The Kettlebell Way to Your Perfect Body, Vol. 1: A New "Providence"Anthony Diluglio, Beth Chamberlin
Year Released: 2008
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I am a high intermediate exerciser (I work out 6-7 days per week) who is fairly new to kettlebells. I choose to purchase this DVD after practicing kettlebell moves with a dumbbell for awhile, purchasing an 8 kg kettlebell, and doing thorough research into what would best meet my needs. The DVD features Anthony Diluglio, a certified kettlebell trainer who is founder of Punch gyms and Art of Strength, and Beth Chamberlin, an actress and self-described kettlebell enthusiast.
The Main Menu on the DVD appears as follows:
*Links (Anthony's & Beth's web sites)
During the Introduction (about 5.5 minutes once the montage ends), Beth explains that she went to Anthony and asked him to create this DVD with her after she got great results from using kettlebells. She maintains that at age 44, she is in the best shape of her life, and she contends that it is the result of working with a 12-lb. kettlebell twice per week. Beth also notes that she is NOT a kettlebell expert and that her form may not always be perfect. Anthony appears briefly an the end of the intro to say that working with kettlebells is all about movement patterns, NOT about using weights.
The Tutorial segment is 29 minutes long and covers ALL of the moves in the workout (other kettlebell DVDs I've tried only teach some of the moves). Anthony breaks down each of the movements step-by-step, with Beth clearly displaying how to perform each step. During the workout itself, Anthony and Beth complete the moves in the same order, taking turns providing instruction. Rather than counting reps, each exercise is performed for two minutes, and you are encouraged to go at your own pace. Anthony uses a heavier kettlebell than Beth, and he shows more advanced variations for some of the exercises. Following each round, there is a 1-minute break prior to the start of the next exercise.
The workout also includes a 5-minute joint mobility warm-up. Anthony leads this segment, and he begins with a triple plane neck warm-up, turning the neck from side-to-side, lowering the head to either shoulder, and then moving the head up and down. This is followed by shoulder rolls with flexion/extension and a shoulder rotation move called the Egyptian. Anthony concludes this section with a hip flexor stretch.
I have listed the exercises for the workout below; a nice feature is that they are also listed in the DVD insert. However, I have added my own notes here.
Round 1: Swings
In the Tutorial, Anthony thoroughly breaks down the 2-arm swing. In the workout, however, he and Beth use 2-hand, 1-hand, and alternating swings.
Round 2: Cleans
These are performed in a 5-4-3-2-1 count pattern
Round 3: One Arm Chest Press (lying)
Round 4: Squats/Sumo Dead Lifts
Round 5: One Leg Dead Lift (hold kettlebell with both hands)
Round 6: Windmill into Overhead Squat (harder than it looks!)
Round 7: Clean and Press
Round 8: High Pull and Squat
Anthony tosses the kettlebell on these.
Round 9: Tactical Lunges
Round 10: Triple Crush
This is a combination bicep curl, overhead press, and triceps press.
Round 11: Figure 8 to Static Hold
This is another exercise that was harder than it looked, especially trying to keep up with Anthony & Beth's fast pace.
Round 12: Seated Press
Round 13: One Arm Rows
Round 14: Abs
Pullover, Russian Twists, and Sicilian Crunches, each performed for 40 seconds.
Bonus: Snatch Test
3 minutes of as many snatches as you can do!
Although the DVD cover states "Total Fitness in 40 Minutes!", the actual total time for this workout with the Warm-Up (but excluding the Bonus) is just under 48 minutes long.
As noted above, I did this workout with my 8 kg (18 lb) kettlebell, and I found it to be quite challenging; I had to take rests within some of the exercise segments, not just in between. Given the excellent tutorial segment, I would recommend this DVD to someone new to kettlebell workouts IF that person was already and experienced exerciser. Another advantage to this workout is that it is specifically designed to be performed with just a single kettlebell. I am really glad I purchased this; I know it is a workout that I will be able to grow with, and I highly recommend it!
I understand that some people prefer Anthony's original "Providence" workout--which features Anthony teaching solo--to this one. Although I liked Anthony, and I definitely thought he provided excellent instruction, he was also quite serious. If I had been working out with him alone, I think I would have felt much more intimidated, especially given that I am new to kettlebells. I could relate to Beth--not only do we have the same name (!), but she is almost exactly my age (I'm 43), and I like the idea of being in my best shape ever at this age, just like her. :)
One thing to note: Anthony and Beth do not mirror cue. I have learned how to cope with this in yoga, but again, being new to kettlebells, it would have helped me a lot if they had--oh well. ;)
Note: The title is rather unwieldy and confusing, so Iíll use the common VF forum nickname for this Ė The Kettlebell Way (1) Ė and/or the abbreviation Ė KBW (I) Ė in this review. Itís also worth knowing this sometimes gets mangled as ďKettlebell Your Way (to the/Your Perfect Body)Ē or something of that sort.
Iím reviewing this workout after doing it several times.
General workout breakdown: This kettlebell strength workout consists of 14 rounds of 3 minutes each: 2-minute rounds of exercise with 1-minute rests. A joint mobility warm-up and a bonus round are included, but there is no cool-down. The cover proclaims this will give you ďtotal fitness in 40 minutes,Ē but if played straight through the main workout takes closer to 45 minutes; with the joint mobility warm-up and bonus round youíre looking at a total workout time of a little over 53 min.
Warm-up = Joint Mobility: Anthony does about 5 minutes of joint mobility work for the neck, shoulders / upper back / chest, and hip flexors. (If this seems skimpy on the lower body, it is; for some reason the full version, which much more for the lower body, didnít make it onto this disc, but it appears in KBW II.) As Anthony points out, joint mobility is different from stretching because youíre also putting some resistance or tension into the movement, with the goal of increasing range of motion while strengthening the joints within that range of motion.
Round 1 = Swings
Round 2 = Cleans
Round 3 = One Arm Chest Press
Round 4 = Squats / Sumo Dead Lifts
Round 5 = One Leg Dead Lift
Round 6 = Windmill into Overhead Squat
Round 7 = Clean and Press
Round 8 = High Pull and Squat
Round 9 = Tactical Lunges
Round 10 = Triple Crush
Round 11 = Figure 8 to a Static Hold
Round 12 = Seated Press
Round 13 = One Arm Rows
Round 14 = Abs: The exercises here are Pull Over (into get-up sit-up), Russian Twist, and Sicilian Crunch. This is the only round thatís not done in 30- or 60-second intervals; instead, you do each exercise for about 40 seconds.
Bonus = Snatch Test: This is a 3 min. round of nothing but snatches.
For most of the exercises youíll alternate between sides or moves (for example, for the triple crush youíll do the full triple crush for 30 seconds, biceps curls for 30 seconds, triceps overhead extension for 30 seconds, and then back to the full triple crush for 30 seconds), although for some youíll do 2 straight minutes of one move (for example, the figure 8 to a static hold). Often Anthony will spend 30 seconds on one side, 30 on the other (like the 1-arm chest press), but there are a few exercises where heíll ladder down (5 cleans & presses on the right, 5 on the left, 4 on the right, 4 on the left, and so on until you get to singles), and some exercises will alternate between sides with every rep (like the tactical lunges).
Level: Iíd recommend this to exercisers with some weight-lifting experience and preferably an understanding of kettlebell basics. Yes, there is a tutorial included, but itís best if youíve spent a little time practicing, preferably with the aid of a qualified live instructor or at least some solid video tutorials, before trying a full workout. That said, this is a great workout for experienced exercisers who are new(ish) to kettlebells because youíll get a decent little workout in without needing to be particularly advanced in kettlebells, something thatís always tricky when youíre a beginner at a style of exercise but not at a low level of fitness. (Lauren Brooksí The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells, Vol. 1, is another one like this.) By choosing an appropriate weight this workout is adaptable to different fitness levels and can be one to grow with as you continue your kettlebell journey. You can also bump up the intensity by shortening or eliminating the rests and/or turning them into active rests by doing an exercise like swings or hand to hand passes.
I consider myself an int. / adv. exerciser whoís probably a low intermediate when it comes to kettlebells. Iíve been working with them for over a year and a half, but I donít use them as my primary exercise equipment, and while I feel comfortable with the basics Iím not yet ready to tackle some of the trickier moves or progressions, which is not an issue here. I find this a straightforward and a solidly doable yet appropriately challenging workout, especially since I can go pretty heavy here in comparison to my other kettlebell DVDs.
Class: Anthony and Beth, each performing the full exercise in each round although they switch off leading from round to round. For a fair number of exercises one will show a modification (sometimes up, sometimes down, sometimes just an alternative); Anthony often demonstrates the full or more advanced version, but sometimes Beth will.
Music: upbeat beat-heavy instrumentals, pretty typical stuff for kettlebell workouts. The music is kind of repetitive within each song, but the songs switch from one segment to another, although the same tune, if you could call it that, plays during the intro and all breaks.
Iím a bit disappointed the music doesnít match up with the timer all that well; sometimes the music seems to come to a climax, so I look up, thinking itís time to switch, but thereís still 10 seconds left in the exercise. Thereís also a song with a ring sound, which I find distracting because I start worrying if I need to drop everything and run downstairs to answer the phone.
Kettlebell workout music is a tricky thing, as you need to move at your own pace rather than try to match the rhythm of the music or the speed of the instructor and your classmates. So Anthony and Beth do not really follow along to the music and will thus be out of sync with it at times.
Set: a brightly lit white-walled room with a Punch poster on the wall and windows through which you can see other buildings.
Production: clear picture and sound, helpful and non-distracting camera angles.
Between each round, youíre returned to a blue screen with pictures of kettlebells on which text will appear. Youíll get a mix of short motivational words or phrases, a notice that 30 seconds are left, and then an announcement of the upcoming round.
Equipment: This workout is designed to be done with 1 kettlebell, although if you have kettlebells of different weights feel free to use what feels right to you for each exercise. Beth goes a little light in this one, using a 12 lb. kettlebell; that would be an appropriate weight for someone whoís not as experienced with both exercise and kettlebells. For the average woman used to working with weights but newish to kettlebells, an 8 kg or 18 lb. kettlebell would be a better starting weight, but you might want to have a 12 kg or 25-26 lb. kettlebell nearby. For men, 12 kg / 25-26 lb. would be a good starting weight, with a 16 kg or 35 lbs. kb nearby. When I first got this one I used my 15 and 20 lb. kettlebells, but last week, when I pulled this out again, I was pleased how often I used my 25 lb. kettlebell, although I dropped down to the 20 and even the 15 for a few exercises.
Depending upon your flooring, you may want a mat for the chest press, seated press, and abs segments.
Beth and Anthony wear flat-soled shoes, which Iíll sometimes use, but I prefer to do my kettlebells barefoot. Vibrams Five Fingers are another option for footwear. You really donít want a crosstrainer or other cushy-soled shoe, as itíll make it harder for you to grip the ground appropriately and even pitch your foot forward, making it tricky to keep your weight in your heels.
Space Requirements: Like most kettlebell workouts this is compact, but you will need to make sure your space is clear of people, pets, and other things on which you wouldnít want to drop a kettlebell, just in case. You should be able to do a swing, take a big lunge behind you, and lie down with your arms and legs extended. Oh, and make sure you have enough room overhead for the snatch, too.
DVD Notes: Your main menu options are Introduction, Tutorials (each exercise is described in a separate chapter), Workout, and Links.
This DVD is very well chaptered. Once you become familiar with the DVD, you can skip the short intro to each round (This is brilliant and should be done in more DVDs). You can also skip or shorten the rests as your fitness level increases or if youíre short on time; because you get an announcement that 30 seconds are left in the rest itís easy to progress from 1-min. to 30-sec. rests between rounds before you eliminate them completely.
Comments: Note that this is the second of at least three versions of Art of Strength (AOS)ís Providence workout currently available, hence ďA New ĎProvidenceíĒ in the title. From what I can tell from reading reviews in the forum what sets this version apart is not only the presence of Beth but also the inclusion of a tutorial. In addition, this one is set indoors, and there are apparently one or two minor differences in the exercises. Those who have this and one of Anthonyís versions seem to prefer the Providence titles with Anthony alone, partly because the outdoor setting is more appealing but mainly because Beth seems to irk more people than not. (Iím able to overlook her, especially since Iím working rather hard.)
Anthony is an experienced and well-qualified personal trainer and certified kettlebell trainer who founded the Punch gyms and Art of Strength kettlebell certification. (Heís also a cancer survivor.) Beth is best known from her soap opera days (not being into soaps, I had to look her up: she was a regular on Guiding Light, which perhaps explains why she calls her fitness endeavor Beacon Fitness), but she is now a certified kettlebell instructor. At the time of this filming she was still somewhat new to kettlebells, which is obvious in her insistence on using a rather light kettlebell and in some aspects of her form (her rack position is just a little too far out; her wrist breaks in a few moves, by which I donít mean that her bones snap but rather that she doesnít keep it straight, letting the weight of the bell flex it backward; her hip snap isnít as snappy as it could be in a few moves, probably because sheís going a little too light and doesnít need her lower body to help move the bell up; and things like that).
Unlike some other celebrity workouts, Anthony and Beth split the instruction. Anthony and Beth instruct well here, although during the workout youíll just get some form tips and reminders rather than instruction. Anthony is pretty serious and down to business, so Beth tries, perhaps a little too hard, to inject some levity. (At one point she tells him with a chuckle, ďAnything you can do I can do without sweating,Ē to which his immediate and not exactly amused reaction is, ďIím going to give you this kettlebell in a second.Ē She tries again a little later with the same line, and he again grunts that she must not be working hard enough.) Neither have an incredibly magnetic and warm camera presence here Ė Anthony is maybe a bit too focused on making sure the shoot goes well, Beth suffers from being out of her comfort zone, which admittedly isnít one known for incredibly natural performances to begin with Ė but they are more than fine and work well together. (And I respect Anthony for garcefully stepping back when Beth takes the lead; heís definitely not a control freak or someone who needs to have the spotlight on him at all times.)
Note that Anthony and Beth cue for their right and left rather than the viewerís. This isnít necessarily a bad thing, as they sometimes spend a few extra seconds or reps on one side, so if you use this video on a regular basis and want to make sure youíre balanced you can alternate following their cues and mirroring their movements.