Kettlebell KombosPaul Katami
Year Released: 2010
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This is a functional, hi-rep kettlebell workout meant to use with a light bell (I used 10# and 15# for some exercises). Paul leads with one woman (modifier) and one male (Toby Massenberg I think?) backgrounder in a large studio. The music was okay and the production quality was fairly high but spotty-the audio background became loud at about halfway through the workout and Paul’s voice was echoey for the remainder of the workout. The main workout is 40 minutes and the core workout is about 16 minutes plus a stretch. There was a countdown timer for the combination work (generally 30 or 60 seconds) but there was not a timer for the overall workout, nor was there one for “rehearsing” which is when you were just learning a combo and went through it a few times. There is also a kettlebell clinic on the DVD which I did not preview or work through, and Paul mentions “we learned this in the clinic” sometimes during the workout.
Paul would start with a basic combination-a one arm swing with a clean then add a windmill, or a side/front/back lunge series then add cleans/wood chops/overhead press with the arms for the second set. Towards the end there is a very big range of motion wood chop swing (both hands on the bell, facing one side, swinging the bell all the way behind you to all the way in front and adding a torso rotation) and then that was added to double arm swings for a 90 second interval (chop swings facing right, double arm swings front, chop swings facing left). Paul does a lot of pivoting and trunk rotation in this workout which I really enjoy, and in one sequence incorporate some pushups. By the end I feel that the total body has worked (especially with a leg/core emphasis) and even without the additional ab chapter, the core gets a really good workout. The ab chapter included windmill, getups, and PLENTY of crunch variations using the kettlebell as resistance, mostly upper crunches but lower as well. There were also sit-up variations and Russian twists. The ab chapter was pretty tough after being pre-exhausted from the main workout.
I really enjoyed this workout and get a great toning and cardio benefit out of it! The combos changed all the time so the workout went by very quickly. If the combos were jumped into straight away it would have been hard to follow, but Paul breaks the moves down thoroughly (adding more opportunity to get more reps in!) before combining them altogether.
This was my first Paul Katami workout (I liked it so much I quickly got Burn and Build for an even bigger challenge-and that one is really a step above this one but don’t discount this one’s challenge potential!) This workout was GREAT, I really enjoy it and use it often. It is fun and goes by quickly, is a great kettlebell-light workout and great for toning. The first couple of times through it was pretty exerting just to use a 10# bell but now that I’m comfortable with the moves I use 15# for many of the exercises. I don’t think you can feasibly go much higher than that and continue to go at their pace. I enjoy this workout so much I know I’ll be getting more Paul Katami workout very soon! I would classify it as high intermediate-low advanced done as is (flexible of course depending on the size of bell used). I do like that it isn’t TOO long, about 40 minutes (plus the add on core if you’d like), that timeframe works well for me, and you can always add another workout (or the ab chapter) to round out the hour. I’ll definitely be picking this one up on a regular basis on a toning day. Overall grade A!
Paul is a good instructor and had to give out pretty thorough cues for you to be able to follow his fast moving combos-and he did. It was very well designed and he would point out when the backgrounders took it down a notch and to go at your comfort level. I do like that he wasn’t overly chatty while still able to give thorough form pointers.