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by Andrea Du Cane (Instructor)
Dragon Door, 2011
Review by Beth Cholette, Ph.D. on Dec 20th 2011
Kettlebell Boomer is a DVD designed to bring the power of kettlebell training to users of any age group. Although marked specifically to older adults--the athletes featured range in age from 58 to 65, and there are various references to staying fit during the senior years--the workouts on this DVD are appropriate for all ages and all levels of fitness.
The DVD is instructed by Andrea Du Cane, Master RKC. (Note: RKC, or Russian Kettlebell Certified, is the premier kettlebell certification program offered by Pavel Tsatsouline, who is generally given credit for bringing kettlebells to the US from Russia.) Du Cane has an Introduction which loads immediately upon insertion of the DVD. In this 5.5-minute segment, she discusses how to use the DVD, including reviewing important safety issues and explaining how kettlebells can assist with the loss of mobility/balance that occurs as part of aging. The Introduction leads directly into the Main Menu, which appears as follows:
- Before You Begin
- Exercise Instruction
- Athlete Interviews
- Special Thanks and Credits
- Replay Introduction
"Before You Begin" (3.5 minutes) covers several additional important tips, such as choosing the correct size kettlebell and deciding on footwear. In addition, there is a brief "self-screening" in which Du Cane shows her four athletes how to test for both shoulder and hip mobility; this assists them with performing the exercises which appear later in the DVD.
"Exercise Instruction" brings up the following submenu (I've included approximate times):
- Prep Drills (9 minutes)
- Deadlift (3.5 minutes)
- Kettlebell Carries (4 minutes)
- Presses (2 minutes)
- Squats (3 minutes)
- Russian Twists (2.5 minutes)
- Planks (2.5 minutes)
- Swings (8 minutes)
For the Prep Drills, Du Cane covers neutral spine, hip hinge, picking up and putting down the kettlebell, staying loose, and breathing. She breaks down all of the exercises in detail, spending an even greater amount of time on the kettlebell swings, a foundational part of kettlebell training.
"Workouts" also opens a submenu offering options for Strength, Cardio, Getup, and Balance Workouts. I have described each of these in greater detail below.
The 45-minute Strength Workout consists of a 10.5-minute joint mobility warm-up, a 6-5 minute cool-down stretch (note: the warm-up/cool-down are the same for the Strength and Cardio Workouts), and six strength-training rounds. During each round, Du Cane coaches 30 minute intervals with rest periods in-between (about 2 minutes total); the four athletes display various modifications. The rounds are as follows:
- Round 1=Deadlift and Plank
- Round 2=Suitcase Deadlift and Kettlebell Carry (Farmer's Walks)
- Round 3=Presses
- Round 4=Squats
- Round 5=Single Leg Deadlift with Kettlebell Carry (overhead option)
- Round 6=Russian Twists
As noted above, the 46.5-minute Cardio Workout includes the same joint mobility warm-up and cool-down stretch featured in the Strength Workout. Again, the workout is performed in rounds, this time with eight total rounds and with a strong emphasis on kettlebell swings (the athletes vary in performing two-handed swings, one-armed swings, and hand-to-hand swings). The rounds for the Cardio Workout are as follows:
- Round 1=Deadlifts
- Round 2=Swings (follows a pyramid pattern of 15-20-30 seconds, 30-20-15 seconds)
- Round 3=Kettlebell Carry (overhead option)
- Round 4=Swings (same pyramid pattern)
- Round 5=Squats
- Round 6=Swings (same pyramid pattern)
- Round 7=Russian Twists
- Round 8=Squats
SPECIAL GETUP SECTION
In this 11.5 minute segment, Du Cane thoroughly and completely breaks down the Turkish Getup move. She provides extremely detailed instruction, beginning by performing the move without the kettlebell and then progressing to placing a shoe over the hand. The short Getup Workout is 3 minutes long.
SPECIAL BALANCE SECTION
In this brief (2 minutes) segment, Du Cane has her athletes practice balancing on one leg, both with and without a kettlebell for increased challenge.
Finally, the DVD offers a number of extras, such as short interviews (about 4 minutes average) with the four incredible athletes featured and links to helpful web sites (under "Resources").
Given that I am in my early 40s, I am a bit younger than the intended "Boomer" audience for this DVD. Also, I am an intermediate-to-advanced exerciser, although I am still fairly new to kettlebells (have been using them for about 3 months now). Despite these factors, when I followed along with Richard--who generally showed the intermediate-to-advanced level modifications, sometimes even using two kettlebells--I was definitely challenged by the workouts on this DVD. On the other hand, given both Du Cane's excellent instruction and the useful modifications shown by the athlete models, I think that Kettlebell Boomer would be completely appropriate for someone brand-new to kettlebells, young or old. Du Cane has certainly created a program that is particularly well-suited to older adults, but I would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone, regardless of age.
© 2011 Beth Cholette
Link: Dragon Door
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.