Rave ‘n’ Crave Wednesday: Kettlebells

Posted by on May 30, 2012 in amazon, kettlebells, rave 'n' crave wednesday, stores, superdiva | 5 comments

Rave ‘n’ Crave Wednesday:  Kettlebells

As a child, I was always unusually strong. I remember once in daycare we had an arm wrestling tournament. I was 8 or 9 years old. The top girl went against the top guy. I beat the top guy and won the tournament.

Kettlebells seem like the newest exercise craze. Everyone is raving about them. Timothy Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Body,” touts the benefits of kettlebells in less than 45 minutes a week.

I was first introduced to Kettlebells by a personal trainer a couple of years ago. I loved them immediately. It was strength training and cardio in one. Kettlebells burns up to 1200 calories and hour! At one point I was running for 30-40 minutes, strength training for 30 minutes, and then doing yoga for another 15-20 minutes. Yes, I was a great shape, but an hour and a half out of my day five times a week was too much.

I run on a treadmill to protect my knees from further injury. Treadmill running makes me feel like I am a hamster on a wheel going nowhere. After a while the runner’s high isn’t enough to keep me returning to the treadmill day after day.

My workout regimen stalled last year due to some health issues. My sciatic nerve had also been driving me crazy. As soon as I felt moderately better, I picked up my 8kg kettlebell and popped in a DVD.

I don’t go to the gym anymore. Gyms are inconvenient and expensive. It is so much easier for me to wear whatever, put on a DVD, and get to it.

Kettlebell DVDsI have a number of Kettlebells DVDs: The Kettlebell Goddess Workout, Kettlebell Bootcamp, Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells by Lauren Brooks, Iron Core Vol. 1, and The Skogg System.

I had been doing a combination of Kettlebell Goddess Workouts, Kettlebell Bootcamp, and Lauren Brooks until I found the Skogg System. It is a four level, twelve week program taught by a former Navy Seal, Michael Skogg. The five DVD set on Amazon will run you about $80. A twelve week program for $80 is a good deal considering what you could spend for three months at the gym. I am now on week 9; however, since I wasn’t a kettlebell beginner, I started at about the middle of week 3.

Skogg SystemI’ve done the Skogg System exclusively four times a week for almost six weeks. When I first started I was gasping for air within the first 5 to 7 minutes of level 2. I am now on level 3. My Kettlebell has gone from an 8kg (16 lbs) to a 25 pounder. I feel pretty bad ass. I haven’t been too strict with my diet, and I’ve lost almost 15lbs. The entire workout is done while standing in about 15 to 20 minutes. The four main workout DVDs (Roots, Intervals, Ladders, and Flow) expand on six basic moves (Swing, Clean, Press, Squat, High Pull, and Snatch) learned in the Roots 101 DVD. Of all the Kettlebell DVDs I own, Michael Skogg has the best technique; It makes a huge difference in the execution of each move. I have not done a push-up, sit-up, crunch or even a step on my treadmill. I can feel a two-pack forming. Even though I’ll probably never see it, I know it’s there!

No Fear Fitness Forearm GuardsI did have some problems with calluses and bruises on my forearms. I am not one to break out chalk and do kettlebells bare handed. These days, I have doubled up on weightlifting gloves. One seems to keep calluses away and the other gives me amazing grip. Wristbands are extremely helpful. Even though I had put one wristband no top of the other, I still got bruises on my forearms! Doing cleans, presses and snatches with forearm bruises is no fun! I did some hunting around on my favorite website, Amazon.com. FYI, with free two-day shipping on Amazon Prime, the kettlebells are a steal! I like the colorful j/fit series. Anyway, I found kettlebell forearm guards by No Fear Fitness that seem to have done the trick. I still have to wear a single wristband underneath them because they don’t have enough grip to stay put once you really start sweating . . . but that is a minor issue if I can go through a whole kettlebell workout sans bruises!

When the twelve weeks are over, you are supposed to rotate the main four DVDs up to four times a week. While I love the Skogg System, I don’t love it enough to do it exclusively and indefinitely four times a week. Hopefully, there will we another Skogg System coming out soon. Until then, I will rotate out some of my other kettlebell DVDs. I will however, be a kettlebeller for life.

© 2012, the superdiva, dk. All rights reserved. www.thesuperdiva.com


  1. I just bought my first kettlebell, a 15-pound bell, and I’m working out with the DVD that came with it (a Bob Harper workout). I like it, and I’m thinking about buying another DVD once I “graduate” from this one. So far, my top two choices are Lauren Brooks (her Body Sculpt and Conditioning Vol. 1 DVD) and the Michael Skogg 5-DVD package. It appears, from Amazon reviews, that there’s a pattern: men really like Michael Skogg, and women really like Lauren Brooks. How would you compare them?

    • Hi Amanda!

      I am glad you like kettlebells! It is funny that you should ask . . . I was thinking about doing a kettlebell follow-up post.

      When I first started back up with kettlebells, I bought Lauren Brooks’s DVD first. She only has two workouts on her DVD: a 12 minute and a 40 minute workout. The 12 minute was too easy and the 40 minute workout was too hard for me. Frustrated, I purchased The Skogg System.

      I’ve done my share of kettlebell DVDs. When it comes to technique, Michael Skogg is the best. The Skogg System is a four level 12-week program. Both Michael Skogg and Lauren Brooks are no nonsense. However, If you are a beginner, I strongly encourage you to start with The Skogg System and then move to Lauren Brooks’s DVD. After 12 weeks of The Skogg System, I’ve lost 20 lbs and I can now make it through Lauren Brooks’s 40 minute workout! I would equate Level 3 (out of 4) of The Skogg System with Lauren Brooks’s 40 minute workout! You’ll feel more accomplished if you start with the Skogg System.

      I can see why each gender prefers their own for kettlebell workouts. Even though her workout is tough, I think it would be surprising to find a man doing Lauren Brooks’s DVD. Lauren Brooks’s DVD is geared more towards women. The Skogg System is more gender neutral.

      After completing the 12 week Skogg System, I now rotate The Skogg System DVDs, The Kettlebell Goddess Workout, Lauren Brooks’s 40 minute workout, and just plain running each week.

      I hope my opinion helps! Good luck! Happy kettlebelling!

      Dawn K

      • Excellent, that information is just what I’m looking for. Thank you, Dawn!

        • Amanda,

          There is a new kettlebell DVD set that was just released on Amazon.com. It is called “Kettlebell Kickboxing Scorcher Series.” It is a 4-disc set. Kettlebell Kickboxing is MUCH harder than Lauren Brooks’s Vol. 1 DVD. It brought me to my knees . . . partly because I was trying to use my new 30 lb. kettlebell (stupid!). The series is geared towards women. Amazon.com reviewers are already raving about it. My only gripe (and I could be wrong) is that she doesn’t seem to use the proper names for some of the kettlebell exercises. I thought of you as I was doing the workout because I liked it so much! I’ve only done the first disc (disc two tomorrow); however, I already highly highly recommend it! I’d still say start off with The Skogg System, but the Kettlebell Kickboxing 4-disc Series is definitely one to keep in your regular workout DVD rotation.


          • Hey, that’s nice of you to post a new comment. Kickboxing could be a kick, ha ha. I’ll definitely look at it on Amazon.

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