Monday, November 29, 2010

Bob Harper's Inside Out Method : Bob's Workout Review

I have also reviewed the other dvds in the series - "Pure Burn, Super Strength", "Body Rev, Cardio Conditioning" and "Yoga for the Warrior".

This is the fourth and final dvd in Bob Harper's "Inside Out" series.  I may be wrong, but I believe you can only get this one directly from his website (and if you buy all 4 as a set, it's a terrific deal).

It consists of two 30 minute workouts in which Bob is one-on-one with a selected minion.  He doesn't do any of the exercises himself (that's what minions are for after all), but he does provide non-stop commentary and instruction.

It is different to the others in the series in that the production is more low-budget and basic, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  I miss the countdown timer on-screen, but I don't miss some of the "artistic" camera effects.  This is more your "sawdust on the floor" old-school workout.

The claim is that these are the type of workouts Bob does when he goes to the gym.  If that is true, all I can say is it's no wonder that he's in such great shape, because these are anything but easy.  Every time I've done them (and I've done both a lot) I've finished up super heated, dripping sweat and feeling tired but exhilarated.

Workout 1 claims to concentrate on "extreme core based upper body training", and workout 2 on "advanced core based lower body training".  That's just a pile of marketing BS - they are really whole body interval workouts (though if I had to voice an opinion, I would say workout 1 favors lower body and workout 2  favors upper).

Workout 1
Stephanie, the mouth-breathing facial contortionist from the strength dvd is the minion in this workout.  She shows a quirky sense of humor which I liked, and she's obviously pushing herself.  But at many points during the workout I could swear I was ahead of her in the count only to find that she'd reached the end before me.  And this happened workout after workout.  It really irked me.  So I replayed the workout and counted her.  Guess what?  She's can't count.  She skips reps on multiple exercises, so you're left with a choice - either skip a few reps on each set or keep pressing the pause button.

Or maybe I'm doing her an injustice and they just edited it badly.  Either way, I wonder why the production crew didn't spot it.  I kept finding myself yelling "there's no freaking way" at the tv screen (much to Nancy's annoyance).

Despite that minor gripe, this is one of my favorite workouts.  It's less than 30 minutes but is super intense.  It's also home to some of my nemesis exercises - in particular, rollups and the sadistic Turkish getups.

At one point, Stephanie tells Bob that her body is so heated she feels like she's been laid over a charcoal grill and is sizzling away.

I know just what she means.

As far as equipment goes, they use a pair of dumbbells and kettlebells (I don't have kettlebells, but the dumbbells work just fine).  There are some elevated rows (and elevated one legged plank), which I used the coffee table for. Everything else is powered by you.

Workout 2
This one features Zack from the Cardio Conditioning dvd.  I found this the harder of the two workouts, whereas Nancy found the other one tougher.  Maybe it's because I used heavy weights for this.

Bob is relentless here - he pushes Zack to exhaustion and beyond.  The guy got so red that I seriously thought he was going to puke or pass out, and eventually he is unable to complete the exercises and has to take a break.

I liked the fact that I was able to outlast him, but it did leave me wondering what I should be doing while he's taking a break, so I just carried on doing deadlifts.  At one point, Zack is doubled over sucking wind for over a minute while Bob prowls around trying to fill time (with an evil grin on his face).

The equipment used here are dumbbells, kettlebells, elevated step (for plyo pushups and step-ups - again I used the coffee table) and a skipping rope (used in the warmup).  Of these, I only had the dumbbells, and didn't feel I was missing out on anything - I still got a great workout.

At just under 30 minutes apiece, these workouts are excellent if you need to get in an intense interval workout but don't have time for the full hour sufferfests offered up by the other dvds in the series.

So there you are.  This 4-dvd set is probably the best workout collection I own.  Each one of the workouts is tough and demanding, and they all feature regularly in my rotation.

If you are just beginning an exercise program, you may want to start with something a little easier.  But if you have a measure of fitness, and are prepared to put it all out there, these will certainly get you results.


Jill Luton said...

I read through your reviews of this DVD set and quickly decided to order it online. I'll have to check back with you to let you know how it goes.

Chris said...

Hey there, thanks for the great review!
I'm a Beachbody coach and avid Insanity & P90X user. I'm not sure that anything could possibly be more challenging, but I'm always looking for something new/different along the same level to keep things fresh. Do you think it would hold up to Insanity?