My Time in Houston and Women's Kettlebell Workshop

This past weekend I flew to Houston, the city where I lived for a good part of my childhood.  I don't go back to Houston often with my crazy schedule, but really glad I made this work.  Let's face it, Houston is not known for the beauty or great weather.  I will say Houston has some of the greatest and warmest people I've had the privilege to meet in my life.  The few days I was there just wasn't long enough.  Next time I'll have to go back for longer.

I was lucky enough to arrange a unique Women's kettlebell and Self Defense workshop with Jay Armstrong.  Jay is an incredible person, athlete and teacher.  I really enjoyed learning from him as well. We had a great intimate group and it was a very productive day!  There were some very inspiring ladies there and it was a pleasure to meet each and every one of them.

Jay Armstrong/ Lauren Brooks Women's Kettlebell Workshop with Self Defense

Here are some quotes we have received from the attendees.

"Thanks for the amazing workshop!! It was such a great workshop, and so wonderful to meet you!!” Had an AMAZING time at the Kettlebell workshop held by Jay Armstrong and Lauren Brooks! I am so lucky to have had these two as my first kettlebell workshop instructors. They are incredibly knowledgeable, disciplined instructors, who truly love what they do. They are the type of people that motivate you, just by being in the room. If any of you want to join me at a future workshop, or a weekend class at the Houston Kettlebell club, here in League City, - let's do it!! 
As a side note - Yes, I am sore. Learned the new technique for the swing, and both of my "cheeks" are nice and "aware". We were also taught something very cool- the importance of working out your weaker side - which for me is my left arm\shoulder. That is also quite tender. Learning the right way to do things, and subtle changes in technique makes a big difference! Love this stuff!!! ♥– Melissa Lozano

“Thank you so much Jay ! We loved the workshop! I truly enjoyed the mobility/stretching portion of the workshop.  Thank you so much!” – Anahi Navarro

"Lauren, I loved the workshop! Thank you so much! Hope you come back to texas soon ! xoxo"
  – Anahi Navarro

1 Arm Slap Swing

 “Thank you for the certificate!! I am going to find a place for it on the wall, since it was my first Kettlebell workshop. What a way to start out - I'm so lucky to have had my first workshop taught by you, Jay Armstrong, and Lauren Brooks!!” – Melissa Lozano

“I have been doing squats improperly when I pick up my baby, which is a significant number of times a day, so that was a good takeaway for me. I also enjoyed your self defense tips.” – Kate Shafer

"ohh gosh I'm still sore after Lauren Brooks and Jay Armstrong workshop but totally addicted to kettlebells !loved the workshop and looking forward to another one !" – Anahi Navarro

"It was great to meet you and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the class. It really helped me pinpoint all the areas where I need to work on my technique. Thanks again!" - Becky Abdella

"Thanks so much for the great workshop today! So worth it!" 

- Peggy Hammond


The Walking Computer Station That Will Save Your Body!

As I write this blog post I am walking at a 7.5 incline at a comfortable pace.  I decided that I can no longer sit at the computer.  Yes, I do get my strength and conditioning training in with kettlebells and various body weight drills, but then I have more than 5 hours of computer work to do everyday!  Between writing a book, articles, designing nutrition/training programs, and keeping up with emails, computer time for me is a lot more hours than I've ever wanted.  At first, I was getting frustrated at the fact that I'd rather be moving, since most fitness people gravitate to a more active job.  Second, the excessive sitting was making me more tired than usual.  Since I began writing the book, I have been feeling lower back discomfort for the first time in my life.  All from too much sitting!  I work with people daily that have desk jobs.  Unfortunately, research is beginning to show that desk jobs have much more detrimental effects than just being sedentary.

Most people know the problems with constant sitting, but don't take them seriously enough.  Even those who exercise 1-2 hours a day, but then sit the rest of the day are negatively effected by the sitting. There are hundreds of reasons why sitting for an extended period of time will wreak havoc on our bodies.  When sitting, we are putting our hip flexors in a constant state of flexion causing them to actually shorten.  Sitting on your butt will actually stretch out your glutes causing them to become weak.  Your shoulders will round forward and sitting will put an incredible amount of pressure on the vertebral discs.  Look at the posture of those who have a desk job or spend too much time sitting at their computer.  They all have these in common: tight hip flexors, rounded shoulders, and really bad posture to say the least.  Why knowingly do this to yourself?

I began to put my computer on a counter top so that I could stand while typing.  Even standing in one place, however, began to bother me a bit.  So I started researching treadmill desks.  I realized it was the only way I was going to be able to continue with all the work I had to do on the computer.  I looked up special standing treadmill desk stations that were roughly $450.  Since I primarily use a laptop computer, I didn't feel one of those was necessary.  Instead I found the Surfshelf, which can strap onto a treadmill or bike, for only $40.  Being the impulsive person that I am, I went ahead and purchased it for a treadmill that I didn't even own yet.  I looked on craigslist for a used one since I didn't need anything fancy.  There were tons of different ones to choose from and it made me a bit overwhelmed.  Since time was not on my side and I didn't feel like driving all over town looking at different used treadmills, I went to the closest sporting goods store and bought a very simple, brand new treadmill.  The cool thing about treadmills these days is that they are all internet enhanced and come with speakers.  I didn't need all the bells and whistles, but hopefully they will motivate my husband to use it while watching the UFC.  I never thought in a million years that I'd purchase a treadmill since I can't stand hamster wheels.  Since this is not strictly for exercise but for office purposes I felt it was worth every penny.  My unconventional training friends, laugh if you'd like, but this will save my spine and posture.  We shall see who laughs last!  ;-)

I share this with you today so that you too can have the option to change your workstation from sitting to standing.  We were not meant to sit for long periods of time.  It's time to break up with your chair and walk while you type, surf the internet, and make phone calls.  I hope seated desk jobs become a thing of the past.  If every office invested in a simple treadmill for their employees to use during work, productivity would increase tenfold along with less sick days and happier employees.

Don't wait until it's too late.  This is one of the smartest investments that I have made in a long time.

Dr. Levine from the Mayo Clinic is now doing case studies for treadmill desks and they are showing amazing results.

Here are a few very good priced treadmills perfect for a computer.  ProForm 400 CT Treadmill - Treadmills and ProForm 415 CT - Treadmills.  If you really want to go budget this is as low as it's going to get.  Paradigm Walk-To-Fit Electric Treadmill - Treadmills .  Happy Shopping!

No Nonsense Approach To Get You A Shredded, Lean Body (written for My Mad Method's Magazine)

This article was written exclusively for Onnit Academy and appeared in the hard copy issue of My Mad Methods, in the earlier part of 2011.  I have been given permission to share this with you. 


No Nonsense Approach To Get You A Shredded, Lean Body

Nutritionist and trainer Lauren Brooks has helped people get fit and lean for years using unconventional training methods and a simple and effective approach to diet and nutrition. Check out this easy to implement diet plan to help you cut fat and stay healthy.
Everyone wants a quick fix, that’s human nature, right? People tend to be lazy. They want to do something the easy way and expect to see great results. Well too bad! If you want to have low body fat and a lean looking body, you probably need to make a lifestyle change. I can’t tell you how many people have come to me and said, “I lost 50 pounds last year when I was on the “blah blah” diet, but then gained it back after a year.” I don’t want to get into any trouble by listing the diet companies out there that rely on calorie counting and point systems, but these are the stories that I here day in and day out. When someone attempts a calorie obsessed and/or counting diet, they will most likely lose some weight in the beginning. However, the failure rate over time is around 95%, with most of those people gaining all the weight back and sometimes more.
I feel like a broken record, but I don’t think that people are getting the concept of “dieting.”  One client said to me, “I liked such-and-such diet because I was able to eat whatever I wanted. I just had to be really conscious of calories. The down part was that I was hungry all the time and sometimes I wasn’t able to control my appetite.” That is no way to live in my book. It’s extremely difficult to go around starving all the time, especially with the amount of tempting food that surrounds us everyday. It is human nature to not only succumb to the temptations, but to over indulge. This makes you feel like a failure, which in turn causes people to give up entirely. If a calorie obsessed, point system, or extreme diet is what you want to be on, then I suggest you stop reading this article (if you’ve miraculously made it this far) and I wish you the best of luck.
Having been a nutritionist actively working in the fitness industry for over 16 years, I have had the privilege of helping hundreds of people change their eating habits by merely educating them. Not only have these people lost weight, but they have managed to keep it off. They actually feel great, hardly get sick anymore, and are stronger and leaner. The weight they lose actually stays off, they don’t feel like they’re starving all the time, and they can actually indulge from time to time. People should be striving towards implementing this type of nutrition into daily life; forget about portion control and eating the 100 calorie packets of cookies or eating a protein bar that’s full of highly heated, cheap, protein fillers that don’t even absorb properly and have artificial sweeteners added.
“But Lauren, I know they’re cookies, but it’s only 100 calories.”
“But Lauren, there are zero carbs in that bar and 20 grams of protein.”
That’s great, but soon you’ll be craving other junk foods since your brain naturally becomes addicted to the sugary, processed foods once you’ve eaten them. According to Dr. David Kessler, former Head of the FDA, there are documented studies that show that when eating a certain combination of sugar, fat, and salt, your brain will trick you into wanting to eat more, even if you aren’t hungry. So eating a high processed cookie made from refined flour, sugary corn syrup, and other additives will set something off in your brain. “Every time they eat those foods, it strengthens their neuro-circuitry to eat that food again,” says Dr. Kessler. You might feel satisfied temporarily after your craving is met, but chances are you will make up for it later by eating more for dinner than you would have normally. The same goes for ingesting artificial sweeteners. Your brain is expecting to get sugar when you are tasting that sweet protein bar filled with sugar alcohol. Therefore, your body will end up craving sugar later which will result in eating an increased amount of food that your body doesn’t really need.
So let’s get to what we SHOULD be eating to achieve a healthy, lean body. I am going to lay out a sample day of eating that consists of foods that don’t take long to prepare. In this busy day and age, with everyone racing against the clock, I feel it’s important to have healthy choices that can be prepared quickly. For those of you who do have ample time to prepare your meals and really enjoy cooking everything from scratch, then that’s generally better. For the sake of this article, I will just provide sample meals and snacks that don’t take too long. In the sample day below, take note that I refer to breakfast as “Meal 1” and lunch as “Meal 3.” I prefer to call them meals since I don’t believe in feeding yourself if you have no desire to eat just because it’s supposed to be “lunch time.” Some people actually do better without even eating lunch and having just a snack instead. Everyone is different, so follow your hunger. Turn to a snack if your body isn’t telling you to eat one of the larger meals. The following diet also provides two options per meal.
To view the rest of the article Mark has been kind enough to share this with everyone.   Click  HERE


Kettlebell Workshop with Women's Self Defense in Houston

Learn how to be POWERFUL, FLEXIBLE, STRONG, LEAN, and Move better while having fun doing it. 

For the first time ever, Jay Armstrong and Lauren Brooks will be teaming up together in Houston, Texas to present a very unique Kettlebell Workshop.  This workshop will cover all the foundation kettlebell drills along with Women's Self Defense and extreme Joint Mobility!  You will not want to miss this combination workshop. 

If you have never met Jay you will be in for a treat.  

 Jay Armstrong, is not only an incredible kettlebell teacher, he is a mobility expert, and earned his 6th degree black belt.  Jay is an extremely talented individual and knows his stuff!  Learning from Jay will be a privilege. You really don't want to miss this!

Here is a little bit about Jay Armstrong

Tae Kwon Do:

Jay's enthusiasm and dedication to the Korean martial art, Tae Kwon Do, has earned him a 6th degree black belt from the World Tae Kwon Do Associate in Seoul Korea.  Jay has trained for nearly 20 years under 7 time Korean Champion, Grand Master Y. D. Park, for 2 years under undefeated world champion and 1988 Olympic Gold Medalist, Kuk Hyun Jung, and with the Korean National Team. Jay has competed numerous times in State and International Tae Kwon Do competitions. 

Jay started training with kettlebells in 2003.  He received RKC Level I and RKC Level II certification from Pavel Tsatsouline and was named RKC Team Leader in 2008.  Jay has also been certified as an AKC Coach under World Champion Valery Fedorenko.  Jay has received extensive kettlebell and mobility training from such industry notable figures as Pavel Tsatsouline, Steve Cotter, Steve Maxwell, John DuCane, Nate Morrison, and Mike Mahler.  Jay is also CK-FMS certified in the Functional Movement Screening system for athletic movement skills.

Jay began Z-Health training with Dr. Eric Cobb in 2009.  He is Level IV certified (RIST) and is currently in the Z-Health Master Trainer program.

Lauren Brooks Miller RKC Team Leader, CK-FMS, CCN

Lauren Brooks has worked with and is responsible for inspiring thousands of people to pick up a kettlebell and use them without fear. With her laid back and non-intimidating teaching style, she has been sought out all over the world to teach kettlebells safely.  Due to her educational background and years of experience, she has developed a keen ability to quickly be able to assess movement patterns, break down instruction in an easy to understand, yet gentle and motivating approach.  Lauren is the creator of five highly regarded kettlebell DVDs that have been successful all over the world.  

  Lauren loves working with all individuals to bring out that inner athlete and transform peoples lives, but she truly is passionate about working with females and mothers. Lauren understands that females do have different needs.  While she feels that "Training Like a Man" is important and has it's place, it needs to be done wisely! Lauren enjoys watching her clients transform right beneath her eyes when it comes to incredible strength gains, fat loss, confidence, stamina, moving better and all over life happiness. 

To learn more about Lauren's certifications, educational background, and accomplishments visit her website at www.ontheedgefitness.com

To see what other's have said about Lauren's past workshops click here

Is this workshop for you? Here are some of the things  you will get out of it.

- You will learn the most cutting edge kettlebell drills that are current with the RKC system. 

- Anyone who wants to learn how to speed up recovery time and keep your joints young.   You definitely don't want to miss Jay's Joint Mobility portion.

- Anyone who has ever had an injury, surgery, or imbalance that wants to move better to prevent injuries, increase sports performance, and achieve results quicker.

- Those who want to achieve fat loss and incredible strength results quicker than ever before.

- Busy people that want to get the most out of their workouts in the shortest amount of time.

- Home exercisers that want to make sure they are working with kettlebells correctly and have a balanced program.

- Fitness coaches looking to add more exercises to their arsenal that provides extremely effective fat burning, muscular strength approach, and outstanding joint mobility drills.

- Learn how to unlock and take your flexibility to a new level.

- Integrate the power you learn with kettlebells to quick self defense moves that can save your life!

If you answered yes to any of these questions then this workshop is for you!

Sign up and reserve your spot below, space is VERY limited!  

Workshop price is $259
 Then it will go up to $329 Nov 1st, if there are any spots left!!

Jay/Lauren Kettlebell Workshop plus
Joint Mobility and Women's Self Defense

Time 9:30 - 2:30
Location: Houston / League City
629 Highway 3 South
League City, TX 77573

(ACE and NASM CEC's Available upon request) 

  It's starting to fill up so make sure you grab a spot.  Only a few Spots left!
Purchase here


My Review of the book "Live Life Aggressively! What Self Help Gurus Should Be Telling You"

Not very often do I make the time to read a book that doesn't have 100% to do with training or nutrition.  This book was one of the few I knew had an important message!   

Here are my thoughts!

This book is a true GEM! I highly suggest anyone who wants to actually do something with their lives. If you are sick of living a mediocre life, strive to be successful and happy, but live in fear to do something about it, this book will help with your paralyzing excuses. 

Mike has a special gift, in being able to make you take a serious step back and look at your own life. Even if it makes you upset about some of the choices you have made or habits you have picked up along the way. This book is not a cheese ball, feel good, cozy and warm inside self-help book. You may laugh and you may cry, but there is nothing I found written in this book that will waste your time. He shows you how to overcome failures and to strive to be your best, by also sharing his own experiences and failures. Mike pours his heart out and shares things in his life that he is not proud of. You really get to know him on a personal level and may relate to many of the obstacles he has had to overcome to become successful. Unlike other self help books, Mike will be brutally honest and cut right to the chase. He will tell you what you don't want to hear but need to hear! Stop being a follower and start becoming a leader. Mike's book may just be the wake up call you finally needed to go out and do something you have always dreamed of doing. 

As a fitness professional myself, I have met many people in the industry. To tell you the truth, I can only call a select few my real friend, and glad to say Mike is one of them. Since meeting Mike at the RKC in 2005 he has also been a major role model to me for my own success. Mike did not ask me to write this review. However, I was so impressed with this book, I wanted to take the time so others who want to live life to the fullest can take away what I was able to grasp from it. What makes Mike different from others is that he actually cares and enjoys helping people. We all know many people in the fitness industry or any industry in that matter, just want to make a quick buck! That is not what drives Mike. Otherwise the profits of this book wouldn't all be going to a great charity. He admits that it's nice to be comfortable and have a steady flow of income, which anyone would be crazy not to want. The real success and reward in life for him is dramatically changing peoples lives. He has achieved this for himself, with thousands of people, and now has shared his secrets and success in this very book. This book is the best tough love you can get. Now stop making excuses, get ready for a wild adventure, and start to "Live Life Aggressively"!

You can find more info about Mike Mahler's book right here.  


Touched By This Gift

Today I received a surprise gift in the mail.  I recognized the name since I received this wonderful email from her before regarding my kettlebell DVD's.

"Hi Lauren!
First, I have to say that you are my introduction to kettlebells and I am glad I started here!  I have been through only 10 workouts and I am seeing a difference!  You make the kettlebell approachable and your training style and work along dvds are REALLY wonderful for teaching proper form and being motivating!  I am 43, mom of 3 girls, 118lb and 5'5".   After many types of exercise, supreme pilates, the Firm step videos, treadmill, Tracy Anderson Method... I realized I needed a program that  wasn't high impact  (old knees!) and that had cardio and weight training.  I found you!  I only use a 15lb bell but just ordered a 22lb off dragondoor and have your first 2 dvds.  I see that they will keep me busy for some time to come!  

Anyway, i will let you know of my progress as you may want to know that your program is changing lives here in Austin, tx!  I think you are from Texas too :)

Here is another follow-up after sending her a rotation for using the DVD's: 

 "The rotation is Wonderful!  Just what I needed! Never thought to do the practice of all of the exercises as a workout!  As I mentioned before, only 7 weeks in.  Never have I seen such quick results from any exercise plan before, and I have done them all, treadmill, gym, step aerobics, jogging.  I love your challenging workouts and look forward to swinging my 12kg!  Just did the 12 minute 2times this morning.  Thanks for the advice on the squats!"

Debi Lynch, Austin  TX

My husband hands me this little package from our business mailbox.  Inside is this gorgeous purple note with more beautiful thank you words!  Then inside a little beautifully wrapped gift box wrapped in my all time favorite colors of purple.  And now for the grand finale, something I have always wanted but would never have bought for myself!

A personalized HANDMADE silver pendant necklace with a kettlebell and my initials on the front and back!

THANK YOU so much Debi!!  You have no idea how much you made my day.  I will definitely be wearing this pendant everywhere!  I just checked out the website on Debi's stationary that was enclosed.  I am very impressed with the site StClairBoutique.etsy.com.   This website has tons of different kettlebell wear and handmade jewelry!  Such great gifts and happy to spread the word about this place since I LOVE my new gift!

Here is the website.  I just spoke to her and she said that she started all the kettlebell handmade gifts after falling in love with them through my workouts!  Such an honor to have inspired so many people! Just type in kettlebells on the search page and you will find tons of cool gifts for kettlebell lovers and pretty things. Here's the site again StClairBoutique.etsy.com  


Mini Plank for Optimal Core Activation

This pre-exercise is phenomenal for anyone who has ever had a baby, C-section, hysterectomy, abdominal surgery, sits at a desk, or has core weakness. Elise Badone, Muscle Activation Technique Specialist, has come up with this isometric.  This looks like a "knee plank" but there is much more to it.  You will actually feel your TVA and pelvic floor muscles waking up and firing much more efficiently with the way that Elise has you do this exercise.

Since I personally have had 2 Cesareans in a 24 month time span, I lost proper communication from my pelvic floor and abdominal muscular system to the brain.  The fact that I had two babies that were very large for my frame, in such a short time span, didn't help either!  With that being said as I became stronger my body became a very good over compensator.  Which happens to anyone who has had any trauma in that region.  Same goes with anyone who has had hip, knee, foot, ankle, or any sort of injury!

Those with C-sections and abdominal surgery may also suffer from having extra scar tissue.  You will want to talk to a scar tissue mobilization specialist or trained massage therapist that knows how to break it up properly!  If you have any painful scar tissue build up, no amount of exercise will help regain and restore your abdominals close to 100% if you do not take care of it.  I still have painful scar tissue and will be researching some specialists soon.  However, still do what you can in the mean time.

In this video, as you probably noticed,  Elise shows 2 ways to release from the exercise.  Hips down first, then leg lowers and vice versa for the last rep.  The preferred method is leg lowering first, then the hips.   The main point is make sure they both down lower at the same time.

You can find Elise at Soulfit.net to learn more about her Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) work.
Make sure you do this exercise before you engage in any activities such as running, kettlebells, weight training, cycling, anything you enjoy.  This will make a big difference.

Stay tuned for more exercises like this.  To view a few more exercises I found helpful for me and postnatal clients, check out this old post from after I had my first baby.  View Here

For more training tips and nutrition or to work with Lauren from any where in the world go to
OnTheEdgeFitness.com and follow her youtube channel. Join Lauren's Playground where you can do any of her strength and conditioning classes right from your home.  


Hand Protection for Kettlebells and Pull-ups? Reviewing the New Grips

Since I began using and teaching kettlebells, I laughed at the idea of using any sort of gloves.  Of course I tried it first before laughing.  Reasons why I have not recommended using gloves with kettlebells in the past is as follows:

 1. The gloves can hinder the kettlebell to maneuver around in the hand seamlessly.
 2.  Weight gloves will bunch up and cause the kettlebell to dig in to the hand even more.
 3.  Gloves can mask the sensory connection from the hand to the brain.
 4.  They are just not very cool looking, so toughing it out is just the way we do it!

Now as much as I agree with the reasons not to wear gloves, I have come to the terms that there is a time and place where specialized hand protection can be very useful.  Anyone who uses kettlebells frequently in addition to doing pull ups and other hand trashing activities, should be able to relate.  No matter how hard I try to keep my calluses under control I still get the pain in my hands from time to time, when I use heavy bells for one arm swings, snatches, and tons of pull ups.

After searching around, my class and I have to agree that the New Grips have delivered the best type of hand protection for certain kettlebell exercises.  I DON'T feel these grips are good for ALL kettlebell exercises.  As you start using very heavy weight and your hands hurt, these will allow you to use them without any issues. Here are the exercises my clients and I have enjoyed using them with.

One Arm Swings
2 Hand Swings
Pull Ups (night and day)
Goblet Squats
Renegade Rows -Great padding for those who complain about hands hurting during Renegade Rows.
Push Ups on Kettlebells

Reasons why I love New Grips

In addition to providing hand protection for the calluses and padding for sensitive hands, these have also been great for when there is no chalk around and your hands are just too slippery to hold on to a kettlebell.

They are super easy to use!
It really stops the pain immediately on the hands.
Here is some more info about how they have helped hands.

I would not recommend New Grips for multiple snatches with heavier kettlebells, for the maneuver reason I mentioned above.  However, just tried it again the other day, and it worked great.  It takes adjusting, but nevertheless did really well!  The new grips SAVED my hands.  All in all I think New Grips are a great product to add for those days that your body wants to workout, but your hands are not cooperating.  I am not saying use these every day for your training.  I am only saying these are great for those days that your hands just don't want to cooperate.  Hope you are able to get extra reps or a training day out of it, when your hands aren't up for it like I have had!

Update 11/16 on my new grip.  Last week I did 110 snatches with the 16kg in under 5 minutes.  My hands were sore and not in the snatching mood before I began, so I thought I'd give New Grips the real test.  It worked with flying colors and my hands felt as good as new when I was done with them.  It does take a few seconds to get used to the new feeling of having a grip between you and the kettlebell but it sure helped me with being able to do the exercise I loved without having any pain in the hands!

Thanks to New Grips I don't have an excuse not to get my pull ups in!

See what other Kettlebell users and some RKC's have said about the New Grips


Baby Bells: The Fit Kettlebell Pregnancy Workout - available in DVD and Downloadable format or in Lauren's Playground

BABY BELLS - The Fit Pregnancy DVD. DOWNLOAD IS  Ready!! This  downloaded to ANY mobile device, computer, laptop, apple tv, ipad, iphone, ipod touch, and ipod. 

NOW AVAILABLE IN Lauren's Playground (Online Gym with access to hundreds of hours of videos, workout programs, recipes and an incredible community).  Join today here. Monthly and Yearly options.


"I've been doing kettlebell workouts regularly for more than two years (my 68-year-old dad got me into kettlebells--he uses them every day & swears they're responsible for his excellent health), and I have been using your Baby Bells DVD about three times a week ever since I got pregnant. (Thank you so much for making this DVD--you're the only source I've been able to find for substantive information on using kettlebells during pregnancy.

Since a lot of pregnancy exercise videos are non-strenuous to the point of silliness, I didn't expect Baby Bells to be that challenging, and was pleasantly surprised at what a satisfying workout it gave me. I continue to do it about three to four days a week, along with prenatal yoga and daily long dog walks. 28 weeks into my pregnancy, my husband is still saying I've never looked more fit, particularly in my legs--and I have an abundance of strength and energy. I've only gained about 16 pounds so far, and haven't changed dress sizes at all apart from the belly. I know that without kettlebells and your DVD, I would not feel nearly this good or be this healthy during pregnancy.
Thank you again for the unique and wonderful work you're doing --
your DVD has really made a huge difference for my pregnancy and I am so grateful to have found it! I hope it will make a difference for many other women too!"

and now for the PERFECT compliment to this DVD.


Great Safe Challenge
 Review by Jessy Ko "Mommy Shopper"
This is my second pregnancy and I have used Kettlebells before. This is a wonderful and challenging workout for any pregnant person who is familiar with either Kettlebells, crossfit, or body building prior to pregnancy. Proper form during the exercises may be difficult to achieve or understand for those who are new to working out or strength training. Those who are not confidant because they are new to pregnancy or working out may have concerns about trying different exercises, but don't worry it is all safe plus there is a modified version of each exercise shown in the video. Also, I would suggest coupling the video with additional stretching or a prenatal Yoga video. This is a challenging and effective yet safe workout. I am loving it, I will be using it as a postnatal shape up as well. If you like this video or are looking for a video like this but think kettlebells are no right for you might also want check out The Perfect Pregnancy Workout vol. 1.

I would recommend that once in your second trimester or further in your pregnancy you reduce the number of exercises you do with the kettlebell as you follow the video or consider doing just one of the workout segments per workout plus warm up and cool down. As well as, decreasing the amount of weight you use as you progress in your pregnancy. Plus remember to take water breaks and let your heart rate come down in between every circuit in the video.

Do not start this video if you have not been working out, are new to working out, and in your second trimester or further. I would think the combination of the three together would make this video way to difficult for you. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
So worth it Review by Jessica A. Tull
As a disclaimer, I'm not pregnant, but I'll sure save this DVD for down the road. I wanted to get into kettlebells, but I was concerned about my joints. I've had bursitis in my hips and knees, so I looked for a DVD that was low-impact. What I really like about this workout is that there are alternate forms for many of the exercises, which provides me with a way to complete the exercise without straining anything. There are some exercises here I just can't do, even with the alternate forms: the lunges and squats just aren't going to happen, so I'll walk in place until she moves on to the next exercise. I was very pleased with the variety of the exercises, and I thought the instructor was excellent. Even as a complete kettlebell beginner, I felt confident with her instruction. I just wish I could find more of her DVDs on Amazon!(Posted on 6/9/2015)
Works your butt out Review by Tmarie2010
This is an awesome workout. I love the fact that she is working with heavier weights during her 6th month of pregnancy. My husband has been driving me nuts with all of his worry about me lifing anything or continuing my workouts, I'm about to hit six months in a week, so it was nice to be able to point out that if the instructor can do it so can I. I'm a firm believer in not sitting around and getting fat and out of shape and want to maintain an active lifestyle during my pregnancy. This DVD will help me to that. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
great prenatal exercise dvd Review by D. bell "green parent"
kettlebell workouts are wonderful prenatal workouts if you have prior kettlebell experience. when it's tough to motivate yourself to workout, being able to pop in this dvd is great! my midwives say i have abs of steel, and i know that utilizing this dvd has helped me reatain a decent level of conditioning. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Good challenging prenatal workout Review by MelissaLynn
This was the my main workout during my recent pregnancy. Most everything else I tried held no challenge. Other reviewers have summed it up well. If I had to say I anything negative about this, it would be that it seems rather low budget for the price. Didn't LOVE the music. And Lauren, while in FANTASTIC shape, doesn't seem thrilled to be there. I can't remember if she smiles even once! None of these were a deal breaker for me. Lauren's credentials are excellent. This workout is also an excellent intro to kettlebells. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
AWESOME KB Workout Review by Lori
I bought a Kettlebell last Summer and it came with a DVD that had three 15 minute workouts on it...I liked it ok but wanted something a bit more. Plus I was going to be trying for baby number two soon, so I wanted something to workout to while pregnant. I LOVE this workout DVD. I bought two other different workout pregnancy DVD's also and all I can say is this one Baby Bells is the only one I will be working out to. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Great, not too wimpy pregnancy workout Review by Mrs. G
I was in the middle of training for a Sprint Triathlon and a Marathon in 2011 when I became pregnant with my first child. My husband has been training with KBs for sometime and already bought me some "ladies" weight kbs. I purchased one or two Pregnancy workout vidoes before this one (non-KB) and they are boring to tears! Because I am 40, my doc has told me not to run (though I think he is being overly cautious) so I am very frustrated not being able to get a good solid workout in that will keep me strong without putting my little one into danger.

THIS VIDEO is what I have been looking for. It's sufficiently challenging, well paced, and a good use of time. The instructor is extremely pregnant herself and demonstrates everything, and includes a modification caption. The video gets your heart pumping, but keeps moving, allowing you to pause the video for how long you need to catch your breath. I really like that, so the pace of the video is solid. I definitely feel this the next day.

If you're brand new, get it, and work your way into it, and if you've been exercising before, I think you'll be happy with this video, it'll keep you working. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Excellent workout for fit pregnant ladies Review by S Hunter
I am six months pregnant, and wanted a dvd basically to keep strong during my pregnancy, and bought this one and Perfect Pregnancy Workout by Karyne Steben, which both fit the bill perfectly and were exactly what I was after. I'm a pretty fit and active person, some would say very fit and active;), and in my other pregnancies I was afraid to do too much so basically just walked through my pregnancies. I was in my early twenties when I had my first two children, so it wasn't so much of a problem bouncing back. But with my third pregnancy a couple of years ago I found it harder losing the weight and getting fit and strong again after my pregnancy, and now at 40 expecting my fourth baby, I wanted to keep up some sort of strengthening programme during my pregnancy aside from walking and swimming, but which felt safe as well. I am relatively new to kettlebells. I had just started trying them out a couple of months before my pregnancy, so wasn't sure if it was something I should continue through my pregnancy, so am rapt to have this dvd, and know that I am doing a safe workout with the kettlebells. Lauren is a great instructor, and easy to follow, and I like that there is no unnecessary chatter, and just good direct instructions along the way. I also bought her dvd The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells Vol 1, and look forward to trying that out when I start into a programme after baby is born. Thoroughly recommend this for other pregnant ladies, if you are relatively fit and strong to begin with (not for beginners). I am passing this dvd onto my mum when I'm finished, as she is new to kettlebells, and I know she will enjoy it as a nice easy introduction to kettlebell training. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Great way to do kettlebells while pregnant! Review by ballstar "sportstar"
I've used Lauren Brooks' Baby Bells workout for the past month and love it! I had started using kettlebells last summer and was worried that I would have to abandon them for some ho-hum workout once I got pregnant. Luckily, I stumbled on this DVD on Amazon while looking for a workout and I'm very happy. It's challenging without being overkill, and Lauren was 6 1/2 months pregnant while shooting the DVD, so it was nice to see that it could be done.

The DVD is broken down into warmup, workout, and cool-down. The workout section has three "rounds" of exercises (3-5 exercises per round that are repeated twice). Not all of the exercises involve a kettlebell/weight (e.g., side planks, pushups), and she gives the option of using dumbbells for people who may not have used kettlebells. Lauren also shows modifications for each of the exercises so that women who've never used kettlebells or prefer to not use weights at all can do them.

Highly recommend it! (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Great video Review by Satisfied Shopper "Lucy A"
This video is perfect, im 5months pregnant, I liked that I was able to keep up with it but its still a workout. It gives u the right amount of exercise at the right pace. (Posted on 6/9/2015)

It's good for pregnant people
 Review by Lilia Esposito
This is more of a using the kettlebell as weights instead of a kettlebell work out. If that makes sense.I use the Art of Strength dvd when I want a good kettlebell workout. However, I think when you're pregnant it might be better to use an easier dvd. I can understand that throwing around a heavy cast iron bell while pregnant isn't so safe. She has you do a lot of stationary bell lifting. For example doing a squat while holding the bell. You can use a regular weight just as well with this dvd. It's a good way to stay in shape, but don't expect to use a kettlebell to it's full capacity in this dvd. She only does a couple of trademark kettlebell moves. I think this is safe when you're pregnant. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Not just for pregnant women - hubby does it too!! Review by KG
Before purchasing this DVD I was a huge kettlebell fanatic, doing more high intensity sets. When I found out I was pregnant I was so disappointed from a fitness perspective as I didn't know how I should/could modify my workouts and my doctor suggested keeping my heart rate around roughly 165-170. I had stopped running maybe a month or so before getting pregnant so I knew I couldn't just jump back into that. Finding this DVD made me absolutely ecstatic. Lauren makes sure to show proper form at angles in which you're able to ensure that you're doing the workout correctly, which is super important with kettlebells in general, even more so with pregnancy. The workout is sure to get your heart rate up, but not too high. It will also give you the opportunity to begin strength training, or improve what you've got due to the pace of the workout. My husband even joins me in this work out when he's working to increase weights!

I will agree that the production is not as high quality as other DVDs compared to the price, but I enjoy this too much for that to be a factor. I also wouldn't necessarily recommend this to someone who has never worked with a kettlebell before as she does not verbally review basic form (aside from what you see) which may not benefit some new to this type of workout. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Another great DVD from Lauren Brooks Review by Renee
I am not pregnant but felt this DVD still provided a great workout, got my heart rate up. I have Lauren's first DVD Ultimate Sculpt and Condition Volume 1 and was ready to try something new but I was not ready for Volume 2 so I decided to give this DVD a try and I am so glad I did. I plan on alternating between baby bells and volume 1. I love the way I feel when I workout with kettlebells and Lauren is a great instructor. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
best pregnancy workout I've found Review by Brittany
I'm a runner who incorporates kettlebells for the great strength and cardio they provide. At 4 1/2 months pregnant I can't run as much as I used to though and was afraid to use some of my other kettlebell videos as they do moves not safe during your 2nd and 3rd trimester. This one however is amazing!! I even got my husband to do it with me once and he was sore the next day. It's long enough to give you a full body workout too if you don't want to do anything else with it. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Great video! Review by Nettiepye
This video is great for pregnancy and is great because the hubby can work out with you too with heavier weights. I definitely recommend it! (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Challenging Review by Amazon Customer
A great video for pregnant women in all trimesters, but also just a challenging workout by itself. There are plenty of modifications I can make to keep doing the video beyond my pregnancy, and to keep it challenging. (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Awesome workout! Review by Ben
This is a tough but doable workout. I'm not currently pregnant, but wanted to get into better shape before pregnancy and be able to continue once pregnant. I'm a newbie to kettle bells, but absolutely love it! They take up very little space and are a great workout while kiddos are sleeping and you can't spend hours at the gym. My husband (in good shape) has done the workout with much heavier bells than me and agrees that this is a tough workout. Not for someone who is pregnant and never worked out before. Definitely recommend! (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Great for an out of shape preggo or out of shaper in general! Review by Anya
If you are like me and work in an office 10+ hours a day SITTING all day and haven't workout out in years, this video is for you whether you are pregnant or not. I tried Lauren's Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells DVD and it was wayyyyy to hard for me (non pregnant). I could barely do it with either no kettlebell or a baby 10lb bell. Then my recovery was so long after I gave up. If I would have tried this one I could have kept up with it. And it's fun to watch Lauren's belly!

Now that I am pregnant I tried this and I could actually do it with a 10lb bell (or no bell) and am in the 1 week recovery range. I want to keep doing it once a week until I recover faster and can work up to more. I like that is is safe for all trimesters so you can use it the entire pregnancy. Lauren is good in letting you rest to get your heart rate down, and at 38 minutes you can still do it with your preggo exhaustion. She says you can do it with a dumbbell as well. And it actually has enough of a warm up and cool down that you don't have to do more before/after like most videos that only have like a 30 sec cool down.

Only negative: this video offers NO instruction. You need to know how to do the kettlebell swing, overhead swing, clean & press. I learned how to do these from Lauren's instruction in her other DVD. Or look on Youtube. Otherwise everything is very simple.

BONUS: if you buy from Lauren's website she has a pregnancy e-book with TONNNNNS of preggo kettlebell workouts if you are more experienced! (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Five Stars Review by Shauna Thompson
love!!! works for pregnant and nonpregnant! (Posted on 6/9/2015)
Overall well executed Review by Katy
Good exercises and great modifications. I would have appreciated more instruction on correct form, as I'm a fitness professional and picky about that, but for more advanced exercisers it should be no problem. I enjoyed that she is so pregnant doing the exercises, but I wish she had a full shirt on. My husband walked by when I was doing the video and said "why doesn't she have a shirt on?" Overall I'm really glad I got this DVD.

It did come scratched though (bought used in "excellent condition"), so I just have to rewind to do two sets of the second set of exercises, or just remember what we did and repeat them. Not too big of a deal though. (Posted on 6/9/2015)