Kettlebell Bootcamp

Angie Miller
Year Released: 2009

Categories: Kettlebell

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I am an intermediate-to-advanced exerciser. I don't tend to jump on fitness bandwagons, and so I have been avoiding trying kettlebells for some time now. However, I could no longer ignore all the rave results about what a great tool kettlebells are, working in particular the core and the back side of the body. So, after doing a lot of research on form and watching many online instructional videos, I began doing some kettlebell swings with a 15-lb. dumbbell. My next step was to purchase my first kettlebell DVD, and after more research, I chose this one.

The Main Menu of KETTLEBELL BOOTCAMP offers options for Introduction, Tutorial, Play All, Chapter Selections, and Credits. Given that I am new to kettlebells, I found the 8.5-minute tutorial segment helpful; in this section, instructor Angie Miller leads background exercise Chris through some of the exercises (e.g., double arm swings, double arm swings with glute kick, double arm swings with leg lift, one arm swings, alternating one arm swings, windmills, overhead squats). Because I don't yet own a kettlebell (just ordered one today!), I did this workout this first couple of times through with a 10-pound dumbbell. I found the moves to be very doable with my dumbbell, and the weight was definitely heavy enough to give me an intense workout.

Angie and Chris are exercising on a bright, pink-infused set. They are wearing fitness shoes, which I understand that many kettlebell trainers advise against (I went barefoot, which worked fine). The workout is well-chaptered, consisting of a warm-up, eight strength sets, and a cool-down. I have broken down each of the individual segments (along with approximate times) below.

WARM-UP, 4 minutes
Angie starts here with some simple aerobic-type moves such as marches, hamstring curls, and step taps. She ends with some dynamic stretches for the hamstrings and glutes and also adds in some hip snaps, as these are used throughout the workout itself. This short warm-up felt like a good preparation for the moves to come.

SET 1, 4.5 minutes
This set begins with double arm swings, and then Angie moves into MANY variations of rear curtsey lunges, adding pulses and a knee lift for balance work. She finishes with additional double arm swings.

SET 2, 5.5 minutes
This set was my favorite! Angie slows things down a bit, starting with deadlifts and then moving into a balance move that involves setting down the kettlebell, coming into a knee raise, and lifting the kettlebell back up. She then performs double arm swings with a glute kick, bicep curls with squats, and finishes with additional double arm swings with glute lifts.

SET 3, 8.5 minutes
Angie starts this set with a 1-arm row performed at several different tempos. She then moves into a slow rear lunge, adding a Figure 8 with the kettlebell and picking up the pace. Other moves in the segment include a deep side lunge with a row and a double swing with an overhead crush.

SET 4, 4 minutes
Here Angie begins with double arm swings with a side leg lift. She then performs windmills, with the option of having the kettlebell high or low.

SET 5, 8.5 minutes
Angie described this as "the most powerful standing set." The set starts with one-arm swings followed by a side squat. Keeping the kettlebell on one side, Angie moves though a shoulder press, torso twist, overhead squat, and plyometric squat (small side-to-side hop) before repeating everything on the other side.

SET 6, 4 minutes
This is the final standing set. Angie starts with an alternating single arm swing, then moves into a side tap with a halo (ribbons). Next are triceps overhead extensions, adding in a knee balance.

SET 7, 4 minutes
For this set, Angie and Chris go down to the floor for push-ups; Chris does the push-ups on her knees, Angie on her toes. They perform staggered, 2-count push-ups with one hand on the kettlebell. There is one set of 8 on each side and then a final set of 4 on each side--not too bad, even for someone who hates push-ups like I do. ;)

SET 8, 3 minutes
The final floor set is core work, and it consists of three somewhat Pilates inspired moves. The first exercise is a crunch in which Angie and Chris hold the kettlebell overhead and then crunch up, placing the bell past their knees. The second move starts off in an inclined seated position and twists the kettlebell side-to-side (Angie had her feet off the floor, while Chris raised one leg alternately). The final move was a variation on the Pilates roll-up, with Angie rolling up and lifting the bell to the sky and Chris keeping the kettlebell at her chest. All of the moves are performed at a relatively slow pace without a lot of reps.

STRETCH, 4.5 minutes
For the stretch segment, Angie begins with a nice held lunge to stretch the hip flexors and hamstrings; I particularly liked that she timed the stretches (45 seconds). She concludes with a few additional stretches in a standing position.

I clocked the total time for this workout at 50.5 minutes. The first time I tried it, I only did about half (mainly due to time constraints), yet by later that same day, I could definitely feel the work in my entire body, especially my glutes and inner thighs. I really liked the variety of moves included here--they were different from my usual strength workouts, challenged my body, yet didn't leave me feeling overwhelmed or wiped out. In the end, I have nothing bad to say about this DVD; I would definitely recommend it!

Instructor Comments:
Not only was this my first kettlebell DVD, but also it was my first DVD with Angie Miller, and I liked her a lot: she cued very well (with mirror cuing), and came across as both warm and professional.

Beth C (aka toaster)


Angie leads this 54 minute workout in a cute pink set with wooden floors. She works out with a background exerciser who offers less intense modifications. You will only need a kettlebell for this workout; Angie uses a 15 lb bell (I used a 15-25 lb dumbbell). The dvd is chaptered very well so you can choose which segments you want to do or play all.

This is a full body kettlebell workout that will work your muscles and also get your heart rate up. The workout includes standing kettlebell work and concludes on the floor with pushups, core work, and a stretch. The pace is slow enough to go deep in your lower body exercises but not so slow to be considered isometric and yet still quick enough to get the heart pumping!

Exercises include: double arm swing, deep curtsy dip w/ a torso twist, lunge & row, KB torso twist, KB swing w/ a ham curl, squat variations, KB swing w/ a side leg lift, windmill, OH press, French press & knee lifts, dip & KB pass through, halo w/ a torso twist, single arm swing, deadlift, picking the KB off the floor w/ a balance rear leg lift, pushups, full body crunch, V twists, sit up w/ a KB raise, and concludes with a stretch.

I would rate this an intermediate workout that can be adjusted to fit the needs of most exercisers. Angie does a great job of adding twists to traditional kettlebell moves to really get the most out of your workout hour! She provides plenty of combo moves to get the heart rate up and adds in tempo variations & balance challenges to keep things interesting. I received this dvd to review.



Explanations and Caveats

I am an intermediate exerciser who flirts with advanced DVDs once in awhile. For years, I

thought about getting into kettlebells. Then, one day, someone posted a deal for a 15-pound

kettlebell at REI. Before I was even aware of what I was doing, my fingers were done

purchasing it. Then, I decided I really should get in-person instruction, so I found a

kettlebell trainer and have had three sessions with him. It has been great because I have

learned good form and he has taken my arthritis into account when designing exercise

combinations for me.

Of course, I need videos as well, so I traded for this DVD. I had never done an Angie

Miller workout, so I was curious to try one of her workouts anyway. This was a good workout

for me to start with because I am a committed intermediate exerciser and I didn't want an

advanced workout to start.

The setup

The DVD has a tutorial,which I watched. It was okay, but didn't go into as much detail on

form as I expected.

The main part of the DVD has 8 sets. The first 6 are standing segments and the last two are

on the floor. You can play the entire workout or choose the sets you want to play (one by

one, not ahead of time). You can also choose whether you want to hear the instruction or

just play music.

The workout

For intermediate exercisers, it seems like using this workout would have to produce results.

I've done parts of it four times and my endurance has already increased. Of course, I'm

also doing sessions with the kettlebell trainer and he would probably claim some of that

credit (and rightly so). Still, it works me out really well. It's a great lower body

workout. She includes upper body moves as well, so it's totaly body. It shoots my heart

rate up and I count it as cardio as well.

Angie does the harder version of the workout and has a background exerciser who does less

difficult options. They don't interact too much other than Angie pointing out what the

background exerciser is doing. The music is pretty good instrumental.

She cues well on things like number of reps left and telling you what is coming up. She

does mirror cue. She doesn't give enough form cues, in my opinion.

Overall, I really enjoy this workout, although I often hear my trainer in my head reminding

me about form issues. It challenges me and I keep looking forward to doing it again. We'll

see what happens when I receive the two more traditional kettlebell workouts I just ordered.

Instructor Comments:
This is the first workout I've tried by Angie. I REALLY like her. She's calm. She's descriptive. She's engaging without being annoying.

Laura S.


Using just one kettlebell throughout the workout, you'll condition the entire body, enhancing cardiovascular fitness and promoting strength gains. Angie uses a 15 pound kettlebell while background exerciser, Chris, uses a 10 pound one. The viewer will choose the size based on their skill and fitness level.

Angie was wise to include a tutorial section. Chris demonstrates the moves as Angie clearly provides technique tips to ensure safety and to help the viewer execute proper form. During the workout, Chris continues to perform all the moves in a modified way for beginners. This segment is very detailed and easy to follow. A true kettlebell beginner can review this segment as often as necessary until they become confident enough to begin the actual workout.

The warmup is basic and begins with marches and step touches. Nothing fancy, just easy movements to warm the body and prepare it for the main workout. You'll also see hamstring curls and easy arm swings (again, nothing complex).

The workout itself is broken down into 8 sets. (the first 6 are standing and the last 2 include floor work) The toning segments are all done at a pace that keeps the heart rate up thus increasing the calorie burn. (a definite "boot camp" feel to it) Angie often changes the tempo of a move, say making it a pulse or a two up, two down count, to add a different feel to it. You'll even work on your core rotation and balance during the workout. (a true "all in one-get it done" workout!)

Set 1 includes 2 handed swings, curtsy lunges working both legs and another set of 2 handed swings.

Set 2 starts off with deadlifts then works into a 1 legged deadlift balance pose. From here you'll progress into 2 handed swings with a glute kickback. Next you'll perform bicep curls and finish up with another round of 2 handed swings with glute kickbacks.

Set 3 begins with one arm rows progressing into lunges with figure 8 arms. Then Angie moves into side lunges and then adds a row to it. (working both sides equally) You'll finish this set with overhead swings, crushing them.

Set 4 includes 2 handed swings with side leg lifts and sets of windmills.

Set 5 starts off with one handed swings. Then you'll move into a traveling squat. Next you'll perform a one arm overhead shoulder press. A nice torso rotation is included in this set. Squats with bell overhead into plyometric squats--then repeat the sequence to the other side.

Set 6 you'll begin with one handed swings, switching hands and move into halo's/ribbons. You'll conlude with a set of overhead press.

Set 7 is where you'll move to the floor and perform pushups. You will use the bell for an additional challenge.

Set 8 finishes the workout with abdominal/core work. The kettlebell adds additional resistance to really fire up the entire core region. You'll conclude the workout with a well deserved stretch. (it's short but it works)

Angie's instruction is clear and concise. I enjoyed how the workout flowed with the music, making the time fly by! You'll feel it every where-legs, glutes, obliques, shoulders and arms.

Instructor Comments:



I was hoping to like this workout as much as her previous workout, Strength and Core Fusion, and I must say I think I like this one better. I used a 15 lb kettlebell, same as Angie, which was the perfect weight for me. It was nice not having to switch to different dumbbells through out the workout. She starts out with a basic warm-up, marches, side steps and hamstring curls. Then the workout moves on to 8 different sets of exercises.

Set 1
-2 handed swings
-curtsy lunges
-2 handed swings
Set 2
-1 legged deadlift with balance pose
-2 handed swings with glute kick
-bicep curls
-2 handed swings with glute kick
Set 3
-one arm rows
-lunges with figure 8's
-side lunges
-overhead swings
Set 4
-2 handed swings with side leg lift
Set 5
-one handed swing
-traveling squat
-torso rotation
-squats with bell overhead
-plyometric squats
Set 6
-one handed swing switching hands
-overhead press
Set 7
Set 8

She ends with a nice stretch, runners lunges and side stretches which she hold for about 45 seconds. I don'have a lot of KB experience but I really like this workout as it combines KB moves with more traditional moves. This is a keeper for me and will look forward to doing it again.

Instructor Comments:
I think she does a really good job in this video.

Joan Otte