30 Minutes to Fitness: Strength & Stamina

30MFS&SStrength & Stamina is Kelly Coffey-Meyer‘s other new workout DVD in her 30 Minutes to Fitness series. The other one that was recently released is Athletic Conditioning 2, which I did and reviewed yesterday. Consensus is–they are both awesome workouts! Just like all of her 30 Minute to Fitness DVDs, this one contains 2 approx. 30 minute workouts. This one also has a bonus–a 23 minutes step cardio routine that is very cool and fun. So you are actually getting 3 short workouts!

The two main workouts are primarily strength workouts, but they have plyometric cardio bursts and are metabolic. Each workout is a total body metabolic strength workout and they work very well together. In fact, the first time I did this I did the entire thing–both main workouts and the bonus step routine for an excellent 90 minute workout. The main workouts are done in circuits. For each circuit you super set an upper body exercise with a lower body exercise (this is also PHA–peripheral heart action training an excellent way to burn fat while building muscle), you repeat the super set 3 times and finish with a kettlebell interval. Each workout consists of 5 circuits alternated with 4 kettlebell intervals. The workouts are very fast paced. You get no rest during the super sets and very little between circuits and intervals.

As always, the key to getting the best workout possible is to lift the heaviest weight you can with good form. On the back of the DVD, Kelly recommends that beginners use 7 and 5 pound dumbbells, intermediate exercisers use 15 and 10 pound dumbbells + a 15 pound kettlebell, and advanced exercisers use 20 and 15 pound dumbbells + a 20 pound kettlebell. There is a modifier who uses a dumbbell instead of a kettlebell during the workout, and she also modifies a few of the other exercises. I, of course, had a much larger selection of dumbbells, ranging from 10 to 30 pounds–and I used them all! I also used both a 20 and a 15 pound kettlebell. I used a 20 for all the swings, but she also does a figure 8 kettlebell move and I used my 15 for that; I could probably have used the 20 for that as well tho.

I really liked these workouts a lot. The rep ranges are never more than 12 reps so you can lift heavy enough to work your muscles well and even if you are doing only one of the 30 minute workouts, you are still hitting each muscle group 3 times sinceΒ you repeat each superset 3 times. In addition, the kettlebell intervals are primarily swings and the same in both workouts, so no weird or complicated kettlebell moves. In fact, in the future I will probably use my 25 pound kettlebell for the swings, and 20 for the figure 8s. Finally, Kelly uses some of her unique strength exercises to work your muscles in new and effective ways. These are winners!

It has some great premixes too but two of them are odd. I haven’t done them or previewed them though I did verify the times listed. Workout #1 w/out the leg cardio blasts and Workout #2 w/out leg cardio blasts–these are two separate premixes that are each over 38 minutes. Uhm… the workouts with the cardio blasts aren’t 38 minutes long. So how does removing the blasts make them longer? Something else is going on here! I will probably never find out since those two premixes just don’t interest me. But it is odd! BTW–as usual, all of the premixes are listed at the bottom of this review.

A final note before we go into the breakdown for each workout. The main menu has the warm up listed separately. So you use the same warm up for both of the main workouts. Once you do the warm up it takes you back to the main menu to choose your workout. Each workout does have it’s own short stretch at the end. The warm up is 5:30 minutes long. The step cardio bonus routine has it’s own warm up and cool down.

Workout #1 is 30:30 minutes long (36 minutes with the warm up); stretch is 2 minutes. This workout starts immediately with Kelly and crew already holding their dumbbells and ready to begin, which is kind of irritating because you don’t know what exercise they are about to do or whether you should be holding your heavier or lighter dumbbells. It turns out, for me at least, 15 pound dumbbells were appropriate for the first exercise. For each exercise within a super set you will do 12 reps unless otherwise indicated in the breakdown. You do the kettlebell intervals for one minute. The weights listed below are the weights I used after doing this workout several times.

Super Set #1:

Reverse pec deck (hold DBs in front of you, arms bent and hinged slightly at the waist; open arms, driving the elbows back behind you, similar to a bent arm reverse fly); 15# DBs

Front squat or goblet squat (for the front squat hold both DBs in front of you under chin; for goblet squat put one DB down); one 30# DB

Repeat 3x

Double hand kettlebell swings; 25# KB

Super Set #2:

Supination bicep curls (starting as a hammer curl and turning at top so curl ends like a traditional bicep curl); 17.5# DBs

Split switches (plyo jump lunges; no DBs needed)

Repeat 3x

One arm kettlebell swings (30 seconds each arm); 25# KB

Super Set #3:

One arm overhead press; one 17.5# DB

Suitcase deadlifts; 30# DB

Repeat 3x

Kettlebell figure 8s around leg (alternate legs); 20# KB

Super Set #4: (you only need one DB for both exercises)

Overhead tricep extensions; one 20# DB

Alternating side lunges (when lunging, pass DB around working leg); one 15# DB

Repeat 3x

Alternating one arm kettlebell swings; 25# KB

Super Set #5: (lay out a mat if you need one)

Lay on back and do one arm chest presses (alternate arms); 25# DB

Hip bridge thrusts w/ one or both DBs on hips; one 40#DB

Repeat 3x (for the first 2 sets of the chest presses you do 12 reps total (so 6 each arm), but for the final/3rd set, you do the 12 alternating and end with 6 double arm chest presses.)

Workout #2 is 29:30 minutes (35 minutes with warm up); 2 minute stretch. This workout starts this time with Kelly giving you some information–start with your light weights! Thank you Kelly! The rep ranges are a little different in this workout so I will note them below. Kettlebell intervals are still one minute. In Super Set #1, the jumps are pretty easy. To make it more challenging you can change it to squat jumps or tuck jumps, or just do them faster and do more than 12 reps. The weights listed below are the weights I used after doing this workout several times.

Super Set #1:

Start holding DBs at hips, arms straight at side; raise DBs overhead but keep arms almost straight (only slight bend at elbow), like drawing a circle from hips to overhead w/ DBs (6 reps); 12# DBs

12 jumps (no DBs)

Repeat 3x

Double hand kettlebell swings; 25# KB

Super Set #2:

Side bicep curls alternated w/ reverse curls; 12# DBs

Pendulum lunges (touch the DB in the opposite hand as the front leg to the floor w/ each lunge) (6 reps each side); 12# DBs

Repeat 3xΒ (on the bicep curls, the first set you do a total of 12 reps of the pair, for the last 2 sets you do a total of 6 reps of the pair)

One arm kettlebell swings (30 seconds each arm); 25# KB

Super Set #3:

Front raise/lateral raise (one arm does a front raise while other arm simultaneously does a lateral raise; alternate for each rep) (12 reps); 10# DBs

Skaters (no DBs)

Repeat 3x

Kettlebell figure 8s around leg (alternate legs); 20# KB

Super Set #4:

Straight arm tricep kickback alternated w/ bent arm kickback (palm faces behind you; both exercises done once = 1 rep; do 6 reps each arm); one 10# DB

Holding one DB in both hands do a “pop squat” (12 reps) (a pop squat is a squat jack); one 15# DB

Repeat 3x

Alternating one arm kettlebell swings; 25# KB

Super Set #5: (lay mat on floor)

Lay on back holding a DB in each hand; narrow chest press into double arm pull over to a slow 4 count (6 reps); 17.5# DBs

Hip bridge pulses w/ one or both DBs on hips (the count is done fast–2 pulses = 1 rep, do 12 reps); one 40# DB

Repeat 3x

Bonus Step Cardio is 23 minutes long; 3 minute warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. You need a step at 8 inches. This is a super cool little cardio bonus and I loved it. I did do it after doing Workout 1 followed immediately by Workout #2, but it got my heart rate up there! It’s fast-paced and consists of 5 combos. The full combos are made up of 3-4 step combos. She teaches you each combo then puts them together into the full combo which you run through 3-4 times before moving on. The step combos overall are fairly easy to learn. She starts you with the easiest and each full combo becomes a little more complex, but none of it is super complex choreography. This is a fun cardio add on. I loved it! I’m not going to break the entire workout down since it is cardio, but here are some of the step combos Kelly uses: triple tap insoles, pop squats w/ punches, up jacks w/ L steps and front kick, 2 knee pendulums, several different punch combos and lots more.

Premixes (all premixes include warm up and stretch):

Workout #1 w/ no kettlebell swings 31:28

Workout #2 w/ no kettlebell swings 30:16

Workout #1 only 2 sets + kettlebell swings 28:36

Workout #2 only 2 sets + kettlebell swings 28:00

Express Workout #1 (1 set + swings) 21:22

Express Workout #2 (1 set + swings) 21:17

Combined Workout (mix of Workout 1 & 2) 63:18

Combined Workout (mix of Workout 1 & 2 but no kettlebell swings) 53:47

Workout #1 w/out cardio leg blasts 38:31

Workout #2 w/out cardio leg blasts 38:24

Lower Body Time Crunch (legs and kettlebell swings from Workout 1 & 2) 23:52

Upper Body Time Crunch (upper body and kettlebell swings from Workout 1 & 2) 27:55




17 thoughts on “30 Minutes to Fitness: Strength & Stamina

  1. I just stumbled upon your blog and I love it!! For years I was a distance runner and only within the last few years (mainly after having kids) have I really started to work out at home. I started with beach body programs and then moved on to other things… I only discovered Cathe this year and there has been no turning back! I still run but look forward to my cross training so much more. My question for you is about kettlebell workouts… would you recommend this Kelly Coffey meyer one over the Brook Benten one you reviewed? (I did see the 3 DVD set on eBay for a great price.) It sounds like Kelly has a lot to offer but I have never tried her. And I haven’t done kettle bell work. My husband is really into them and just bought me a 10# one. So any advice you would be appreciated!


    1. Hello Marissa! I am so glad you are finding my blog useful! Cathe is amazing, isn’t she? I wish she would do some kettlebell workouts. Though I do love Brook Benton’s workouts, I recommend Kelly Coffey-Meyer. She is my second favorite trainer under Cathe. She does amazing and effective workouts, too. If I could only have two trainers, it would be Cathe and Kelley. And with heavy enough kettlebells, I always get an awesome workout from Kelly’s kettlebell workouts. I return to her kettlebell workouts much more frequently than Brook’s.


      1. Ok Kelly it is then!! I did do my first Kelly workout this morning (after reading about her on your blog.) I found a few of her DVD’s at the library and tried Plateau Buster. While it wasn’t the most challenging workout ever, I did really like her and thought she put a smart workout together. And like you have said, you can easily make it more advanced by increasing the weights. I end up ordering a lot of my workouts from Total Fitness DVDs, and I already asked, and they will put Kelly’s workouts on sale the first week in April. (Their March sales are set. But I have found if you ask, she will put items on sale!) Thanks for taking the time to respond, I am really excited to add kettle bells to my routine. Just one more question, which is more challenging, Kelly’s Strength and Stamina or Slim Sculpt? Thanks;-)


      2. That is a good question because they are both excellent workouts and I love them both. If you are wanting to focus on kettlebell work and you own sufficiently heavy kettlebells, then Slim Sculpting would be the best one to buy, because it is all kettlebell work. But you do need some decently heavy kettlebells to get a good workout. I use my 20 and 25 pound kettlebells when I do this workout.

        It’s been a long time since I did Plateau Buster. It was my first Kelly workout I think. And tho I did like it it is definitely not my favorite of hers. She has a lot of excellent workouts. The two you mention in your post: Slim Sculpting and Strength & Stamina are two of my favorites of Kelly’s.


      3. Ok maybe I will just get both then! Sounds like they are different enough, thank you πŸ˜‰ so I know you are a huge Cathe fan… are you pre-ordering her new fit tower DVDs? They say they will be advance workouts. I would be interested to read your reviews.I don’t have the fit tower but do have a barre on my basement wall… sounds like you would need to be able to adjust the height though.


      4. Hi Marissa–at this point, no. I am not interested in the fit tower. Right now at least. I frequently change my mind about things! The previews for the workouts that came with it when it was first introduced looked too easy. And Cathe did say they were less advanced than her regular workouts. But these new ones may be different/more advanced. Plus I already own a bench press/squat rack. However, mine would not work with these workouts because it is too heavy to move around. So if I do change my mind I would get the fit tower and the DVDs. Once she releases clips of the workouts, I may change my mind if they look challenging enough (and are getting good reviews from other Cathelettes).


    1. No problem! I just updated it. I’ve done this workout several times and I really like it. So the weights I listed are the ones I used when I did it just 2 months ago.


      1. I’ve got this one coming to me in a day or two, and I ALWAYS reference your poundage before doing KCMs WOs. It’s so helpful to know what weight range the moves will be in; I also try to get as close to your weights as possible. It’s my own personal goal. πŸ˜€

        Where did you get your heavier DBs from, in this case, your 40’s? Storefront or online?


      2. I’m glad they are so useful! I buy my dumbbells from Dicks Sporting Goods and always during Black Friday–they have an awesome sale on their black cast iron dumbbells every year. I have Select Techs that I used for many years but they don’t work well with Cathe and KCM’s fast paced workouts plus they started locking up. So over the past few years I have been replacing them every Black Friday. I now have cast irons all the way up to 45 pounds. This Black Friday I will get the 50s then throw the Select Techs out finally!


      3. Yes, I forgot to thank you for updating the weights! — just went straight in to my WHY I was thankful. πŸ˜€

        I actually have the SelecTechs, too, and I hate them! :p LOL I was trying to be frugal, as they are so much cheaper than buying each weight increment in DB pairs, but I didn’t anticipate how WIDE they would be. I’m on the short side (5’2) and while not small framed at all, my arms are just too close together to hold them comfortably, naturally, in a nonawkward manner that always me to lift with good, proper form; it’s just impossible — the width of them force my arms to turn out, like if I was doing side bicep curls. Also, I don’t have a barbell, so I need to put my weights up on my shoulders for lower body work, and, they’re like having kegs up there. πŸ˜€ I’ve been acquiring my heavier weights over the past year, as well. I have up to 30 and figured I would stop there, as I don’t think my shoulders can take anything heavier. For things that required single heavy weights (ie: goblet squats), I thought I would just use kettlebells, but those can get awkward for some moves. Besides, I have a huge gap in weights — up to 30s for DBs, up to 25 for kbs + a 50 lb kb. I need weights for the in between 30s and 50s. . .or, bite the bullet, and get a barbell. (Is it ridiculous that I don’t have one?) I’m quite certain I will never need over 30s for upper body work. . .(So, now that you know everything you never wanted to about my weights situation. . . :D)

        We have a Dick’s around here, so I will see what they offer during their BF sales. πŸ˜€ Thanks!

        I’m really looking forward to this workout now, knowing you like it so much! πŸ™‚ (And I’m DYING to get her new Live one! It looks like so much FUN!!)

        Thanks again, both for the update and your friendly, conversational responses. πŸ™‚


      4. Yeah, the Select Techs seemed like such a great idea at the time I bought them (10 years ago!). Until that time I only had dumbbells up to 20 pounds. But that was pre-Cathe. 20 pounds or less worked fine for the workouts I was doing then (The Firm & Jari Love primarily). But then I discovered Beachbody and needed heavier weights. Select Techs worked great for that. But then I discovered Cathe and that changed everything! Depending on the workout, I actually use up to 50 pounds for upper body–but that is always back work (one arm rows)–I haven’t gone heavier than that. And I probably won’t. I don’t think it is ridiculous not to have a barbell (says the owner of 3 barbells….). Depending on your fitness goals you may never need one. I feel the only thing a barbell is “essential” for is lifting really heavy. But you need other equipment for that, too–a rack for heavy chest presses and squats. I also think a barbell is essential for heavy bridge/hip thrusts and heavy deadlifts–particularly wide leg, but also traditional. Heavy dumbbells work fine for straight leg deadlifts. I like using the same equipment Cathe is using during a workout, but before I had any barbells I modified with dumbbells and still got a great workout.

        As far as dumbbells heavier then 30, again it depends not only on your goals but the trainer you follow. Cathe does lower body moves like pliΓ© squats that I use a 40-50 pound dumbbell to do. And yes, I agree that the Select Techs are awkward sized on so many levels. I’m glad to be done with them. I have them set to 50 pounds and haven’t even bothered with them in months. Even tho I own heavy dumbbells, I don’t use them nearly as frequently as I use 5-35 pound dumbbells! Those get the most use.


  2. Aww, I just KNEW I should have pre-ordered this one when the price was so good. I was waiting for ICE & opted not to at the time. lol.
    Her premixes really make the DVDs of excellent value don’t they?


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