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:

About Alan Edwards

Former cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.

Posted on August 12, 2010, in Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. I have tried some of the challenges and i class myself as pretty fit… however I fail on every challenge… Bob is very good.

    • I haven’t been able to complete a single one of his weekly challenges either. But, one day I just might, and that’ll be a good day. In the meantime, I’ll probably be stuck with huddling on the floor hugging my arms to my shredded and weeping abs.

  2. Love your review. Made me laugh because I’ve done those workouts that seem benign at first, then end with me trying with all my might to keep down my breakfast. Gonna take your advice and purchase the set.
    Happy Lifting –

    • Awesome! I really don’t think you’ll regret it. I’ve never been happier with an exercise video set before. Which is odd, considering how hobbled and feeble I feel afterwards. But it’s a good hobbled and feeble, you know?

  3. I got the set I tried Yoga (I’ve NEVER done before) The first pose killed me!! It’s going to be a LONG road but I can’t wait to take it with Bob!!! 😉

    • I did the yoga workout once. I’ve done it before, and used to do it very regularly several years ago, but I was also dying right off the bat. He’s mean in the most loving way I’ve ever seen.

  4. I too have felt the wrath of Bob’s new DVD’s! My first experience with the strength DVD and I only lasted 15 min. As a runner in marathon training, I was looking for a “light” yoga workout on my cross training day but what I got was an hour of having my ass handed to me in a bird of paradise pose! But I find myself coming back for more, either because I am crazy or because i know its what I need – the jury is still out!

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