After having spent 2 weeks using the Kettlercise For Women, Volume 1, I have to say that all of my concerns when I started were for nothing. I have only used the 20 minute express program so far, and there is a good reason for that which I'll get to later in the post, but even just the 20 minute workout is really good.
I was concerned that the DVD would take itself too seriously. The cover of the DVD alone suggested that and it's overly loud description on Amazon was also off-putting. But the reviews were great, and the results the DVD claimed to have given people in their magazine adverts and on their websites weren't unrealistic, so I decided I'd give it a go.
The DVD backdrop is a bit dull, but it's not as dark and solemn as I thought it would be, so that was good. I'd read in a number of reviews that the instructors were grim and never smiled, so I was a bit concerned about that, but while it's true that the two back-up instructors look miserable - not neutral, miserable - the instructor herself is perfect. She's cheerful, but not overly so, and she keeps you on task well enough. That concern was for nothing, so I was really pleased, and, at least in the 20 minute program, you don't see the back-up instructors up close more than once or twice so their attitude doesn't get the chance to bother you.
There's a constant timer in the top right corner that never once stops, and, in fact, neither do the moves. There's no rest in the transition, it's a smooth flow that keeps you in constant motion, and you spend 1 minute on a move before transitioning immediately to another. Moves that focus on one side are split into 30 seconds on each. It's not a circuit program, either, you don't learn a move and go back to it after 5 minutes, and as the workout is a solid 20 minutes, minus warm-up and cool-down, you go through 20 different moves. That's a bit crazy now I think about it.
My only issue with the 20 minute program was that a few of the moves weren't compound, and I can name three off the top of my head that had you standing still while doing them: overhead press, overhead tricep extension, and bicep curl. In all three of these moves your legs aren't engaged - perhaps it's too much Jillian Michaels, but I know I can do better than that. So for each of those moves I engaged my legs: I added a dynamic squat into the overhead presses, a static sumo squat for the bicep curls, and a dynamic sumo squat into the tricep extensions. By keeping my legs engaged, I got more work done.
Having said that, your legs are not neglected, and after a move where your legs were left to relax, you had one that worked them quite hard. So I admit that my modifications may be unneccessary, but there've been no negative repurcussions from them just yet.
I'm really quite enjoying the DVD and I'm very comfortable with the instruction. The workout is still tough, but it's great, and I feel like I'm getting results. I'm using 4-8kg, too! And when I move on to the full 60 minute program, I don't plan on adding modifications. It's a full hour, I'll be dead at the end of it - because, so far, I've never gone longer than 40 minutes with a kettlebell workout.
As for why I've only used the 20-minute routine so far, despite my intentions, it's because I've had 3 migraines in 8 days and Seeg reckons it's because I've overworked myself. I usually suffer from one a month, so when I told Seeg I was getting another blind spot just days after the last migraine, which was worse than usual, he said I should take a week off. Being the stubborn idiot that I am, I ended up shrugging it off and pretending I didn't have one. Fortunately it hit at 10pm and we were about to watch Life Story before going to bed, so I had to sit through the first 20 minutes unable to see half of the screen, and then the last 20 minutes with an eye that felt like it was going to explode, all without complaining. Unfortunately I couldn't hide the third migraine 2 days later (last night) because I was about to start making dinner at the time and he ended up taking over. I managed to convince him that I didn't need to take a week off, I would just tone down the exercise to 4 days of yoga and 2 days of kettlebells. He seemed satisfied with that, but he still made me take today off.
I do think I need to give it some thought, though, because migraines are more than just a nuisance. They stick me in bed for 2 hours and then give me a pounding headache for the rest of the day, and I can't look down because my eye will blow up.
I've gotten it into my head that if I don't exercise for a couple of days, all the weight I've lost will come flooding back. That's simply not true, especially if I make sure I eat a little better than normal and take in a few less calories on inactive days, but it's something that has weedled its way into my mind and I can't shake at all. So, though I absolutely hate the idea of no exercise for even just 3 or 4 days, I may have to face up to it. Though part of me wants to tempt fate and see if I get a 4th migraine before doing so...
Do as I say, not as I do.