Pure Burn Super Strength

Bob Harper
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights) , Total Body Workouts, Upper Body Strength

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Pure Burn Super Strength
Bob Harper

I would characterized this as a challenging hi rep/low weight upper body workout with some lower body work mixed in. There is an advanced 60+ minute workout and a short beginner workout (just under 20 minutes).
This review will focus on the advanced workout. The beginner workout uses some of the same moves, but there are far fewer of them and they are done at a slower pace.

Besides Bob (who starts each set but does not work out with you), there are three background exercisers, one who modifies down (Stephanie) and another (Helen) whom Bob pushes really hard. You can hear Stephanie breathing heavy and even whimpering when Bob orders her to keep going when she gets close to utter fatigue. Helen is a woman who has borne four children and she is extremely fit. If you want to go as advanced as possible, follow Helen! The male exerciser (Francisco) often hits failure before the women do.

The music seems to be instrumental rock; it is very soft in the background and doesn’t drive the workout.

The first section seems to be intended to get the heart-rate up; it has squats, push-ups and burpees done at a quick pace.

The upper body work is fairly traditional: bicep curls, overhead press, bent over rows, triceps extensions, skull crushers, lateral side raises, and lots of push-ups and plank variations. The front raise/side raise/posterior delt raise is a challenging series. Bob includes a lot of pulses and holds, and these really up the intensity. There’s a plank/row/T-stand sequence that is killer – you can see (and hear) the background exercisers struggle on this one.

Although Bob sort of counts, there are many points where you go at your own pace. There are some artsy splices of black and white shots that are a little distracting if you are trying to follow one of the exercisers.
The exercisers seem to use the same weight throughout the workout; I went light on the upper body, but during the squats and dead-lifts I went a bit heavier. There is one very brief water break at the half-way point.

Here is the breakdown of the exercises (almost all are done with a dumbbell, reps typically range between 25-40):

+Push ups
+Bicep curl to overhead press
+Burpees with push ups
+Curl/ press/ burpee
+Overhead press
+Wide bent over row
+Bent over row
+Front raise/side raise/posterior raise (shoulders)
+Bent over row
+Shoulder raise sequence repeated
+Lunges with dumbbell weave (one side)
+Bent over single arm fly
+Lunges with dumbbell weave (other side)
+Bent over single arm fly
+Alternate lunges
+Bicep curl
+Tricep extension
[Go down to floor]
+Skull crushers
+Narrow chest press (targets triceps)
[Stand back up]
+On-one-leg hammer curls (alternating legs)
+Supination extension and pulses (palms up, extend arms in and out)
+Weighted chair squat with bicep curls added on
+Weighted jump squat
+Overhead tricep ext.
[Down to floor again]
+Skull crushers
+Narrow chest press
+Weighted plank row
+Weighted push up into side plank
+Weighted forward lunge/side lunge/reverse step back
+Standing weighted pullover
+Weighted forward lunge/side lunge/reverse step back
+Forward and side arm holds
+Forearm plank with hip raise
+Forearm plank with hip dip
+Walking plank (elbow to hand)
+Knee to elbow plank

Instructor Comments:
Instructor Comments:
I haven't watched Biggest Loser, so this is my first experience with Bob Harper. He kind of grew on me as the workout progressed. He makes a (probably deserved) dig at workouts that claim to get you fit in 10 minutes, and he stresses that in order to be really fit (like Helen) you have to work out very hard.