DVD Review: Bob Harper Ultimate Cardio Body Workout

Ok, this DVD, has a long name (The Bob Harper Ultimate Cardio Body Extreme Weight Loss Workout) and promises an hour of heart-pounding, calorie-burning, cardio-conditioning hell. So after a weekend of possibly not the best food choices, I figured a little punishment was just what I needed. (Ha! I kid.) (Only a little).

First things first, he talks a lot about burning calories and losing fat but the people he has as his backup dancers, well, they have no fat on them so I’m worried from the start that he’s going to kill them. As you regular readers know, I’ve been doing Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred workouts, and I like Jillian’s backup dancers better, they look strong and healthy. These ladies look like they might not have enough reserves to get them through the workout. On the other hand, the guy backup dancer was really having trouble keeping up and that makes me happy because I was too.

Second thing, he’s not as personable as Jillian. I always feel like she’s on my side when I’m doing her videos. I don’t get that same sort of warm vibe from him, I don’t get the impression that he gives a crap what I’m up to. (It’s not necessary, and it’s not going to put me off, but it’s not a style I prefer)

It’s a full hour. He starts out with some yoga-based warmups, which was nice. Then it’s a full hour of cardio with weights, and he’s clearly working the heart rate, you go up hard, then you come down for a bit, then back up. It’s good stuff, some moves I’ve certainly never seen or tried before, strength conditioning mixed in along with cardio. I did my best, but there were definitely times when I had to modify pretty severely because it was just too much for me.  It’s definitely advanced course stuff, I’m really glad I did the Jillian workout first, because I could not have jumped straight into this one, it would have killed me. (I think when I started those I felt like it was going to kill me too, so this is definitely the right progression) As it is I’m only half dead – I think my hamstrings are going to fire me.

It’s a high-impact workout, and there are a LOT of squats and lunges. I had to trade out my weights a few times and do the arm moves without weights after I’d exhausted my muscles. He keeps you on the same move much longer than Jillian, this is a good change for my body which was clearly getting used to the short intervals.

One quibble: I don’t like lies. And he lies towards the end. He gets you going and he tells you, “This is it, this is the end of the workout, give it all you’ve got!” and then you get to the end of that move and it’s NOT the end of the workout, there are about 3 more different moves and holds after that, and with each one he lies again, “This is it, this is the end!” but it’s not. That crap is NOT cool. Do not lie to me dude, I can handle the truth, so just be honest. I can’t even begin to describe how much that kind of lying irks me. Also, it made me kind of sad, like somebody should have told him how DVDs work, and that his little trick will only work the first time.

Will I do it again: Probably, but certainly not every day, I don’t usually have that kind of time. I’ll probably stick to Jillan’s quick hardcore Shreds for my everyday workout, and throw this on when I’m feeling the need for an extra challenge or a little extra burn. I’ve definitely got room to improve on this one, so I’d like to be able to watch my conditioning improve over time when I do this one.