Exercise DVD Review: Bob Harper Kettlebell Sculpted Body
Originally, I wasn’t going to do a review of this one, since a lot of what I have to say about kettlebells in Bob’s workout videos was covered in my Cardio Shred review. After mixing it into my normal routine and doing it today, though, I decided to do one anyway. I’m not going to go into the merits and drawbacks of kettlebells here – just suffice it to say that my opinions haven’t changed since the last review. I did the workout with handweights, and I feel like it is a good enough workout to use if you like Bob’s style.
There is a lot of parallels with Cardio Shred: many of the moves are the same, just with a greater mix of strength. I can’t tell if there were more swings in this one than the cardio workout, because after a while it all turns into a sweaty haze of grunting and sweating. The same windmills from Cardio Shred (lift weight in one hand over head, point your opposite toe towards the wall, kick your hip out, then keep the weight over your head while you bend at the waist to bring your other hand to your foot) are here, and brutal, along with lunges. There are a lot of freakin’ swings. I did the Sculpted Body this morning and Cardio Shred yesterday, and let me tell you something: my glutes are more sore right now than I can ever recall in my entire life. I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like tomorrow morning. I’m already walking right now like an old man with a pole up his ass. Tomorrow will be stellar, I’m sure.
This will work you out. Let me repeat: THIS WILL WORK YOU OUT. As I said, there is more emphasis on strength moves here, but there is plenty of cardio to go around. Bob doesn’t want your heart rate to drop too much. It won’t, believe me. Swings. Jumping jacks. Swings. Mountain climbers. Swings. Suitcase swings. Criminy. If I keep doing these videos back to back, my ass will be granite. Stephanie is Bob’s victim in this one, which makes me happy since she’s one of my favorites (although there is less sarcasm from her in this one, which is a shame). Her arms alone are a source of inspiration.
There is good strength moves in here too, but not quite to the degree of his Inside Out Method strength DVD. This video, like the title suggests, seems to be more about sculpting than doing T-Stand Pushups. It’s still a good workout. You’ll be doing pushups during this 50-odd minute workout, both normal and what Bob calls Cliff Scalers (I think – my breath is heaving a bit every time we get to them). This variation starts you in plank, like a normal pushup, but then you move one foot out to the side so that your feet are apart, while at the same time you bring your hands together. Then you move your hand to the side and bring your other foot over to meet it. Essentially, you are walking sideways on your hands for a four-count, then you do a pushup, then you go back the other way. You’ll need room to do them, and my awkward non-dancing ass has trouble getting the coordination necessary to complete the move instinctively. Once you get it, though, you’ll be good. They are hard, and then afterwards you get to do mountain climbers. Fun!
There are other strength moves as well, like snatches (squat, dumbell or kettlebell in one hand between your feet, raise up while bringing the weight under your chin), shoulder presses, a combo move of the last two combined, bicep curls followed by curls on one foot, those lovely press-outs where you push the weight out from your chest, and other stuff that adrenaline has apparently wiped from my memory banks. There is also standing core work, like torso twists and whatever you call it when you bring your knee to the opposite elbow. Finally, the stretching portion is half yoga moves, Downward Facing Dog and Half Moon and Chair Pose. I shan’t try to explain the gluteal agony I was feeling ending the workout with Chair Pose, but I was not feeling particularly relaxed or serene.
All in all, I’d recommend this workout if you like Bob’s other stuff. I wouldn’t bother with the kettlebell unless you are already comfortable using them. It’s a good workout. Now, if you can only afford to get one DVD, and you don’t already have the Inside Out Method DVDs, I recommend them more (I definitely think they are more intense), but if you already have them and love them, then this makes a worthy addition to your collection.
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