Anyone remember the uproar last October after a piece appeared in the LA Times calling out Jillian Michaels?

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It called her credentials as a trainer into question (later her certifications were verified and validated by the certifying organizations) and her, should I say, audacity to produce a kettlebell workout DVD.

I myself don’t work a lot with kettlebells, although I do feel I have a basic comfort level with a few of the basic moves after reading Kettlebells for Dummies by Sarah Lurie (see my post Kettlebells for Dummies Review). I wouldn’t try to teach anyone else how to use them, but I must admit I have a pretty good swing going.

So I thought I would check out Jillian’s DVD and see what all the fuss was about.

I wasn’t too far in before I got it.

The swing is a basic, foundational move. It’s the first one in the book you attempt and a must get before moving on (after much practice and preparation without a kettlebell in hand).  Jillian’s technique and instructions were much different than the instructions provided in the book.  I stuck with what I had learned and practiced instead of Jillian’s “baby swings” to build momentum.

Also she allows the use of regular dumbbells in place of a kettlebell. This to me didn’t make much sense.  Yes, they are both weights. However, the way you hold them and how they move are very different.  It wasn’t an issue for me since I do own 2 kettlebells, but for someone trying to learn technique I could see this being a problem.

Making my own adjustments based on the techniques I had learned previously, the rest of the workout proceeded just fine. My heart rate was up and I was doing “normal exercises” like rows and dead lifts.

Then she hit me with the Turkish Get Up.

The Turkish Get Up is not easy, if done right, and isn’t really for beginners, so be warned if you pick up this DVD. My previous attempts at this move, without a kettle bell in hand, were awkward.  I still gave it a go. It was okay, but I know my form was off and I was much slower than Jillian. It’s a good exercise but, like I said, not for beginners.

This workout puts advanced moves into a level 1 beginner workout. I always error on the side of caution with clients. We start with the basics and build up.  I can see were those who specialize in kettlebell workouts would raise a warning flag.

If you’ve got some experience with kettlebells, or aren’t afraid to do some research first, this is a good efficient workout. If you are a beginner, in fitness or kettlebells, I would say put this one on hold. (Instead pick up a copy of Jillian Michaels’ other video 30 Day Shred ). I give it an overall rating of 5. Not her best or most accessible workout, but it can work for some.

Have you tried it? Are you a kettlebell expert? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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