We Go to Butt School, Pop Physique’s Cardio Butt School (With Giveaway!)

butt schoolFor obvious reasons, we like workouts that target the buttocks area. (Yes, I just said “buttocks” in all seriousness.) While your rump doesn’t have to look a certain way to be considered “fit bottomed,” it does have to get moving (with a lot of self love back behind it—pun fully intended!). And what’s a better way to do that then with a workout DVD called Cardio Butt School? Seriously, they had us at hello. Or, butt, I guess.

Created from the popular barre studios Pop Physique (seriously, that home page even beats this workout DVD cover that had us picking our jaws up off the floor way back in 2008), it’s 40-ish minutes of ballet, strength work, Pilates and 80s funky fashion. Seriously, these girls are dressed like it’s 1984 yet are still super cool, like they stepped straight out of an American Apparel ad and are now telling you how to get the butt of your dreams. There are leotards, leg warmers and high ponytails, people.

Billed as “Cardio Butt School,” I found this workout to be more Pilates and strength than cardio. Sure, some of the moves get your heart rate up, but there are pretty big stretches of time where your heart rate isn’t that elevated. The Pop Physique workout DVD covers says it’ll burn 500 calories a session, but I’m pretty sure only a linebacker could burn that many calories in 40 minutes. Now, that’s not to say the workout is easy or isn’t worth your time. The moves are inventive, challenging and effective.

After a super short warm-up (actually it blends right in with the workout really quickly, so you might want to do some marches in place for a few minutes before hitting play just to make sure you’re really warmed up), you go straight into push-ups, planks with twists, plies, squats, tricep dips and traditional butt exercises. With just a mat, a chair and light hand-weights (I wish they were heavier…but I think I’ve made that pretty well clear over the years) you work every body part. Using kind of a barre/old-school aerobics method where you do a move, pulse it, hold it down and then pulse some more until it feels like your limb is going to die and fall off, you definitely work your muscles to fatigue. There are even retro 80s-rific leg lifts plus a whole bunch of new—at least to me—moves that have your body twisting in new ways and burning like crazy. You work a lot of your abs in this DVD, too, and you even do a few lower-back strengthening moves. I love, love, love when workouts address all sides of the core!

Despite the fact that I kind of felt old doing the workout (I think I’ve now reached the age where I can only dress like an 80s aerobics instructor on Halloween, no matter the trends), this workout is fun. I wish it had more cardio, more butt work (it is butt school after all) modifications for beginners and not just teeny-tiny weights, but for a barre workout, it’s fresh, fun and different. The music is good and techno-y, it’s well cued (despite a little shouty at times), and it’s definitely a challenge yet not impossible.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Music: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★
Overall: ★★

Fit Bottomed Line: If you’re bored with barre or ballet-inspired workouts, try this funky fresh Pop Physique workout DVD. Despite the Cardio Butt School title, it’s actually an intermediate 40-minute full-body workout that will build strength and boost flexibility! 

Any Pop Physique fans out there? Anyone want to go to Cardio Butt School? I have a copy to give away to a random U.S. reader. Just give me a comment with your favorite 80s fashion trend to enter to win! —Jenn


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  1. I love neon, and in the winter I still love the oversized sweater/sweatshirt with leggings look. It’s just so comfy!

  2. I loved the side ponytails, too! It may have been only a southern thing, but in the mid-80s for a short while saddle oxfords seemed to be back in style. Or at my school, anyway. I was in the 4th grade and I wanted some pink and white Bass saddle oxfords so bad!

  3. The jelly shoes were awesome, but what about those necklaces that you picked different-colored strands and twisted them together, and who didn’t love big hair.

  4. I liked wearing two different (or more!) colored pairs of socks (neon shades were best) folded over one another.

  5. I don’t know how you felt old doing this because I didn’t when I took a live class and I know I’m way older than you Jenn! And I also still love me some neon, especially hot pink and lime green. I do believe they are back in style but I swear they never left my wardrobe (lol). “Butt school” just cracks me up too!

  6. I loved Cindi Lauper and her crazy hair and clothes!!! I have to admit I still sing at the top of my lungs girls just want to have fun when I hear it come on the radio!!!!

  7. LEG WARMERS!!!! Although I have to admit sometimes I still try to rock them!! But walking through stores I wanna say some 80’s trends are coming back!!!

  8. Short jean skirts, with off the shoulder shirts, and side ponytails! We recently attended an ’80’s theme party. It was fun to see everyone’s version of the trends from that period of time.

  9. I have an expired Groupon coupon for the Seal Beach, CA Pop Physique — if anyone’s interested, I will send it to you and you can redeem it for the value I paid. I think it would cover one session.

  10. My fave 80’s trend is the “anything goes” trend! You could essentially throw together anything you wanted and it worked! 🙂

  11. Favorite 80s trend – Lisa Frank, hands down. Unicorns and leopard rainbow prints, how I miss you.

  12. big loose flashdance sweatshirts,leggins and leg warmers…oh and the bangle braclets like madonna in desperatly seeking susan

  13. I loved leggings under full skirts, because it was the only way were allowed to wear pants to school. I also liked studded purses. One girl in the grade above me got sent to the principals office for wearing a fluorescent sweatshirt that said GAG ME! on it in huge block letters.

  14. And the winner is…Theresa at comment No. 43! Congrats! Emailing you now to get your mailing address.

    Congrats — and thanks to all for entering. Some fabulously 80-rific comments here. 🙂

    –FBG Jenn