Friday, April 15, 2011

Review of Bob Harper: Ultimate Cardio Body

“I don’t know if I can do it, Bob,” I said to Bob Harper’s face as he looked back at me from the TV screen.
   The Biggest Loser trainer was ordering a new round of mountain climbers (alternately pulling the knees to the chest from the top of a push-up position) and I wasn’t sure I had it within me to keep going.
   But something about his ever-so-slight Tennessee twang, his hilarious knee-length socks (they need to be seen to be believed!) and my own inner drive made me get up and keep going to the finish line of the hour-long workout.
   I was doing his latest DVD, Bob Harper: Ultimate Cardio Body.
   On the cover, it’s billed as Bob’s most powerful workout yet.
   I find that a bit puzzling, since Bob just released a series of DVDs last year called Inside Out Method that I found plenty challenging – unless powerful and challenging meant two different things in the workout world.
   I reviewed two DVDs from the Inside Out Method on this blog, Pure Burn Super Strength and Body Rev Cardio Conditioning.
   Ultimate Cardio Body takes up where Inside Out Method DVDs left off, with more of Bob’s cardio-and-weight combinations and circuits: Spurts of cardio are followed by lifting of light weights. There are also compound movements which use the lower and upper body at the same time.
   Some of these compound movements are a bit scary, such as the plyo lunge jumps while holding weights. This move is done starting in a lunge position, then jumping up and landing with the other leg in front – all while holding two weights in the hands with the arms at the sides of the body.
   I didn’t like the idea of jumping with weights, and so didn’t use them for this move.
   There are just a few jumping moves in the workout, and even these can be modified to be low impact.
   In fact, this DVD is great for people who don’t like to jump during their workouts. Many of the moves are low impact, such as knee lifts, front kicks, speed skaters, push-ups, lunges and squats.
   The moves are very easy to follow and are repeated often, which helps an exerciser to keep good form.
   The cooldown and stretch is just a scant 2 ½ minutes, which is very short for a workout of this length and difficulty. I did my own stretch at the end, as I often do after workouts.
   Though it is essentially low impact and simple to follow, that doesn’t mean this workout is easy, as can be guessed from what I wrote at the top of this entry.
   It is exhausting and requires a person to push past the sweat and thudding heart and keep going.
   But once you reach the “finish line,” as Bob calls it, a feeling of pride and washes over you – you did it!

Bob Harper: Ultimate Cardio Body at amazon.ca

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