Sunday 9 April 2017

Kelta Fit DVD Review

Price: £13
Length: 3x 30 minutes
Workouts: All-over body (cardio, abs, strength)
Suitable for: Anyone with some level of kettlebell experience
Rating:   ★★★★☆
Enjoyment:  ★★★★★   Difficulty:  ★★☆☆☆   Results:  ★★★☆☆
Based on 4 weeks of use.
   Dance is my guilty pleasure. Truly. Fantasy is my first love, be it books, games or music, and while many people might think that passion makes me a loser, my friends quite correctly disagree.
   Until it comes to dance. I don't understand why, but I cry whenever I watch The Lord of the Dance. Warriors is my favourite track and routine. I'd love to be able to do it. And so I admit that I try to embrace any unusual dance workouts I can. Anything not advertised as 'sexy' - unfortunately, they are few and far between, to the point that the only two I've found are Kukuwa, African dance, and Jean Butler's Irish Dance Masterclass, which was more instructional than fitness. Kukuwa has become one of my staple workout DVDs if I'm looking for cardio but not in the mood for 'actual' work like burpees or jumprope, but I really wished there was a proper Irish dance workout DVD out there I could rely on.
   Well, Scottish isn't Irish, but it's close enough in terms of fun, and as far as Irish Dance Masterclass is concerned, Kelta Fit has answered the dilemma.

   Made up of four 9-minute Scottish dance routines, Kelta Fit promises an amazing highland workout that will burn fat and calories while toning up your legs. The unique movements of Scottish and Irish dance make this dance workout one like no other, and the lively traditional music - fiddles, not bagpipes - make it physically impossible to keep your feet still. You simply cannot not want to move.

Previous Experience
   Irish and Scottish dance are, to us uninitiated, quite similar in appearance, but while I have used Jean Butler's Irish Dance Masterclass in the past, which was more of an instructional DVD than a workout DVD, I didn't really feel I could apply much of what I'd learned there to Kelta Fit. There were only two points that carried over, and both of them were more performance-related than anything that would help or hinder the workout:
1. tap your feet, don't slap them when you're jumping and pointing your toes on the ground;
2. keep your inner thighs tight when doing your Sevens in full-speed.
The DVD doesn't provide either of these tips because they're not important. Instead, the DVD explains and demonstrates the movements with perfect clarity.
In short, Kelta Fit's DVD tells you all you need to know, with no previous experience required whatsoever.

   You would think, being such a specific and specialised form of dance, that this workout would be difficult to grasp. You would expect to flail around, messing up over and over and needing to run through each section five or six times before you get confident enough to really feel the workout and lose yourself in the routine.
   But that is not so. The moves are specialised, as in they're recognisable as cultural rather than general 'dance', but they're also really simple and take very little breaking down.
   When I'm trying a new dance workout, I prefer to run through a single section three times before trying another so that I can get to grips with the routine and make some actual progress the next time. But that's not the case here, either. Because the moves are so simple, you learn them very quickly, and because you learn them so quickly, time isn't wasted learning, but is spent dancing instead. Which is exactly what you want from a dance workout.

   The DVD claims to have six 9 minute sections, but this isn't really the case. It counts the warm up and the core/cool down among those 6, which is kind of pointless since they're obligatory to any workout and can't be considered work. This is a bit of a disappointment, really, because it means you get 4 dance routines rather than 6, which reduces the longevity of the workout.
   That said, however, all four of the actual routines are of a consistent and demanding intensity, the warm up is dynamic and high-energy, and the core/cool down begins with 5 minutes of abdominal moves before moving into stretching, so even though a warm up and cool down are necessary for any workout, both provided on this DVD are up to a higher standard than most dance workouts.
   The four routines all feature a variety of cultural dance moves, but none of them are repeated in the different sections, and though the music is all very upbeat, each routine also has a distinctly different tune. As a result none of the four sections feel monotonous, they all have their own edge and it's easy to pick favourites. Three of the four sections also involve lower body resistance - lunges in the first, squats in the second, and calf raises in the third - but they don't suddenly interrupt the dancing, they're actually quite well-inserted.
   Every section is repeated, the routine lasting about 4.5 minutes and then started over from the beginning for the second half, giving you another chance to grasp it, enjoy it, and apply more energy through confidence. They're also separated by DVD chapters, so it's easy to repeat a single section (or skip one) without having to go back to the menu.

Enjoyment:  ★★★★★  - Immensely good fun! The music is unique, the moves are traditional and recognisable, and each routine is well-put together and have different feels from each other.
Difficulty:  ★★☆☆☆  - The moves are easy to learn, which means more time dancing, less time struggling - but don't underestimate it! It's much more effective than it looks.
Results:  ★★★☆☆  - Good for both fat burning and toning the legs.

   If you don't like Scottish dance or music (no, a fiddle, not bagpipes) then you probably won't enjoy this DVD. But if you like a little taste of another culture or to try a variety of dance, this workout is simply amazing. As soon as I put it on, the music makes me want to move. Any sluggish morning's "oh I can't be bothered with this" is immediately overwritten by an unsuppressable desire to dance. For me, at least.
   But regardless of taste, Kelta Fit offers a totally unique dance workout which will get you sweating, will really work your lower body, and burn fat and tone your legs. But unlike most other dance workouts, none of the moves can be called 'sexy', which means you can totally avoid feeling silly or embarrassed like I usually do with wiggly hips and 'come here' arms. Even when I'm in an empty house with the curtains tightly drawn.
   It's also a lot tougher than you would think. That's not to say it's difficult, but it is more physically demanding that you expect it to be - though that's not something you notice until you've finished, or if you've used it a few times. But it's honestly so much fun that it doesn't feel like work, and you don't dread doing it before hand.
   Kelta Fit is absolutely worth your time. Ceilidh may be Gaelic for 'gathering', but the DVD alone is great fun as it is. Of course, if you can get to a class, you'd be a fool not to join it if just for the atmosphere. You'll sweat, burn fat, tone your legs and honestly have amazing fun - and learn some genuine Scottish dance moves!
   What more could you want?!


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