Home > fitness, Reviews, wellness > Initial Impressions: Bob’s Pure Burn Super Strength (or how I fell in love with the Bob)

Initial Impressions: Bob’s Pure Burn Super Strength (or how I fell in love with the Bob)

I never once imagined that I would fall in love with a strength workout more than a cardio workout, but indeed I have with Bob.  Cardio queen that I am, Bob managed to make a high rep strength workout with enough cardio infused into it that you get an awesome sweat and are grinning like an idiot almost the whole time.  I know there have been a lot of comparisons between Bob and Tony Horton (P90x), and I can tell you it’s not true.  I don’t even have P90x (I have previewed some), and I can tell you, its not true.  This workout is different than any strength workout I’ve done on DVD, and I’m thrilling to having purchased it.

Bob? You can read my Body Rev, Cardio Conditioning review if you want to learn a little more about Bob.  I sort of wish I did this workout first because, in turn, that review would have been more positive as I would have been basking in this workout’s glow!

What’s the format? Like his cardio workout, Bob acts as your personal trainer and does not lead the class by doing the motions.  He instead instructs his minions.  Perhaps because this was a strength workout, the form was a lot better than the cardio where the focus was more about moving.  There are two workouts — a beginner and an advanced and there’s a lot of room in between these two workouts so don’t expect to master the beginner and tell yourself, hey, I can just jump right into the advanced workout!  I tried both, and I liked both.  Bob hits every part of your body in this workout and alternates often between upper and lower body.  He often talks about breaking or changing the plane, and I have to say, I like it.  The production value, like the cardio and yoga workout, is near phenomenal (and I’m very upset that they dropped such great quality in Bob’s personal workout and his kettlebell workouts) including a timer, titles for the exercises (which would be critically helpful in the workouts that do not have this feature!!), and some artsy film effects that I happen to appreciate.  And it has a delicious 67 minute run time (the non beginner one).  Trust me, those extra seven minutes are worth at least $1/min if not more.

What did you like about this workout? You mean what did I love about this workout?  Let me count the ways…first off, I had the genius stroke of doing HiiT 15 by Chalene Johnson before doing this workout.  I like doing small cardio before strength workouts that I do in the morning to make sure I’m properly warmed up (if I do a strength workout in the evening, I usually forgo the cardio).  Anyway, I love HiiT 15 — it a short, quick, up and down, sweaty jig that has me smiling at the end.  So, I start out Bob’s workout with a dumb, huge grin, which helps him.  But what I love is how Bob infuses sooo much cardio that your heart rate stays up the entire time doing the workout.  The movements aren’t that hard or even difficult to mentally comprehend, but there are virtually no breaks in between any set.  This feature is killer.  It keeps the heart rate up and doesn’t waste a single second during the hour.  Efficient and hard, just the way I like it.  Since the workouts focus on muscle endurance, all the exercises employ high reps which makes a burn like no other.  I adore that burn.  And add isolation holds to those burns.  It’s like hot hot fudge doused with chili powder!  Bob makes comments about building muscle mass which I don’t get since I think its more about maintaining , but hypertrophic weight lifting just doesn’t give the same burn (though, it is a lovely experience as well).  And lastly, I love Helen!  I want to be Helen!  That body, and that attitude!  (Four kids!  And they’re not adopted!)  Actually, Bob had great chemistry with all of his sidekicks and it came off beautifully on the screen.

What did you NOT like about this workout? That’s a really hard question since I loved so much of it!  I guess what really got to me was the fact that Bob advises one one pair, maybe two pairs of dumbbells.  Well, that doesn’t work for me.  My shoulders are absurdly weak, but my back and my bi’s are much stronger so I can handle more weight.  My triceps are mid-range strength, but my lower body can handle a lot more weight even with the high reps.  So, I found myself switching the weights a lot which screwed up the rhythm a bit.  I’m not sure if I should just stick to one pair of dumbbells for the whole workout, or if I should change it up like I did initially.  I have an absurdly weak core so even the modification of some of the core exercises were too much for me — which is funny because anything requiring my obliques always seem easy because I’m pretty strong there.  I would love something to bridge the gap, but its ok if I work towards it: if I can’t do plank for more than 20 seconds, then I do 21, and the next 22, and so on.  Its just terribly humbling every time, and I need to figure out a more systematic method to try and strengthen my mid-ab muscles.

How did you fall in love with Bob? It’s the burn and the sweat, baby!  I like strength workouts a lot — and I don’t think as a strength workout it comes close to Cathe’s STS series or Gym Style series — but for the purposes of doing a resistance training workout, it does a fantastic job of keeping me captivated and motivated, all while burning “mad calories” with its healthy injection of cardio.  Bob Harper hit this one out of the park.

What’s your final word? If you want a cardio, high rep, strength workout, go get this.  It’s on Amazon or Collage Video for less than $10-11 and completely worth it (it’s also available at Target but I think it’s closer to full price there).  67 minutes for the first workout is stellar for the price, and the second 20 minute workout which is a great add on to a cardio day, puts it in the bargain shelf for the value.  Get it.

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