Thursday, September 9, 2010

Bob Harper- Pure Burn, Super Strength.

Alright folks, time for another DVD review from Bob Harper's Inside Out Method. After taking a stab at his intense Cardio Conditioning workout, I must admit, I was a little hesitant to try the full-hour strength workout.

My verdict? Another intense, muscle-challenging session! Because this is a weight and resistance-based workout, it seems to move at a somewhat more manageable pace than the cardio conditioning DVD, but that's not to suggest that it won't get your heart rate up, burn out your muscles and leave you panting. Below are some of the moves ("some" is the keyword here, people):

  • weighted squats
  • wide rows
  • deadlifts
  • push-ups
  • bicep curls/shoulder press
  • shoulder combo (front raise, lateral raise, "pinky-up" raise)
  • down and outs w/ weights (squat thrusts performed with dumbbells in hands, some with push-ups in between, then an added jump at the top)
  • plank rows
  • single arm flies in a squat position
  • lunges (single side, alternating sides w/ dumbbell in both hands, jumping alternating sides w/ dumbbell)
  • matrix lunges
  • tricep work (extensions and skull crushers)
  • ab work (crunches)
  • T-stance (in plank with dumbbells, alternate raising each arm while working into a "T" position)
  • T-stance with push-up in between arm raises
  • plank with knees to elbows, alternating sides (bring knee up toward elbow of same side, then return to plank, repeating move on other side. eventually increase speed.)

For a more complete list, I'd highly recommend checking out this Amazon review; she does a better job than me of listing all of the moves in order, both for the full hour workout and the shorter beginner's workout.

Probably the two most memorable moves for me were the down & outs and the T-stances, particularly when Bob instructs you to add push-ups in between. Definitely dropped some F-bombs during those intervals. He's also a fan of making you do isometric holds of different moves, usually while in squat position or holding up your dumbbells. Sadist.

Another tricky move that I had never tried before was going into a lunge and passing my dumbbell back and forth between both hands, reaching underneath my front leg. Bob said the point of this move was to ensure proper form and he's right. You pretty much have to perfect your lunge, otherwise the passing of the dumbbell will get messy.

It seemed like Bob provided better instruction throughout this video, compared to the cardio one. Probably because using weights demands proper form. He has different assistants this time, but still has two girls and one guy. Helen, who does not have the typical body of someone who has had four kids, performs all of the advanced moves. The woman is a machine. And my new hero. As with the last DVD, everyone is sweating, panting, groaning and not always smiling. Even the other girl who performs the easier/modified moves looks like she wants to cry or scream from time to time. I must be just as much of a sadist as Bob, because I kind of found joy in seeing that, haha.

Deciding how much weight to use was a little tricky for me... I've gotten spoiled with my Jari Love workouts, where each person's weight amount is usually displayed during each interval. Bob mentions using up to 12 lb. dumbbells, but kind of leaves it at that. It's also assumed that Bob and his assistants use the same weight amount during the whole workout, but that wasn't going to fly for me. I found myself bouncing back and forth between 5 lb. weights and my slightly-more-than-8 lb. metal dumbbells. During the shoulder raise combo, I stuck to my 5 lbs. because the isometric holds were murder. I think even 3 lb. weights would be challenging during that segment.

So, overall, another good DVD. I think I'll always prefer Jari Love for my strength training, but I appreciated the variety of moves Bob offered in this workout. It got my heart rate up a lot higher than I expected, made me sweat tons and provided a lot of moves that challenged my upper body, a current area of weakness for me.

After trying 2 of the 4 DVDs so far, I can say that if you're looking for a "fun" workout, this set probably isn't for you. I've found myself having to get motivated to do these workouts because there's nothing happy and cheerful about them. These workouts are strictly about building and maintaining a high level of fitness. If you're looking for a no-nonsense, let's-get-down-to-business kind of workout, you can't go wrong with Bob and this series. Out of all the fitness DVDs I own (and there are quite a few, trust me), this set has felt most like what I'd imagine a workout with a personal trainer would be like, simply because of the function and variety of moves presented.

And because Bob has both males and females working alongside him, it becomes clear that his workouts aren't about "getting that bikini bod" or "bulking up;" they're simply about getting a fit, healthy, strong body. He recognizes that you have to work hard to get in good shape; no gimmicks, no short cuts and no "10 minute workouts." (He even says at some point that a 10 minute work out is a warm-up, which made me laugh because he's pretty much right.)

Although Bob makes me cuss in frustration and sweat to the point where my sweat band can't absorb another drop, I feel like a bit of a warrior when that cool down rolls around. I'm definitely feeling stronger and more capable of physical challenges. Any serious fitness DVD collection isn't complete without the Inside Out Method.


Mo Diva said...

damn girl. that sounds HELLA intense!
but it must hurt so good! :-)

Shauna said...

Bloody hell, I feel pain just READING about these. They sound proper hard. I think you've got me convinced :)