Kettlebell Lightning

Lauren Brooks, Alex Verdugo
Year Released: 2011

Categories: Kettlebell, Total Body Workouts

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“Kettlebell Lightning” consists of four, short primary workouts (10-14 min. each) for upper body, lower body, Fat Loss & Conditioning and abs plus cool-down. The upper body, lower body & cool-down workouts/segments are led by Lauren Brooks, and the Fat Loss & abs workouts are led by Alex Verdugo, both are certified Russian kettlebell instructors (Dragon Door certification). Alex also leads a bonus Indian Clubs workout (which I have not previewed or used because I don’t have Indian clubs), and “Mental Toughness” (5 min.) finisher-type workout (use this post-workout). The Upper & Lower body workouts consist of just kettlebell exercises, and the “Fat Loss & Conditioning” and “Mental Toughness” mix kettlebell and bodyweight exercises (actually have same sequence of exercises, but work/rest ratio is different). The Upper, Lower & Abs workouts are sequenced circuit style: 3-4 exercises completed back to back w/o rest, followed by 15-30 seconds of rest. The Fat Loss & Conditioning workout is sequenced w/ a pair of exercises followed by a rest. Exercises for primary workouts are time-based, w/ 30-60 seconds per exercise or side w/ a 30 sec. rest. There is a countdown timer (in shape of kettlebell), name of exercise on screen, screen during rest that provides fitness tips & information and the names of the next section of exercises. The workouts are chaptered, and one can play all workouts or one at a time.

This DVD is a bit different from Lauren’s previous offerings (3 volumes of Ultimate Body Sculpt & Conditioning) because she co-leads w/ another instructor, and that there is no tutorial/instructional for the primary exercises (so users should have familiarity with a variety of basics & beyond kettlebell exercises before using this DVD). Also, Lauren demos & cues the single arm swing differently than previously, the free arm meets the other on the upswing (close to the bell). The kettlebell exercises consist of mostly single, and alternating variations of swings, clean, floor press, rows clean & press and snatches (there is a two-handed swing & deadlift though). Deadlifts (single leg, stiff leg), squat & lunge variations (bell in racked position or in front of body), as well as Windmill variations (standing & half kneeling positions) and Turkish Get Up (progressions from rolling onto elbow, to straight arm/seated, to bridge, to standing). Some modifications are explained (modify up or down), and clear cues, form pointers & excellent form/body mechanics are provided/demonstrated by both instructors. Alex is a good lead, he is of a similar demeanor as Lauren (no nonsense, calm & encouraging). I am familiar w/ Lauren’s other kettlebell workouts and like her style of instruction & sequencing of her workouts (good variety of exercises, solid instruction & multiple workouts on a DVD), so these workouts were something familiar w/ some different variations & some new exercises (deck squats). I’ve been needing some shorter workouts, so these work perfectly for that. I have used two workouts together for a 30 min. workout, three for a 45 min., and one section plus the Mental Toughness and enjoyed the workouts. They’re complete workouts w/ a good flow, even w/ the short time frame. I really like all of the workouts, but especially the Fat Loss & Conditioning workout (great pick me up/energy boost workout). It’s a good mix of kettlebell and bodyweight exercises, w/ a good cardio effect (and time goes by quickly).

Cast: Lauren & Alex

Set: filmed outdoors, around a pool.

Equipment: mostly single bell, Renegade Rows use two (but a single bell option is demoed) & Push-Ups (bodyweight shown). A low plyo box is used to modify the Renegade Row, but one could use a step/stool/stair for that option, if needed.

Music: type usually found in Lauren's other KB workouts (driving beat, not canned).

Upper Body Lightning (14 min.): led by Lauren, 3-4 exercises completed circuit style (no rest between), 30-60 seconds per exercise or side, 30 second rest
Alternating Clean & Press
Renegade Row (Plank Row): single bell (other hand supported on plyo box/step) and standard variations.
Snatch to Negative: snatch, slow lower to rack position.
Single Arm Floor (chest) Press
Diamond Kettlebell Push Ups
High Pulls
One Arm Rows
Clean and Press
Single Arm Swings
Push Ups: floor & using two bells variations.
Pullover: standard & added crunch to pullover variations.
Alternating Cleans
Two Handed Swings

Lower Body Lightning (14 min.): led by Lauren, 3-4 exercises completed circuit style (no rest between), 30-60 seconds per exercise or side, 30 second rest
Stiff Leg Deadlift
Goblet Squat w/ Halo: perform goblet squat, then 1 rep halo each side.
Single Leg Deadlift: same side arm/hand as static leg holds bell.
Single Arm Swing: free arm moves forward & meets or touches bell on upswing.
Get Up High Bridge Hold: roll into bridge, then reverse motion (don’t progress to standing position in this variation).
Front Squat: bell in rack position, alternate sides halfway through.
Alternating Swing
Kick Stand (static) Lunge: narrow stance, rear leg knee lowers to touch floor, bodyweight or bell held by horns at chest level.
Goblet Closed Squats: narrow stance, bell held by horns.
Alternating Reverse Lunge: bell held by horns
Alternating Snatches
Deck Squats: bell held by horns
Forward Lunge: bell in rack position.

Kettlebell Lightning/Fat Loss & Conditioning (10 min.): led by Alex, pair of exercises followed by 30 second rest (except last rest), 30-60 seconds per exercise or side
One Arm Swing
Jump Squats: hands at side of head or active w/ jump (lowered position in back of body, on lift swing to front of body).
Alternating Swing
Squat & Thrust/Burpee: variation w/ & w/o push-up.
Two Handed Swing
Strides: alternating split leg stance jumps (little bend in knees)
High Pull, Catch & Squat
60 second rest> goes straight into Mental Toughness segment

Lightning Abs w/ Cool down (13 min.): abs led by Alex, 3-4 exercises completed circuit style, 30-60 seconds per exercise or side, 15 second rest. Cool-down led by Lauren
Turkish Get Up
Kettlebell V-Ups
Kettlebell (Double) Leg Lifts: bell extended & held in air, bent or straight leg variation.
Half Kneeling Windmill
Kettlebell High Knees: bell held by horns, chest level> alternating knee raises, knees facing front or turned into body.
High Bridge, Half Turkish Get Up: lift into bridge, reverse motion
Russian Twist
Crunch to Hand Position: roll to seated (upright torso) position w/ straight (bottom) arm, reverse motion
Get Up Punch and Crunch: roll onto elbow, reverse motion.

Prone Cobra
Down Dog> high plank (legs lower to close to floor & hold, turn head to both sides (and upright), repeat once.
Child’s Pose: standard> w/ hands/arms over to each side.

Mental Toughness (5 min. if segment done once, it repeats on another chapter for a 10 min. segment): led by Alex, 15 seconds per exercise or side, 15 second rest, sequence repeats once time per 5 min. segment
One Arm Swing Right
One Arm Swing Left
Jump Squats
Alternating Swing
Squat & Thrust/Burpee
Two Handed Swing
Snatch Left
Snatch Right
High Pull, Catch, Squat