Body Rev Cardio Conditioning
with trainer Bob Harper
You will love it if:
These workouts include a lot of weighted movements, so you will be toning and firming up muscles while getting a cardio workout—you’ve got to love a workout that builds muscle while making your heart race and drenching you in sweat. It’s the best of both worlds. I also liked the way Harper uses total body movements that challenge your arms, legs, and core at the same time. I typically prefer plyometric workouts because it is one of the best ways to build muscle while also getting a good cardio workout, but Harper manages to put together a series of dynamic moves—most of which are non-impact moves—that build strength, get your heart-pumping, and protect your joints. What results are some of the most efficient, joint-friendly workouts you’ll ever do.
Ironically, Harper opens one of the workouts by saying, “they have no idea what’s in store for them.” Based on their occasional looks of confusion and their lack of synchronization, they really don’t. He doesn’t spend a lot of time instructing on proper form, and the models in the video have pretty poor form themselves at times—so it’s not much help to look at them for cues. It can be difficult to tell what you are supposed to be doing and how your form should look without proper examples. So I definitely would not recommend this workout for anyone without a lot of workout experience—it would be easy to injure yourself while doing many of the moves. And without proper instructions or examples to follow, you won’t have any way of knowing whether your form is correct unless you’ve done these moves before.
Harper tries to sound tough at times, but you don’t really believe him because he has a pretty emotionless, monotone quality. Plus, he totally lets the models in the video slack off all the time without saying anything to them, so you know he’s not as tough as he tries to sound. And don’t even get me started on the guy in this video. He shows up in other Harper videos as well, and has absolutely no business taking home a paycheck for being in a fitness video. The guy is in horrible shape and barely does any of the workout—he spends more time resting than working out and does little to motivate you to push through the workout. As soon as anything gets even a little bit challenging, he quits. I’m pretty sure my grandmother is in better shape than this dude, and she’s 100. So whatever they paid this slacker, it was entirely too much. He does more to destroy the video than enhance it.
Lazy, slacker dude aside, both workouts are actually really good workouts for more advanced athletes with a lot of workout experience. Though there are two things I didn’t particularly care for about the workouts. First, Harper starts both workouts off with stretching instead of doing a warm-up first—something I wouldn’t normally recommend. I just skip the stretches at the beginning and do extra stretches after I finish since the stretching segment at the end of each workout isn’t very long (or very thorough). He also has you using the same sized weight for both arm and leg work—something that isn’t very feasible unless you have chicken legs and incredible hulk arms. In order to really challenge your muscles, you will need to switch weights a lot more often than the models do.
You will need a variety of different sized weights to fully work your muscles with each move. For women, weights that vary from 2 to 15 pounds or 3 to 25 pounds (depending on your strength) should be good. For men, use weights that vary from 3 to 25 pounds or 5 to 40 pounds (depending on your strength). Kettlebells are also helpful for the moves that use heavier weights, but are certainly not necessary.
This is a pretty space efficient workout. If you have room to swing your arms and legs in front of you and out to the sides while standing, you’ll have room for the whole workout.
Since most moves depend on the burden of the weights to make the moves challenging, these workouts are good for a variety of fitness levels. However, you should be able to hold a plank position easily for at least a minute, do a handful of push-ups, and do at least 15-25 consecutive squat jumps before trying these workouts. You should also have good cardiovascular fitness and be used to pushing your heartrate at or above 75% of your max heart-rate for at least 30-45 minutes at a time. (Click here to find out how to calculate your heartrate.)
What NOT to Expect
This workout really does seem to have a little of everything as far as the workout goes. But don’t expect quality instruction or models that motivate you to keep pushing through the workout even when your muscles are screaming and your lungs are about to implode. You have to be pretty self-motivated to keep pushing yourself through this workout when the models in the video are dropping like flies. Also, do not expect much stretching—the stretching is a bit short and not terribly thorough.
How does Body Rev Cardio Conditioning compare to other similar programs?
SHORTER w/ LESS WEIGHTED EXERCISES
Ripped in 30
MORE FOCUS ON BUTT & THIGHS
Killer Buns & Thighs
MORE FOCUS ON ABS
6 Week Six-Pack
SHORTER WITH LESS CARDIO
30 Day Shred