This month's workout has been going well enough so far. I've been using level 1 of Jillian Michaels' Shred It With Weights and I've been finding it a little too easy. I've been working up a mild sweat and I increased the weight of my kettlebell from 4kg to 6kg, but it never felt like enough. I've ended up going through the 25-minute workout twice on each kettlebell day to try to get more out of it, and I think that that has been working.
I can say, however, that this DVD is a great introduction to kettlebells. You learn some great moves and with Jillian's usual style there are beginner modifications, and I do believe that it's within most people's abilities. Kettlebells have been my favourite piece of kit for well over a year now, and the reason for that is because they're so versatile. Kettlebells are explosive, and while they're heavy and give you great resistance training, you get a lot of cardio in it, too. There are no cardio intervals in this DVD because the moves themselves combine strength and cardio perfectly. Your heart will be thumping and your muscles will be aching. It's perfect - I've even learned a few things about moves I was already familiar with, and I've gotten a little more out of them because of it. So, as far as level 1 of Shred It With Weights goes, it's suitable for beginners. You can do it with a dumbbell as long as you hold it by one end, but kettlebells are different and I do recommend buying even just a 2kg one to use with it. The shape and weight distribution of a kettlebell is massively different from a dumbbell, and if a dumbbell worked the same way, they wouldn't be using kettlebells at all in this DVD.
As for Buti Yoga...I'm having trouble. The concept of yoga mixed with tribal dance is just wonderful, but I'm struggling with Bizzie. She is, of course, well within her rights to be the instructor - Buti Yoga is her creation and who knows it better than she? - but I don't feel she has what it takes to be an instructor. At least, perhaps not on a DVD. In person it could well be different because you can ask her or another licensed instructor for help, but on DVDs the instructors really have to give you almost constant verbal walk-throughs while performing each move, which she doesn't do. There is a section called 'Buti Basics' on the Transformation series DVD/digital download, and it's in this 9-minute section that she breaks down the Buti-specific moves unique to her workouts. I watched them, but I found she gave you next to no new information from the 25-minute workout, Feel, and I'm struggling massively with some of the moves because of it.
But I'm sticking with it in the hopes that it might just click in the next 3 weeks, and I'm also going to have to use the other two workouts on the DVD in order to give a decent review at the end, so I'm hoping there might be a nugget of new information further in there, but I'm not holding out for much.
It is fun, but it's frustrating when you're not given the instruction you need. Yes, this is doubtlessly one of the biggest issues with all workout DVDs - having no instructor means having no direct and personal help - and yet this isn't something that I've come across in many DVDs at all. In fact I've only found it once, and that was in the Tracey Anderson Method because I didn't feel the moves were broken down enough, and I'm usually quite patient with dance in particular.
Based on this experience, if you're considering trying Buti Yoga yourself, I really do recommend signing up to the Buti newsletter and getting access to the free 50-minute workout video. It's slower and simpler, but it contains most of the Buti-specific moves that make up Transformation's 'Feel' workout, including the ones I'm having most trouble with. If you get on well with that then you may well have little problem with the series.
Still, it's been a good two weeks. As previously decided, I'm moving on to level 2 of Shred It With Weights on the 13th, and I'm hoping it will be more challenging, and I'll be sticking with 'Feel' from Buti Yoga in the hopes that I can get to grips with it a little better.
And yes, Easter was a bit bad - how could it not be? Its chocolate Christmas. But I've been working out hard enough and eating well enough otherwise that one day of scoffing chocolate has hopefully been corrected over the course of this past week. I still have several eggs left, and it's really hard to open one and not eat it in one go - they seem like so little because they're so thin! - but I'm trying to consider it as something to be proud of, personally, if I can manage to spread a single egg over several days. I am a chocolate monster, make no mistake. It's my Achilles' heel. In fact, my weight loss progress would be a lot further along if I'd give up on chocolate when I'd started getting so serious about fitness, but I also know that I would be quite miserable, too. And so would Seeg. Eating chocolate and biscuits together is a hobby neither of us wish to lose, and I am making progress at the same time, it's just a bit slower than it could be.
I'll update again in three weeks!