Exercise Video Review: Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method Pure Burn
For background material and a review of Bob’s cardio video, see my previous blog entry.
Bob Harper’s Pure Burn (the strength workout) is the first of his new workout DVDs that I tried. On the surface, it doesn’t appear too bad: your heavy weights are in the 8 to 12 pound range. Now, I lift weights often, usually 5 days a week, regularly curling 50s (because they are the heaviest weights my office’s gym has), benching 200 (again, the maximum), and stuff like that. So, on the surface, doing a strength workout with a 10-pound weight should be a piece of cake, right?
Cue Bob’s evil laugh.
Much like in his cardio video, you and those heavy weights will become intimate with one another. You will know every single crack and crevice in each handle. By the time you are standing there with your arms extended, weights at eye level, those 10-pound weights feel like the sucking gravity of Jupiter. And yet, you still have to hold them in front of you, at least until you get to move them to the side. No, not down to the side, but straight out at your sides. And then to the front again. It’s agony. You do not need heavy weights to get an extreme strength workout. Bob definitely shows you how.
I won’t go into a blow-by-blow of every exercise. Frankly, there are parts I can’t remember, that are just a blur of arm-pumping, sweating, and indelicate noises ripped unconsciously from your throat. The people he has in the video are inspiring, as always, but especially Helen and Stephanie. These people are in shape. I mean, not “I’m in the gym and standing prettily with a light sheen of sweat” kind of shape, but in the “I work out for 3 hours a day and train for Ironman triathalons” kind of shape. And they’re dying. DYING. Bob rides them hard. “You’re an athlete, move like an athlete!” he yells at one point to Helen, a mother of four, and quite possibly one of the most awe-inspiringly fit people I’ve ever seen, when she’s flagging. Her dirty looks are priceless, as are Stephanie’s incredulous “you have to be f-ing kidding, right?” looks at times. Women will probably like to look at Francisco (edit: I originally called him Fernando, because I’m not very smart), but he isn’t exactly inspiring.
That’s one thing I didn’t mention in the previous review. In that one, there is Roxie, who looks like a 14-year-old girl smuggled in from Albania. I’d be surprised if she’s over 5 feet tall. She is, however, a tireless dynamo and one of the most inspiring people I’ve seen on an exercise video. Then there’s Becky, who at one point gives a sarcastic “No” answer to Bob when he asks if she’s feeling it in her legs. Dumb, dumb move. The rest of the time you hear Bob yelling, “C’mon, Becky!” every time she starts to get tired. It cracks me up, since my old workout partner used the name “Becky” anytime he wanted to insinuate that his target was acting like a girl, generally when weights were involved. I respond to “C’mon, Becky!” with a laugh every time.
Anyway, segues aside, the video is tough. The second time you are doing a set of plank rows that move into a t-stand then into a pushup into a row and t-stand on the other side, you are whipped. Exhausted. Brutalized. But it feels really, really good. Bob does an amazing job of pulling the last bit of effort from me, when all I want to do is keel over and die. Like his cardio video, I highly recommend that you get this DVD. Get the whole set. Trust me, he will work you out.
Other Bob Harper Review Links: