Bob Harper’s Body Rev Cardio Conditioning

bodyrevIts been a long time since I have done anything but Cathe workouts, and on the rare occasion I do, it’s usually one already reviewed on this blog. But this week I returned to an old favorite that I hadn’t yet reviewed. One of Bob Harper’s newer workouts. I love his workouts–especially ones from his Inside Out Method. I am currently in the middle of Cathe’s STS strength workouts. I just finished Mesocycle #1 and am doing my recovery week. I decided to do primarily metabolic weight training workouts. So I started my week with Bob’s Body Rev Cardio Conditioning.

First let me say that Bob’s newer workouts (ones created within the the last 5 years and not associated with The Biggest Loser) are very tough workouts. They are also very, very inexpensive (as I am writing this post, it is currently offered on Amazon for $4.99!!!!)! This is one of the things I like about both Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels workouts. They give you intense and effective workouts and at very affordable prices. Plus–there are almost always multiple workouts on each DVD!

Body Rev Cardio Conditioning contains a 61 minute cardio/metabolic weight training workout and a 24 minute lower body workout. I don’t particularly care for the lower body workout–it’s not real tough but it does do the job in a short amount of time. I do love the cardio workout. It is advanced and has lots of variety and is, in general, low impact; not entirely, there are some high impact moves but on most of those high impact moves Bob offers a low impact modification (but not all of them). Like any good metabolic weight training workout, Bob uses dumbbells and/or your body weight to increase intensity.

I will review both workouts here, but I am going to focus more on the cardio workout since that is the main workout anyway (and the one I usually do frequently). The set to both workouts is a dark gym-style set in the P90X tradition. Bob functions primarily as trainer. He does do some of the exercises, but most of the time he is giving instruction on form or challenging the exercisers, or trying to motivate the home exerciser. I really, really like Bob in both Biggest Loser and his workouts, so he does motivate me, but I will be honest–I would hate to be one of his video exercisers! There are 3–two women and a man. I can’t remember the man’s name, but he didn’t get nearly as much attention as the two women. Becky is a blond and she did any low impact/modified moves. Trust me–just like in a Cathe workout, low impact does not equal low intensity. Becky was dying. The other female is a little brunette who did all of the full intensity/high impact moves and he generally used her to illustrate form. He picked on Becky. I would hate to be the one to get his attention like she did. This workout contains a lot of squat holds. These are done after doing a lot of squats, so your lower body is already screaming. Then you hold it for a long time. Well, while in hold, he would get behind Becky and have his hands on her upper thighs pushing down–adding more weight to it. And she looked like she was dying! He tormented her in other ways, too.

For the workout, I don’t know how many sets or reps Bob makes you do. A lot. So as I list the individual exercises, just know that you do a lot of reps and when you “hold” a move isometrically you hold it for a long time. He seems to be doing most of the exercises on a clock–he frequently says we are doing something for a minute, or we have 30 more seconds or 15 more seconds. So I am not sure that each side of your body gets equal reps. It’s a tough workout and I am just getting through it, not counting reps! I will also say that it often seems he says you only have 10 or 15 more seconds but it is longer than that. It not only seems longer, but he purposely draws his counting out. He will count down, stop half way through to give verbal push/encouragements, then pick up the count right where he left off! Clearly extending the time you are doing the move! He is aware he is doing this, too, because at one point he comments on it.

Okay, lets move on to the break downs. First, the equipment needed is dumbbells. You will need one heavy dumbbell–since this is a cardio/metabolic weight training workout I would recommend no heavier than 15 pounds. I use 10 or 12 pound dumbbells. And two lighter dumbbells. He recommends 5 pound dumbbells for men and 3 pound dumbbells for women. You don’t use the light dumbbells much but the heavy dumbbell gets a lot of use. It is used primarily for kettlebell type moves. So if you have a kettlebell, it would easily substitute for the heavy dumbbell. The only caution I give if you decide to go with a 15 pound weight, is that at one point you will do a lot of overhead presses–so that is why a 10 or 12 pound dumbbell might be more appropriate (this is cardio, after all). You will see the name of some of the exercises–like deadlift–and think, that’s not too bad with a 10-15 pound dumbbell. But it is the speed at which are you doing it that makes it cardiovascularly intense.

Another thing I really like about this workout is we get a timer. At the right hand bottom of the screen there is a bar that counts down the minutes of the workout and every time a new move is introduced it is listed next to the timer.

Body Rev Cardio Conditioning is 61 minutes long. Before the 61 minutes begins, you get a 2 minute intro by Bob. When the warm up starts, the clock starts at 61:13 minutes. The warm up is 4 minutes, 54 minute training time and 3 minute stretch/cool down. 8 minutes of training time (at the end, before the stretch) is ab work.

After the warm up you move into a punch series–jabs and upper cuts.
Grab your heavy dumbbell.
Deadlift rows
Deadlift single arm rows
Double arm swings
Single arm swings
Suitcase swings
Weighted squats
Weighted squat jump
Hold in deep squat and push the dumbbell in front of you, then overhead, then while still remaining in a deep squat you hold the dumbbell overhead–and just stay there isometrically
Set the dumbbell aside.
Hand walks (from a standing position, bend and walk out with your hands to a push up/plank position then walk back in and stand up)
Hand walks with push ups
Mountain climbers
Push ups
Mountain climbers
Push ups
Jumping jacks
Wide squats
Hold in wide squat position with arms out straight to your sides
Jumping jacks
Wide squats
Fast feet/jump twist combo that ends in just jump twisting right to left
Hold in squat position
Grab the heavy dumbbell
Double arm swings
Deadlift rack to overhead press
Overhead press only
Double arm swings
Suitcase wings
Double arm swings
Put dumbbell aside
Hand walks with push up and jump at top (when standing again)
Scorpion push ups
Knee raise squats
Speed squats
Hold in squat position
Grab the set of light weights
Weighted jump ropes
Overhead press series–done fast with the light weights
Weighted jumping jacks
Go back to the heavy weight
Double arm swings
Single arm swings
Set the weight down and you get a short water break which Bob doesn’t really seem to want to give you but the exercisers appeared to decide they needed one anyway.
Push ups
Speed skaters
Mosh pit jumps (jump with one arm held straight overhead)
Tuck jumps
Sumo squats
Standing ab work begins here:
Standing ab rotations (lift knee and touch opposite elbow)–first alternate knees then do a lot of reps on one side then switch to the other side
Grab heavy dumbbell
Standing oblique crunches
Weighted core twists
Iso front raise (hold dumbbell in front of you while Bob counts down slowly)
Get on the floor and do side plank raises (no dumbbell)
Well deserved stretch!

Butt and Balance is 23 and a half minutes long. 1:30 minute warm up/stretch, 19 minute training time and 3 minute cool down/stretch. For this workout you will need some dumbbells. He gives no suggestions on what you should be using, other than “light.” I went lighter than I normally would have because I was doing this during my recovery week. I used 8 pound dumbbells for the first part and 5 pound dumbells for the lateral/front raises at the end.

Stationary lunges (no dumbbells)
Grab your dumbbells:
Single leg deadlifts
Rows while remaining on one leg
Put raised leg down and continue doing rows
Front leg raise; after a few reps add dumbbell curls (when you repeat these exercises on the other leg you will add shoulder presses instead of curls)
While standing on one leg do lateral raises
Hold lateral raise (isometric hold) while standing on one leg and holding the raise leg in various positions–to the side, in front of you (when you repeat this on the other leg you do front raises and hold your arms isometrically in front of you rather than laterally)
Put the dumbbells down
Front, side, back kick combo
Chair pose series–lots of holding and pulsing


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