Daily Archives: October 20, 2011

Lauren Brooks – The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells

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As promised, here is my review of the Lauren Brooks Kettlebell DVD (Approx. $40). I’ve been working out since my sophomore year in college and have done some serious weight training in the past. But, my first experience with kettlebells was in February of this year. I fell in love with them as I explain in detail in this post.

Up until a week or so ago, I was using the Bob Harper instructional DVD that came with his GoFit contour kettlebell and a DVD by Angie Miller. I learned of the Lauren Brooks DVD from the written reviews of the Miller DVD on Amazon. I finally ordered Lauren’s DVD a couple of months ago and just got around to using it a couple of weeks ago.

So, what do I think? This is a very good kettlebell DVD and I’m definitely glad that I purchased it. But, it does have a couple of issues. First, let’s talk about the good. Lauren begins the DVD by explaining that she started using kettlebells after she became pregnant and learned she needed a C-Section. She states that she couldn’t get enthused about the pregnancy because she had heard that once you have a baby and a C-Section, you’ll never get your body back again. As you can see from the pics above, she disproved that theory. She also employs a 50+ woman in excellent shape as her workout partner to demonstrate that age doesn’t make a difference either.

Second, there is a safety segment and a demonstration of every exercise used in the routines and she establishes good form. There is also a joint mobility section that takes one through a series of stretches to prepare the body for the workout. There are two routines, one that is approximately 40 minutes and one that is 12. Everyone can make 12 minutes for physical activity and it’s great to have this quick, but strong routine when time is low.  These two routines are also structured as intervals with 1 minute rest periods on the 40 minute workout and 30 second rest periods for the 12 minute routine. The 40 minute session seemed to start easy enough, but don’t get it twisted, it got more and more challenging as it progressed! At the beginning, I was feeling like, “Okay, this isn’t bad.” By the end, I was like, “Whooh, is this almost over?!? Dang! *huff, huff!*” LOL!!

Next, what I really liked about this DVD is that it recommends doing kettlebell barefoot!! That’s the first I’d ever seen that and I thought, “That is such a good idea.”  The reason for barefoot kettlebell is to increase your balance and strengthen your stabilizing muscles. However, you do have to be careful to avoid dropping the bell as it could do some serious damage to the toes! So, that being said, you would definitely need to make certain to use a bell that you are able to handle with good form. I’d also suggest using weight gloves if your hands get sweaty easily like mine. Again, you definitely don’t want to drop the bell on your foot or throw it through your TV. So, gloves provide me with a firm grip so that I can keep a hold of the bell through all of the exercises through to the end.

Another good thing about this DVD is that it mixes a couple of non-kettlebell exercises in with the weight bearing ones. Finally, at the end of the DVD, Lauren provides an e-mail address and a website where you can contact her to also obtain additional exercise and nutrition information!

So, that’s the good. Now, the not so good. I think the DVD should indicate that you should practice the exercises with the demonstration section a few times before trying the routines. It can be easy to injure yourself with kettlebell workouts, especially the swings and cleans, because of the movements. The next issue is related to same as I don’t remember Lauren advising at any point that the kettlebell should not go above the shoulders on swings. That is important as one can injure the shoulders and, if you already have a shoulder injury, kettlebell is probably not the thing for you (at least the foundation exercise is not). My last issue is that there is no true cool down routine on the DVD. I believe it is very important to cool down and stretch after exercise and I did so, but on my own. I definitely think that a post-exercise stretching segment should have been incorporated into the DVD.

I’m summary, my review is as follows.

Pros:

  • Inspirational opening
  • Safety section
  • Demonstration of each exercise
  • Joint mobility warm-up segment
  • Short and long routines
  • Barefoot training
  • Mix of kettlebell exercises with traditional exercises
  • Support via e-mail and website
Cons:
  • For the new kettlebell user, might not stress practicing proper form enough
  • No post work-out cool down/stretching segment
As you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons. So, would I recommend the DVD? Absolutely! But, I’d do so with th the caveats and recommendations above.

(p.s. Why was I fascinated by the fact that Lauren appears to have tailbone length hair? LOL! I swear, I’m obsessesed with gorgeous and/or long, healthy hair, regardless of texture or race! I wonder what her hair regimen is? LOL!!)

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Have you tried kettlebell training? If so,  how do you like it?

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