This DVD gets 4 stars from me. It is a great workout! Definitely a workout I'll be doing for a while.
For this workout you will need:
A set of handweights (beginners use lighter weights, more advanced exercisers can use heavier weights)
A mat if you're working out on a hard floor.
This latest installment from The Biggest Loser: The Workout series is lead by Jillian Michaels. The Last Chance Workout section of the DVD is 'HIIT' or high intensity interval training. In circuits you will move from a strength move (such as hammer curls standing on one leg) for about 30 seconds to a cardio move (like jumping rope) for about 30 seconds. It is a tough workout, it moves quickly from one move to the next with little lag time. You will sweat and burn those calories. There are no ab only exercises such a crunches, Jillian seems to prefer engaging the core throughout the workout; utilizing plank type moves, etc.
The Upper Body Sculpt and Lower Body Tone sections are mostly strength moves with much less cardio-type moves. At one point Jillian calls them 'supersets'. The moves in these sections are tough, and not strictly upper or lower body, just mainly focussed on these. They include combo moves using both upper and lower body. Your muscles will feel these the next day! Also, the Losers are much more in sync in these two sections of the DVD.
The set for this DVD is the weigh in/gym from the Biggest Loser show. Either the real thing or made to look like it. The music is upbeat and not annoying.
Jillian Michaels leads former Loser contestants Tara, Sione, Amanda, Danny, Allen, Daniel, and Liz through the workout fitness class style. Sometimes she does the moves a bit, but mostly walks around between Losers.
Jillian's cueing is good. She calls out the names of the next move, but doesn't always show them. Generally flows nicely, but once or twice the Losers seem confused and miss a beat after she calls out the name of the next move. I would suggest watching this once before doing. After the first time I did it this no longer bothered me. I knew what she was talking about when she called out a move.
The Losers offer variations of exercises from beginner to advanced throughout the workout. For more advanced you can watch Tara, Sione, and Allen. For average to intermediate Amanda and maybe Daniel. Beginners can watch Liz and Danny.
The menu choices are: Last Chance Workout Program, Individual Workouts, Training Tips, Trailers, and Credits. There are a Warmup, the Last Chance Workout, an Upper Body Sculpt, a Lower Body Tone, and a Cool Down.
You have the option of music and Jillian's instructions or music only.
This workout is set up to where you can do individual sections or the Last Chance Workout Program:
Weeks 1-2 are set up for 30-35 minutes per day for six days a week. Monday you do the warmup, last chance workout, and cool down. Tuesday you do the warmup, upperbody sculpt, lower body tone, and the cooldown. Wednesday the same as Monday, Thursday the same as Tuesday; alternating those two workouts all week and resting Sunday.
Weeks 3-4 are set up for 45 minutes, six days a week. Monday you do the warmup, last chance workout, lower body tone, and cooldown. Tuesday you do the warmup, last chance workout, upper body sculpt, and the cooldown. You then alternate those workouts the rest of the week and rest Sunday.
Weeks 5-6 are set up for 55 minutes a day, six times a week.
You do every workout each of the six days: the warmup, the last chance workout, the upperbody sculpt, the lower body sculpt, and the cool down.
In the Individual Workout section you can choose to do the workouts individually but you cannot program it to customize a workout. For instance you couldn't set it to do upperbody sculpt followed by the last chance workout from the individual workout menu. A bit of a bummer, but it's meant to be done as the 6 week program. The warmup and cooldowns are the same for all the workouts.
The Training Tips sections is basically commercials for The Biggest Loser 'lifestyle' products. Ali shows you resistance cords, Tara shows you a weighted water ball, Ali and Sione demonstrate stability balls, and Tara shows body bands. They do show a few tips and variations on workouts and it is pretty cool stuff. But again, this section is a commercial.
The Trailers sections shows trailers for Biggest Loser Boot Camp, Biggest Loser Yoga, Biggest Loser the Workout and the Workout 2, Biggest Loser Cardio Max, and Biggest Loser Power Sculpt. You see the theme, lol, more commercials. Credit section is, of course, the credits.
If you dislike Jillian's personality you may not like this DVD. In Jillian's typical tough trainer style she yells at the Losers, but laughs with them too. She says things like, "these contestants belong to me", and even calls a contestant her "bitch". If, however, you are a big Jillian fan or Biggest Loser fan you may love it. She is honest and straight forward Jillian, she says "this is your last circuit: it sucks!" and "Do you wanna be skinny or not? Shut up and do your mountain climbers!" She is also encouraging, saying things like "Don't quit on me, because when you quit on me you quit on yourself." I think all the yelling and hollering is hype because it's a Biggest Loser style 'Last Chance Workout'. But what we're all looking for here is a tough workout to blast some calories, and that it is.
Overall, this offers good variations from beginner to advanced and is a well-rounded, full-body, fast paced workout I felt the next day. There are many very challenging moves, yet the workout remains accessible to all levels with the modifications. I was a little distracted by some of the Losers not being in sync and some even not really doing the moves right a few times. This was an easy fix by keeping my eyes on Tara, Sione, and Allen. It is a lot like watching a fitness class, which is not what I'm used to from Jillian. (Merely a personal preference here, I like watching Jillian on a clean set with 1 or 2 others doing the moves in sync, perfectly.) I would have enjoyed it more with just Tara and Sione doing the moves in sync with Jillian. But it was fun to workout 'with' some of my favorite past contestants. While not what I am used to from Jillian, it was a great workout, which really, is the important thing here!
Brief update: Just realized you get a free download of a biggest loser workout cd: Top 40 Hits vol 1 from workoutmusic.com when you buy this now. There's an insert in the DVD with the code. Cool.
I am just a blogger, not a doctor or any sort of health or fitness professional. What you read here are my personal experiences and opinions.