Check out my photo in the top right hand corner of the Angry Trainer Fitness home page, and you’ll see me holding not one but two kettlebells. And if you’ve followed me for any length of time, you know how much I love training with them. Now I don’t pretend to be a kettlebell expert at all. Yes I can perform simple catch and release moves and all of the popular movements but truthfully I just love them because well…they’re dang hard.
So when the good people at RKS Systems (Reinhardt Kettlebell Sytems) asked me to review their new kettlebell program, I jumped at the chance to help spread the kettlebell gospel! Not only did the RKS team send me their flashy new DVD booklet (with several hot bodies on the cover) but they also asked me to select my own kettlebell to use. I opted for the 26-pound ‘bell’ although there are four other sizes available – 15, 18 and 35 pounds. Mine came in a nice medium blue color – although I should point out there are plenty of other color options available.
So let’s check out the program:
The main pitch of the RKS system workout is that it only requires 30 minutes, 4 days per week to reshape your entire body. I’ve often said that kettlebell use changed how my entire body looked. When swinging and using a kettlebell you use so many muscles, if not your entire body all at once to accomplish the lift or movement. So in essence you end up developing many areas of your body that are often de-conditioned from traditional training. Essentially kettlebell workouts are cardiovascular training combined with strength training. How many times have you heard you me say to “blend” your workouts and stop separating weights from cardio. Well kettlebells do just that!
As for the program itself, you get 16 unique workouts, which include warm-ups, great instruction and various modes of exercise. In fact you won’t even be using the kettlebell for all of the exercises! Some workouts focus more on strength, others on cardio or abs/core, but all are designed to improve your functional fitness and teach your body to function as a unit. The other great aspect is that the 4-week plan is a progression, meaning the first workouts cover the basics and then each successive week’s workouts increase in difficulty. By the time you get to workouts 13–16 you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come and what you’re capable of.
The company website claims that RKS’s program is a “full body workout using a kettlebell that increases one’s strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular conditioning” And that aint no lie friends. Owen, the lead instructor does a great job with cuing and teaching people correct form with the kettlebell. Yes he has lots of initials after his name and certifications, but I don’t care about that. What I care about is whether or not the average person can buy this system and follow along easily. The answer is yes they can. The DVD’s teach all the basic exercises like swings, goblet squats, lunges, clean and presses – in fact there are 19 “core” kettlebell movements in all.
Plus it’s reasonably priced at around $90 plus an additional $20 for shipping. What you get are the workout DVD’s, a nutrition guide a workout poster AND the Kettlebell!
If I sound like I’m pro-RSK that’s because I am. I actually used the exact workouts as they come right out of the box for 4 weeks and found them to be great. I opted for the 2nd lightest kettlebell because I wanted to be sure my form was perfect. Speaking of the bell, you may think that they’re all created equally – I mean they’re just round weights with handles right? Wrong. Trust me when I say each kettlebell has a different feel and balance. The RKS bell feels great in your hand and is machined well. There’s no cheap caste or poorly formed parts or rough edges like you’ll find on some other brands.
While the RKS system is geared more towards strength than cardio like many other kettlebell workouts, I still felt a big difference in my conditioning from using the program. And I know many people will feel tighter and more ‘together’ if they follow it. I had already been using kettlebells in my program so I knew what to expect. The other great thing is that this program appeals to beginner trainees as well as seasoned pros. That said I have to be honest and say I probably need the heavier bell now and I’d like the workouts to be about 15 minutes longer.
My suggestion would be to try the program and see if you like it as much as I do. If you’ve got some time under your fitness belt, you can use these workouts in addition to your own plan or if you’re looking for something new, try the program solo. Either way I think you’ll be glad you did.
If you fancy giving the RKS program a go head on over to their website now to place an order. And as a special bonus – RKS is giving all Angry Trainer Fitness fans 15% OFF – just use the code ANGRY when you checkout. But hurry, it’s only good for one week!
Now get swinging!
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