Review: Bob Harper Beginner’s Weight Loss Transformation DVD

bob-harpers-beginner-DVDThe last time we reviewed something of Bob Harper’s I’ll admit that it was a little tumultuous. I was dismayed, bothered and frankly—as a fellow fitness professional—offended. When it comes to losing weight, there’s no easy answer, just a lot of soul-searching and changing of behaviors. There is no one magic bullet, or pill in this case. But, because we have a long history with Bob (oh, how we have gushed over him!), we couldn’t just ignore that he put out a new workout DVD. Especially one that’s geared for beginners. So, we put our past disagreement aside, and decided to give this DVD—as we do with all of our reviews—an objective look.

Don’t be fooled by the word “beginner” in the title. Bob Harper: Beginner’s Weight Loss is not—I repeat NOT—an easy workout designed for someone who hasn’t been off the couch for years. Although not as difficult as his former The Biggest Loser co-star’s approach to workout DVDs or his own workout, it’s still tough for even an intermediate exerciser, let alone a newbie. The DVD features two workouts. First, a 45-minute series of heart-pumpin’ and sweat-drippin’ cardio and weight-lifting drills like push-ups, lunges, and combo upper- and lower-body moves. Second, a 10-minute ab routine that is short but to the point with the burn. Again, not easy.

Bob is quite endearing as an instructor in this workout DVD, and he cues better in this one than in any other DVD of his that we’ve reviewed. The music, set and overall feel of the DVD is still pretty bad-ass—by no means are any of the people in the DVD “beginners.” Despite this, Bob is still encouraging and does address the fact that the workout is tough—even admitting at one point that he just can’t help himself. I’m all for pushing oneself, obviously, but between the intensity of the workout and its length (I really, really wish there was a 30-minute workout option), this is probably best suited to intermediate exercisers. And for them, it. is. awesome.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):

Instruction: ★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Music: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★
Overall: ★★★1/2

Fit Bottom line: Not really a beginner’s workout, Bob Harper’s new Beginner’s Weight Loss Transformation DVD is a great challenge for intermediate exercisers.

Want to try this workout DVD for yourself? Leave a comment telling us why, and we’ll select one random U.S. reader to win in about a week. The winner will be contacted via email and in the comments, so stay tuned! —Jenn



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  1. I’ve been looking forward to this one being released! I went and bought Bob’s workout DVDs and got a little scared reading the reviews, so I haven’t even unwrapped them yet. I was hoping that this “beginner” workout would be good for me. I do live a sedentary lifestyle, for the most part, and I want to add in a workout at home, in addition to the little bit of tennis I play.

  2. I’ve never tried one of Bob’s DVD’s and since at a more intermediate level now I think it would be a great supplement to my workout routine.

  3. I tend to do mostly FIRM workouts. I’d love to try something new. I’m and intermediate exerciser, so it might be just the thing I need to shake things up!

  4. i want this so bad! i have almost all of his dvd’s and i love how hard he pushes! i can’t always do it, but i love the way i feel after working out with bob!

  5. I would love to try this DVD and add it to my Zumba routine. Give me some change. Still trying to lose this baby weight 🙁

  6. Ooo this looks like a good one, definitely something that I think would be a great option on a rainy summer day when you’re too lazy to trek to the gym. Good work Bob!

  7. I’d love to win this because I’m a fan of him on TBL, but his previous DVDs haven’t appealed to me. You made this one sound like a keeper, so I’d love to try it!

  8. I would love to incorporate this DVD in my work out regime. I really need to get back to being fit after having 3 babies in the last four years. Thanks for the review.

  9. I would love to win this. I need something else to shock my body, since I’ve plateaued. My weight loss has been great for me mentally and emotionally, even though it was unplanned at first. Now I can’t get enough fitness and my running is killing me with the shin splints.

  10. Bob is the best. I have his other DVDs and would love to try this one, too. As cliched as it sounds he’s helped kick my butt into shape for my upcoming wedding. My fiance calls it my “daily butt kicking courtesy of Bob”.

  11. After 5 months of nursing a shoulder injury, I feel I have gone back to the beginning of working out. I lost a lot of my muscle mass, endurance and strength waiting it out to rehab this shoulder. Now I’m giving an all-clear to get back to working out. Even though I have been running in the interim, this workout sounds like it might be just the thing to transition me back to my former fitness level…and beyond. Plus, I actually do like Bob’s style. 🙂

  12. I wanna win because nothing will motivate me more than looking at Bob’s gorgeous face for an hour 🙂

  13. I want to win Bob’s new workout DVD because he is SO motivational and helps me keep with the program. Not to mention, winter will be here sooner then later, and I won’t be able to run outside in the cold, Chicago winters 🙁

  14. My dvd collection is seriously out of date – lol – I don’t have any of Bob’s workouts! I need some of his positive energy!

  15. I’d love this dvd! I just lost my gym membership due to moving, so this will keep me motivated!

  16. I have been a huge fan of Bob’s since Biggest Loser first aired. Each season i would attempt to follow along but, quickly would lose steam not having the great success as the contestants. I really need to lose a lot of weight and this would be a good place to start.

  17. I restarted my workout regime this summer and I think that this Bob Harper video would be a great addition to the series of workouts I’ve been doing!

  18. Hi! I have enjoyed BL and Jillian dvds, I love them because I can grow at my own pace, I love having variety because it keeps workout time fun! I really love bob and would love to have one of this to increase to my collection… team bob always!

  19. This looks like a great workout dvd! I am a workout dvd junkie! I love being able to cater my workouts to my moods, time available, and not paying a gym fee!

  20. I want this dvd because I want to be a biggest loser too. After slacking with exercise this summer, this is the inspiration I need.

  21. So desperately I have been trying to loose weight. My eating habits have improved and I have worked out consistently for a year, but I am so very stuck at an all to high weight. Bob would be welcome to help get my metabolism going again !!! Thank you.

  22. I would love to try this dvd, b/c i’m hoping he says something like, “let me get you on your back” like he does in the first biggest loser workout, so while i’m doing abs i can just imagine him saying it in a different context…. 😉

  23. I have never owned a DVD from Bob, and I am curious if his workout would work for me. I need something for a beginner, and from the description of this DVD, it might be the one for me.

  24. I have been doing Billy Blanks Ultimate Tae Bo workout for a while, but find I am wanting some different moves, not the same thing all the time. I would love to try out this DVD, and use it in conjunction with my Tae Bo DVD!

  25. I have been a serious couch potato since I was on bedrest with 2 pregnancies. My daughter is going off to school and I have absolutely no excuse for not getting in shape. I’ll be at home all day. This would be a huge help.

  26. I’ve never used a Bob Harper DVD. But I love DVD’s and have several. It’s easier for me than going to the gym which I do and love. But I need to really lose weight. I’ve been doing some writing and have been sitting too much. I need to get moving. Encouragement is what I need most.

  27. This sounds like a great challenge! I’m always looking to try something new — and I love Bob!

  28. It’s simple ! Bob Harper is the greatest trainer EVER ! Nobody motivates me like him ! I have all his other dvds and I’m obsessed lol Would make my day to win this one 😉

  29. Because it’s Bob and his other videos have had me wishing that I didn’t care for my health so much and was content to sit around!

  30. I’ve tried Jillian’s No More Trouble Zones, I’d just love to see what Bob’s got, I always wondered which trainer would be best for me!

  31. I am 66 yrs old with replaced left hip and can walk at a fast pace but do not know what level of exercise I am able to do beyond that since I have never been a very heavy exercise person but I have quit smoking now and now the spread has begun. Need some help please. Thank you.