Bob Greene’s Total Body Makeover DVD Review

by Annie on December 30, 2009 · 2 comments

in Exercise & Injuries,Exercise DVD Reviews,Product Reviews

This post is a review of Bob Greene’s Total Body Makeover dvd.  I received a free copy of the exercise dvd for this review.   I will discuss the plan, the workouts in the dvd, the eating rules, what I like, and what I hate about the dvd.

The 8 Week Total Body Makeover Plan

The Total Body Makeover plan requires you to exercise 6 days a week for 8 weeks.  There are only 5 eating rules you need to follow.  Supposedly at the end of the 8 weeks, your body becomes a lean mean fat burning machine (actually I think you would only be at the start of your path to a healthier lifestyle if you do not exercise regularly now).

Workouts in the Total Body Makeover dvd

There are 8 strength training workouts in the dvd, one for each week of the 8-week plan.  You exercise three times using the Week 1 workout (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) and you take three 15 minutes walks for cardio (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday) during the first week of the program.  During the second week, you do the workout for Week 2 and extend your walks to 20 minutes.  By the eighth week, your walks are 50 minutes long.

You do one set of 10 reps for each exercise in a workout.  Typical exercise includes the basic squat, adductor swing, lunges, bicep curls, overhead press, etc.  Sounds boring right?  Surprisingly, the exercises become progressively harder each week and the basic squat becomes a squat, knee up, overhead press combination by Week 8.  Here is a breakdown the variation in each week’s workout:

Week 1: These are basic moves, using only body weight for lower body work.  Dumbbells are used for upper body work.  Week 1 is 16:43 minutes long.

Week 2:  Still basic moves, but includes dumbbells for lower body work.  Week 2 is 11:04 minutes long.

Week 3:  You are starting to get into combo exercises here.  Sample combo exercise includes a weighted squat facing forward, then a weighted squat facing the side, and then a weighted lunge.  The combinations mostly involve foot work in the lower body exercises.  Week 3 is 11:22 minutes long.

Week 4:  More combination exercises, still emphasizing movement with your lower body such as around the clock weighted lunges.  If you imagine the floor as the face of a clock, you  normally do lunges with your working leg at 12 o’clock.  When you do clock lunges, you are doing lunges with your right leg at 12 o’ clock,  then you shift your right leg to 2 o’ clock, 3 o’ clock, etc until you get to 6 o’ clock.  Then you start with your left leg at 12 o’ clock, moving to 10 o”””” clock, 9 o’ clock, etc.  Week 4 is 10:47 minutes long.

Week 5:  This is when it gets fun.  Now you are doing weighted combination exercises using both arms and legs movements.  Because you are working both your upper and lower body at the same time, you will be burning some seriously calories.  Week 5 is 12:18 minutes long.

Week 6:  Weighted combination exercises with torso twists.  This is the first time the Bob Greene’s Total Body Makeover dvd includes the woodchop and squat combo.  It is one of my favorites because you are working your major legs muscles with the squat, your ab muscles when you twist, and your upper body muscles when you raise the weight next to your ear.  Week 6 is 13:32 minutes long.

Week 7:  Starting to introduce some advance exercises such as the deadlift into the weighted combinations.  Yeah, I was huffing.  Week 6 is 16:16 minutes long.

Week 8:  Combinations with plyometrics such as jump squats and burpees.  If you can do these exercises without being slightly out of breathe, you are in good shape.  Week 8 is 9:42 minutes long.

5 eating rules in the Total Body Makeover dvd

The eating rules are pretty simple.  The eating rules are good, but they do not address emotional eating.  But sometimes it takes a whole lifetime to resolve emotional eating.
1.  Have an eating cut off time and go to bed slightly hungry.

2.  Eat breakfast.

3.  Drink 6 glasses of water.

4.  Eliminate soda, trans-fat, fried food, white bread, alcohol, and high fat milk and yogurt.  I have previously discussed some of the problems with having these food in your diet.

5.  Eat consciously.

What I like about the Total Body Makeover dvd

I like the workouts after Week 3.  The first two weeks are more beginners oriented.  For those of us who exercise regularly, you can probably start at Week 3.  The subsequent weeks are more fun and burn more calories because you are working more muscle groups at the same time.

But what if you are not following the Total Body Makeover plan and just want an exercise dvd?  I like the dvd’s ability to select a few of the workouts and combine them into one workout session.

What I hate about the Total Body Makeover dvd

Notice how most of the workouts are less than 15 minutes long.  This is great if you are short on time and are young.  However, since my car accident, I cannot just jump into a workout without a warm-up.  Sadly these workouts do not include a 1-2 minute warm-up.  It includes a 30 second stretch at the end of workout, but nothing beforehand.  If you are starting to exercise for the first time or are older than 25, you might want to consider doing a few minutes of marching in place as a warm-up before starting the workout in the dvd.

So my wish list feature for Bob Greene’s Total Body Makeover dvd is to include a separate 5 minute warm-up that we have the option to do before starting the workout.  For those of us with previous injuries or are slightly older, a warm-up can properly prepare our bodies to exercise and reduce the risk of injuries.

Who should buy the Total Body Makeover dvd?

If you are exercising regularly or have done so previously, have fun with this dvd.  You will enjoy the exercises after Week 3.

If you are a beginner and never done a squat before, I recommend borrowing (from the library or Netflix) a copy of the Shaping Up with Weights for Dummies and watch it at least one time before starting the exercises on Bob Green’s Total Body Makeover.  Though Bob Greene explained some of the techniques while the model is exercising, the camera does not show the exercise from a different angle so you do not get the full visual to his explanation.  Nothing is worst than excitedly starting a new exercise program and giving up after 3 weeks because of an aching knee.

If you are obese or have more than 40 pounds to lose, you might want to lose some weight first before starting this program or extend the program by a few weeks (ie.  doing each week of the program twice before moving on).  You might start to experience knee problems after Week 3 due to the emphasis on the weighted lower body movements if you do not lose some of the excess weight first.

For people with this much weight to lose, I recommend starting with the Walk Away the Pounds exercise dvd series, drop 5%-10% of your body weight, then come back and do the exercises on the Total Body Makeover dvd.  I got my mom hooked on exercising with the Walk Away the Pounds exercise dvd series.  It is a good place to start because it is gentle on your body, easy to do, require minimal equipment, and you can start with 20 minutes or advance to 60 minutes as you progress.

Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health. If you like what you are reading, please share it with your friends.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sagan January 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for the really great review. I agree that it’s nice when workout dvd’s have a separate warm-up/cool-down workout (though, admittedly, I rarely do the warm-ups. I know! I should! *hangs head in shame*).

I’m a big fan of the plyometrics, though usually after I’ve completed the workout ;) I like that he’s got the nutrition advice, but it’s so easy to SAY that we’ll eat consciously and go to bed slightly hungry… a totally other thing to DO it, heh.
.-= Sagan´s last blog ..The Raw Food Challenge Begins! =-.


asithi January 1, 2010 at 7:01 pm

Sagan – I guess Bob Greene’s book will explain the nutritional information in more detail. But what I do know is that it is much easier to give advice than for the person following it. Thanks for the comment.


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