The Biggest Loser: Cardio Max Weight Loss

Bob Harper, Tara Costa, Sione Fa
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

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This is a Biggest Loser workout in the customary style of most TBL workouts: a warm up, three levels of workouts (with the first level being the longest) and a cool down. Bob leads Level 1 (27 minutes) and Level 3 (11 minutes). Tara/Sione lead the warm up and Level 2, Tara leads the stretch. I have to admit I only do the Bob chapters, so this review is for those only.

I feel that ďCardio MaxĒ may be a misnomer; the workout is definitely a high-rep weight workout more than a cardio workout, unlike the original TBL Cardio Max which was mostly cardio focused. In L1, Bob leads a group of (Season 9?) TBL contestants through a high-rep weight workout, the first 15 minutes or so are standing and include plenty of squat combinations with upper body work (bicep curls, rows, triceps kickbacks), with the occasional break to do some jumping jacks or squat jacks. The final ten minutes is mostly spent in plank pose and downward dog. There is a pretty tough pushup/back fly segment followed by downward dog/plank reps with more pushups and pushups in downward dog position (to focus on the shoulder). There is then a set of plank jacks, then MORE pushups and my shoulders were on fire! So really itís a fairly tough strength workout, and DID really get and keep my heart rate up, but I would not categorize it as a cardio workout.

Level 3 was like a shortened version of Level 1, the first 5 minutes was spent standing with more hi-rep weight work with two light bells, this time focused on the core. There are lots of twisting, functional style moves which I thought was a nice complement to L1. The final 6 minutes or so were AGAIN focused on plank pose and downward dog, this time with plank hold, knee ins, finishing with mountain climbers. There were a lot of holds in downward dog, which would generally not be taxing for me, but my shoulders were pretty fatigued so it was tough. I would rate both of these levels as intermediate-high intermediate depending on poundage used. I kept my poundage light (4-5#) to keep it cardio focused but you can go heavier if you want to get more of a strength focus.

I have to admit, if I had another chance to purchase this DVD (or not) I may not have gotten it. I donít think itís anything special thatís not in any of Bobís other workouts (a bit easier and shorter than his other workouts but the same style), and I like the original Cardio Max better and thought that one was more fun. But since I have it now, I do use it on a rare occasion just for something different. The music is pretty good and reminds me of the tunes that Jackie Warner and Jillian Michaels use in some of her workouts. I guess my final thought is that itís a good workout, just different than the title would suggest. For what it is, I would grade it a B+.

Instructor Comments:
I have used many of Bobís workouts-his Biggest Loser as well as his Inside Out Method DVDs. He tends to have a cheerful personality and smiles as he demands more reps or holds out of you, which I find motivating. He seemed slightly disengaged in this one (especially L3) like he just wanted to get it done so he could get home, or something, but on the whole I find Bob very enjoyable as an instructor, and he gives good form pointers.

Emily B.