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My rating: 8.5 out of 10
Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout, Product Overview
Keith Weber’s Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout is a fast and insanely intense set of kettlebell drills that have been put together to create the ultimate cardio challenge that will push you to your limits and help enhance your athletic potential.
This DVD workout is marketed as being able to ‘give even the most seasoned athletes fresh legs’ and give them inspiration to take their game to the next level. It’s one of three DVD workouts in the Extreme Kettlebell range by the same author.
So is it worth the hype? I’ll be focusing on the first of the three DVDs in the series – ‘Awaken the Athlete Within’ in this Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout Review, based on my own user experience, and giving it my own verdict!
Awaken the Athlete Within: A Quick Look At The Author
Keith Weber is a certified personal trainer who has assisted hundreds of men and women completely transform their bodies through exercise and nutrition as well as a minimalist strategy using a combination of kettlebells and bodyweight exercises.
Keith is a Russian Kettlebell master, becoming one of the first certified trainers in Canada in 2002. He has an Honours Diploma in Biosciences and Technology and also a Batchelor of Science Degree in Physiotherapy.
The Thinking Behind The Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout
In the ‘Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout: Awaken the Athlete Within’, Keith teaches you to master a multitude of moves in an ultra-intense 58 minute workout. Throughout he demonstrates the perfect technique to use for each move meaning even beginners can get to grips and be working out like a pro within the first workout.
This is a mix of cardio and strength training, which you’d typically perform separately, however combining the two is a sure-fire way to crank up your calorie burning so you not only torch fat but build strength and tone – and much more effectively than just pounding away on a treadmill.
It Sounds Too Advanced For Me, Should I Look For Something A Little More Forgiving?
Although everything about this workout suggests you need to have athlete endurance and the lung capacity of an African elephant, beginners to cardio, or those new to kettlebell strength and endurance training, can still really benefit!
You may not be able to swing around a particularly heavy dumbbell at first – certainly not the size that Weber uses to begin with – but that shouldn’t stop you from following along with lighter weights – in fact I’d seriously recommend it.
I consider myself fit and strong – combining regular weightlifting with frequent HIIT workouts, running and cycling – and I have to admit I was struggling 20 minutes in with a relatively modest 18 pound (8Kg) kettlebell. I quickly had to reduce the weight to a more manageable 10 pounds (5Kg) for my first couple of sessions. However it’s testament to how quickly your body adapts and increases in strength, as well as the effectiveness of Weber’s workout, that I then managed to gradually increase the weight over the course of six weeks to 22 pounds (10Kg). As a result I managed to lose half an inch of fat from around my belly and thighs (which has always been a problem area for me). In terms of strength increases, I didn’t see an noticeable increase in the gym per se, but certainly in terms of increasing my endurance and improving my form on functional movements I noticed a marked improvement! So thumbs up from me here!
So, start low and work up. Remember this is a kettlebell master who’s spent years perfecting the technique of throwing lumps of metal around and becoming seriously ripped as a result. Also don’t be put off by the length of the workout either – you don’t have to put aside an hour a day for this as it’s been designed so that you can complete shorter workouts targeting specific muscle groups as well as the full 58 minute kettlebell marathon. If you break it up into the seven smaller segments then you’ll have blasted every muscle group in your body after a week.
So What Can I Expect From The Workout?
This is a metabolism-revving routine (or set of seven routines if you split them up) that uses 10 reps for each exercise, working your shoulders, arms and legs, as well as your core through a number of moves including swings, squats, presses, lunges and cleans in combined sets that will get your muscles burning and leave you gasping for breath – but in a good way! It’s really a mind over matter thing – if you keep your mind focused on the results you want to achieve and concentrate on the bigger/end goal then once you go for the all-out 58 minutes it’s doable, no really it is! I also found it helped that Weber counted off the reps as he went through and his instructions are clear and easy to follow.
Split into six workouts, including a bonus core workout called the ‘Cooldown’ (it’s really not by the way!) the first sequence nicknamed ‘The Man Maker’ is short but challenging and surprisingly easy to remember using a combination of clean and press, overhead squats, windmills, swings, and snatches. My favourite is the lower body workout called ‘The Leg Burner’ which, although only five minutes long, is really all you need to work your quads, hams, butt and thighs and turn your legs to jelly.
Be aware of the Turkish Getup – a punishing eleven-minute workout that includes getups, windmills, overhead squats and swings – this is seriously intense, especially with a heavier kettlebell!
Pros Vs Cons
- This is a seriously effective and extremely comprehensive kettlebell program combining strength and cardio training in such a way that you will get results.
- The workouts are well-thought-out, certainly from a physiological perspective, and I really like how you can split the workouts up into seven separate routines if you’re short on time, or combine them into one 58 minute super-workout.
- Weber’s instructions are clear and easy to follow – especially good for beginners.
- Although the background music is not exactly to my personal liking, it does get you going and helps you push through those final few reps!
- I think it would have been good to include a warm-up at the beginning of the routine. This isn’t necessarily a problem for those who are more experienced, but beginners need to ensure they are well warmed-up before starting the workout.
- The DVD is region specific (US and Canada) and requires a multi-region DVD player and compatible TV so this limits the audience somewhat.
My Final Verdict
There aren’t many kettlebell training workouts that even come close to delivering the kind of intense training that Extreme Kettlebell Cardio Workout does. Kettlebells, when used properly and in conjunction with an effective training routine like you get here, really are transformative and if you follow along as instructed, and incorporate his workouts regularly into your week, you will see results.
As always however, I must caveat this by saying that good nutrition and adequate rest is hugely important too and will make the difference between seeing ‘some’ results, and transforming your entire body. For a way to burn fat and build muscle, I highly recommend this program – just be sure to start gently with a light weight and work up from there, or you’ll soon realise you’ve made a big mistake!
It’s a shame that this can only be played on US and Canada or multi-region DVD players. For those wanting to get a glimpse of what Weber’s workouts are like, he does have a YouTube channel so it’s worth checking him out on there and following along with some of his shorter workouts.
All-in-all, a solid 8.5 out of 10 verdict from me!
Have you heard of Keith Weber and tried his other two kettlebell workouts – ‘Exceed your limits’ and ‘How to Dig Deep and go beyond your physical limits’? If so, comment below and share your feedback – would you recommend them to others?
And if you’re looking at following Keith’s workout but don’t yet have a kettlebell to go with it, or have no idea which type to go for, take a look at eight of my top kettlebell picks for some ideas.