30 Minutes to Fitness: Build & Burn

Build & Burn is a fitness program from Kelly Coffey-Meyer. It contains 5 workouts that are all just under 30 minutes. There is no calendar but the idea is to start at workout 1 and do one workout a day. She also includes a week long menu and each meal is interchangeable. It doesn’t give macro/nutrient or calorie breakdown. Just surveying it, it looks pretty low calorie. The program comes in a regular sized DVD case that holds 3 DVDs and the meal plan (meal plan is on a card clipped to the inside of the DVD cover). Each disk has Kelly’s 1:39 minute intro on it. Here are the workouts in the order you are supposed to do them (so here is your rotation calendar): Cardio Core, Upper Body Super Sets, Lower Body Tabata, Kettlebell/Kickbox Fusion and Trim & Tone Intervals. The back cover of the DVD case has the recommended weights for each workout. Other than Trim & Tone Intervals, the recommended weights are all pretty low. Those weights might work for a beginner or low intermediate but if you are more advanced you definitely need to use heavier weights. In the workout breakdowns below, I list what weights I used to make the workouts challenging for me. And BTW, it worked! Especially with Upper Body Super Sets. The weights I used really burned my muscles out.

I did not do these workouts as Kelly specifies (one a day). I workout for an hour in the morning and 30 minutes after work. So I did two of them, back to back, in the mornings and one after work. Due their lengths they worked perfectly for my needs. Overall this is an intermediate level collection of workouts and how advanced the workouts can become depends on the weight and equipment you use. Unlike a lot of Kelly’s 30 Minutes to Fitness workouts, she doesn’t show a lot of modifications. This isn’t a problem for me since I never follow the modifier anyway but if you are accustomed to following the modifier in Kelly’s workouts, be warned that there really isn’t one in this program. Occasionally a modification is shown but the only real modifications would be using lighter weights or lower your step height.

I really enjoyed these workouts. I got a great workout from all of them and the way she has them paired on disks (see below) works perfect for me since Disks 1 & 2 contain the two workouts I wanted to pair together for my morning workouts anyway.

Disk #1:

Cardio Core is 27 minutes minutes long; 3:30 minute warm up and 1:30 minute stretch. Equipment: step @ 8 inches. I also wore 2 pound weighted gloves. Each move in this workout is done for 30 seconds followed by 10 seconds of recovery. Each move is done 2x. Kelly and crew are wearing gloves. I don’t know if they are weighted or not but in the future I will wear my lifting gloves under my weighted gloves because you do several moves with your palms on your step and it hurts. I had to keep grabbing my towel to protect my palms. This was an excellent cardio core workout. I did Upper Body Supersets (below) first and finished it with this workout and I got an excellent hour long workout (just under an hour actually).

  1. Kickouts w/ hands on step
  2. Jab, cross + knee raise (knee that raises is on the step when doing jab-cross)
  3. Fast feet to 4 count + squat jack
  4. Tricep dips off step while alternating kicking leg out
  5. 6 cross punches then wide jumps on step 2x
  6. 2 straight leg front kicks touching toes w/ opposite hands  + 2 ski squats
  7. With one foot on step, 2 hops to side, one upper cut then jump switch feet
  8. Plank squat w/ alternating knee pulls (hands always on step)
  9. 3 pendulum legs and on the 3rd do a knee pull
  10. Squat thrust w/ hands on step, jump on step at top of move
  11. Knee pull + waist twist side to side w/ arms in guard
  12. 2 knee pulls on step + 2 glute lifts on step w/ arm circles
  13. Step hop over step laterally w/ one hook
  14. 3 donkey kicks w/ hands on step, alternate legs
  15. Knee raise standing crunches w/ arms bent and held in front of you (pulling knee and elbows together)
  16. 3 side hops, hinge forward and do one back kick

Upper Body Super Sets is 26 minutes long; 3:30 minute warm up (plank work in warm up) and 1 minute stretch. Equipment: bench or step and dumbbells. Each exercise is done for 8 reps (except during the burnout). Wow. This is an excellent upper body workout. I chose my weights in advance and I chose them well. For the majority of the exercises my muscles were seriously burning by the last few reps. For such a short workout this does an excellent job of working every muscle in your upper body very well. I still have a very nice burn in my shoulders, biceps and back. Winner! I can see not only pairing this with Cardio Core (which is what I did the first time I did this workout) but with other short workouts by Jessica Smith and Linda Wooldridge–even some of Kelly’s other workouts.

Super Set #1 (repeat 3x):

  1. Overhead press w/ palms facing you (15# DBs)
  2. Bent arm side raise, at top of raise straighten arms, bend them again and lower arms (8# DBs)

Super Set #2 (repeat 3x):

  1. Bicep curl halfway and pulse 3x then circle DBs out to side (15# DBs)
  2. Pledge curls (bringing DB to opposite shoulder) (15# DBs)

Super Set #3 (repeat 3x):

  1. Seated overhead tricep extensions (one 30# DB)
  2. Tate press (lay on back w/ arms/DBs raised in a V–only bend at elbows, lowering DBs to chest then returning to V) (12# DBs)

Super Set #4 (repeat 3x):

  1. Reverse grip bench press (20# DBs)
  2. Connected bench press (narrow chest press holding DBs together) (20# DBs)

Super Set #5 (repeat 3x):

  1. Seated bent over rows (pattern: one arm row, double arm row, one arm row (other arm)) (20# DBs)
  2. Cross row (one arm back fly–in a wide squat while hinged over, start w/ DB near opposite foot then pull back) (one 15# DB)

Burnout (each move is done for 30 seconds):

  1. Fast alternating upright row (8# DBs)
  2. Bent over tricep kickbacks (8# DBs)
  3. Fast alternating bicep curls (8# DBs)
  4. Pumping row (holding one DB in both hands, do a fast bent over row) (one 15# DB)

Disk #2:

Lower Body Tabata is 26:30 minutes long; 4 minute warm up and 1 minute stretch. Equipment: dumbbells and resistance loop (firewalker). Tabata is 20 seconds of work w/ 10 seconds of rest. Tabata format is used even in the warm up. Each exercise is done for four 20/10 cycles unless otherwise indicated. I loved this workout. It is short, intense and to the point. Now, I have to mention that I did not do this workout as a stand alone workout and if I had, I do not feel it would have been adequate as my main workout of the day. But that is only due to my own personal preference of working out for at least an hour every morning. So this morning, I started with Lower Body Tabata then went right into Kettlebell/Kickbox Fusion (below) and got an awesome workout. I am pretty happy with my weight selections below. I felt the work in my lower body and my heart rate was definitely elevated into the cardio zone. Kelly and crew only used one set of dumbbells for every exercise in this workout and that would have been inadequate for me. I previewed this workout and had already created a weight chart. The 10 second break was sufficient time for me to glance at my chart and swap out weights when needed. There are several ways to increase intensity in the future if I want to. I could wear a weighted vest and, for the #9 below, I could set one my heavy dumbbells on my hips for the bridge work.

  1. Side steps w/ loop around legs beneath knees
  2. Single leg deadlift (25# DBs)
  3. Squats variations (25# DBs)
  4. Side lunge into knee raise
  5. Pulsing pendulum lunges (15# DBs)
  6. Jump lunges
  7. Plie squat variations (done 5x) (one 35# DB)
  8. Deadlift squat (20# DBs)
  9. Bridge/hip thrust variations (repeat 8x)

Kettlebell/Kickbox Fusion is 26 minutes long; 5 minute warm up and 1:45 minute stretch. Equipment: kettlebell (Kelly recommends a 15# kettlebell). I used a 15 pound, a 20 pound and a 25 pound kettlebell, and 2 pound weighted gloves. You do boxing and some kettlebell work in the warm up. In the workout, each move is done for 30 seconds w/ 10 seconds of rest. I loved this workout, too. As mentioned above, I did not do this as a stand alone workout. This morning I began with Lower Body Tabata and finished with this workout. I got an excellent and intense workout. I love kickboxing and I love kettlebell work so I was pretty excited about this workout. 30 seconds was plenty for most of the kettlebell moves but for the kickboxing, I would have liked to continue the combos for longer than 30 seconds. Their time seemed to go by too quickly. #7 she starts the combo slow then speeds it up but you do it slowly something like 4 reps so you only do it fast twice. That makes no sense to me and since I already knew the move, when you repeat it on the other side, I went immediately into the fast version. Next time I do the workout I will always go immediately into the fast version since I am familiar with it. The kettlebell weights listed below are what I used. Kelly and one of the crew members used the same kettlebell for the entire workout and her third crew member used a single dumbbell for everything.

  1. Knee, front kick, jab, cross, upper cut (30 seconds each side)
  2. One arm KB swing (30 seconds each side) (25# KB)
  3. Elbow smash, double jab, bob and hook (30 seconds each side)
  4. KB figure 8 around legs (30 seconds in each direction) (15# KB)
  5. Speed jabs w/ fast feet (30 seconds each side)
  6. Squat w/ one arm overhead press (30 seconds each arm) (15# KB)
  7. Upper, upper, side kick (30 seconds each side)
  8. Alternating KB swings (two 30 second intervals) (25# KB)
  9. Hook, hook, double jab, back kick (30 seconds each side)
  10. Double arm KB swings, stepping to side w/ each swing (30 seconds each side) (25# KB)
  11. 6 alternating front punches then jump switching lead foot (one 30 second interval)
  12. Hook, hook, upper cut, upper cut, hook, hook then jump switching lead foot (one 30 second interval)
  13. Reverse lunge w/ lawn mower row (30 seconds each side) (25# KB)
  14. Jab, upper cut, slip, knee, bob and weave (30 seconds each side)
  15. Plie squat w/ upright row (one 30 second interval) (25# KB)
  16. Squat w/ overhead press (one 30 second interval) (20# KB)

Disk #3:

Trim & Tone Intervals is 24:30 minutes long; 3 minute warm and 2 minute stretch. Equipment: 8 pound dumbbells. This a moderate intensity/moderate impact workout and I really enjoyed it. I did not burn a ton of calories, but I got steady state cardio with some light strength work. I used 8 pound dumbbells and they were perfect for this workout. I don’t think Kelly meant for this to be a HIIT level workout or super intense because she does state that she wants the cardio to be done at a controlled pace which it is if you follow her lead. I think this workout is a nice balancing workout to use if you do a lot of intense and high impact workouts, which I do. It’s not super intense but it is effective and fun. She had some unique moves that I felt working my body well. When I did this workout I did it on its own as my doubles workout (second workout of the day) rather than doing two workouts back to back like I did the other workouts in this progam and it worked nicely for that. The structure of the workout is 30 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. You will do two exercises, one without dumbbells and with dumbbells. Repeat the two exercises then move on to the next pair.

  1. 2 knees + 2 skaters
  2. 3 fast bent over rows, stand and punch DBs in front of you
  3. Repeat 1 & 2
  4. 2 frog hops forward and jog back
  5. Cross punches w/ DBs
  6. Repeat 4 & 5
  7. Curtsy to side kick
  8. Bicep curl to overhead press, lower in wide W to sides then lower DBs in front of you
  9. Repeat 7 & 8
  10. 3 fast feet shuffles to the side + knee raise (Kelly calls it “icky feet”)
  11. Alternating back stroke w/ DBs
  12. Repeat 10 & 11
  13. 2 jacks + triple punch
  14. Upright row into scarecrow; changes to bent arm side raises (DBs)
  15. Repeat 13 & 14 (for #14 you just do bent arm raises)
  16. Fly arms back (scapular squeezes) while lifting leg behind you (alternate legs)
  17. Tricep kickbacks in split stance w/ stationary lunges
  18. Repeat 16 & 17
  19. 2 side shuffles + straight leg lift tapping toe w/ opposite hand
  20. Alternating bicep curls in split stance w/ knee pulls
  21. Repeat 19 & 20


Disk #1 premixes:

Cardio (no strength) 21:40 minutes

Cardio (no jumps) 23:23 minutes

Upper Body Mix (one super set) 14:38 minutes

Upper Body Mix (two supersets) 20:19 minutes

Cardio Core w/ Upper Body Intervals 30:13 minutes

Kickbox Moves w/ Burnouts 17:53 minutes

DBs & Body weight (chest, triceps, core) 17:25 minutes

DBs & Body weight (back, biceps, lower) 18:10 minutes

Disk #2 premixes:

Lower Mix #1 18:35 minutes

Lower Mix #2 17:43 minutes

KB/KB (no swings) 20:43 minutes

Kettlebells only 17:04 minutes

Kickboxing (no kettlebells) 15:57

KB/KB Timesaver One 18:04 minutes

KB/KB Timesaver Two 15:15 minutes

Legs & KB/KB Mix 34:16 minutes

Kelly’s Mix 20:04 minutes

Legs & Kettlebell 31:24 minutes

Disk #3 premixes:

Cardio Only 14:48 minutes

Dumbbells only 15:06 minutes

3 responses to “30 Minutes to Fitness: Build & Burn

  1. I love KCM, but these workouts are even shorter than usual. And no premix to do each disc as one workout. I know she doesn’t intend for them to be done that way, but I can’t imagine doing just one of these by itself. I do like them, but I wish each was a bit longer (for a real 30 minutes.

  2. I just ordered this series. It’ll be a re-introduction to KCM for me. I did some older videos, and I just didn’t like the music. I’m not sure how I feel about these workouts clocking in under 30 minutes, because I usually do 30-45 minutes in the morning, but can’t imagine doing under 30 minutes. However, they look fun and effective. I’m thinking of pairing them with 15-minute videos from Jessica Smith or Linda Wooldridge…I thought the lower body tabata followed by one of Linda’s mat workouts would be great.

    • After having discovered Linda and Jessica’s YouTube workouts, workouts with odd lengths don’t bother me anymore. I’ve gotten really good at stacking workouts. (o: And I have always combined KCM’s workouts together when I did them for my morning workout anyway. Sometimes I would use the premix that combined them but sometimes I didn’t because on some of her “combined workout” premixes entire exercises would be missing.

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