Lionsgate // 2005 // 100 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 25th, 2006
If they can do it, so can you!
The Biggest Loser was a simple idea for a reality television program. Take a group of overweight people, force them to live together, and make them lose weight. I always found the elimination part of the show rather cruel and unusual. The contestants vote each other off the show based on if they are acting right, and who might be the biggest threat to losing the most weight to win the prize. They turned the show into a nasty competition, where people who should have supported each other had to rip each other down on a weekly basis. But I guess they had to have a hook. To me anyone who wanted to lose weight should have been allowed to stay. Why? Losing weight is hard, and everyone should be encouraged to get as healthy as they can be. I wish they could have kept everyone on, and found a way just to judge them by their overall health and weight loss to declare a winner. Still, the show was an unexpected hit, and obviously an inspiration for many people. Now here comes The Biggest Loser Workout to let anyone who wants to lose weight and feel they are part of a hit show.
I was cruising over to Amazon.com this week, and I was shocked to find I was about to be reviewing the #1 selling title on the site. Forget all the hit movies out on DVD, the classics finally coming to the format, and the television programs heading to disc...The Biggest Loser Workout was tops. Obviously a lot of people have connected with the program, and want to lose weight. It's priced under ten dollars, and it offers hope, in a shiny Amaray case, that you can do what they did on TV.
If you're familiar with the show, these are Bob Harper's routines on the DVD (Jillian Michaels is nowhere to be found). The segments offered include the trainer taking up to six of the contestants through a typical workout with him. They say what makes this DVD different than others is the fact they use "normal people" in the room with Bob. They are the contestants who have been exercising with him for a while. The difficulty level of these workouts is pretty accelerated if you've never worked out before. People with joint problems are going to find the constant jumping and kicking somewhat daunting. The worst aspect of this DVD is that people who will want to use it the most may not be able to. They do offer modified versions of the moves at certain times, but for the most part you'd better be ready to jump and do deep knee bends. Bob talks you through every segment, and thankfully you can choose a "music only" option once you have the routines down (a nice touch for people who do this every day).
There are six routines to choose from. You can mix and match from the following:
* Warm-up (5 minutes) -- Basic stretching moves to get you ready to go.
* Low Intensity Cardio (25 minutes) -- Some jumping jacks, some kicking and punching, and a lot of core strengthening exercises for the beginner.
* High-Intensity Cardio (20 minutes) -- A more aggressive cardio routine designed for people who have been working out for at least a month. The moves are quick, and there's a lot more jumping. It's constant motion combined with boxing and kicking moves.
* Strength and Sculpt (20 minutes) -- Use hand weights and a mat or towel to go through a circuit training routine designed to build muscle and sculpt.
* Boot Camp (20 minutes) -- A combination of cardio and sculpting that can be done with or without hand weights. This is for people who need a quick workout, and do not have time for both a cardio and sculpting routine.
* Cool Down (20 minutes) -- Yoga-style stretching to get you back to normal after an intense workout.
You can select a combination of routines pre-matched for you, or customize the routines by choosing any combination of the above. Menus are easy enough to navigate -- you shouldn't find it hard to get to where you need to be for your level. Following along should be easy enough. The only distraction is that sometimes the contestants are out of synch with the rest of the group, or they modify the movement according to their body type. I guess the trick is to zero in on the contestant that has your fitness level at first and follow them, but it does make it strange to see people doing variations of the same thing.
The DVD itself looks fine for what it is. Picture and sound are clear, and we get them in fullscreen and simple stereo. Special features include a six-week suggested plan, a cast and trainer intro, and Matt and Suzy's story for inspiration. Also tucked in to this package are corporate sponsor 24 Hour Fitness's commercials, a message from the fitness company's CEO, and a certificate good for "30 Days Free" at a local 24 Hour Fitness gym. With a sticker price less than ten dollars, you knew someone was going to try and sell you something.
The workouts are a great way to get started. Bob is a pretty detailed trainer even on DVD, but he still can't replace a session with a real fitness expert. I'd say this is a good DVD for people who are pressed for time, who can't get to a gym, or who need to start off doing things in the privacy of the home before going public at the local fitness palace. Gyms can be intimidating, but as long as you move and do something it's better than nothing. If you're a fan of The Biggest Loser, this is a good way to start moving with some familiar faces looking back at you. But don't expect it to be easy! It takes a lot of work to lose big.
Review content copyright © 2006 Brett Cullum; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 100 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Six-Week Workout Plan
* Customize Options
* Meet the Cast
* Suzy's Story
* Matt's Story
* 24 Hour Fitness 30-Day Trial Membership
* IMDb: The Biggest Loser