Bob Harper’s Inside-Out Method: Body Rev Cardio Conditioning (a Review)


As promised, I’m following up my review of Bob Harper’s Yoga for the Warrior DVD with a review of the next in the series that I tried: Body Rev Cardio Conditioning. As the title alludes, this is Bob’s workout to get your heart pumping and keep it pumping fast for an hour – and also to absolutely exhaust you from head to toe.

Now, I fancy myself a fit girl. As I mentioned before, I’m a graduate of the P90X and P90X Plus programs many times over. I’ve also been doing the grueling Insanity workout program for a couple of months, and I’ve been very focused on fitness my entire adult life (which, for the record, is about 10 years now). So please take into consideration what I am about to say. Know that I didn’t just roll off the couch, Cheetos bag in hand, and try this workout after years of being sedentary. I’m supposed to be kick ass, you know.

The workout will make a humble fool of anyone who thinks he or she is too kickass for any at-home fitness DVD.

You begin innocently enough: a few ballistic stretches and some light exercises to warm up. Then you start with the seemingly endless swinging squat raises, done with what Bob calls your “heavy weight” (I used a 5-pounder, but next time I might try 8… no one should ever need more than 12 lbs. Yes, even you, Hulkanator). You continue with these swinging squat raises for quite some time ( my only gripe is that this segment goes on entirely too long), switching from holding the weight in both hands, to the right hand, to the left hand, and then alternating. I started off a little disappointed in the intensity, but by the end my lower back was really feeling it, and my heart was indeed pounding. And that was just the warm up. You then move into jump squats with your lighter weights, which absolutely floored me about how hard those were. It was really, really difficult to try to keep up with the trainees on the DVD with the weighted jump squats. It felt like I could barely get off the ground! My quads were spent.

After some serious leg work (so many static squat holds!!! I’ve never felt such a burn), you move directly (there are no break here, children) to a little more shoulder-specific moves. Even with the light weights (Gang, I was using 3 lbs… and it was HARD), the weighted jump ropes and jumping jacks wore me down. I had to break periodically just so I could force my arms up for the movements. My entire body was worked from head to toe.

Now, I’ve left out all the times I muttered “Damnit, Bob!” under my breath as we moved from exercise to exercise. There were plenty of those. I’m fairly certain if Bob were actually training me in person I would have thoroughly pissed him off with all my cursing and “Oh, come ons!” But, as he said, “You wanted me as a trainer, well now you’ve got me.” He’s not just your cute little tattooed, vegan yoga buddy. He is a fantastic personal trainer, and this is your taste of training with him. He never shouts, but doesn’t want you to stop. He’s encouraging, but not soft. It’s just what I’d want in a trainer.

Nearing the end of the workout, after you’ve done about 400 static squat holds and you’re unsure how much longer your shoulders will stay attached to your body, you go back to those all-too-familiar swinging squat raises you did so many times in the beginning. That kind of serves for your five-minute cooldown, then you do a little stretching, take your ass back from Bob, which he has thoroughly handed to you, and take a little time for some self reflection (which, in my case, meant sopping up sweat from my face and my living room floor).

Bob’s Body Rev Cardio Conditioning workout completely humbled me in a way I thought I was far past, after experiencing Insanity’s MAX workouts. And while I’m mentioning Insanity, I like Bob’s cardio workout because it’s not as plyometrics-centric as Insanity. It’s a lot easier on the joints (my bum right knee tends to flare up when doing any explosive jump squats), but it still sends your heart rate skyrocketing. Having only done Bob’s cardio workout once, I can’t say for sure which program I like better – they’re both phenomenal – but Body Rev will be nice to sub in when my knee is particularly grouchy.

Let me warn you that after the first time you try this workout, if you’re anything like me, you will be sore up to three days after. My lower back hadn’t experienced that much muscle concentration in a long time, and it took quite a long time to feel back to normal (in a good way!). My inner thighs, four days later, are still a little sensitive….

And wasn’t I supposed to be so kickass?

Soon-to-come is my third and final review of the series: Bob's Super Strength workout DVD. Let's just say after three days in a row of workouts with Bob, my shoulders are never going to forgive me.


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