Kathy Smith’s kettlebell secret
Last year, popular workout-video instructor Kathy Smith tweeted that she was getting ready to make a kettlebell DVD. No further details were given, but if ever there was a sign that kettlebells were in the mainstream, that was a big one. Kathy’s been making workout videos for nearly three decades, and she brought specialty workouts such as yoga and boxing to the attention of K-mart shoppers by having “special guest” experts (Rod Stryker for yoga, Michael Olajide for boxing) do the training while Kathy played the friendly, hand-holding host. I was really hoping she would do the same for kettlebells: bring out a certified trainer to do the actual teaching, instead of trying to do it herself.
Well, no such luck. The resulting product, Kathy Smith’s Kettlebell Solution, is a “system” that includes a DVD, workout chart, the usual diet plan, and 2 plastic, sand-filled kettlebells weighing 3 pounds and 5 pounds. I haven’t seen the DVD or any clip of it, but with those weights, it is not going to be a real kettlebell workout. It’s more in the category of “dancing with an object” – whether that object is a stick, flag, pom-pom, Wiimote or 5-pound plastic bell, you might have fun and burn some calories, but it’s not kettlebell training any more than doing the Chicken Dance while clutching a sand-filled rubber chicken.
I’m disappointed, because I like Kathy – her old Fat Burning Workout on VHS was my intro to home fitness more than 20 years ago – but I’m also puzzled. You’d think there would be a big marketing campaign for this product, what with a big-name instructor, a red-hot workout tool and it being the high season for workout marketing campaigns. But instead they kind of snuck it out under the radar. Besides the Stamina website, Amazon had one in stock (now gone) and I can’t find any reviews, press releases or any other hype. What gives…perhaps all the negative reaction to Jillian Michaels’ (lack of) kettlebell skill made Kathy or her people a little timid?