My Shape Down Program

Creating the Program That Is Right for ME!

Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, which begins the most challenging time of year for me—the holiday season! I know that I will be indulging a little bit with all the sweet treats that are going to be available this November and December, so it’s time to kick my workouts up a notch. It is also starting to get cold outside, so I have created a personal program for myself that includes at-home workouts and cardio five to six days a week— including an intense kickboxing class at least two times a week. As I’m incorporating these goals into my program, I’m getting pretty creative. Because I have tried many different workout programs, I am beginning to see what works best for me. This has allowed me to create my own program, combining different DVD workouts.

I used to just do one DVD workout every morning, but lately I have been changing it up by doing a 20-40 minute cardio workout, followed by some kind of strength-training workout. As a result, I am constantly changing my workouts, which is a recipe for success. My body responds best when I combine cardio and strength training.

Here’s an example of a typical week of working out. This shows how I’ve been combining my workouts to create a program that works really well for me. On most days, cardio is followed by a strength-training or toning workout:

Monday: 40-minute Cardio Kickboxing [10 Pound Slimdown Extreme DVD with Chris Freytag]; 20-minute Butt Bible Lower Body workout DVD

Tuesday: 20-minute Booty Express cardio workout [Booty Camp Fitness DVD]; 20-minute Butt Bible Upper Body workout DVD

Wednesday: One-hour Kickboxing Fusion class

Thursday: 20-minute jump roping workout [Booty Camp Fitness DVD]; 20-minute Butt Bible Lower Body workout DVD

Friday: 40-minute Dynamic Cardio Conditioning [Booty Camp Fitness DVD]; 20-minute Butt Bible Upper Body workout

Saturday: One-hour Kickboxing Fusion class

Sunday: Rest

For the last few months, I have been taking a kickboxing class at a local kickboxing gym (it is the “Kickboxing Fusion” class in my workout schedule above). I previously had only been going about every other Saturday morning (sometimes I would go more weeks without going), but now that they have 8:00 p.m. classes four times a week, I’ve decided I’m going to go much more often— two to three times a week.

This is seriously the best workout— not only is it somewhat therapeutic to release some stress on the punching bag, but the instructors at this place really take the time to teach correct form. And in addition to the boxing, the classes also include ab work, sprints, kettlebells, jump rope, burpees and more. Each class is different and I love it. Ever since I started kickboxing, I have noticed improvements in my body and I feel stronger, more flexible and even more agile. It is so tough but I always leave that place feeling incredible. Attending this class more often is just what I need to prepare me for the holiday season. If you can find a kickboxing class in your area, I suggest you check it out if you want to get in serious shape.

It’s important to find the workouts that work best for you, because everyone is different. For me, I’ve learned it’s all about cardio and strength training, and switching up my workouts so that I continue to challenge my body— and also to keep myself from getting bored! If you also work out to DVDs, this means you can get creative with combining workouts that focus on different areas. I highly recommend the ones I mentioned in my program, but there are so many other good ones out there.

As always, feel free to reach out to me at

Lisa Steuer

Lisa Steuer is the managing editor of FitnessRx for Women magazine. E-mail Lisa at