The Fit Bottomed Girls love all things Biggest Loser. Jenn has been obsessed since its premiere, and it was she who handed me my first Biggest Loser workout DVD. Because I own the video and have done it a time or 20, I enlisted the participation of my other half to help me see it with fresh eyes. His previous experience with workout DVDs includes imitating me while I do them, and he doesn’t think they could possibly be as challenging as working out at the gym.
Proved him wrong.
The DVD offers pre-set routines, but also lets you customize the workouts. It offers the standard warm-up, cool down, and four 20-minute sessions, which include both high and low intensity cardio segments, a bootcamp option, and strength and sculpt segment. Special features include the weight-loss stories of contestants Matt and Suzy, and I might have cried twice.
Individual cast members run through basic moves while voice-over Bob Harperinstructs. Have no fear, you’ll see his pretty face later. Nothing exciting here, but you’ll be glad they take it easy on you in this segment.
Low Intensity Cardio
Don’t let the name “low intensity” fool you. Au contraire, mon amis, this is a toughie. Bob runs four of the biggest losers through basic cardio moves, mixing in kickboxing and jumping jacks. In what could be an effective method of torture, er, glute work, Bob pulls out the lunges. After you start to feel the burn, he changes the pace—faster then slower, until you’re convinced that your entire rear might detach from your body and fall onto the floor. By the time you get to squats, your legs and buns are burning so badly that you’re practically cursing, but you have company—the contestants. At this point, my workout partner was a believer. A sweaty, sweaty believer.
High Intensity Cardio
This portion throws high knees, quick feet, faux jump rope and kickboxing at you to get your heart rate up. This is a higher-impact section, but you can always take it down a notch by making movements smaller or kicking lower. You’ll be a sweaty mess after Bob’s done with you.
Strength & Sculpt
Pull out the weights for this sculpting session. You’ll work the arms, back, abs and lower body with lunges and squats. After the cardio sessions, this almost feels like a bit of a break—but B.Harp will push you just beyond that point of fatigue every time.
“Bootcamp’s no joke!” says Bob cheerily as he pushes you through the paces. And he’s right. With push-ups, lunges, squats, weights, jumping jacks and plyometric jumps, you’ll quickly learn this is no comedy routine. Choose your weights wisely, friends. My 3-pounders had me burning, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I had to put them down for the jacks-plus-weights sections.
It’s tough for me to make time for cool downs, but I always work this one in. It’s a little yoga-esque and has great scenery (and I’m not just talking about Bob). It’s a great cool down no matter which workout you chose.
Although on occasion Bob gets a little off the beat, and a cue here and there is off, I can easily overlook that because he’s genuinely having so much fun with the workout. He’s also quite easy on the eyes, so you forgive him for the pain and agony as well. The workouts are quite challenging, so don’t get discouraged if you think it’s tough, and do not be afraid to embrace the modifications shown.
This video is refreshing because the cast isn’t made up of skinny little women smiling and pretending the workout is easy. You have real men and women, whom you can see pushing themselves to go that extra mile. Yes, sometimes they pause and take a two-second rest, and you can see the sweat. But they make you want to tough it out, even when it’s not easy.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★ (and a half!)
The male perspective: Some actual quotes from my workout partner, when he was actually able to speak:“I guess I don’t have to go to the gym tonight after all.” “I’m having a religious experience.” “I kinda have a crush on Bob, too.”
Fit Bottom Line: A challenging, feel-good workout that will make you sweat, make you laugh, make you want to cry, and make you feel quite empowered when you get it done. —Erin
Photo grabbed from http://www.photobucket.com