I've been a kettlebell fan ever since I heard Jillian raving about them on her radio show about a year ago (to listen to her radio show archives, go to [...] and type Jillian Michaels into the "Displaying" box in the top right corner). She mentioned that "Crazy Trainer Steve" was teaching her kettlebells and that she had to retrain her brain to just drop the kettlebell instead of doing a negative repetition the way she had always done with traditional weights. Her point was that even the top trainers in the world are always learning something new from THEIR trainers. Nice humble attitude and great information.
Intrigued, I immediately went to my local Tarjay and bought a 15 pound GoFit kettlebell for 40 Georges. GoFit 15-Pound Red Kettlebell with Vinyl Coating, Iron Core Training DVD and Exercise Booklet The kettlebell came with 2 DVD's: Iron Core Kettlebell (tutorial DVD) and Iron Core Kettlebell Express Volume 3 DVD, both by Sarah Lurie. The tutorial DVD is great, but her voice is annoying (it sounds like she's talking to a 2 year old), and the workout DVD has only a few moves that are done over and over again.
So I bought every other kettlebell DVD I could afford, and they were not cheap! Pavel's From Russia With Tough Love is an excellent tutorial and it's still my go-to reference for remembering how to do each move. But it doesn't have a follow along workout, which I really need. The Kettlebell Goddess Workout by Andrea DuCane is boring and wooden. I would rather watch grass grow. Kettlebell Dynamics by Amy Bento has 3 ADVANCED killer workouts with no tutorials that I would recommend after you are past the intermediate kettlebell stage and longing for more. I also downloaded the fabulous free MP3 kettlebell workout from [...].
And now Jillian came out with her own kettlebell DVD that I've been waiting and longing for, and it's awesome. I LOVE IT! Her terminology for some of the moves confused me the first time through, but I figured it out. What she calls "a rack" is really called "a clean" in the kettlebell world. And instead of using the very simple kettlebell term "alternating swings", she calls them "a squat swing with a pass".
You must buy a kettlebell for this workout . . . 10 pounds if you are an absolute beginner girl who hasn't exercised in years, 15 pounds if you are a girl who can FEEL a little muscle when you flex (even if the muscle is under a cushion of fat, your muscles are still ready for 15 pounds and the kettlebell moves will shred the fat right off ya). If you're a guy, go for 15 pounds if you're totally out of shape, and 20 pounds if you can feel a little muscle. Why can you use a much heavier kettlebell than you thought possible? Your ENTIRE BODY is lifting the weight, not just your arm. More about that coming up . . . .
Here's why dumbbells are dumb and kettlebells rock: With a DUMBBELL, the weight is centered. It works one muscle group at a time. Since it doesn't have a handle, using a dumbbell to do moves that are designed for the kettlebell can feel very awkward, not to mention the risk of dropping the thing on your toes. In contrast, the weight of the KETTLEBELL is off center, so you have to use every muscle in your body to balance it, especially your core (abs and hips/butt). Every kettlebell exercise is a ballistic (explosive) whole body exercise. It's cardio and weights at the same time. Remember those days when you had to walk on the treadmill for an hour, then work the weight machines for 30 minutes to get in your cardio and weight training? No more. Working with kettlebells 20 minutes a day, your cardio and weight training is done!
I wouldn't bother with Jillian's adjustable kettlebell; it's too expensive. And did you hear the clanging noise of the plates when it was fully loaded in the DVD tutorial? That sound would drive me crazy. The traditional kettlebell is cheaper, completely quiet, and available in the sporting goods section of your local store.
One other thing . . . as I do my kettlebell workouts, I really work up a sweat, and my hands get sweaty, too. I was worried about the kettlebell flying out of my hands to directions unknown, so I went back to my local Bullseye and bought some GoFit Weightlifting Gloves, and they give me some serious grip on the kettlebell. GoFit Women's Pink Pearl-Tac Weightlifting Gloves w/ CD Now I can do all the swings and snatches I want with complete control.
Kettlebells make you strong and empowered, give you a great butt and shredded body. For me, it's also a stress reducing mind-body exercise, since I can't possibly complete these moves with correct form while worrying about paying the bills. Have fun with Jillian's kettlebell workout!
I'm hooked on kettlebells for life. Just by spending quality time with my kettlebell . . . 20 minutes per session, 3-4 days a week . . . I have lost 15 pounds of fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle in 3 months. I also very proud to say that in the same 3 month time period, my 15 pound kettlebell became too easy to use, so I moved up to a 20 pounder. Kettlebells have transformed my body, and I am in the best shape of my life! However, I stopped using Jillian's DVD a couple months ago, because I prefer other kettlebell routines. Here are my current favorites:
1. The DVD that came ABSOLUTELY FREE with my new 20 lb GoFit kettlebell (available at Target, Amazon, and possibly Wal-Mart). The name of the DVD is Kettlebell Konnection and the instructor is Jessica Huthmaker. Her tutorial is excellent, and her form is perfect. Awesome 25 minute workout.
2. The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells by instructor Lauren Brooks. The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells DVD with Lauren Brooks It has a 12 minute workout, which seems too easy to me. But it also has a 40 minute workout, which I have converted to a 20 minute workout, since I do each circuit once instead of twice.
3. Free MP3 kettlebell workout at liftkettlebells dot com. Look for this in my comments section of my review if the link gets removed. I think the 20 minute workout is perfect. Great workout and awesome cuing for each move.