Out of all the people I have personally met from Beachbody (my upline, downline, and customers), I am the first one (I know of) who has gone through this program. This review is meant to give them (and anyone else who isn’t working out and wants to know where to start) an idea as to whether or not this program is worth investing in.
It’s hard to come at this program from a beginner’s point of view because I had already been working out before starting this one. I had gone through two rounds of 10 Minute Trainer, a round of P90X, and a round of Insanity. This had me set up to have a bad opinion of Rev Abs because, right from day one, I could tell it wasn’t nearly as intense. However, that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel it changing my body.
Is Rev Abs going to be hard? If you are a beginner, probably. P90X and Insanity grads might not feel the same. Then again, it all depends on how hard you pushed your abs during those two routines. During Insanity, for example, Shaun T tells you to keep your core tight. Well, I didn’t always…and that probably contributed to the fact that I felt these workouts in my abs more than someone who DID remember to keep their core tight! Anyway, on to the review.
There are only two phases to this 90-day routine, and each one is 45 days. The first phase consists of Total Strength, Mercy Abs, Power Intervals 1, and Fire Up Your Abs. I think the longest running time you will encounter in phase one is 40 minutes or so. In phase two there is Strength and Endurance, Merciless Abs, Fat Burning Abs, Power Intervals 2, and Rev It Up Cardio. The longest running time here is 43 minutes. Each workout is done in three rounds, with the last one being called the “spice round” where Brett Hoebel changes the moves slightly to make them a bit harder to do.
My initial impression of Rev Abs was fairly positive. The first workout day was Total Strength and Mercy Abs. While the weightlifting aspect wasn’t as intense as P90X, I did still get a good workout because I chose the highest weight I could tolerate. As for Mercy Abs, even though it consisted of only three or four moves, I somehow felt like I got more of a workout from this routine than I did from (dare I say it) Ab Ripper X.
Then we get to Fire Up Your Abs and Power Intervals 1. While I did still feel a burn in my abs from these routines (even holding the plank position for a minute was a killer), I found myself wishing Brett had thrown in a wider variety of moves. For such short running times, I’m sure he could have come up with a wider variety of exercises. Then again, he is more of a fitness guru than I am. Maybe he has a reason for the lack of variety…but I’m not sure what it would be.
The workout with the greatest variety of moves is, hands down, Strength and Endurance. I think that emerges as my favorite. Within that routine you have a move called the Hoebel Curl, which is an absolute killer. I have NEVER seen a bicep curl like that. What you do is: curl your arms up in front so your elbows come to your shoulders, open your arms wide like you were doing a fly press, bring your arms back in front, lower them back down, and then repeat for twelve reps.
Also, despite my criticism of the lack of variety, I think my second favorite DVD is Rev It Up Cardio. Here you go through only three different moves: Martelo Combo, Caporeia Combo, and Punch Combo. With each round you increase the number of times you go through the moves. (Round 1 you do it once, Round 2 is twice, Round 3…three times.) Somehow this routine wounds up not being as boring as it sounds. In my opinion it is the equivalent of Kenpo X from P90X…without the variety of moves. Still, I had fun replacing certain moves with techniques that come from my own training. For example, during Martelo Combo you will see Brett and the gang do a roundhouse kick that is adopted from his Caporeia training. I switched it up so that I either did the Charleston Kick from 10 Minute Trainer (which is similar to a kick I have seen in wing chun), or I would change it to a wing chun-style sidekick (aimed low at the knee or shin).
The final verdict is this: if you are a beginner, then Rev Abs will be a VERY intense program for you. If you have been through some of the tougher Beachbody workout routines, stick with this one and give it a chance. The other programs may CLAIM to work every muscle, including your abs, but I still felt the burn from Mercy/Merciless Abs and several other routines. The beauty of it is that, if you don’t like this program solo, you can always work it into a hybrid with P90X or Insanity…or all three, which is a goal I myself am aiming toward!