My Review of Kettlebell Kickboxing Workout DVD: Week 1
Hello fellow kettlebell enthusiasts! In the next eight weeks, I will work through and review the kettlebell workout DVD Kettlebell Kickboxing, created by Dasha Libin Anderson. I will do all the kettlebell exercises listed in Dasha’s 4 kettlebell DVD set and note how easy or difficult they are to follow. I will also determine if this DVD exercise set is a worthwhile investment of both time and money ($59.95 USD). And perhaps best of all, you’ll get to see my (hopeful) physical transformation from a pudgy snack-magnet to a leaner and sleeker kettlebell swinging machine.
The first time I heard about kettlebells, I thought they had something to do with cow bells. However, kettlebells have less to do with cattle than with the Soviet Army; in the 19th and 20th centuries, the Soviet military used cast-iron kettlebells as part of its training. In fact, Dasha Libin Anderson’s grandfather taught kettlebell exercises to the Soviets.
Kettlebell Kickboxing – My Motivation
I decided to take up this strength training program because I am slowly turning into pudding. I used to run and that kept me somewhat toned and at my normal weight. Then, I got sidetracked with work projects as well as placing my Mom into a nursing home and my running regimen vanished. I write for a living; therefore, it’s fairly easy for me to just sit on my butt all day. It’s even easier for me to sit on my butt all day and snack (preferably on potato chips).
What bothers me even more than my creeping weight is my flab. I bend down to pick something up and see my stomach fold over itself. Any pants give me an instant “muffin top.” When I look at the backs of my thighs, I see cellulite rolling down almost to my knees. Nope, not acceptable.
To better illustrate to readers just where I currently am with my weight and flab, I had the following photos taken of me:
Needless to say, it’s time to take action when I need to eat chips even during a photo shoot. And speaking of which…where are they? I’m hungry.
Unpacking The DVD
It took over two weeks (12 business days) for my kettlebell workout DVD to arrive in my mailbox after I’d ordered it, which is odd considering that the return address was Las Vegas, Nevada. I live in Madison, Wisconsin, so the mail should’ve taken no more than a day or two. Regardless, I excitedly ripped into the package and looked inside to find a single plastic case containing 4 DVDs. These DVDs all looked the same, but they were labeled with the names Power, Diversity, Longevity and Strength.
There was also a small booklet enclosed. I must admit, I was a bit disappointed seeing this tiny booklet; I had expected something more substantial, maybe something even containing descriptions of individual exercises. This booklet provides a very bare-bones introduction to the program, including a single page that illustrates which days of the week each DVD can be worked on for beginner, intermediate and advanced users, as well as upkeep users.
Since I have been running (fairly) regularly for the last 10 years of my life, I picked the intermediate plan, which requires that I work through the Power, Diversity and Longevity DVDs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, and then the Diversity DVD on Friday. Hmm…what about the Strength DVD? I noticed that the Advanced and Upkeep levels did show this DVD in use during the week. I suppose the Strength DVD will have to come later.
My Scary Stats!
A section of this booklet asked the user to mark her “before” weight, BMI and body fat percentage. The booklet also asked the user to measure her “before” arm, chest, hips, thigh and waist circumferences. So, while cringing the entire time, I wrote down my numbers in inches and filled out the goal(s) area:
Right and left arm: 11 in., 11 in.
Chest: 29 in.
Waist: 30 in.
Hips: 37.5 in.
Right and left thigh: 22 in., 22 in.
Weight: 141.6 lbs.
My goals: Less gut, smaller thighs, decrease 15 lbs.
My Kettlebell Kickboxing Review – Getting Down To Business
My first kettlebell workout DVD was Power, so I stuck that into my DVD player, turned on my TV, and moved my glass coffee table as far away as possible from my kettlebells (10 lb and 15 lb). And then I noticed that my entertainment center was also made partly of glass. I made a mental note to not drop or throw any kettlebells at my furniture.
Dasha’s video introduction was quite professional; I have seen TV serials start this way. The music, sound and lighting in her workout are of great quality; no shaky camera moves or background noise here. Dasha also had four other females to work out with her, which she introduced as soon as the video started rolling through the warmup portion of the program.
One of these females (Diane) carried a regular dumbell for the modification program (i.e., for those times when you don’t have a kettlebell handy or simply don’t own one). I liked the fact that the program had a dumbell-friendly version of the workout, since not everyone may want to run out and buy kettlebells just for one program.
As I started working through the kettlebell lifting exercises and kicks, I really liked how Dasha repeatedly noted how you don’t have to do as many reps as she is doing or kick up as high as she kicks. She emphasized that your skill will improve with time and you’ll have better stamina and flexibility as you continue to work out. That was really good to hear, especially for someone like me who couldn’t kick a squeak toy if her life depended on it.
Dasha’s female exercisers were of different skill levels and strengths. Thus, Dasha was able to demonstrate how a person who is still working on her flexibility, like Sarah (the blond, as Dasha called her, as in “we need a blond”), could gently stretch one way, while a more advanced person, like Jenelle, could do military-style planks. That was reassuring for me because not all people are workout superstars, and some folks may feel intimidated by watching athletes not even break a sweat while working out for half an hour.
The entire Power DVD lasts just under 36 minutes, with 5 minutes devoted to warm-up and 5 minutes devoted to cool-down. I must say, even the warm up portion had me heavy-breathing. By the time I was halfway through the workout, I was dying. The worst portions for me were the Jab Cross Thruster and Jab Cross Full Burpee, where you do a quick “punch out” with your arms and then jump down to the ground to extend your legs. After that, you jump up really quick and start punching imaginary people all over again. I was cheating and just letting my belly hit the floor by the end.
I also had trouble following some of the exercises- the Gobblet Squat in particular. This exercise has you squatting twice with your kettlebell, and the combination of these two quick squats made me repeatedly confused on how to do them properly. Yeah, I’m slow. I suppose it’ll take time and repetition for me to eventually do all these exercise patterns without hesitation. But overall, I “got” about 70% of the Power DVD even during my very first workout- and so was able to work up quite a nice sweat.
The After Effect
After I finished the DVD, I wondered if I’d feel sore the next day. However, even now at 24 hours post-workout, I’ve yet to feel sore anywhere. I credit Dasha for this lack of soreness- her booklet lists her credentials as a fitness and sport medicine guru and, let me just say, they are quite numerous and impressive. I didn’t even know one could become a certified Speed and Explosion Specialist (with the National Association of Speed and Explosion). Initially, I assumed that Dasha knew how to break into bank vaults and blow them up, but no such luck.
Anyway, I need to start my next workout, this one with the Diversity DVD from Kettlebell Kickboxing, so toodles! Until next time!
Halina will post weekly updates of her progress with the Kettlebell Kickboxing DVD, to keep up to date, subscribe here and be notified when a new post goes up!