“Everyone has an athlete within them just waiting to be unleashed.” So begins physical therapist and RKC Keith Weber's workout DVD, The Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout. If I find myself dragging, all I have to do is pick up a kettlebell and turn on this DVD for a rapid energy boost. Seriously. These workouts are fast and intense. I couldn’t even keep up with the guy the first time I did it, and I still struggle. Make sure you have a lot of water and a towel, because there are no breaks, just crazy kettlebell madness.
That being said, these workouts are also well thought out. In his first DVD, Keith provides six workouts, as well as a bonus core workout. He calls the bonus workout a “cooldown,” although I don’t know if that’s the best way to describe it. It’s a combination of Russian twists, half Turkish Get Ups, rollups, crunches, planks, and about three minutes of stretches. In comparison to the other workouts on the DVD, I suppose the “cooldown” description is accurate.
The first sequence is the Man Maker, modified from a workout by Steve Maxwell. It’s my favorite because it’s short, challenging, and easy to remember: 10 thrusters, 10 clean and presses, 10 overhead squats, 10 windmills, 10 swings, and 10 snatches (all per side of course). I work at home and like to do this quick series in between long stretches of working at the computer.
Besides the Man Maker, Keith provides five additional workouts, including an upper body workout and lower body workout. The Upper Body Blast is short (about seven minutes), and includes windmills, one arm rows, presses, curls, pushups, and upright rows. The Leg Burner is true to its name, although it’s only about five minutes long. It includes overhead squats, squat, lunges, and swings.
You also get three additional workouts: the Swing Workout, Slinghot, and Turkish Getup. The Swing Workout includes one arm swings, high pulls, snatches, alternating swings, and clean and presses. I like to combine this workout with the Man Maker, Leg Burner, and Cool Down. The Slingshot workout is my other favorite. It is a sequence of alternating sling shots, presses, thrusters, and squats. I like to combine this one with the Man Maker, Leg Burner, and Cool Down for a great workout that takes less than 30 minutes. The final workout is the Turkish Getup, which includes getups as well as overhead squats, windmills, and swings. This workout takes about 11 minutes to complete, but with a heavy kettlebell, it is intense.
There were two downsides to this DVD. First, there is no warm up. That’s fine for viewers who are experienced and know how to warm up on their own, but beginners should be sure to find a good joint mobility warm up to follow before they do the exercises.
Secondly, I don’t know if I would recommend it for total beginners. As you can tell, this is an intense workout with some advanced kettlebell movements that beginners might not be able to execute without a coach. Unlike some other kettlebell DVDs I’ve reviewed, there isn’t a menu that explains each movement in detail. For this reason, I would only recommend the Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout for those who have a firm foundation in the basic kettlebell movements.
Other than that, I have no complaints about this DVD. The workouts are well thought-out from a physiological perspective, and although the set and film quality are less than Hollywood, the Mayan Riviera is picturesque and, in my opinion, more inspiring. Keith’s form is impressive, his instructions are solid though infrequent, and the crazy techno music really gets you going. My daughters have a dance party while I get a workout, and we all sweat a lot in the meantime.
The Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout is available for $29.95 at DragonDoor.com.