need and may be missing is presented.
There is a strong emphasis on form and progression. The coaches seem genuinly concered about your safety and wellbeing.
There are variations of (i think) every single exercise in the workouts that are shown to either increase or decrease the difficulty to allow for different levels of athletes.
The structure is easy to follow and clear. It moves a little fast at the beginning of the first dvd, but they emphasize that this portion is directed towards coaches, and too fast is waaaay better than too slow.
Finally, the production is good. Everything is tight from audio to visual to chapter selection and so on.
Who it's best for:
In this section i will describe different groups and if this dvd is good for them. I'll then conclude the review.
Novice Athletes: This set is ideal for novice athletes (which comprises probably 95% of the target market). It provides excellent GPP and good beginning knowledge for safety that beginners need, and the sort of variety that they crave, all while being very simple to follow. It will give these athletes the base they need to improve to the next level.
Intermediate Athletes: The workouts on dvd 2 will be challenging, and the variety will give you some new tools to play with.
Advanced Athletes: The final couple of workouts may provide a challenge, but are not likely to push you into the top tier. This is not the fault of the coaches, as i think it's impossible to make such a product on dvd and have it be applicable to multiple athletes. However, advanced athletes should seek their own coaches.
Coaches: New coaches will probably find good concepts on how to structure a program that they can build off of for the future, and enough variety to keep clients busy for a while. More advanced coaches, or those who deal with advanced athletes aren't likely to learn much new and their needs are beyond the scope of this dvd (or any other for that matter) anyway. An elite coach should have a focus on sport science, which this dvd rightly lacks.
If you have any questions about my review, or about anything i may have left out, just post it here and i'll answer.
Doug Dupont Strength, Conditioning, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Coach
(Posted originally on the Xyience Strength & Conditioning Forum - mma.tv)
Here's another review:
Okay guys, I was asked to do a review of this set by one of the producers and I have to say I'm glad I did! Before I get into that I'll let everyone know a little background about me for this type of DVD.
I'm a certified personal trainer, a certified coach under USA Hockey, I have taught Muay Thai for over ten years and have taught BJJ at one of the premiere schools in NYC. I have been exposed to all different types of training in the last almost 20 years.
I'm not going to break down the set exercise by exercise, because if I did there would be no need to buy it and wouldn't be fair to the producers. I will however tell you what is on it and what is good and what isn't and I believe when it's all done you should have a good idea if this set is for you or not.
When reviewing this set I took into comparison all the sets that I have currently seen on the market and these are those sets or who did them, Steve Maxwells sets, Scott Sonnen, Team Quest, Martin Rooney, The whole title Library, Ken Yatsuda, Mike Mahler, Juan Carlos Santana (bands, swissball, dumbells) into combat gi and no gi, Jens Pulver I know I'm forgetting some but that is the gist off the top of my head.
Now with that out of the way onto the review.
The DVD set comes with two DVDs and one CD-rom. The two DVDs cover the four phases of working out, each DVD covers two phases of the workout.
The DVD starts with an introduction of the coaches and explains their philosophy, this is done by SBGi guys and is presented in an SBG style manner. I like SBGs methodology and the way they do things in BJJ and MMA, if you also like that you will feel right at home with this set. They explain their theory on how to build up a fighter to work out and reach his true potential, but it is done in a smart and systematic manner. The disc moves on to show you how to use a foam roll to help release the knots you may not known you have in your muscles. You then move on to the warm up section that prepares for the workouts you are about to get started. The first phase is "balance and stability" you will use swiss balls, body weight, and dumbells to perform many different exercises and doing some on one leg since this is about balance and stability! The exercises are shown individually with each one showing you proper form, pace, and common mistakes made in the exercise. After each exercise is shown isolated they are then put together into a circuit as one workout. In this section you are shown three levels of how to perform these exercises (beginner, intermediate, and advanced) This happens at all phases of training on the DVDs.
Phase two moves on to Strength and Compounding this dvd is a mixture of swissball, bands, bodyweight, and dumbell exercises. This phase is a mixture of traditional lifts combined with balance and stabilization which gives your core a workout along with the areas targeted. Again like the last phase this one is first shown with each exercise being isolated and then combined as one circuit.
This DVD is the start of Phase 3 Power and Endurance, this dvd is about combining exercise, using explosive movements, and building your lactic acid threshold all while using functional exercises for out sport. This phase turns it up a notch compared to the other two phases to prepare you for the fourth and final phase.
Phase 4 has three circuits on it plus a warmup that should be performed as a lead in and counted towards your time in that circuit. These circuits are a combination of all the phases performed at a high level making it the final and most difficult phase to perform.
There is also another section on the DVD which is bonus material the first is called getting creative which shows some workouts that can be done using hills outside, and some flights of stairs. The DVD ends with Tom Oberhue training outside, if you live in a major city I would not recommend stopping in the middle of streets to perform exercises this could get you killed, but in Oregon it seems to work great. You get to see Oberhue being an animal in and outdoor workout which looked taxing to say the least sprinting up a monster hill and then performing exercises inbetween his sprints with no rest.
There is also an interview with a Physical Therapist which I liked and was a nice addition to hear his thoughts on training and staying injury free in this sport. A longer self Myofascial release section that was shorter on the first dvd. There were a couple of other smaller bonus features.
The CD-rom has over 90 exercises video clips on it, modules that have some more workouts for you to use or combine into your workout, printable forms to print out your workouts on, also a schedule on which how to train using the dvds.
I have to say I liked this DVD especially for who this set is targeted for, which is the beginner to intermediate athlete/coach looking to do more functional training for combat sports. I like the fact that this could be done with limited access to equipment. You aren't going to need treadmills, versaclimbers, and versapulleys, giant tires and sledgehammers, sleds, hurdles etc. All you are going to need is a swissball, some dumbells and bands and you are pretty much set. What you get in terms of bang for your buck in terms of band training, swissball and bodyweight training for combat sports is great. It would take a couple of sets from other companies to put together the workouts presented here and that would be very expensive. I love that once you get the hang of the exercises that you can create any workout that you want with the information provided and then print it up to take with your anywhere. I love that they take you from the warm-up, to the workouts, all the way to the cool down no area is left uncovered. The coaches stress form and are very diligent in showing the common mistakes made when performing each exercise. I asked and was told who this set targeted and I have to say it did so perfectly, this set isn't just for the combat athlete either (even though that is who the target demographic is in this case) it is a great workout for just about any type of athlete. The production of the DVDs was top notch, great audio and video quality and no crappy camera angles at all. The coaches were all very articulate and looked veryy comfortable in front of the camera. The athletes performing the exercises also did a great job.
Now for my gripes, they aren't big but still I will say them. When they show each exercise in isolation they show the proper form and then the mistakes that are common in performing the exercise. Well, after they show it they then tell you again in bullet point afterwards which seemed rather annoying after awhile but not the end of the world. I didn't like the add in of the kettlebell exercises, there were only two but they were said to be also performed with dumbells. The whole DVD has been using dumbells and I felt they should have stuck with that and showed them performed with dumbells, also the snatch was performed rather poorly compared to many other sources out there. Other than that I don't have any real major gripes just a couple of personal preferences but that would be the case with any coach.
I will repeat this one last time, this dvd set is not for the advanced to elite athlete if you fall into that area you should have your own coach and already be doing these very things and then some.
This DVD is for the beginner to intermediate combat athlete, it is perfect for someone looking to change from a traditional bodybuilders work out to a functional workout for combat sports. If you fit that description than this set is made just for you and you should be picking it up. I was surprised to see just how good this set is and loved the minimal amounts of equipment needed. I loved the fact that this was geared towards the everyday man and not getting absurd with equipment most people would never have access to in a million years. I grabbed my bands hooked them up to a door in my house and was able to do all the band work no problem that's how easy this workout can be done yet it is still challenging especially for the beginner and intermediate athlete.
I look forward to future sets by this company because they did a great job their first time out of the gate.
Something I didnt really explain well in my review was the design modules and components variables that come with the set which allow you to amp up the difficutly of the workouts to fit more advanced athletes.
Sorry I left that part out.
(Posted originally on the Atama BJJ Forum - mma.tv)