Customer Reviews: Enter the Kettlebell! Strength Secret of the Soviet Supermen
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on December 8, 2008
I bought this DVD when I first started using kettlebells. His "Enter the Kettlebell" book provided details, but the DVD showed proper application. Pavel personally shows how to do fundamental KB exercises: swing, clean, press, and snatch. While he hams up the evil Russian persona a bit, this is the best DVD for learning how to use kettlebells as well as proper warmups. If you are about to start doing kettlebells, buy this DVD.
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on October 2, 2009
This is an instructional DVD that thoroughly illustrates proper form for a handful of basic kettlebell moves. If you are looking for a kettlebell work-out DVD to do at home this is not the one for you. If you are looking for a single DVD that shows how to perform a lot of kettlebell exercises then this is also not the one for you. What it provides is clear instructions on how to perform basic kettlebell exercises such as the swing, snatch, get-up and press. The exercises that are presented are well done, with good instruction and examples of how to do them properly. I gave this three stars because it covered so few exercises - if there had been more exercises included I would have given it five stars.
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on March 20, 2009
The kettlebell is everything Pavel Tsatsouline advertises it to be. It is an excellent piece of exercise equipment. The Enter the Kettlebell DVD is shorter than I expected, but not disappointingly so. Pavel concisely delivers all of the information required to perform a complete exercise regimen.

The moves involved in the kettlebell exercises appear simple, but are complex in that they require exact form. Pavel does well explaining and demonstrating the differences in proper and improper form. He even provides examples of poor form. The DVD includes information on how to work your way to proper form if you are not yet in good enough shape, or not flexible enough to perform the exercise.

Enter the Kettlebell is an excellent resource for those interested in the kettlebell for exercise.
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VINE VOICEon November 3, 2011
After shelling out some pretty good coin on a set of DragonDoor Kettlebells, the last thing I wanted to do was waste money on a DVD that just showed me how to handle a kettlebell and wasn't even a workout. I then found myself over at a friends house and he had this DVD so I watched it. I now realize that this is a DVD that is worth more than the price of the kettlebells. This is what I mean...

I had intended to watch youtube kettlebell workouts to learn form and technique, but after seeing the DVD, I think that'd be very unwise. Although you can do this, the DVD gets into some real specifics on form. He covers a lot of things that you're not going to be able to visually see on a youtube workout video. Things like, tightening your glutes, driving your heels into the ground, popping your hips (well, you can sort of see this), pushing your body away from the kettlebell vs pushing it up (big difference), and so on and so on... I have yet to see a free video out there that gets into the detail that he does on form.

I now have a MUCH greater appreciation for how technical the movements need to be to get maximum benefit from the workouts and also to decrease the potential for some serious injury. That's where I mean that the DVD is worth more than the price of the kettlebell. Kettlebells are dang heavy and awkward when you're new to them; it's SO easy to do an exercise wrong and not know it! Before I bought my kettlebells I went to the gym to test them out after watching some videos. It seemed like I got a decent workout, but I now realize my form was a total mess and I'm amazed that I didn't injure myself. I'm very grateful that my friend had this video. If you're new to kettlebell training, I believe this to be an absolutely essential purchase.

The only reason I marked this down 1 star is because he's a bit extreme on laying on the Russian persona. Although the instruction is excellent, the "I'm a hard-core Russian bit" gets old very quick. Also, there are some words that get obscured because he's trying to do a thick Russian accent. It would be a much better video if he just acted normal.
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on April 28, 2012
I love this product; it has worked quite well for me. It is, however, clear that this book isn't right for everyone. I've been following Pavel's program for about three months now, and have indeed gotten impressive results beyond any training I've ever tried in the past. I'll give a somewhat long-winded description of my own journey, in the hope that it will help you with yours.

I had always done enough physical activity to prevent myself from slipping too far into torpor and obesity. My program has generally included a haphazard combination of big city machine based workouts at various gyms, martial arts, and not generally paying too much attention to diet. My weight stayed more or less under control, I could do moderate physical activity without too much trouble, and intense physical activity when needed, though with a lot of cussing and sweating. But I never crossed the line into impressive strength or fitness, no matter how hard I worked. I could do a bunch of pushups, but very few chinups. I could Stairmaster for a half hour with high intensity, but I got winded after a few minutes of trail running.

Three years ago I effected a major lifestyle overhaul; I moved to a rural area, and began thinking seriously about health and longevity (not surprisingly, this coincided with my fortieth birthday.) I began with "Starting Strength" by Mark Riptoe. It is an outstanding book that focuses on just four major exercises, the squat, the overhead press, the bench press, and the dead lift. In addition to changing my focus from a bunch of marginally effective and (I believe) dangerous weight machines to perfect form with free weights, this volume got me closer to the strong, integrated and useful physique that I wanted to carry in to middle age. Although my progress was satisfying, after about 18 months it became clear to me that I wasn't going to continue with the Riptoe program. The goal set of Starting Strength includes major gains in size with ever-heavier lifts, which wasn't right for my personal fitness goals, and a poor match for my lifestyle (not to mention age.) Plus, eating between three and four thousand calories a day just isn't practical for me. I was looking for a program that would lead to a lean, strong physique, highly integrated strength, and require fewer calories to support.

I spent about a year of working with free weights (including kettlebells,) body weight exercises and a lot of jump rope for cardio. Aside from an overly-monolithic emphasis on jump rope killing my right elbow and shoulder, this regimen (pulled from diverse sources such as, Men's Health Magazine, and conversations with other enthusiasts at the gym) kept me in a good place physically. My progress, however, wasn't quite what I wanted. In shape, but not getting much closer to my goals.

The thing to note, however, is that when I started doing Pavel's program, I was already in OK shape. I would NOT want to start using this book if I was starting from scratch. Pavel does an excellent job of breaking down each movement, and providing the necessary "build up" to allow a conscientious follower to do the exercises safely, but the steps leading to accomplishing the lifts and pulls are not going to improve your strength and stamina to the point where this program will work for you. If you consider yourself weak and out of shape, start with several months of simple, rewarding exercises to get you half way there. Do pushups. Do core strength exercises. Do burpees and jumping jacks. Work with dumbells, and do light freeweight squats WITH EXCELLENT FORM.

Here's the good news: If Enter the Kettlebell is right for you, it will work like friggin' magic! For several months I've been doing Pavel's "Program Minimum," and eating mindfully but without too much stress about how my calories are distributed. I have watched my body transform completely, with visible results beyond even what I got from Starting Strength. I'm not getting huge, just very lean and strong. The stubborn pockets of flab are burning off for the first time since I acquired them some time after puberty. I can do things I've never been able to do before. The first real shock came when I was goofing around on the playground with my students. We have one of those awesome, high swing sets, and it occurred to me that I could probably launch myself off the ground in a vertical jump, grab the high bar, haul myself up and end up sitting on top of it. Did it first try with no problem. Now, I've never been able to do stuff like that before, and it's always been frustrating. Now, I'm like an orangutan. My workouts are brief and intense, leave me fresh rather than exhausted, and I am constantly finding new things that my body can do. Again, it feels to me like Pavel's program has been a magic elixir that has unlocked my potential, but it is important to remember that I hit the ground running when I got the book. DO NOT start with Pavel's program if you are not already in at least decent shape. But if you are stuck on a plateau and looking to commit and move, this is the place to go.

And now, to address the most frequent criticisms of Enter the Kettlebell:
Yep, it's an expensive book. To all of the whiny crybabies who are shocked to find that Pavel wants to make a buck off of his products: So don't buy the book. It is a well-produced product with excellent photos, a good binding and quality writing. So Pavel wants money. So do I. So do you.

In addition to being expensive, the book has a lot of information that doesn't lead directly to doing the exercises. I don't consider it to be "padded." I like the background, scientific justification, the humor and anecdotes. They make the book interesting and fun to read and assist in motivation. The guy is a good writer and I appreciate that.

Finally, Pavel's program is, I repeat IS dangerous. You are swinging a big piece of iron around. You could destroy your shoulders. You could wrench your back, neck, knees and elbows. The kettlebell could stave in your walls, floor or head.

In the final analysis, there may be more folks out there for whom this book is wrong than those for whom it is right. If it is right for you, you will see gains that are actually shocking. At age 43, I am rapidly approaching the kind of body I've wanted since I was a teenager.
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on June 5, 2009
Pavel shows the basic lifts: swing, clean, press, and snatch with attention to details on how to perform them. Instructions such as staying tight in abdominal region, generating power from hips and glutes, keeping shoulder planted firmly in socket, and keeping arm loose during pull to transfer energy generated from legs. That's just a sampling of his instruction. I will watch the video again at a later date for review and to hammer home the fundamentals. Time and money well spent.
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Even though I had read the book by the same name, there is nothing like seeing the exercises in a DVD to more clearly understand the material. Pavel is well-known for creating interest in the use of the Kettlebell. Even though I am way past my prime and old age is upon me; nevertheless, I found that I could perform most of the movements in the DVD. The only one I could not perform because of my physical limitations, was the "Get-up" exercise. The DVD follows the information given in the text book and I think getting both of these products is a good idea.

In conclusion, if you are seeking expert instruction on how to properly use the Kettlebell, you should get this DVD.

Rating: 5 Stars. Joseph J. Truncale (Author: Monadnock Defensive Tactics (MDTS) System).
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on June 10, 2010
I'm writing this review mainly to address the number of people that complain there aren't enough drills or routines on the DVD.

What you must understand is that the BOOK goes into extreme detail for each drill & sets the reader up on the Program Minimum routine and Rite of Passage routine.

Eveything you need to know is in the book. The DVD is only a companion to the book to show you how the drills are done.

I enjoy this DVD as it really helps to visualize some of the finer techniques Pavel discusses in the book. It shows you exactly how you should be performing the mechanics of the swing, the getup, the clean, clean & press and finally the snatch.

Buy them both in order to get the full benefit of kettlebell lifting.
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on August 6, 2009
I've been following the "program minimum" from the book for a little under two months now, and its changed the way I work out. I'm in far better condition than I was two months ago, and I work out in about 1/4 of the time I used too. Very descriptive, it tells you exactly what to do, and how to do it, and there's plenty of dry humor thrown in as well. This would be a good buy at twice the price!
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on March 31, 2011
Attempting your fifth get up with a 35 pound cannon ball over your head will definately keep you focused. Kettlebells are the most efficient and most enjoyable form of exercise I've ever found. You'll build plenty of muscle, gain functional strength, lose weight and get all the cardio you can handle in as little as a half hour three or four days a week.

You really want to watch the video several times and do the drills right along with him to make sure your technique is correct. Unless you have access to an RKC trainer, get the video. He demonstrates all the basic moves and all the safety precautions. KBs are safe only if you know how to use them correctly. The book goes into more detail and gives you the workouts. I would recommend a few weeks of just following the video as your workout and then start in on the protocals in the book. That will give you a good base of skill and strength to begin.

Some reviewers don't like that he doesn't go over other KB exercises. Pavel explains that they're just a distraction from the primary exercises. In the RKC protocal, you have two free days where you can do all the windmills and helicopters or whatever you want. But they're just for fun and not a replacement for the presses and pulls.

This is THE book to read and master before going on to more exotic forms of KB workouts.
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