Exercise DVD Review: Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method Bob’s Workout
This is the final review of Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method DVD set. You can find the Pure Burn strength review here, the Body Rev cardio video here, and Yoga for the Warrior here. You can probably find my reviews of the workout plan pretty easily, since there is a new one every day.
Bob’s Workout. As I said in an earlier post, that name really says it all, with a nice deadly understated ring to it. What’s this? Oh, it’s just Bob’s workout. The implications behind that, however, stand out loud and clear. This isn’t going to be easy. This isn’t going to consist of jumping jacks and toe touches. No, the name promises that it will bring the mighty to their knees in a sweat-coated shivering palsy. And that was me before I actually put it in.
The DVD consists of two separate workouts based on what Bob himself does as a workout, both 30 minutes long, one cardio and the other strength. The timer from the other DVDs is missing, which was surprisingly noticeable to me. While I didn’t have the problem of “feeling like it’s been an hour already” (as Stephanie puts it in Exercise #1) when the clock is letting me know that it’s been 4 minutes, I also didn’t have the comfort of knowing when I was past the halfway point, a psychological boost I wasn’t aware that I’d gotten used to.
The first video is the cardio session. Stephanie is the lone talent here, following Bob’s instructions. This is good, because you get to here a lot of what she really thinks. She’s very funny. Her sarcastic “Yay!” as she is gasping for air when Bob asserts that he plans on making the lunges harder is worth the price of admission, especially the face that goes with it. Watching her soldier on and struggle despite her obvious strength helps reassure the poor soul working out to the DVD that they aren’t alone. This session is no friggin’ joke.
Warm-ups set the tone: Handwalks and burpees replace neck stretches and knee hugs. Your heart rate will be high after about a minute. A series of kettle-ball swings (although handweights work just fine, too) with three progressively higher weights follows, then plank rows with the feet elevated on a step, followed by lunges. All of these exercises take place in rapid succession, and I mean rapid. If you take too long retrieving your weight, then Stephanie is ahead of you. You will need to move quickly to keep up.
The exercises repeat, then shift into different varieties, none of them easy. Turkish get-ups, jumping lunges (which prompted the “Yay!” in the first place), plenty of ab work, and other strange and unfamiliar exercises round it out. It’s intense, as intense a thirty-minute workout as I’ve ever seen, and Stephanie is seriously winded afterwards. This makes Bob happy: he asserts that this isn’t one of those videos where the pretty girl just gets a light sheen of sweat. “Nope,” agrees Stephanie as her hands are on her knees and sweat drips off her face. Bob smiles; “She can get pretty after the workout.”
Exercise 2 is the strength one, and Zack gets to go through it. There are hand weights around, and a step (also used in the first workout for the plank rows). The weights aren’t too heavy, but you will be lifting them a lot, and like the first video, the transitions are fast to keep your heart rate quite elevated. One look at Zack’s red face is a testament to that.
The warm-up starts with an honest-to-God jump rope, something so rarely seen anymore that I half-expected Bob to pull out a hoop and stick during the cooldown. Despite the combined hours spent acting like I was jumping rope (thanks, Jillian!), I am not sure that I could successfully do it without tripping and braining myself on a hex dumbbell. You don’t need the jump rope, although the next warm-up move is to hop over it from side to side a bunch of times. Then you lift. The step is a push-up platform, then a bench for rows and chest presses. There are squats and curls and essentially an exercise for every muscle in your body. Fast. Fast fast fast.
It’s brutal. You know those videos where the vapid people smiling vacantly the whole time while pretending like what their doing is no more strenuous than deciding whether to have hummus or salad for dinner? Yeah. This ain’t one of those. Zach is clearly struggling from the midpoint on, and you will be too. My favorite part is the only one that shows a clearly edited point: Bob is trying to get Zach to move on, and all Zack can do is lean his hands on his knees and gasp, his face an alarming shade of red. After a couple more sentences from Bob, it’s clear Zack ain’t moving, and suddenly Bob is 15 feet away and Zach is less red-faced. I don’t know whether he left to puke, sat down for a minute or two, or what, but the guy clearly needed to recover before he could move on. This seems to be what makes Bob the happiest: seeing strong people suffer.
If I recall correctly (I’m a lazy reviewer and a two-minute web search is too much for me right now), you can only get Bob’s Workout as part of the complete set, not a separate DVD. It’s worth it, and the whole set is awesome, so just get the set. This workout will challenge you, whoever you might be and your level of fitness. You will need weights to maximize the effectiveness, but you don’t need to buy kettle weights if you don’t have them. The step is optional as well, but I find it easier to have one. Work yourself up to it, but the feeling of completing it is a really good one. As always, 5 out of 5.
Other Bob Harper Review Links: