Pure Burn Super Strength

BHPBPure Burn Super Strength is part of Bob Harper’s Inside Out Method series and it is an awesome and advanced total body strength workout. It is endurance metabolic strength work–lots of reps and there is definitely some cardio. I haven’t done this workout in years but I do remember when I did it how exhausting it was. So when I decided to give it a try again there was a bit of a dread factor. And it was as hard as I remembered it being! Because it is endurance strength work you can’t go super heavy. I used 12, 10, 8 and 5 pound dumbbells. I primarily used the 12 pound dumbbells but a few times for shoulder work I had to drop to 8 or 5 pound dumbbells and for the tricep work I primarily used the 10 pound dumbbells. In the future I will have 15 and 20 pound dumbbells handy for lower body work. But the dumbbells I listed were more than adequate for the upper body work. It is a tough workout! It burns you out! Bob is a slave driver in this workout.

He has 3 crew members: Francisco, Stephanie and Helen. Stephanie does beginner modifications. They are all clearly pain. I have never heard so much grunting and pain noises in a workout as I did in this one. They are pushing through it, drenched in sweat and Bob is on their back as soon as they fail. I won’t lie, I was grunting and groaning right along side of them. I’m actually rather surprised that I had forgotten what an excellent workout this is. Maybe I blocked it from my mind because it is so brutal. Bob works nearly every muscle in your body–I’m not joking. It is impressive. There are almost no breaks. He gives you a 15 second water break close to halfway through and another when the workout is nearly over. He laughs maniacally about about how brutal some of the exercises are (specifically, the exercises themselves aren’t brutal, but how he throws them at you, one after the other with no break, completely burning out muscle groups). And when the workout was over–I was exhausted, some of my muscles were trembling. I really need a recovery drink or something for when I do this workout again. Afterward I had a protein shake and was still dragging hours afterward.

There are two workouts on this DVD. The main workout which is 67 minutes long and a beginner workout which is 20 minutes long. I didn’t bother with the beginner workout, so that will not be reviewed here. However, in the intro to the beginner workout, Bob says that if you are new to exercise, start with this 20 minute workout. And he is right–the main workout is not for beginners. Trust me, even the modifier Stephanie, who is in excellent shape, was dying. So definitely start with the beginner workout if you are new to exercise. I did peruse it and he just gives you basic strength moves: sumo squats, bicep curls, overhead tricep extensions and kickbacks, lunges, front raises, side raises, deadlifts, bent over wide rows, push ups, plank and crunches. You will see most of those exercises in the main workout, too–but in the beginner workout they are done calmer, less reps, nothing crazy. So there is no metabolic component–just straight strength work. The main workout however….. Wow.

The main workout is 69 minutes long; 1 minute intro, 4 minute warm up, 60 minute training time and 4 minute stretch. Equipment needed is just dumbbells. It looks like Bob’s crew each use one set, but as I mentioned above, I needed different weights for different muscle groups. He does not really give much time to change weights; however, you are doing so many reps that just missing one rep really doesn’t affect the outcome. You will still burn out. You will be holding dumbbells for almost every single exercise in this workout except crunches and plank work. Also, for the majority of the exercises he doesn’t appear to be counting reps (and I didn’t either–I was just pushing through!); he appears to be timing everything. Again, I didn’t track how long you do an exercises for–all I know is you do a lot of reps and when he finally says something like “You have 15 more seconds”–you know the end of that particular exercise is finally close.


Push ups
Weighted squat thrusts
Bicep curl to overhead press
Weighted squat thrusts with push ups
Bicep curl/overhead press/ weighed squat thrust with push up
Overhead press
Wide bent over row
Bent over row
Front raise/side raise/posterior raise
Bent over row
Front raise/side raise/posterior raise
Lunges with dumbbell passed under leg
Bent over single arm rear delt fly
Lunges with dumbbell passed under leg (other leg)
Bent over single arm rear delt fly (other arm)
Alternate lunges
Bicep curl
Overhead tricep extension
Get on floor
Skull crushers
Narrow chest press
Hammer curls (alternate standing on one leg)
Supination extension (these are often called “serving bicep curls” palms up, extend arms in and out; do these to the front and to the side)
Weighted chair squat; then hold in squat and do bicep curls
Weighted jump squat
Overhead tricep extensions
Get on floor again
Skull crushers
Narrow chest press
Renegade rows (rows while in plank)
Weighted push up into side plank
Matrix lunges: forward lunge/side lunge/reverse lunge (this reverse lunge actually looks like a hamstring stretch)
Weighted pullover
Matrix lunges (other side)
Forward and side arm holds
Forearm plank with hip raise
Forearm plank with hip rotations
Walking plank (low plank to high plank)
While in high plank bring knee to elbow



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