Year Released: 2008
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I wish I had found this site before purchasing this product. What a joke it is. There is a warm up between each set, the set is not only repeated, but each set is a repeat of itself. As a previous reviewer wrote, the editing, the laziness, all a rip off. What an insult to the purchaser.01/02/2013
I totally agree with Emily B's review! While I really like working out with the Kettle Bell and agree the work-outs are beneficial, I have never seen an instructor use such shotty editing methods to make up a work-out series. Every work-out is a compilation of clips, not a single one out is completed by the instructor and that to me is lazy and money oriented. I have work-out series where certain exercises are repeated but the instructor and cast are actually doing the work outs and the instructor gives different directions and insight into the work out process while doing the exercises. This guy just clipped a bunch of stuff together so no actual work out is ever completed, verbiage is repeated over and over and he sells it as a work out system. Real work out pros like Gilad, Tae Bo, Shuan T, and Jillian Michaels would never use such a lazy, cheap way to make a work-out series. I'd never buy anything by this instructor again. I only paid $38 for the bell and 10 DVDs because I got a great deal on Groupon and had a $10 credit, which is the only reason I'm keeping it.10/08/2012
I bought this and it was ok. Bad production and dumb humor. I wish I would have just gone straight to the RKS system - I would have saved $120.00 to spend on the kettlebells.05/08/2012
I bought this program having first read reviews, similar to the other one here (which I recommend you read too as Emily B gives a much more thorough overview) detailing some of the program's negatives. But I was not dissapointed.
It is true that there is a lot of repetition, that doesn't bother me much but others may find it annoying. (I do think it would be nice if he had made different warm up and cool down sections though, just for a bit of variety!).
The reason I like this is because of the minimal time commitment, 20 minutes 3 times per week. I had great results after doing the 6 week program despite the rather minimal time commitment. I was doing other exercise too (yoga mostly) but sometimes it is good to throw in something new.
I mostly saw improvements in my abs (flatter belly) and arms. I used a 10lb kettlebell instead of the 5lb one that was recommended for women, I'm not particularly strong and often have to do fewer reps, but I figured better to get something heavier than I can cope with in order to build up strength and work up to doing more reps.
I did the 6 week programm twice and still now do one of the DVDs once or twice per week.
The other reviewer on here commented on form and I think she is right that this is a weak point. I have not done any other kettlebell workouts so I'm not familiar with the form principles, but having done dance, pilates and yoga for many years I stick to the general principles I've learned from these disciplines (e.g. good allignment/posture, taking care not to strain your back or knees, overextend joints etc.).
I really like Ryan's enthusiasm, energy and positive nature. I still laugh at his funny little comments, even after hearing them about 100+ times! ("uh-oh, some sharks are coming, row faster!"). :D
The Kettleworx system consists of 6-DVDs (1 of the DVDs is just an introduction). This is DEFINITELY a “kettlebell lite” workout as opposed to a “real” kettlebell workout, so purists beware. This is more like an AWT or endurance-based workout with kettlebell-themed exercises combined with more traditional moves but holding a kettlebell instead of weights. I would liken the design of the set to the Pink Firm TransFIRM Your Trouble Zones (but no lengthy cardio intervals), Kettlenetics, the 10 Minute Solution kettlebell workout, or maybe the Jillian kettlebell workout, although I found I can use heavier weights for Jillian’s than Ryan’s. Ryan goes at a somewhat faster pace (and does more reps) and I find it hard to use more than 10-15#, whereas I can use 20# for Jillian’s workout. However he doesn’t go as frantically fast as the Kettlenetics workouts (thank goodness).
The three longer DVDs (Cardio, Resistance, and Core) are 26 minutes each and have two long (10 minute) circuits that repeat as well as a 3 minute warm up/3 minute cool down, and there are 6 levels to choose from. The two shorter DVDs (Fast Abs and Fast Fat Burn) are 16 minutes which includes a 10 minute circuit and 3 minute warm up/3 minute cool down, and there are 3 levels to choose from. The levels repeat exercises but they do get progressively harder. Exercises include basic swing (sometimes 2 or 3 sets per circuit), halo, lunge with overhead extension, lunge with bell passing under knee, curtsey lunges, squat with side leg lift, squat with front leg lift, “jump shots” squat/jump combos with weight, punching with the kettlebell (controlled movement), lots and lots of squat variations and holds (isometric, pulses, isometric with heel lift), upright row variations. Admittedly, there’s a good amount of variety here (if I had to guess, maybe 40 or 50 unique exercises), and I appreciated Ryan’s creativity (pulses, isometric holds, releves, etc.). It’s just unfortunate that a lot of the exercises are reused in different DVDs. So it’s more like they are all mini-compilations, instead of each being a unique workout.
The Kettleworx system would be very enjoyable if not for some editing shortcuts that they took. It’s really a shame because I think this could have been a really good system (or even, a really good single DVD-there’s a LOT of repeat footage). Personally I think that a combination of my complaints below explains why the series is just not that popular. The set retails for $59.99, and it’s arguably not worth that price. I think I picked up the set for $50 or so and it’s not worth that either. But, I do with the DVDs what I can to try to get the best value out of them. It’s really a shame, because if they had put more thought and effort into making it a high quality system, it could have been a huge hit.
1. The MAJOR complaint I have is that each DVD has repeated footage. Each one minute exercise is its own clip (they are not continuous like most videos), and 10 or 15 clips make up a circuit, and on the longer DVDs, the whole circuit is repeated. (So a 26 minute workout might be a series of 20 clips). There seems to be no organization to the exercises (he will do maybe 8 standing moves, do 1 floor move, go back to standing for 2 moves and finish the circuit with 1 floor move). On many of the videos, one clip (most notably, the kettlebell swing) is repeated twice or even THREE times within a circuit, so both exercise clips AND circuits are repeated. (Can you say, REDUNDANT). So every time he makes a comment (use your “airplane wing” arms for instance, you will hear it again for every circuit that is repeated-and if that exercise is repeated within a circuit, you might hear him say it 4 times in a 26 minute workout!).
2. There is NO chaptering, which is both unfortunate and ironic given that each exercise is a separate clip. So you can’t skip exercises, or skip the 30 second Kettleworx intro at the beginning of the workout. And to add insult to that, the clips have no continuity. There is a “Kettleworx” black screen flashed between each exercise, and the cast changes constantly. The first clip might have Ryan leading 10 background exercisers, the next exercise (and clip) might have him with two male exercisers, the next with 10 people again, and the next with 2 girls, or a boy and a girl. The set is the same however.
3. The music is generic. I think it is the same gym-style song playing for the entire workout. The music is slightly different for each DVD. A lot of DVDs have forgettable music, but for ALL the other problems in this set, it would have been nice if it had the music as a redeeming quality. However, the overall DVD set seems to have high production values (camera work, lighting, set).
4. Ryan is an OK instructor, but he does use some interesting descriptions (your arms are like “airplane wings” or an “elephant trunk”, or catch phrases like “burn to earn”) which makes you feel like you’re in a kindergarten class. I actually think these are endearingly funny the first time around…but then you might hear it 2 or 3 or 4 times in the same workout, and it gets annoying, FAST.
5. Ryan himself had adequately good form on moves, but he must have picked up the cast on the street (i.e., not professionally) because they had bad form. That’s not usually a pet peeve of mine, but their form was REALLY bad. Like, knees extended a whole foot in front of the feet bad. It made me cringe! Some of the people were swinging the bells up way over their heads too.
6. You should have a good handle on kettlebell form before you attempt this workout, because he just jumps into the workout. Do 1 minute of this, okay 1 minute of this. He doesn’t really explain how to execute a movement.
7. The warm up and cool down appear to be the same on each DVD. And both warm up and cool down are weighted (okay for the warm up I suppose, but IMO over the top for the stretch!) It seemed intuitive to me to use a lighter weight for the warm up, but he doesn’t provide any instructions to the viewer.
8. A minor complaint (maybe it’s just my personal preference): Ryan bases the exercises on time (one minute each) instead of on reps, which I would prefer. He does seem to work both sides evenly enough. At least he announces once you’re towards the end of the set.
So how (and why?!) did I bother to make these workouts work for me?
WHY: The fact is that I actually really like kettlebell lite workouts (like the ones I mentioned above). I like the combination of kettlebell swings with more traditional moves, I like the commercialized kettlebell workouts: they generally have high production values, music (I refuse to do a workout without music!), synchronized moves, and are somewhat more affordable than the purist workouts. I use 5-10-15-20 pound bells and that’s enough for me. Also, I already dropped the money on these, and it seems hard for me to sell back without paying for eBay fees, and I like the idea of a short kettlebell add-on workout (or several, in this case). I refuse to repeat circuits and really dislike when workouts do that (what a cop-out, ugh!). So for the longer 26 minute DVDs, I shorten them to about 15 minutes by not repeating the circuit but by skipping to the cool down. But I do like the exercises and the efficiency of the short workouts. For what it is, I also like the level of intensity, and that you can make it easier or harder based on the poundage used. And since it IS time based (not rep based), you can always use a heavier weight and just go slower than the cast. So there’s some versatility to these workouts, if you take the time to make them work for you. Also, as I mentioned earlier, there’s a good amount of variety squeezed into each workout. And at 3-6 levels per DVD, with 5 DVDs, you will get something a little different each time.
HOW: I put my annoyance aside for the one-clip-per-exercise because I do enjoy the exercises, like I said, and the various DVDs have proven to provide quick intense workout bursts as add-on workouts to a longer DVD. I would NEVER use this series exclusively but I am very routine-abhorrent anyway and don’t tend to use ANY set exclusively. I have about 200 DVDs and need that variety to keep me motivated! Like I mentioned, I appreciate having a moderately intense exercise squeezed in a limited amount of time, as an add-on workout.
Final thoughts: If I could do it again, I would not have spent the $50 or so on this set. But they’re not worthless: I would have been pleased to spend about $25 or less, but finding it at that price would have been unlikely. I noticed on eBay recently that there are some add on workouts which must have been part of an extended set (an arm/shoulder, back/core, and leg workout) but I certainly don’t like the set enough to track down those DVDs individually. Overall grade for this set: D (thanks to the severe editing shortfalls). Workaround grade to use these as add-ons, thanks to the variety of moves, but with a handful of patience due to the redundancy of the workouts: B.