Ultimate Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners

Paul Katami
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Kettlebell, Total Body Workouts

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

I like Paul Katami, but find most of his workouts are more advanced and/or more intense than I want to work. So, when I saw he had come out with a workout for beginners, regardless of the equipment used, I was interested. I own several kettlebells, so I was set.

I am an almost-50-year-old woman with arthritic hands and wrists and knees. I enjoy standing workouts rather than floor work. I have regularly worked out with videos for over 10 years. And, a few years ago, I took private lessons on using kettlebells for exercise.

This DVD is labeled as a kettlebell workout for beginners. If you have never touched a kettlebell before, I'm hesitant to recommend this DVD as a place to start. Paul gives tons of form pointers and many people will be okay with his instruction, but using kettlebells effectively really depends on form and this DVD does not provide the in-depth, detailed instruction I think people need to use kettlebells. However, it is more detailed and in-depth than most of the mainstream kettlebell workouts that I have seen coming out recently. Many of the others can be downright dangerous. The biggest lack in this DVD is the absence of a discussion about the weight of kettlebell to use. Paul doesn't even mention the topic and any instructional DVD for beginners to kettlebells should address the topic. So, if you have an education in kettlebells already, I think this DVD is a great option. Paul gives many, many, many form pointers in a friendly and encouraging way. He also discusses modifications to moves and encourages people to use the moves that work for them.

The DVD includes 3 workouts, each in the 23 - 29 minute range.

The first is the tutorial, which you can also use as a workout, since it covers all the major muscle groups. Most of the tutorials I have seen have you standing around watching explanations. In this option, Paul briefly explains what you need to know the most and then has you start doing the move as he continues to explain the move.

The second workout puts the basic moves together into drills and combinations. They are easy to follow thanks to Katami's cueing and the demonstrations from him and his two students. I really enjoyed this segment and when he started winding it up I looked around to see what time it was because it didn't seem like it could be done already.

The third workout focuses on building core strength. I found this one to be the most challenging. It starts with standing moves and then moves to the floor with moves like crunches and planks.

The workouts are set outdoors in a really pretty garden setting. There are two background exercisers and Paul spends a lot of time pointing out their form. Frequently, he will start the moves and then move to one of the background exercisers to explain form and then finish the set with them. If you like an instructor that does the entire workout, you won't like this. However, I thought he was really natural about it as he is so all about form in these workouts. The music is there and I can't tell you a thing about it. In other words, it was pretty forgettable.

Overall, I liked that:

> It includes a tutorial on using kettlebells (that can also be used as a workout)
> The instruction is friendly and helpful and specific and effective
> These workouts could be used by a range of beginning to intermediate exercisers
> Workout does not require a lot of space

The one big con to this workout is that there is no guidance on what size kettlebell to use.

Instructor Comments:
He is such a good instructor. He clearly explains what to do in a friendly and engaging way.

Laura S.