KETTLEBELL: BUTTS & GUTS REVIEW
By: Maria Garofalo McCauley, Huff & Buff
Butts and Guts, with a total running time of 65 minutes is a non-stop kettlebell workout that will test your strength, endurance and cardio capacity. Led by instructor Brook Benten, Butts and Guts is an intense workout that will challenge even the most advanced exerciser. Brook is joined in the workout by two background exercisers, one of which shows easier modifications to the exercises while the other shows a more advanced modification. Brook sticks with something in between. For the workout you will need one kettlebell, for women a 10-20 pound kettlebell is recommended while men are encouraged to use a 15-30 kettlebell. You will need to determine the weight that is right for you based on your fitness level.
Butts and Guts consists of a Warm-up, Butts and Guts workout, Fast Track Express Butts and Guts, Fast Track Express Kettlebell Abs and a Cool-down. Each of these can be selected from the main menu, along with a Play All option. Also available on the DVD is an Introduction, Safety and Technique chapter where Brook goes over the basics of kettlebell training, proper form and execution of the exercises. The main Butts and Guts workout is approximately forty-five minutes while the Express workout is fifteen minutes and the Kettlebell Abs clocks in at around ten minutes.
Butts and Guts begins with a brief warm-up using the kettlebell but can be done without. The mainstay of the workout, and most kettlebell workouts, is the swing. Brook seamlessly transitions from double-arm swings, to one arm swings to alternating swings, effectively keeping the heart rate elevated. The workout also includes squats, deadlifts and a tough lunge sequence all done using the kettlebell. Many of the lower body moves also integrate upright rows or bent over rows so as not to neglect the upper body. The ten minute abdominal workout uses the kettlebell as a resistance tool and includes exercises that target the entire core. Butts and Guts also includes a short, efficient express workout for when you are short on time. Here you will find swings, lunges, burpees, upright rows and rows with side and rear lunges. It may be short and quick but it gets the job done!
Butts and Guts is a tough, non-stop kettlebell workout that keeps your heart rate elevated and your muscles on fire. Brook Benten is an engaging lead, has a pleasant disposition and is extremely motivating. She cues well throughout the workout and shares plenty of tips and form pointers. She encourages the exerciser to work at his/her own pace and to take breaks or rests as needed – advice I heeded a few times throughout the workout. To learn more about Brook Benten, her other workouts and future projects, visit her website Cardiopump Fitness. You can also find Brook on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.