Kettlebell Kickboxing: The Body Series

KBKBKettlebell Kickboxing: The Body Series was a major impulse buy. Even as I review the materials before beginning I feel a little uneasy. Not that I think it will be too difficult, but that I made a mistake. I really like kettlebell workouts so when I saw an entire kettlebell program I decided, why not? I also purchased the Scorcher Series which is also Kettlebell Kickboxing and I think more advanced. The trainer for both programs is Dasha Libin. The Body Series contains 10 workouts, a tutorial and a nutrition guide that also has several rotation calendars. There is even an advanced rotation that includes Scorcher Series. According to Dasha’s website you can burn 600-1,000 calories in 35-45 minutes (the length of the workouts). I love both kettlebell workouts and kickboxing so why not? To me it sounded like a dream combo. It wasn’t cheap btw. It was cheaper on ebay (where I bought it) than what Dasha sells it for ($98.95 and probably S&H), but still not cheap. Amazon sells it cheaper than Dasha does, too, btw ($89.95).

The book that came with the program didn’t give me any information about the actual fitness part of the program. Dasha’s website only states that it is a combination of martial arts motion, kettlebell motion and unique martial HIIT intervals. Sounds good. The nutrition guide is interesting. She gives a lot of good information. No actual menus but she has 11 rules. Some of them are good rules, others, like you cannot eat meat and cheese together or meat and starch together are a little odd. You can eat bread/starchy foods. Just not with meat. Whatever. I am not following the diet plan or the rotation calendars. There are 7 rotation calendars ranging from beginner to advanced. She urges even advanced exercisers and those familiar with kettlebells to watch the tutorial, so that’s what I started with. The packaging for the program is pretty nice. A big clamshell with leaves/pages inside that the disks snap into. The nutrition guide fits in there, too.

KBKB2SUMMARY: After I started this program I found it easier than I expected/hoped and so did some research. Well, for what I spent on this program ($$) I should have researched it more carefully. Here is the level as Dasha writes on her website: “Program is ideal for beginners, those looking to come back to training, or those looking to enhance their current routine.” So I was expecting too much–at least initially. As a whole, it is a beginner level program with a few intermediate workouts and one advanced. So after doing KB 101 and Limitless Legs I tried to approach the rest of the workouts with that in mind. I used primarily 20 and 25 pound kettlebells, did all of the advanced modifications and still never felt terribly challenged with the majority of the workouts. 3 of the workouts are at a higher level and did challenge me–but that is only 3 out of 10. BTW–one doesn’t really count. It is a flexibility/mobility workout and I did like that workout–it just doesn’t really fall into the fitness level spectrum. So it is definitely a good program for those new to fitness. You can start with the easy workouts and work your way up to the 3 more advanced workouts. I checked out the rotation calendars to see if that is how it is laid out and it isn’t. The only thing she does for beginners is give them more rest days and the one advanced workout is scheduled for later in the month. But the 2 intermediate workouts appear early on.

I am not crazy about the trainer Dasha, either. She talks way too much. It is very irritating. Overall, the DVDs seem poorly put together, as in not a lot of rehearsal went into them, as if she were creating the workouts off the cuff/as she went along. She spends too much time demonstrating moves and not enough time actually doing them. She didn’t seem prepared for her explanations/demonstrations of the exercises before the filming started. When I go into a workout I want an intense workout that makes good use of my time. These workouts, overall, did not do that. Dasha’s excessive talking during an exercise breakdown/demonstration gets in the way of exercise time well spent. Had she prepared, her exercise descriptions could have been much more concise. Plus–and this is the big one, she should have shown the demonstration for the upcoming exercise during the short breaks between exercises instead of always taking the break herself (and talking nonstop throughout). If she had done that, the home exerciser could use 100% of the time allotted for the exercise to actually do the exercise! I will concede that if you are doing this as a program then you when you come back to each workout multiple times you will already be familiar with the exercises and be able to jump right in and not waste time watching Dasha demonstrate. However, that is not how I do things. I do sometimes follow programs, but never exclusively. I create my own rotations using the workouts I own (which is in the hundreds) whether the workouts come from a program or are stand alone (that is the actual purpose of this blog; to record every workout I own for future reference). So I do not do many workouts frequently enough to have every exercise memorized. So I like trainers who respect my time. And btw–most do, so it’s not a hard or complicated thing to master. It just takes preparation.

Dasha also seemed much more challenged by her own workouts than her crew members or me. I’m pretty sure part of the reason is because of her non-stop talking while trying to workout–it made her get out of breath. Tho that sounds like snark, I am serious. She talks a lot, nonstop, and really does seem more worn out by her own workout than anyone else. However, she seems aware that her excessive talking might irritate people because in at least half the workouts she suggests muting it and using your own music rather than listening to her talk. She is repetitive so you will hear the same things over and over again if you are following this as a program (or like me, doing all of the workouts in a week’s time)–11,000 people have done her workouts! She has multiple degrees in fitness! She has done photo shoots for fitness magazines! People love her exercises! She trains celebrities and models! Some very famous! And more personal tidbits! If you miss it once, don’t worry–she will say it again and soon.

During each workout you get a timer during each individual exercise in the top left hand corner. Along the bottom you get a banner with the name of the exercise and the percentage of the workout you have completed. These graphics are sometimes inconsistent or inaccurate. Sometimes they do not appear at all.

Let’s talk about the alleged calories Dasha states you can burn during her workouts: 600-1000. Not going to happen. No way anyone will burn 1000 calories during any of these workouts. Some people (overweight people who are new to exercise or haven’t worked out in years) might burn 500-600 calories. But let me clarify that. There are many factors that go into how many calories someone burns during exercise. Two of those factors are your weight and your fitness level. Someone who is a normal weight and exercises regularly will not burn even 500 calories doing these workouts. Closer to 300-400. That’s a fact of life. The more fit you are the more efficiently you body works and the less calories you burn during exercise. In addition, the larger your body is the harder you have to work to move it–that equals a higher calorie burn during exercise. That applies to any workout–not just these. There are workouts in which a normal size person in good physical shape can burn a ton of calories. But you have to work a lot harder than anything presented in this program. Anything Insanity will give you that calorie burn. Many Cathe workouts. There are many HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts out there that will give you serious calorie burn. But this is not one of them. I am not discounting these as good workouts for some people. They are metabolic workouts and are definitely better than doing nothing at all. If you eat right and exercise you will see results using this or any other fitness program. Eat well, exercise consistently at your fitness level (and this is a good program if you are a beginner), and you will get results. All I am doing here is pointing out the reality of the 600-1000 calorie burn claim–that is not reality.

Lets talk kickboxing. The name of this program is Kettlebell Kickboxing: The Body Series. There is definitely lots of kettlebell work, but what about kickboxing? A kick and a punch here and there but I have no clue how “kickboxing” got the same title space as “kettlebell.” There is barely any kickboxing at all. So that was another disappointment since I love kickboxing. What a great combo that would have been. Some real kickboxing alternated with kettlebell work. I would have worn my weighted gloves and got an awesome workout. But alas, that was not what happened. )o: There are moves Dasha labels as martial arts type moves but they are not kickboxing moves. A more accurate title would have been Kettlebell Martial Arts.

Did I like anything at all about this series? Yes. 5 workout(s): Absolute Abs & Core, Perfect Butt, Double KB Cardio, Buddy Workout and Joint Mobility, Flexibility & Recovery–all workouts I enjoyed and that I will return to. Train Anywhere was also ok–not great, but not horrible. I also liked that I learned (or relearned) how to do a kettlebell swing properly (KB 101). I did have sore hamstrings again from doing KB swings properly. If I hadn’t done this program who knows how long I would have continued to do my swings incorrectly. So kudos for that. Now I want to go back and do all of the awesome kettlebell workouts I own by Brook Benten, Bob Harper, Paul Katami, Kelly Coffey-Meyer and Amy Dixon. Especially Brook Benten’s since she is the one who introduced me to the posterior burn a kettlebell can give you. Also, you can click on kettlebell and it will bring up a list of all the kettlebell workouts I’ve done and reviewed. There will be more going up in the next week, so who knows? I may discover some more favorites!

KB 101 Beginner and Review is 54 minutes long. Dasha takes you through a series of exercises, most kettlebell moves, to demonstrate form and point out poor form. It is definitely instructive to people new to exercise and/or new to kettlebells and even informative to people (like me) who have been using kettlebells for years. When I first started using kettlebells many years ago, I did Brook Benten’s workouts and my backside would be so effing sore afterwards. Bad sore. Need to hold onto something to sit down sore. Anymore, that never happens. Even when I haven’t touched a kettlebell in a very long time and come back to them. I assumed it was because I am in much better shape and work my glutes and hamstrings better. Well, perhaps. Or perhaps not. The first exercise Dasha talks about is the kettlebell swing. I honestly cannot remember how/if I did the exercise differently (i.e. correctly) when I first started doing it, but I am now doing it wrong. I am squatting. Well, you are supposed to be hinging at the hips–more of a deadlift type drop than a squat. So we shall see if doing it properly in these workouts starts burning out my glutes and hamstrings again. I will list the different exercises in the order that she demonstrates them. However, I do want to point out that Dasha’s emphasis, at least in many of the exercises she demonstrates and breaks down here, is the glutes and hamstrings. So it appears this program will be hitting the backside hard. She also talks about and demonstrates a few exercises she doesn’t like and that you will not be doing in this program–or she will point out the variation of the exercise she prefers and will be using. So there is some good background info into her thoughts and why she chose the exercises she chose. One thing that seems odd is she seems to expect that people doing this program will not have a great range of motion and find some of the exercises being demonstrated too difficult. And I guess because this DVD is titled “beginner” that might be true, but since she wants everyone to watch it, including advanced exercisers, that seemed odd. I can do every exercise demonstrated as deep into the range of motion as Dasha and her other exerciser (Janelle, I think) did them. So nothing terribly challenging IMHO. It has me a little worried about the level of these workouts. I suppose I can always heavy up on my kettlebells to increase intensity, but I am hoping these are not beginner level workouts. Finally, you will not really get a great workout from this tutorial. Yes, you will do each exercise she demonstrates but she talks so much between each exercise that you really won’t get your heart rate up or break a sweat.

Exercises: 1. Double Handed KB Swing, 2. Clean, 3. Clean & Press, 4. Clean & Push Press, 5. Squat, 6. Bottoms Up Raise, 7. Swing Switch, 8. Rear Lunge, 9. Forward Lunge, 10. Step Through Lunge, 11. Lateral Lunge, 12. High Pulls, 13.Swing Catch, 14. Halo, 15. Row, 16. Figure 8’s, 17. KB Warrior, 18. Sprawl, 19. Burpee/Push Up Burpee, 20. Push Up, 21. KB Vertical Jump.

Limitless Legs is 45 minutes with a 5 minute warm up and a 5:30 minute cool down/stretch. Hmmm… only one “real” workout into this program and I am not grabbed. I used 20 and 25 pound kettlebells and got a decent workout, but nothing to get excited about. I am a little disappointed. I was hoping for something more intense/challenging. I might have to go even heavier with my kettlebells to get a decent workout. I am still not sure what I think of Dasha. She is very chatty and seems to think her program is the best thing out there. She appears to think exercisers will find these (or this?) workout really hard (you can tell by her ongoing commentary). Maybe it is geared for beginners. I don’t know. I never actually saw anywhere that this was a beginner program. Maybe I need to go look again. I was expecting more. There are some kicks but nothing that made me think of real kickboxing. You also do as many moves sans kettlebell as you do with the kettlebell. She gives too many breaks. I did all of the active recoveries and any advanced modification offered (not many) and still didn’t get a very intense workout. ***After writing the review for this particular workout I went to Dasha’s website and, as written above in the summary, I found that these are beginner level workouts. So my disappointment is my own fault for not reading more carefully. This probably is a challenging workout for a beginner. I will be keeping that in mind when doing the rest of the workouts–and use heavy kettlebells!*** Most of the exercises are done for one minute; one is done for 2 minutes and one is done for 1:30 minutes.

Exercises:

1. Reach Through (put KB on floor and reach through straight legs to tap handle)
2. KB Double Handed Swing
3. KB Run (KB on floor, run in place)
4. KB Double Handed Swing
5. Rest or Active Rest: Alternating Warrior 3
6. Sprawl to Plank (sprawl, jump feet into plank and when jumping feet back in, bring them to the side of hands; alternate sides)
7. Rest or Active Rest: Alternating Warrior 3
8. KB Good Morning (with KB resting behind neck/head, do good mornings)
9. Sprawl to Plank
10. Rest or Active Rest: Alternating Warrior 3-Cross Over (when you come up from warrior 3 bring back leg forward, raising knee in front and touching to opposite elbow)
11. Deadlift w/ KB
12. Snap Kick to Sprawl Brawl (alternate sides on kick)
13. Rest or Active Rest: Alt High Five Foot (lean over, raising one foot behind you, touching ground with same side hand and reaching behind you with other hand to touch foot while still bent over)
14. In and Out Zig-Zag Swing (one KB suitcase swing then step to side and swing KB between open legs; alternate)
15. Cat Squat to Snap Kick (hold KB at shoulder, one foot pointing straight in front of you the other turned to the side so heel touches inside of straight foot, then move foot out a bit to side; squat in this position and when you come up, snap kick foot/leg that is turned out to side)
16. Speed Skaters
17. Rest w/ breathing focus
18. Repeat #14 on other side of body
19. Repeat # 15 on other side of body
20. Capoeira Skater (do skater but touch the floor with hands and bring leg further behind you; basically an alternating deep lunge in which you touch the floor with your hands)
21. Rest or Active Rest: straight leg kick
22. Alternating 3 Way Lunge (Holding KB by horns, reverse lunge then move foot/leg (while still in lunge to the opposite side, then move it out to same side (but further out than a standard reverse lunge) then front kick with same leg)
23. Sprawl to Swing Out (sprawl then bring one foot up to hand on same side of body and bring other leg through, kicking it; do the same thing on the other side then come back to standing–this is similar to moves in PiYo and BodyFit 360–at least if you are doing the advanced version)
34. Rest w/ breathing focus
35. Lateral Hop to Snap Kick
36. Step Through Lunges and SL Halo (holding KB do forward lunge bringing knee up and holding it at the top of the move while haloing KB around head)
37. Swing Switching Gun Slingers (suitcase KB swings; alternate hands)
38. Rest or Active Rest: Alt SL Touches -Warrior Cross Over (lift one leg straight behind you while leaning over and touching the floor with opposite hand, come up and go into Warrior 3, then when you come up do cross over (described in #10))
39. Alternating Lateral Lunges (side to side lunges while holding KB)

Cardio Lean is 32:30 minutes long with a 4:30 minute warm up and 4:30 minute stretch. Dasha and her workouts are still not growing on me. Even now that I’ve accepted that these are beginner level workouts and trying to approach them that way. In the workouts she acts like these are super advanced. They are not. At the end of this one she even says if you are not super sweaty and worn out–you did something wrong. No. It means you are at a much more advanced fitness level. I did all of the advanced options and used a 20 pound kettlebell. Even tho I found it more challenging than Limitless Legs, I did not find it advanced or anywhere near HIIT level (as she insinuates at the end). I don’t know. Maybe if you are a complete newbie. Oddly, Dasha seemed worn out at the end and IMHO she was doing less than her crew members. Her crew members btw don’t seem terribly challenged by these workouts either. But let me get to the description. This is a metabolic workout–cardio using kettlebell and body weight. It is set up in 40/20 intervals. So there are intervals–just not high intensity intervals (at least not high enough to be labeled HIIT). 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds of recovery. After the warm up you do that until the stretch with no breaks. This workout seems like it was thrown together at the last minute and has some weird moves in it like the Animal Crawl. Some of the kettlebell swing combos seemed unnecessarily complicated. Oh, and during part of the stretch you could barely hear Dasha (who never stops talking). She’s still talking, but all you hear is her mumbling. I couldn’t decided if that was a good thing or a bad thing. Overall thumbs down. Not intense, not fun, poorly slapped together.

Exercises:

1. Double Handed Kettlebell Swing

2. KB March (march with front kick while pushing KB overhead)

3. Ladder KB Swing Switches (single arm kettlebell swings; do each hand, two each hand and so on)

4. Jab Cross Kick Sprawl (no KB)

5. Ladder High Pull Switches (one arm swings with high pulls; alternate hands)

6. High Knees to Mountain Climbers (no KB; 6 high knee runs, 6 mountain climbers)

7. Figure 8s

8. Touches to Sprawl (soccer drill in a circle around kettlebell (jump tapping the kettlebell with your toes) and after one circle sprawl; alternate sides)

9. High Pull Figure 8

10. Lateral Zip Zags (no KB; lateral jump to the side, burpee down and do 3 wide leg mountain climbers)

11. Swing Switch with a High Catch

12. Lateral Negative Thrusters (no KB; lateral jump to side, burpee back and do push up, jump feet in to side)

13. Single Sided Finger 8s

14. Animal Crawls (with KB sitting on ground crawl around randomly over top of it–effing stupid-a$$ move)

15. Single Sided Figure 8s

16. Sprawl Swing Out (no KB; sprawl then bring one foot up to hand on same side of body and bring other leg through, kicking it; do the same thing on the other side then come back to standing–this is similar to moves in PiYo and BodyFit 360–at least if you are doing the advanced version)

17. Single Sided Half 8 High Pull

18. Kick to Sprawl Swing Out (add a kick to #16)

19. Single Sided Half 8 High Pull

20. Over the Kettlebell (set KB on ground and jump laterally over it)

21. Heroes Raise (KB swing but bring the KB overhead)

22. Freestyle Cardo Round (Dasha throws a bunch of different no KB cardio moves used in this workout at you)

23. Freestyle KB Swinging Round (do whatever KB move from this workout you want to do)

Amazing Arms is 36 minutes with a 4 minute warm up and a 4 minute stretch. Interesting title. I’m not sure how this workout is supposed to give me Amazing Arms, but Dasha sure did tell me numerous times throughout this workout that she was going to give me amazing arms! I kept waiting for some amazing exercise to enter that would do spectacular things to my arms… but it never appeared. The few focused arm exercises that were done were only done for one minute then never revisited. You don’t come close to burning a single muscle group out. This workout will not give anyone amazing arms. It is a metabolic workout that uses a kettlebell; so basically you are getting cardio with some toning. BTW, I used a 20 and 25 pound kettlebells, so I wasn’t going light. I know this is for beginners, but at least be honest with them. Someone new to fitness who has a lot of weight to lose will shed fat and tone up with this and the other workouts in this program, but they are not going to build amazing arms from this workout. That takes proper diet and focused strength training. Also, she keeps calling suitcase swings gunslinger swings. An actual gunslinger swing would work the biceps very nicely but she is not doing that, she is doing suitcase swings. And of course the moronic Animal Crawl exercise resurfaces. She really thinks this is an incredible exercise (I know this because she chatters on about how amazing it is), which makes no sense to me. I do it because I am doing every single exercise at the “advanced” level in all of the workouts to give the workouts a fair chance, but I can’t stand that exercise and I don’t know what a minute of crawling around on the ground will do for me when I could instead be doing a focused KB or bodyweight move that would actually work my upper body.

Exercises:

1. Bottoms Up Raise (holding KB with both hands, dip down, hinging at hips, and raise KB overhead)
2. KB Run (no KB, run in place)
3. Bottoms Up Raise
4. Rest or Active Rest: Bottoms Up Hold (hold KB overhead, arms straight)
5. Swing to Catch KB Raise (KB swing, but instead of swinging KB out in front of you, you swing it between legs then bring it up with a little toss, catching the base in both hands then pressing KB overhead)
6. Fire Drill (no KB; drop into plank then onto stomach, roll over until you are back on stomach, get back into plank and jump back to feet)
7. Rest or Active Rest: Bottoms Up Hold
8. Rotating Halo (halo in which you are also rotating your torso, not just the KB around the head)
9. Animal Crawl (No KB; stupidest move ever)
10. Rest or Active Rest: Bottoms Up Hold
11. High Pull Switches (single arm swing then bring KB up at shoulder level, bell flat; alternate arms)
12. Fast Static Runs (get into runner position but don’t actually run, just move arms like you’re running very fast)
13. Rest or Active Rest: Hot Potato (hold the KB by the bell and pass lightly from palm to palm)
14. Figure 8 High Pull
15. Fast Static Runs
16. KB Back Row
17. Zig Zag Fire Drill (same as #6 but add 3 wide mountain climbers)
18. Gun Slinger Clean and Press (suitcase swing then one arm clean and press)
19. Sprawl Fire Drill (same as #6 but add sprawl)
20. Halo/Rotating Halo (start with a regular halo then change to rotating halo)

40/20 Burn is 31:30 minutes long with a 3 minute warm up warm up and 4 minute cool down. This workout actually starts 12% finished! Yes! By the time you finish the THREE MINUTE warm up you are 22% finished with the workout! Or so the banner at the bottom of the screen says…After jumping rope tho, the percentage shrinks to something more reasonable. Also, sometimes you get a timer at the top left hand corner of the workout… and sometimes you don’t! It’s a grab bag! And even tho the title of this is 40/20 Burn, all of the intervals are not 40/20! Nope–unlike Cardio Lean, in which every single interval is 40/20. Huh. Seems like Dasha got the titles mixed up. Says a lot about the editing (or lack of) and production value of this product. And OMG she never shuts up in this workout. She chatters nonstop in all of the workouts I’ve done so far, but this one is worse. She seems to love the sound of her voice and wastes workout time with her chatter. She wasted a good 3rd of the stretch time enjoying the sound of her own voice and not directing any stretching. And a long pause between the end of the workout and the stretch–again, more Dasha chatter. And she apparently wants you to stick around after the “stretch” is over because OMG–she is still talking! I did not find this workout challenging or even fun.

Exercises:

1. Jump Rope

2. Swing/Swing Catch/KB Knee

3. Alternating Knees to Sprawl (3 alternating knees, 1 sprawl)

4. Repeat #2

5. Alternating Knees to Double Sprawl (5 alternating knees, 2 sprawls)

6. Clean & Press

7. Jab Cross Side Thruster (alternate sides; thruster is a burpee)

8. BK Killer Combos (squatting and coming up on toes while pressing KB overhead; press center, then to each side while turning body to the side you are pressing)

9. Repeat #8 but you can add a deck squat which is lowering to ground and rolling into back and standing (hands free because you are holding the bell) between each overhead press

10. Reach Over Laterals (KB on the floor; lateral hop side to side touching the side of the bell)

11. Alternating Clean & Push Press

12. Alternating Clean & Push Press to Lunge (add a reverse lunge)

13. 3 Way Laterals (skaters done 3 ways)

14. Alternating Kick Out Warriors (holding the KB, kick to the side then, w/out touching foot to floor, bring out behind you in warrior 3)

15. Bottom Up KB Raise to Goblet Squat

16. SAQ Drill (set KB on ground and do weird 180 hops randomly around the bell–another stupid move that Dasha thinks is the $hit)

17. Bottom Up KB Raise to Walking Goblet Squat

18. Lateral Switches to Double Side Thrusters (3 lateral shuffle-hops then burpee to each side before jumping back up)

19. Grip Curl Press & Lunge (hold KB by bell with finger through horn; bicep burl to overhead press then lunge)

20. KB Jui Jitsu Get Ups (start on ground laying on back; stand up w/out using hands and raise KB overhead then lower back to start, again not using hands)

Absolute Abs & Core is 40 minutes with a 5 minute warm up and a 4 minute stretch. Finally! A workout that I like and that somewhat challenged me! This one was more of an intermediate level than any of the others I have done thus far. Still not as advanced as Dasha seems to think it is, but definitely a pretty good workout. She wasn’t even as irritating in this workout as usual, tho she still talked non-stop. Worked the core well.

Exercises:

1. KB Hammer Chop (woodchoppers)
2. Run & Plank (no KB; run in place and when Dasha tells you, drop and hold plank)
3. SL Ab & Cross Over (hold KB at one shoulder, other hand behind head; lift  leg out to side, touching elbow to leg, then bring knee of same leg across body and touch knee to other elbow that is holding KB)
4. Halo Hammer Chop
5. Plank Kick Out (no KB; while inplank bring one foot up to hand on same side of body and bring other leg through, kicking it; do the same thing on the other side then come back to standing–this is similar to moves in PiYo and BodyFit 360–at least if you are doing the advanced version)
6. Windmill
Get mat out; rest of the moves on the floor
7. Crazy KB Reaches (get into crab with KB underneath you; twist and tap KB with opposite hand)
8. Bow & Arrow (hold KB at shoulder; start sitting on hip then bring one knee in front of you (same side that is holding KB), press KB overhead and reach to floor with other hand, touching floor)
9. Deck Squat to Sprawl (no KB; start in low squat, roll back onto back, roll back up to feet then jump back to sprawl)
10. Gymnastic Hallow (lay on back with arms at sides and raise head and feet a few inches off the ground)
11. Star Fish (same as #10, except arms are overhead and legs are spread wide like a starfish)
12. Gymnastic Hallows w/ Side Hold (after doing the Gymnastic Hallow for a few breaths, roll onto side in same position and hold that for a few breaths)
13. Jui Jitsu KB Sit Ups (start on back with knees bent holding KB by horn in both hands; roll up, bringing one foot under you to push up so that one knee is in front of you and your weight is on the other knee, roll back down)
14. Jui Jitsu KB Sit Ups to Zig Zags (same as #13 but no KB and before you roll back down, you do 4 wide mountain climbers)
15. Toe Touches (no KB; lay flat on back with arms and legs wide; sit up, bending knees and touching toes)
16. KB Shake (sit in C-sit with feet off ground holding KB in  front of you by horns; move/shake it slightly side to side)
17. Fixed Floor Touches (stay in C-sit with feet off floor and alternate touching KB to floor on either side of you, but do not twist waist)
18. Muay Thai Elbow Sit Up (lay on back with one knee bent and the other raised and slightly bent; sit up and strike/block opposite elbow to raised leg)
19. Quad Stretch
20. Sphinx Plank/Side Plank (5 breaths in elbow plank/5 breaths in side elbow plank)
21. Sitting Halo Hammer Chop (same as #4 but not sitting, but on knees)

Double Kettlebell Cardio is 31 minutes long, 4 minute warm up and 4:30 minute cool down. This is what I was expecting from this series! (well–kind of, still no real kickboxing) A great and intense workout! I loved it. Dasha does say this is the most advanced workout of this series, so I guess it doesn’t get better than this. It was advanced, too. I was breathing hard and I was really challenged. This is what I was looking for when I bought this series. It is a relief, actually, because I was beginning to feel like I wasted my money. For this workout you will be using 2 kettlebells as the title suggests. Two kettlebells of the same weight. I have two 20 pound KBs, but I only have one of all my other KBs. So I used the 20 pound KBs and two 15 pound dumbbells. It worked just fine! Just keep in mind that for every KB move you are always using two KBs. I won’t be clarifying that repeatedly below. And everything except the final exercise is done in a 40/20 interval format (40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of recovery). Prepare to be challenged!

Exercises:

1. KB Gun Slingers

2. Alternating Rear Lunges (KBs held at shoulders)

3. KB Laterals (lateral skaters)

4. KB Gun Slingers to Slinger Cleans

5. Lateral Hop Touches (put both KBs on the ground and separate them; do 6 soccer taps on one bell then lateral jump to the other and do 6 soccer taps)

6. Double KB Cleans to Swing Press (do swing and bring KB to shoulder (clean) then alternate overhead press)

7. Fast Feet SAQ (set KBs on ground and do weird 180 hops randomly around the bells)

8. Gun Slingers/Clean & Press/Alternating Rear Lunges

9. Lateral Sprawls (jump to side, do a sprawl, jump back to start, do a sprawl)

10. Double Handed KB Swings

11. Alternating Row

12. Lateral Burpees (jump to side, do burpee, jump back to start, do burpee)

13. Double Swings to High Pulls

14. Clean to Squat

15. Lateral Deck Squats (jump to side, roll back onto back, roll back up to feet, jump back to start, roll back onto back, roll back up to feet)

16. Double High Pulls (the same thing as #13)

17. Deadlift

18. Speed Skater

19. Double KB In & Outs (two suitcase swings, step one leg out to side and do two KB swings; alternate sides)

20. Double KB Flow–done for 2 minutes (suitcase swings, cleans, overhead press, alternating lunges, then w/out using hands (because your hands are holding KBs) lunge back until knee is on floor then lower onto back, then come back up the same way)

Perfect Butt is 40 minutes with a 5 minute warm up an a 4:30 stretch. Well, I am doing an about face on this series. The last 3 workouts I’ve done have been pretty great–this one included.  This one is another one that is  intermediate level. It works the glutes very well and gives you a nice cardio workout in the mix. I am still feeling it in my glutes. For this workout I used 20, 25 and 30 pound kettlebells, but on everything I used the 25 for I’m pretty sure in the future I can just use 30.

Exercises:

1. Double Handed KB Swing
2. Plank to High 5 (no KB; start standing, walk out to plank touch hand to opposite foot behind back, walk back to standing)
3. KB Run (no KB; run in place)
4. Rest or Active Rest: Warrior 3 Hold
5. Gun Slingers
6. Fast Feet
7. Rest or Active Rest: Warrior 3 Hold + Crossover
8. Gun Slingers
9. Fast Feet/Sprawls/Front Kicks
10. Rest
11. Alternating Lateral Warrior 3s (hold KB in front of you, hop to side, do warrior 3, come up, do tricep press, hop back to start and repeat)
12. Speed Skaters
13. Rest or Active Rest: Jump Rope
14. Cat Squat (hold KB at shoulder, one foot pointing straight in front of you the other turned to the side so heel touches inside of straight foot, then move foot out a bit to side; squat in this position)
15. Posterior Vertical Jump (no KB; this is just a jump but instead of squatting you will lower in a gunslinger-esque move, using glutes and hamstrings and jump)
16. Rest or Active Rest: Around The World (pass KB hand to hand around body)
17. One Inch Butt Lifter (With KB you will do a sort of one leg deadlift/curtsey squat; it is also a balance move, so one leg will be off the ground)
18. Squat Sprawl (No KB; lower into a deep squat and sprawl from squat position)
19. Rest
20. Alternating Hammer Chop to Lunge (do a woodchopper with KB then a reverse lunge; alternate sides)
21. Push Kick to 3 Zig Zag Switches (no KB; front push kick and 3 wide mountain climbers)
22. Rest
23. Russian Goblet Squat
24. Knee Kick to Zig Zag Switch (no KB; one knee, one front kick then one wide mountain climber to change lead leg)
25. Rest
26. Silat Sweep (with or w/out KB; this is an odd but effective move, get on the ground with one knee bent in front of you (bottom on ground) and the other bent behind you; kick back with back leg until straight the sweep straight leg around in front of you, then bend it pushing the other leg back and kick and sweep other leg–keep alternating; don’t use hands so core is also worked, for the advanced version you hold the KB)
27. SL Bridge Hold (hold one leg bridge with KB held overhead)

Train Anywhere is 26 minutes long, 5 minute warm up and 3 minute cool down.  Train anywhere is a travel workout–no kettlebell required. A neat idea, but not a great workout. It’s not a bad workout, but for a bodyweight workout there are many far better workouts out there. I did get a decent workout so it’s not a waste of time, but as I mentioned, there are far better no equipment workouts out there that you can take on your travels (or do at home!). If you want them on DVD, anything Mark Lauren. If you want it on your phone or iPad–again, Mark Lauren. And if you’d rather just bring a book with you then again, Mark Lauren (YAYOG or You Are Your Own Gym). Or this other cool book I found: 100 No Equipment Workouts.

Exercises:

1. Swing Reach Through (same as a KB swing between the legs but with no KB)

2. SL Warrior (do a warrior 3, except touch hand to outside of opposite foot, come up bringing knee in front of you, then do an actual warrior 3; change legs)

3. High Knees to Mountain Climbers (5 high knee runs, 5 mountain climbers)

4. Lateral Crossover Warriors (jump to side, bring knee across body touching knee to opposite elbow then do warrior 3, jump back to start)

5. Mermaid Push-up (get into knee plank and as you are doing a push up, you rotate your torso in a circle as you you go down and come up)

6. Squats with Arm Reach (squats while holding arms straight overhead)

7. Sprawl

8. Single Leg Deadlift (stand with back to a wall and place on foot against wall so knees are lined up; hinge at hips)

9. Triceps Push-up and Kick-up (get into pike position with hands close together in triangle and knees slightly bent; do a push up then kick one leg up; alternate legs)

10. Chop Across (wood chop chops where you touch the floor on outside of one foot and push hands toward ceiling on other side of body)

11. Surfer Sprawl (sprawl but when you jump up land sideways in a wide squat like you are surfing; alternate sides)

12. Lateral Walking Push-up (plank walk on step, do a push up, plank walk back to start, do a push up)

13. Jui Jitsu Situp and Kickout (sitting on bottom, bringing one foot under you to push up so that one knee is in front of you and your weight is on the other knee (this part is done hands free), then put one hand on floor and kick out with knee that is still on floor; alternate sides)

14. Clench Ab Twist (Russian twists w/hands clasped together)

15. KB Crab Walk (get into crab and walk forward and backward; she changes it to do your own thing and she and the crew crab walk, crawl around, kick their feet up; I just crab walked forward and back a few steps each time and touched my hand to opposite foot)

Joint Mobility, Flexibility & Recovery is 41 minutes long. This was an interesting workout. Not relaxing at all as the title might lead you to believe, but very beneficial. It consists of exercises to increase the range of motion of your joints, there is some stretching, both dynamic and static, and there is myofacial release using a foam roller. You will also be using your kettlebell for some of exercises. I actually did like this workout and think it is a good one–not easy even tho I didn’t actually work up a sweat. It is similar to Mark Lauren’s Mobility RX, though not nearly as good. For excellent and deep mobility work, you want Mobility RX. However, this does cover more muscle groups/joints than Mark’s workout does (though he covers all of the very important ones) and Dasha’s workout also covers flexibility and myofascial release, which Mark’s doesn’t. So this workout, even tho not nearly as good in one aspect, is more comprehensive. There aren’t a lot of workouts that use the foam roller, so I was glad to see that included in this one, even if it is for only 8 minutes. P90X2 has a whole hour long workout that uses the foam roller, Recovery & Mobility, which may be even better and more comprehensive than Dasha’s but I haven’t done it yet. I do own P90X2, and plan to do that program in April, so I will report back here after doing P90X2’s Recovery & Mobility. **Having now done P90X2’s Recovery and Mobility I can say they are different. P90X2 spends much longer with the foam roller and is a more relaxing recovery workout. As for mobility, Mark Lauren’s Mobility RX still wins there. I think all 3 of these are good recovery workouts to use.*** These are important workouts that everyone should do. So the more you own that are different, the better. You always want to mix things up. This is one I will come back to but not as often as Mobility RX. I am not going to break down every exercise in this workout. I will list the muscle groups/joints being worked as they appear in the workout (and as they are labeled in the banner box at the bottom of the screen). Most of them are worked for approx. 2 minutes, some a little less. If they are worked longer, I will note that. If I think some additional explanation of how the exercise is performed or how the muscles/joints are worked is necessary, I will note it. Otherwise, this gives a good idea of what is happening in this workout.

Exercises:
1. Shoulder Mobility, Back Activation (stand with back against the wall, arms raised in goal post against wall; you will do various arm movements from this position)
2. Neck Mobility
3. Arm and Shoulder Mobility
4. Wrist, Finger, Elbow, Shoulder Mobility
5. IT Band, Spine and Shoulder Mobility
6. Hip Flexors, Hip, Spine and Shoulder Mobility
7. Core Activation, Coordination, Grip (you will used the KB for these)
8. Hip Flexor Stretch, Hip Mobility, Core Activation (runners stretch)
9.  Piriformis and Glute Stretch
10. Spinal Mobility (scorpion on back then on stomach)
11. Core Activation, Shoulder Mobility (KB halo while on knees)
12. Spinal Activation (stand and while holding KB by bell, slowly hinge at waist until bell touches the ground then roll very slowly back up)
13. Ankle, Foot, Glute, Core Activation (nearly 4 minutes of various Jui Jitsu moves similar to the ones already seen in the rest of the program)
14. Myofascial Release (8 minutes of lower body foam roller exercises; Dasha uses a KB instead of a foam roller)
15. Hamstring stretch (3 minutes with KB behind neck)
16. Quadriceps Stretch

Buddy Workout is 23 minutes long with a 2:30 minute warm up and a 4 minute stretch. The concept of this workout is a workout you can do with a friend. Weider Ruthless has a workout like this that you literally have to have a partner to do or the workout cannot be done. This workout however is not like that at all. You can easily do this workout without a partner with only minor modifications for most exercises and for two exercises you just do a substitute exercise that is working the same muscle group (core). The way this workout is set up, one partner is basically getting a rest/recovery while the other one is doing the work. However, if you are working for both of the people, you are getting an intense little workout! I actually really liked this workout when done without a partner. With a partner it would be too easy due to too much rest time. This one is another keeper. Makes for a great little add on workout. I don’t care for the stretch so you can just get rid of that and use the stretch from the workout you are adding it on to. That turns it into a 20 minute add on. It also works fine as a short doubles workout. Below, I will list each exercise, how it is done with a buddy and then how I modified it.

Exercises:

1. KB Swing and Hit (one person swings while the other person hits the bell at the top of the swing; after 40 minutes you swap. I just did KB swings the entire time)

2. Partner Reaction Sprawls (you face each other and one person sprawls, when she comes up, she slaps the hand of her buddy and then the buddy sprawls–so you’re taking turns sprawling. I just kept sprawling w/out pausing and with a jump at the top)

3. KB Bob and Weave (one person stands in a split stance holding the KB by the horns in front of them; the buddy holds one arm out straight in front of them; the person with the KB squats, bobbing and weaving under their buddy’s outstretched arm. I bobbed and weaved and just changed my stance when the partner’s swapped places)

4. Partner Zig Zag Switches (done the same as #2 except you do 4 wide mountain climbers instead of sprawls. For this one I did a move similar to others in this program: 3 zig zag switches but when I came up I did a front kick and alternated legs each time I kicked)

5. KB Swing and Hit (same as #1)

6. Alternating Thruster to Negative Push Up (same as #2 and #4 except you do a burpee with a push up. I just did nonstop burpees with push ups with a hop at the top)

7. Squat to Squat Hold (one person holds the KB and does 3 squats while the other person squat walks laterally (no KB); at the end of 3 squats, the KB is passed to the other person and they also swap exercises; I just did them all–3 squats then I squat walked, the whole time holding a KB)

8. Partners Roll Up (one person lays on their back with head/neck raised and knees bent and raised, elbows touching knees; that person locks themselves in that position while their buddy grabs their feet and pulls, rolling them up until their feet touch the floor, then they roll back. This one needs a partner, so while this exercises was going on I did double crunches but I straightened my legs and arms before bringing them in and held the KB, bringing KB to my knees)

9. Partner Push (one person lays on their back with head/neck down, feet raised and knees bent–again, locked in this position; the partner pushes on the bent knees, trying lower them. I just did reverse crunches pushing my feet to the ceiling)

10. Hand it Over (sit next to each other in C sit with feet raised and basically do a Russian twist to one side, then pass the bell you your buddy and she does a Russian Twist on her “open” side; after 40 seconds you switch places. I just did Russian Twists with my KB the entire time)

5 responses to “Kettlebell Kickboxing: The Body Series

  1. Pingback: Kettlebell Kickboxing: Scorcher Series | 2 Lazy 4 the Gym·

  2. You took the words right out of my mouth! I just purchased the Body series and I’m already disappointed on day 2! In no way is this challenging to me. Her Scorcher Series is more challenging. And yes, my calorie burn is only around 300!! I should have read up on it first. I don’t mind her talking, but the repeated “breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth” gets on my nerves. Im still going to continue with her body series program but ill have to stack it with her Scorcher Series to get the burn that I want. Thanks for your review!

    • One other thing I agreed with you on….where was the kickboxing! I live kickboxing and was extremely disappointed that there is hardly any. I have a recommendation for you, Amy Bento Ross! She is an advanced instructor and has a few kettle bell DVDs and tons of kickboxing. I find her way more challenging than Cathe. Her KB2 and Body Box. I challenge you!!

      • Thanks for the recommendation. I recently purchased Amy’s Slo Mo Challenge and Drop Sets (am doing them this week). I did notice her kickboxing workouts but saw they got mixed reviews. If I like the strength ones (and after previewing them I think I will) I will have to try out her kickboxing. She has bootcamp type workouts I am interested in too.

  3. Pingback: KB2 | 2 Lazy 4 the Gym·

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