Body Bar: Armed and DangerousAndre Houle
Year Released: 2001
Categories: Body Bar , Upper Body Strength
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Body Bar Armed & Dangerous is a 30 minute workout that is anything but "dangerous". I found it kind of boring. The music is the same as in most Body Bar series workouts, although I've heard better in some. The set is kind of oriental in design, with silver and orange/red walls. Not terrible, but not exactly inspiring either.
Andre is joined by four background exercisers, all unidentified but one of them I recognized as Clare Dunphy from other Body Bar workouts. He seems to have good rapport with them, but as in all Body Bar workouts there is no annoying chatter among them and no one is constantly smiling like it's painted on! They are working, which I like!
Except for a few push-ups at the beginning, there is no real chest work. There is no back work at all. I suppose since the name is "armed" and dangerous, I shouldn't have expected a full upper body workout. It's not.
Most of the work was for biceps and triceps, and it was effective, but I don't expect to have DOMS from this one. They use a two foot long "mini" bar which weighs four pounds, and since I am an intermediate/advanced exerciser, this was not enough weight for me, even when we do one-armed biceps and triceps work. A dumbbell would work fine here as well.
They also use a four foot long body bar, and I couldn't tell what weight Andre was using. I used a 12 pound bar, and in spots I could easily have gone heavier.
Not a bad workout if what you want to concentrate on that day is triceps and biceps, but unless you're a beginner or need a "light" day, skip the mini bar and pick up a dumbbell, and make sure you either have a heavy body bar, or pick up a barbell and put some plates on it.
I've never before done a workout led by Andre. He was okay. A bit chatty at times and some of his comments I thought were slightly out there, but nothing annoying or distracting. He's very enthusiastic - I will give him that. His form is good and he gave good pointers throughtout the workout.
I am an intermediate exerciser and found this workout
about right for my level. It goes by pretty quickly, but
you have worked hard in a short time. I liked some of the
moves and transitions into different exercises. He does a
cool superset (using the mini bar) which goes from a
lateral raise to a tricep kicback to a concentration curl.
The music is okay and is loud enough. The usual Body Bar
stuff. The set is the red CIA one.
The workout mostly focuses on biceps, triceps and
shoulders. He throws in a few push-ups during the
warm-up. In order to get some back work in, I
substituted bent over rows for the last long set of bicep
exercises. Andre gives frequent form pointers which are
This is a nice body bar workout, especially if you are
This was my first Andre video. I know he is quite popular
at VF, but I found him kind of icky. And he loses count a
Andre is always a joy to watch, but because he is strength training with the bar, I feel he is more subdued than usual in this workout.
This video uses both the long body bar and the shorter mini-bar. Andre has several background exercisers in the class, one being Clare Dunphy. He interacts with them in a friendly manner, but keeps his attention on the viewing participant. Andre's warm-up is with the big bar in which he slowly warms up the major muscle groups of the upper body.
After completing the only set of pushups in the video (I was disappointed that he did not end with a series as well - it would have completed the workout nicely), Andre proceeds to work all of the arm and shoulder muscles, alternating use of the big bar and small bar. Each exercise was performed in a slow and controlled manner, usually starting with 4 count reps up and down, proceeding to 2 counts and then singles and static holds. At one point he even used a super slow 8 count rep with the small bar doing single arm French presses behind the head. I particularly liked when he did a superset of the right arm and then the left as it really made my muscles feel fatigued. It seems his goal was to work the muscles to exhaustion, break with a shake and stretch of the arms and then proceed to the next exercise.
Another move I enjoyed was a long set of bicep curls using the big bar. He went on forever until my muscles were crying STOP and then he had you hold the bar out in front of you and then up and out - OUCH! Andre's manner pushes you gently, always with good humor and a great smile.
This was a good B+/A- workout, but not one I would turn to every day. I will pick this up when I need a day just with the bar. I sometimes substituted a heaver single weight when he used the small bar, as it did not work my muscles to the level I was looking for. My big bar is 15 lbs and that seemed sufficient for the workout. I wish Body Bar would make heavier small bars, especially with all these new videos incorporating the mini-bar so we can progress up.
All in all, this was a fun workout with the bar, Andre's personality and a chance to work some muscles to fatigue.
I bought this because when I want to do an upper body workout only, my choices are MIS (boring), SuperSculpt (annoying fast forwarding through lower body sections), or combining PS or CTX tapes (too long). Well, this doesn't totally solve my problem. There is no back work on the tape, so I am not getting a total upper body in 30 minutes like I was hoping. Also, I think the only chest work is the pushups at the beginning of the workout.
But, I like it anyway. It is definitely an endurance workout. All of the exercises are pretty traditional and you could easily use regular weights for this tape. I didn't always use my body bar, because I needed different weights for different exercises. I did enjoy using my body bar though, and tried to use if for most of the exercises. Sometimes he used the body bar in one hand only which did add some interest and make the work harder - because you have to balance the bar at the same time you are lifting. (Some people are helping themselves with their other hand.) He uses the little body bar for some exercises, which is completely not necessary - I just used dumbbells instead.
There are very few rests in the tape, so you are just going from one exercise to another, mostly switching between shoulders, triceps and biceps.
My second time with this tape I substituted some chest and back exercises for a few of the tricep exercises. I found on a few exercises, he is working one arm at a time, so I double up and find the time to squeeze in the extra work I want for a complete upper body workout.
Overall, it wasn't EXACTLY what I was hoping for, but pretty close, and I will be keeping this video. Plus it is Andre and I just LOVE working out with him.
Yes, I really like Andre. I like him in this video also, but I will say he is a little more subdued than he is in cardio tapes.