Monday, December 20, 2010

Today's Workout: - TransFirm Your Trouble Zones

Kettlebell workouts have become very popular in recent years, providing a great workout using a single handled weight. The Firm has issued a DVD/Kettlebell kit as their contribution to this trend. The kit includes a 5-pound kettlebell and the workout DVD TransFirm Your Trouble Zones with 3 options: A 46 minute routine, the 23 minute “express” version, and a 7 minute core workout, all presented by Firm Master Instructor Kelsie Daniels.

I did the shorter express routine a few months ago when I was 20 pounds heavier than I am now. It’s made up of seamless clips from the full 46 minute workout. At that time, this short routine really sapped all of my energy and I could barely do the core workout as an add-on. It was a good workout, but it really kicked my tail. So to be honest, I’ve been a little afraid to even try the longer, full workout. Today I finally swallowed my fear, had plenty of carbs at lunch and did the longer routine. So here’s the full review:

Based on my previous experience, I decided to do the core workout first today. I expected to be completely flattened by the end of the long routine, probably incapable of doing even 7 minutes of core work. I’m glad I went with this plan—the core workout was much more doable for me this time. I still can’t do side planks up on two feet yet, but overall I was able to do this almost as a warm up. Kelsie does the entire routine on the floor, doing some traditional ab/core work, but also incorporating the kettlebell in several of the moves. It’s a good add-on for those days when you want to hit your core a little more.

Then came the full workout. Kelsie starts out with a warm-up period, getting your whole body loose, prepping you to handle the kettlebell. The main section of the workout relies heavily on classic training moves—there are lots of lunges, squats and dips. Of course there are the signature weight-swinging moves found in most kettlebell workouts. Easier options are always demonstrated by fellow castmember and instructor Allison Davis McClain on the right side of the screen. I was able to perform quite a bit of Kelsie’s work, but I frequently deferred to Allison, especially on higher impact moves that required me to get my entire body off the ground!

Kelsie alternates between sections of mostly weight-training moves and intervals of pure cardio. After the main section of the workout, she does a bit of ab/core training. There are the traditional crunches, but there’s this Turkish-standup move that is REALLY challenging! It basically takes you from lying flat on the ground to completely standing up. Talk about working the entire body! Then Kelsie concludes with a cool-down/stretch period, which is very essential.

I must admit that I did better today than I expected. Yes, I was quite tired at the end and had sweat literally dripping off my nose even after the cool-down, but I did it! I think being in better shape this month helped, and doing the short ab/core routine first was a good idea.

This is a great workout, and I’d recommend it to anyone who’d like to try a kettlebell routine for the first time. It’s not heavy on the “fun” factor, but that’s not the point of the DVD. This is designed for a fairly serious training session, hitting all areas repeatedly over the 46 minutes. I would not recommend this to beginners who are very out of shape and/or overweight. My extra weight a few months ago made it really tough. Today however, I felt like I really accomplished something and now have less fear of the longer routine. The next time I really want to push myself, I’ll be popping TransFirm Your Trouble Zones into my player!

Thanks to for providing this product. Unfortunately this item is not available any longer on their site, but you can purchase similar Firm products from them here.


  1. I think I want that DVD. I love doing kettlebell stuff but have only ever done those exercises with a trainer. it would be fun to try on my own.

  2. Marie:

    This was my first experience with a kettlebell routine. And while I don't think it'll be my primary mode of exercise, it's a fun alternative for once in a while. Let me know if you ever give it a try!


  3. I showed this my wife. She like it and now getting the DVD. Thank you for the review.

  4. Lester: Yay! I'd love to know her opinion after she tries it!



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