Totally Ripped Core
with trainer Bob Harper
You will love it if:
Harper skips the warm-up and goes directly to the stretching in both workouts—something I wouldn’t recommend doing if you are out of shape or prone to injury. The workouts include challenging moves but go at a slow enough pace and includes enough brakes to feel less strenuous than some of the other intermediate level videos I have tried.
This video has a contemporary, unorthodox sort of feel that matches Harper’s dry personality and full-arm tattoo. There is heavy rock music playing and the studio is decorated entirely in black and white. Even the actors wear all black. The videography also includes elements you don’t see in other workout videos including occasional split screen shots, some paused shots, and switches between full-color and black and white. There is a countdown timer for the full workout in the bottom right corner of the screen, but there is not a countdown timer for the individual moves you do throughout the workout. There are also notifications that flash along the bottom of the screen when you have 25%, 50%, and 75% of the workout completed.
Though the videography struck me as strange, it did not make the video more difficult to follow. However, Harper’s cuing isn’t fantastic, and I found that he had switched to a new move without me a couple of times. Bob has a dry, straight-forward, somewhat monotonous personality. He has remnants of a Southern accent and his instructions alternate between a slow Southern drawl and extremely rapid instructions—almost like a Southern preacher. It could be difficult to understand these rapid patches of speech if English is your second language. I was also surprised that the male actor in the video was unable to do some of the moves with correct form and didn’t seem to be in great shape. (The video includes four actors, three females and one male.)
About one-third of the moves use hand-weights. Though the actress doing the modified version does not use the hand-weights, I would highly recommend approximately 5-20 pounds depending on your strength. You will probably also want a yoga mat or soft carpet for some of the floor work. The shorter video requires only one hand-weight and does not include floor work, so a hard floor will work fine.
This workout takes little space and can be done in a room with a low ceiling. If you are able to lie down with your hands above your head and stretch your arms out to the side, you should have enough space to complete the workout. You will also want to be able to stand comfortably and be able to hold your arms above your head.
You will need to be able to quickly stand from a seated position, perform squats easily, balance comfortably on one foot for at least a minute, and hold a plank for at least a minute before trying this video.
What NOT to Expect
Many of the moves in the video are either whole body movements or stationary movements—both get your heart-rate up and fully engage your core. However, it is not a cardio heavy workout. You should also not expect a ton of crunches or for your abs to feel like they are on fire—Harper only includes about six minutes of crunches into the routine. This is also not one of those ultra-fast-paced, super challenging workouts; though the moves are challenging, the video is not fast-paced
How does Totally Ripped Core compare to other similar programs?
If you need something shorter that is fairly similar to the Totally Ripped Core, you might try Killer Abs. It is a faster paced and includes three 33 minute workouts that are each at a slightly different difficulty level. It also includes a lot of similar moves to the ones on Totally Ripped Core. Neither Killer Abs nor Totally Ripped Core include much cardio work. For a much shorter set of workouts that includes more cardio, you might also try the workouts on 10 Minute Solutions Blast Off Belly Fat.
If you’d like a more cardio intensive core workout, you should try 6-Week Six Pack. The workouts on 6-Week Six Pack are intense and very dynamic, so you’ll be burning a ton of fat while you work your core. (And we all know you’ll never see that 6-pack if you don’t get rid of the fat first!) Another great cardio workout that works your abs at the same time is Hip Hop Abs Ultimate Results. It is about the same difficulty as Totally Ripped Core and is a ton of fun, so you’ll have less trouble staying motivated to continue working out.
If you want a video that is just as challenging for your stomach muscles but includes less standing and medium- or high-impact moves, you might try a Pilates video or the Ballet Body Core Workout. Both focus on mat work and are safer for your joints.
6 Week Six-Pack
Hip Hop Abs Ultimate Results
Maintenance Pilates for Weight Loss