This workout DVD caters to a wider audience than you’d initially think. It’s not just for sword enthusiasts, nor is it a practice training video for martial arts. But if you need additional cardio training (along with sparring practice), have a spare dowel rod or broomstick that you want to put to use, or just like the thought of a different approach to aerobics, this DVD might be just what you need.
It’s led by Ilaria Montagnani, an elite fitness trainer in New York. Her trademark “Forza” workout method pulls from a lot of ancient martial arts techniques, specifically kendo and aiki-jujitsu.
The workout is designed for total body movement, and specializes in shaping the upper and lower body while building strength at the same time. It’s expected that you might burn up to 600 calories per workout.
The Forza method is indeed effective, but it’s a lot of fun as well. Not many workouts let you swing a wooden sword or pole around in the air while you’re building your cardio strength and toning your upper body muscles. You can pretend you’re training to be on the set of the next Jackie Chan movie, for example.
While many of Ilaria’s movements involve basic cut and strike motions that lead you into a choreographed sword fighting routine at the end, please remember that in no way is this a martial arts training video. It’s not meant to substitute the real thing. The aim here is to merge the old with the new, and Ilaria’s Forza method does that beautifully — and effectively, too.