Oh, Bob. It’s been too long. Far, far too long. And now that you’re returning to our television screens for what looks to be an amazing 15th season of The Biggest Loser, we thought: What better time to review your newest The Skinny Rules Workout DVDs than now, in anticipation of you being a part of our Tuesday nights again? That’s right, no better time!
Yes, we’re now talking directly to Bob through our posts. Back to you guys!
And, guys, Bob has taken things up a level (or 12) with these workout DVDs.
Based on some of the principles in his book The Skinny Rules, these workouts are much, much shorter than his previous workout DVDs — and also more intense. (Not that the others were easy or anything … ) In fact, this series is probably most like Bob’s Workout DVD, just shorter and more crazy pants. Which seems to be following Bob’s personal fitness and training evolution that we’ve seen over the last couple of years. Bob has gone from vegan yogi to meat-eating CrossFit groupie, and these workout DVDs certainly reflect that. The most CrossFit-like workouts I’ve ever seen (they’re even called Workout of the Days — WODs) in DVD form, these are about as close as you can get to doing CrossFit at home without, you know, actually going to a box (or your box sending a WOD home with you to do). And they’re pretty much what you get from his online club (like the workout I was in!), just in a workout DVD set.
After about a 10-minute not-easy warm-up (holy heart rate!), you get down to the 10- to 20-minute workouts on each of the Cardio, Strength and Core DVDs. Each DVD has a total of four WODs, giving you a ton of variability. The workouts themselves are mostly set up as circuits or AMRAP — as many rounds as possible. In Cardio, there are rounds of squats and burpees and mountain climbers and push-ups and all kinds of high-intensity and high-impact bodyweight cardio moves. In Strength, there are more burpees (Bob loves burpees) and other goodies with dumbbells like thrusters, snatches, squat cleans and push presses. In the Core DVD, WODs feature moves like side planks with lots of variations, flutter kicks and kettlebell swings.
With all the different WODs to choose from, it can be hard to know what to try first, but Bob includes a 30-day calendar to give you some structure to follow. And, overall, the instruction on these is good. You need to know what you’re doing (nothing ever can take the place of an in-person experienced and certified professional helping you to perfect your form), and you need to be in somewhat decent shape to try these. Bob shows modifications, but these workouts really are damn intense, even when modifying. Heck, I regularly do CrossFit-style workouts, and I even had to modify a few things. But the music is pretty good, and Bob is Bob, which is always a good thing in our book.
That said, a lot of these workouts you could do without Bob at all. The routines are simple, and you could easily do them by just looking at a piece of paper. But would you really want to? Um, we wouldn’t. Having Bob’s baby blues there “watching” us and his encouragement certainly make these incredibly challenging workouts more doable. And totally more fun. Because if the choice is between Bob or no Bob, we always go with Bob.
FBG Rating (Out of 5)
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Fit Bottomed Line: Not for the faint of heart, Bob Harper’s Skinny Rules Workout DVD set brings CrossFit to your living room. With tons of burpees and squats, these workouts are short but don’t let that fool you — they’re intense as hell and full of Bob in all his Bob glory.
This workout DVD set is going in my personal all-time favorite hall of fame — and is a go-to at-home WOD for me. Do you have a favorite Bob workout DVD? —Jenn