As a fitness enthusiast & coach, I am always looking for new ways to keep my classes fun, fresh and effective.Just as I thought that there was nothing new under the sun and thought that I couldn’t get close to the dominance of of Les Mills classes everywhere (Body Pump, Body Combat, Body Attack, RPM etc.), I completely fell for a refreshingly new group exercise class called Kettlercise®.
I did not expect to discover that there IS actually a structured class built on using kettlebells!
It WAS “love at first sight”. The guy who is behind this exercise programme is Guy Noble reputable fitness expert and owner of Kettlebell Seminars Ltd. official suppliers and trainers to the Register of Kettlebell Professionals (RKPS), offering a range of kettlebell seminars and instructors’ courses.
In a nutshell, the class is designed to provide an overall total body workout using only one piece of equipment (the name says it all!). The basic kettlebell exercises work the whole body as one unit including arms, torso, legs, hips and bottom whilst also working the cardiovascular system. This is a truly challenging class.
There are no breaks between the exercises. There is also a greater variety of moves – I counted about 40 different exercises during the class, which are introduced by the instructor just before the start of a new move to ensure continuity. But the real beauty in all of this is that because you are only using kettlebells, there is no need to fiddle with changing equipment as you inevitably end up doing during other classes.
Talking about weights – given that the exercises involve high reps (you get approx. one minute for each move) and most of them involve some swinging motion, they bring up the heart rate quite quickly and keep you working at a high cardiovascular intensity for 50 minutes. Therefore it is recommended that slightly lower weights are used in this class than what you would normally use in the weight room for a quick conditioning workout. Kettlebells range from 2 – 12kg and I find that most women are comfortable with a 2-8kg very and the men that attend classes are quite surprised that they don’t need more than 8-12kg. By the end of the workout, you will not find a single spot on your body that is not aching… But I can wholeheartedly say that it’s totally worth it as you will see the difference in the mirror after a few weeks if you regularly stick to this workout!
What I liked best about this class is that it provides a great cardiovascular workout combined with strengthening and sculpting moves, making it a very efficient fat burner.
Given the variety of the moves, it’s really hard to get bored with this routine. Time passes so quickly as you move on from one exercise to another, being completely absorbed in getting the transition and the new move right. You will quickly learn the new lingo: swings, snatches, lunges, pulls, presses, you name it!
As opposed to classes like Body Pump, there are lots of moves that involve side bends and torso twists, moves that are great to improve the mobility of the spine and torso but are often neglected. In comparison to barbells and weight plates used in Body Pump, kettlebells allow you to carry out explosive movements as well that use momentum to multiply force, whilst dumbbells/barbells are best for slower movements that require control. Kettlebell movements cause your body to work more as one unit because you utitilize stabilizer muscles on a lot of the moves. Also, the movements can be quite fast and after several reps and sets, you will have done an incredible cardio workout!
The downside is there may be a limited supply of kettlebells available for the class and you may have to stick with the same weight for the whole class. Choose your weight wisely! (And try to be among the first ones to enter the classroom during peak times…).
The only caution I would take if I was a complete beginner is getting the technique right first. That said, this is paramount when trying out any new class that involves the use of some kind of equipment.
To sum up the benefits of this class:
Overall improved fitness
Not entirely convinced? Come and try this class with me”