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Biggest Loser: Weight Loss Yoga, The

Lionsgate Home Entertainment // Unrated // December 16, 2008
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Kurt Dahlke | posted April 11, 2009 | E-mail the Author
The Biggest Loser - The Workout: Weight Loss Yoga:
The Biggest Loser's success is a double-edged sword. The dull edge represents getting addicted to the show and spending too much time on the couch. But of course the show really has transformative power, and I'm sure many, many people have been inspired to take control of their lives, getting healthier in the process. I believe even here in the DVDtalk forums there has been a Biggest Loser challenge. Of course not everybody can spend three months working out everyday under professional supervision, so NBC has been releasing a series of workout DVDs and fitness products. The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD may be just what you need to get your own butt in gear.

Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper leads you through a 55-minute Pilates-infused yoga workout that will quickly challenge even the most fit among you. Starting with a 5-minute Warm Up featuring gentle stretches and breathing, things get more energizing right away in the traditional poses sequence of the Yoga Level 1 workout. At 20-minutes, this level 1 workout will get you acquainted with isometrics right away, but there's more as Yoga Level 2 introduces Pilates-influenced poses that are designed to sculpt lean muscles. The Yoga Level 3 sequence leads you through a 10-minute series of flowing poses that will have you pouring sweat, before a 5-minute Cool-Down invites you to do some body and mind calming stretches and relaxation poses while Harper tells you to clear your thoughts while somewhat sheepishly plugging the Biggest Loser Boot Camp DVD.

As always, it really is recommended you consult your physician before commencing with this 6-week program. (How many people actually do this is anyone's guess.) What's most important is to watch each workout through before attempting it, so you can see the pose. Unless you have strategically placed mirrors around, you'll find your head isn't always in the right spot to see what's going on. In fact, until you're really comfortable, I'd watch-and-pause through each pose a few times first. In class, an instructor is there to observe and correct your poses. Harper points out ways his group of Loser contestants can change their poses, which is helpful, as is the fact that some of them are doing gentler, modified versions of the poses. It's good to have those checks in place for those of you inclined to go all-out, (pain be damned) but absent your own trainer, if something doesn't feel right, you should pull back.

This is a formidable workout that will get your chakras flowing whether or not you use the medicine ball and weights included in some of the exercises. Bob Harper combines cheery toughness and encouragement in a welcoming way - if you're a novice or experienced he'll make you feel comfortable while pushing you to your limits. The DVD is customizable, with a 6 Week Maximum Results Workout detailed for you, while providing a way to use your remote to plug-in whichever of the five sequences you desire to work through before pushing play. With a busy life that doesn't allow a lot of time for getting out and taking classes, I'll be integrating this workout DVD into my routine, optimally when family is around to participate - after all, my 3-year-old does a pretty mean Downward Dog.

The DVD

Video:
The full-frame, 1.33:1 presentation is slimmed-down for your 16 x 9 set. You'll see those sexy black bars on each side and love them, baby. It's a fine picture, fairly sharp, with good colors and no overt defects. It's plenty to get you working out, though it's not the thing you'll use to demonstrate the awesomeness of your HD set.

Sound:
Dolby 2.0 Digital Audio is up to Bob's challenges, sweating out those words of encouragement while keeping the music at an acceptable level. When Harper's not talking (Music-only mode) the music gets louder, but there's never any distortion.

Extras:
The Custom Workout Option (described above) allows you to pick your workout sequences. Bob Harper also provides two brief Training Tips to help you maximize the workouts. Finally, once you're so in-tune to this workout you can do it blindfolded, you can turn off Bob's comments and go for the Music-Only Option that somewhat oddly combines New Age-sounding music with The Biggest Loser's ubiquitous, tension generating string-stabs (you fans of the show will know what I mean). For my money, I'd always leave the comments on. It's always helpful to be able to hear your instructor tell you when it's time to move on from a pose, especially when your head is in your lap.

Final Thoughts:
This is a hardcore yoga workout with elements of Pilates thrown in for good muscle-toning measure. While yoga's stretch-and-hold ethos has always generated the sweat, Bob Harper and his small collection of Biggest Loser contestants push the envelope for amped-up weight loss and toning. Harper is a genial but tough instructor - you'll feel it - so if you're unable to make a real-time class, (or as yet unwilling) give this a shot. Four or five times a week with this DVD and you'll soon be feeling the results: more energy, flexibility and pride. I have to say, this is at least Recommended, especially for those of you who need to start these kind of things in your own home.

www.kurtdahlke.com

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