Inside Out Method: Kettlebell Cardio ShredBob Harper
Year Released: 2010
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This workout is part of the Inside Out Method series from Bob Harper, which (IMO) go for a more “gritty” feel in a strange smallish, dark room with big white panels. Kettlebell Cardio Shred features Bob’s contour kettlebells from GoFit, which I do have and really love the ergonomic way the bell curves around your forearm. I think they are worth the extra money. I upgraded my bells from the older GoFit bells, which I also thought were very high quality in general, but with the traditional cannonball shape. Bob teaches PT style with one blonde woman actually performing the workouts. The music is bland rock-type and mostly just background noise. Bob demonstrates moves using the blue 20# bell while the woman working the entire time uses the red 15# bell. I used my 10-15# bells because the exercises are very endurance based (generally 15 reps at a time, often repeated in circuits and repeated again later in the workout). Total run time is 53 minutes which includes a dynamic stretch-style warm up of about 5 minutes and a nice long cool down of about 7 minutes.
Bob really works on endurance and leads you quickly through several exercises: double hand swing (in sets of 15, repeated several times throughout the workout), clean, clean and press, clean and squat, windmills, clean/squat into windmills, modified Turkish getup, snatches, snatches and overhead press, alternating front lunge passing kettlebell under knee, front lunge with wood chop, back row while in a low lunge, back row while in a side lunge, back row in a side lunge and then balance on one foot. He also had you do about 3 sets of close-handed (triceps focused) pushups, with hands right outside of the bell on its side, and while on the floor, had you do a tough long set of crabs while dipping torso, to really work the glutes. There was a brief floor set about halfway through (3-4 minutes) and a longer (5-6 minute) floor set with traditional ab work and seated torso twisting with the bell at the end, but the workout was predominantly standing. He did sneak in two or three sets of burpeees (15 at a time) and high knees (for about 30 seconds each set) but mostly the cardio came from endurance based moves with the kettlebell. He went quickly from set to set but sometimes had you go really slow and controlled through some of the trickier moves like the clean/squat into windmills and snatches into overhead press. He really emphasized to keep your clean into your body (not out past your shoulder) to protect your shoulders.
The workout went by quickly and I got a GREAT sweat going. There was a big emphasis on the entire core and the arms and legs got in some great toning as well. I loved being able to get in a great cardio workout with no impact (with the only high impact being burpees and high knees) and toning as well. I would say the workout would be low advanced following the woman using 15# bells. I was able to make it high intermediate/low advanced using the 10# bell for pretty much all the moves except the swings, and make it more cardio focused. I had totally dreaded this workout, but is very doable! I already had some experience with kettlebells using RKS and some other workouts, and someone new to kettlebells may want to start with something more instructional, but I felt Bob was surprisingly thorough about form and he offered to start without a bell at first, to get form right. Overall grade A!
Bob is a great instructor. He is encouraging while still being down to business, not too chatty, and he is more serious in this one. For trickier moves like the clean and snatch, he made you watch him for a couple of reps and really tried to explain the motions. I thought he and the woman both had very good form.