Fad Fitness: What's the Kettlebell Catch?

Week 2: After a small setback with the sniffles, Molly wonders what the catch is with these wonder weights

Week 2 of the Fad Fitness Challenge is complete and I wish I had happier results to report. The fact was that I was feeling under the weather and I couldn't quite accomplish all the workouts I had set out for myself, which is disappointing. Hey, but it wasn't all that bad though: I was able to fit in a few more DVD kettlebell sessions and a 30-minute run, even with a supremely stuffy nose.

This week, I was planning on going to intense kettlebell classes at the gym but I decided that my soon-to-be gym buddies wouldn't appreciate the newbie bringing germs into the studio. (Not exactly the best way to make friends.) Instead I popped in the DVD two more times, and after the last time of following along with Bob Harper, I already felt a tad bored. I think it's time to call in the real-life professionals (something other than canned responses of "You're doing great!" would be a welcome change). I'm also not feeling as sore as I would thought I would be in the morning, which makes me think that I'm doing something wrong here. (Am I using the right size weight? Is my form up to snuff?) Needless to say, I'm going to definitely pay a kettlebell trainer a visit in the upcoming week. Hopefully (s)he can help me decipher what I'm doing right and what I'm doing oh-so-wrong.

I also have a few lingering questions that I would like a pro in the industry to clear up for me. When I was perusing the aisles of Target, I happened to run across the fitness section. And among the yoga mats and the Pilates DVDs sat my new favorite fitness friends, the kettlebells. On a nearby wall was a chart of common fitness tools (dumbbells, resistance bands, etc.) and the muscle groups each one works. The kettlebells happened to be checked off on every single muscle group. We're talking shoulders, abs, arms… the whole kit and caboodle. Which brings me to my big question: How does this cannon ball-shaped weight accomplish so much in such a short workout? It just seems... well, too good to be true!

Another big question I have for somebody: If it's such an amazing fitness tool, then why has it taken so long to hit the American shores? Basically, what's the downside of this exercise? (I'm convinced that it's got to have one.)

Going forward, I'm excited about the next few days and next few weeks. I'm looking forward to getting a better handle on this weight and getting the low-down on what I'm doing wrong with my new weight.

About the Project: The Active Times' Fad Fitness Challenge is a six-week-long project in which five hapless writers will immerse themselves in five popular fitness programs—CrossFit, Insanity, Barre, Flywheel and Kettlebell classes—for the dual purposes of getting in shape and evaluating them for our readers. We guinea pigs will bust our butts, burn calories and discover muscles we'd long since mothballed and, if all goes well, emerge into the New Year with a well-rounded perspective of the top fitness fads. Check back every weekday from now until the New Year to come along for the ride without breaking a sweat. Click here to check out the rest of the programs.