KB2 stands for Kettlebells/Kickboxing Squared (I think) and it is a kickboxing/kettlebell workout by Amy Bento. I really, really wanted this to be an awesome, dream workout. Unfortunately, it was not. It has possibilities but it was not what I was hoping for. I really love kettlebell work and kickboxing, so just like when I purchased Dasha Libin‘s two Kettlebell Kickboxing workouts (Scorcher and The Body Series) I was very excited. Scorcher did deliver. And KB2 definitely does a much better job than The Body Shop. But I don’t love it as I hoped I would. But I was beginning to suspect that, for me least, I would only be a fan of Amy Bento‘s strength workouts. I did her Kettlebell Dynamics last week and was less than impressed and the reviews for her pure kickboxing workouts all talk about confusing and complex choreography.
The structure of KB2 is alternating kickboxing combos with kettlebell drills. To start with, I like the kettlebell work in Kettlebell Dynamics better than the kettlebell work in KB2. Second, her kickboxing choreography was more complex than what I am accustomed to or like, but it was not impossible to learn and, once I got the hang of it, I was able to keep up for the most part. Since I knew it contained kettlebell work I didn’t wear weighted gloves like I usually do for kickboxing; instead I wore lifting gloves to protect my palms from the kettlebells. I barely broke a sweat from an hour long workout. She calls this an advanced workout. I suppose it is; the kettlebells drills, if done with two heavy (25 pound) bells like Amy and her one crew member use, are very challenging plus the kickboxing is moderately complex. So yeah, I agree with advanced. It’s just that when I see “advanced” I expect to exert myself more. The answer to this (for me) is to wear my weighted gloves and do the dumbbell option rather than kettllebells. Which leads me to an important note about these workouts.
Amy and her crew member each have two 25 pound kettlebells. There are 4 combo/drills; two of the kettlebell drills use two kettlebells and two use only one kettlebell. However, if you do not own two kettlebells of the same weight you have two choices. First, you can just use one kettlebell. In the two drills that use both kettlebells you do an even number of sets–so you can split your sets; do the first set on one side of body, the second on the other and so on. Your other option is to use two dumbbells. During the first set of all of the kettlebell drills there is a pop up square in the bottom right hand corner of the screen with Amy doing a variation of the move with two dumbbells. After the first set, however, that square disappears so you will have to remember what Amy showed you for the rest of the drill.
Obviously I have some issues with this workout. First, I think some of the kettlebell drills are inappropriate for a trainer to expect someone to do at home with such a heavy bell. Some of them are moves that need to be done with a trainer physically present when learning it or it is a recipe for a shoulder injury. This is, however, just my opinion. If you are experienced with kettlebells then go for it. I used 20 pound kettlebells for everything and I did worry about injuring myself (tho I did not). The other thing that really irritates me is that Amy includes premixes–usually a bonus, right? Except there are no premixes that are kickboxing only! There is a kettlebell only premix–but no kickboxing only. That seriously pi$$es me off. After doing the workout, I really feel like if I could do the kickboxing only with weighted gloves I could get a really good workout. She does some excellent kicking combos and my hips were feeling it afterward. But I don’t have that option unless I go to chaptering or just skip over the kettlebell drills–both of which cause downtime rather than flowing from one combo to the next as a premix would do. So that sours me on this DVD, too. But part of me does feel like this workout is worth another attempt. Either using the chaptering option to do a kickboxing only workout (it would be approximately 45 minutes) or doing the entire workout with my weighted gloves on and just doing the dumbbell option. I will update this review after doing it again with my thoughts.
Here are your choices: you have the play all option which is the full 63:30 minute workout, you have the chapter option where you can go in and pick and choose what you want to do (I have every section broken down by time below), you have the premix menu with 3 premixes (listed at the bottom) and the “modify only” option which plays the full alternate dumbbell version of the kettlebell drills only (this is what is in the square at the bottom right hand corner of the screen during the regular workout) no kickboxing, warm up, cool down or stretch–just the kettlebell drills done with dumbbells.
KB2 is 63:30 minutes long with a 8 minute warm up, 3:30 minute cool down and 5 minute stretch. The warm up is boxing oriented. All of the kickboxing combos will be done on both sides of the body.
Kickboxing Combo #1 (9 minutes): strike, retreat, hook and upper, 2 knees, 4 jabs, kick front, kick back, jump kick and round house kick.
Kettlbell Drill #1 (4 minutes): one kettlebell, start with kettlebell in right hand–4 high pulls, 4 snatches, 2 middle get ups (at the end of last snatch, hold kettlebell overhead, step back with left leg and lower into a lunge with knee on floor, lower left hand to floor (right hand is is still holding kettlebell overhead) and bring left leg through so it is straight in front of you and push hips up with right foot, hold, then bring left left back behind you into lunge and stand)–repeat on other side of body.
Kickboxing Combo #2 (5:30 minutes): jab, jab, cross, head block, head block, parry block, parry block, hop side kick, front kick twice.
Kettlebell Drill #2 (3:30 minutes): two kettlebells; 8 dual swings, 8 dual cleans, 8 front loaded squats–repeat.
Kickboxing Combo #3 (7 minutes): 3 fast front jabs (alternate arms) and a hook, upper cut twice (same arm), high jaw breaker, step through, front knee then side knee (same leg), 3 alternating round house kicks and a jump back kick.
Kettlebell Drill #3 (4:30 minutes): one kettlebell will be on the floor and one hand will be on the horn/handle throughout this drill; 4 push ups, 4 renegade rows, crawl/walk forward two steps and back two steps (while one hand still holding bell); repeat holding horn/handle with other hand–do entire series twice on each side of body.
Kickboxing Combo #4 (7 minutes): jab, jab-cross, jab, jab-cross, inside out knee crescent, turn and round house, turn and back kick (these 3 knee/kick moves have turning as you come out of the kick, so it looks fluid, but it is complex and takes coordination; it takes a few tries to get it right), full crescent kick and 3 alternating round house kicks.
Kettlebell Drill #4 (3 minutes): two kettlebells; dual clean to rack, 4 dual overhead presses, lunge and hold (for lunge and hold you will be holding both kettlebells overhead the entire time; lunge back with one leg and hold, then bring leg in and lunge back with the other leg and hold, come back to standing then lower kettlebells); repeat.
Premixes (all premixes include warm up, cool down/stretch):
Quick Power (38:30 minutes) kickboxing combos 2 & 3 and kettlebell drills 1 & 2
Bell Power (44:30 minutes) all of the kettlebell drills then you repeat 1 & 2 at the end
Full Power (63:30 minutes) kickboxing combos 1 & 2, kettlebell drills 1 & 2, kickboxing combos 2 & 4, kettlebell drills 3 & 4