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DVD Review: The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga

By , SparkPeople Blogger
According to our polls, most of you are fans of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" reality show. The popular series, now in its seventh season, has become its very own brand, turning out books, fitness products, and workout DVDs. I decided to try their latest DVDs so you can learn more about them before you buy. The newest title, Weight Loss Yoga features the "good guy" trainer from the show, Bob. He touts the benefits of yoga in multiple "Biggest Loser" episodes. So does his yoga workout live up to the hype?

The DVD itself contains five segments. I'm going to list them below (as described on the DVD package itself) and then give you my take on each.

Warm Up (5 minutes): A "stimulating series of gentle yoga stretches that increase blood flow and flexibility"
The warm up actually lasted almost 7 minutes, and gentle is right. I wouldn't technically call this a warm up. It didn't warm me up at all or elevate my heart rate. It was just stretching. I would have expected something a little more dynamic, such as a sun salutation series, which is a traditional way to start a yoga workout, but this was OK. I would have preferred something more than static stretches of cold muscles—that's not a very safe or effective way to stretch, but as long as you don't overdo it here, you'll probably be OK.

Yoga Level 1 (20 minutes): "Activate your core and elongate your body with Bob's calorie-burning vinyasa essential yoga poses."
This lasted closer to 25 minutes, and really was nothing like vinyasa yoga, which usually includes aggressive stretches, sun salutations and a clear connection of breath to movement. Bob repeated several of the same poses over and over (like plank, pushups, downward facing dog, and warrior poses), and you would usually hold each one for a long time. My shoulders were tired from this workout, as well as my wrists. A word of caution: he does several, long-held poses that involve placing your hands flat on the floor and holding your body weight. My wrists were killing me during this (he didn't mention that you could form fists to neutralize your wrists, but you can), and I think that anyone with carpal tunnel or other wrist problems wouldn't be able to make it through this workout.

Yoga Level 2 (15 minutes): "Take your practice to the next chakra with…fat-blasting moves that sculpt and define muscle."
Again, this lasted longer than the box says. Throughout this workout, Bob calls it "yoga-Pilates abs" and it was more like Pilates abs exercises. It was a well-rounded abs routine that didn't include a single crunch, which I liked. I actually thought this segment was best, but again, there were many of the same moves as the first part, including several planks and side planks. I had to take breaks because my wrists hurt so badly. And my abs were sore—in a good way—the next day.

Yoga Level 3 (10 minutes): "Follow a dynamic sequence of flowing poses that challenge your strength and stamina to shed pounds fast."
Surprise! You need dumbbells for this part, but the DVD box doesn't tell you that. This workout features the same poses as the first one, held in a static position (not a "dynamic" or "flowing" way), but it incorporates upper body strengthening moves with the lower body yoga poses. There were some triceps kickbacks combined with chair pose (a deep squat), biceps curls added to a warrior pose (a static lunge), and some more shoulder work and back work. I thought this segment was kind of fun, simply because the upper body weights added a new dimension to the poses. You could also do this segment without weights, but it would be like a less intense version of segment 1.

Cool Down (5 minutes): "…slow, calming stretches and…meditative cool down."
This is just a stretching segment. It was pretty thorough and relaxing. I know many people skip stretching or don't know what to do, so following this one by itself could be useful, too.

Overall, here is my list of pros and cons for this DVD:

  • Pro: Bob does help people modify the workout and some of the former contestants who do the workout with him do a modified version.
  • Con: Often, I noticed several contestants do the exercises in poor form, so unless you know how to do it correctly, you could be misguided by watching some of them.
  • Pro: Bob isn't annoying like many fitness instructors can be. He seems helpful and nice and like he wants you to succeed. There's no yelling or forcing you to do things. He always encourages you to do what you can.
  • Con: You can tell that Bob isn't a yoga instructor. He gives some odd instructions that you won't understand at first, causing you to contort to look back up at the TV to see what's going on, but the more you do this DVD, the more you'll remember what he really means to say. He also doesn't go much into the technicalities of the poses and only mentions breathing a couple times, although breathing should be front and center in a traditional yoga workout.
  • Pro: The whole DVD provides a good balance of flexibility, strengthening, and core exercises. Especially if you need to work on stretching, this could really help you.
  • Con: I would say that some parts of these workouts are probably too challenging for a lot of beginners.

    While I did the entire workout DVD (about 60 minutes) in one sitting, I'd recommend breaking this up. The three segments do not build on each other, so you can do them in any order or combination. Segment 1 and the Cool Down are great for developing flexibility. You could do segment 2 as a core workout—it provides a lot of variety to traditional abs exercises. And you could do segment 3 for a short upper body sculpting routine.

    The last point I wanted to mention is that Weight Loss Yoga is a title, very carefully aimed at getting people to buy a yoga DVD. There's nothing special about this workout that will result in weight loss. In fact, my heart rate was near a resting level (about 40-45% of my max) during the whole thing and I didn't break a sweat. It won't burn many calories, either, especially because most of the moves are very static—you don't move around a lot. That said, yoga and Pilates still have benefits, even if they don't burn tons of calories. I'd say the biggest benefit to this is that it might be people interested in yoga and encourage them to stretch more. Not every workout has to be intense, so it could be nice to do in conjunction with your well-rounded fitness program, on a day that you want to do some lighter exercise, or as part of your core and upper body strengthening workouts.

    You can buy The Biggest Loser Weight Loss Yoga DVD on for less than $10!

    Have you tried this DVD? Do you want to try Weight Loss Yoga?

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    This is a great review, thank you so much! Report
    Love it for two years now. Try to do it at least twice a week. Report
    I LOVE THIS DVD!! I did this workout after baby #1 and now am doing it again with baby #2. In addition to running for calorie burn, this DVD has helped tone and strengthen my mommy body. In 5 years I've never progressed to Part 3 because I'm a chicken, but am hoping to get past that hump this time around. I didn't want to get too technical so the basic movements in this DVD is nice. I highly recommend this DVD. Report
    I have had this DVD for about 18 months and I love it. I always feel so much better when I put it in my regular DVD rotaiton Report
    I tried this DVD out recently and I was surprised by how much I liked it. As many others have mentioned, you have to go at your own pace and don't be afraid to pass on any moves that cause you pain. (I personally skipped the push-ups because they hurt my wrists.)

    I really felt inspired after using this DVD and I plan on looking into other yoga DVDs. Report
    I love this DVD as well. Honestly I don't have many other Yoga workouts to compare it to as I've never made it thru more than 15mins of any other Yoga DVDs I've tried (and there's been about 7). They've either bored me, completely annoyed me, or expected me to put a foot behind my head as the "beginners" move without much help/suggestions as how to modify the move. I have been far too intimidated to try a yoga class because I have horrible balance, have almost no flexibility, and I'm terrified that during a certain pose I'd pass gas. LOL Silly maybe,... but it has been known to happen...

    I can keep up with this one, I sweat a ton, and I can definitely feel the muscles I'm using. I finally feel as if I can do yoga, because the other videos convinced me that I was just not cut out to participate in yoga. In fact, I borrowed all the BL DVD's from my sister, and I ran thru them all twice before I tried the Yoga one. This is the only one that I bought myself. I didn't think the warm up was that bad, though I do have other DVDs that have a better warmup to them.

    I'd definitely recommend this one. Report
    I sweat a lot during this.....maybe it was too beginner for the author. Report
    Local libraries usually have a video collection you can rent. I've started renting the workout DVDs I am interested in before buying it. Just an idea for those not wanting to make a purchase without knowing if you will actually use it or not. Report
    I just started using this DVD; I really enjoy it. By the time I'm done I'm sweating profusely and I feel like I got a workout in. The poses do work your entire body. Report
    I'm starting this workout today. I want to learn yoga moves, and commit to yoga on weekend mornings. This post lets me know that I may need another dvd to really learn the beginner moves. Report
    I bought this 2 years ago, and LOVE it. It helped me lose a lot of weight, become more flexible and increase my strength. I haven't been able to do it in about 7 months due to an accident and now doing other activities to heal injury, but this summer hope to be back doing yoga with Bob. LOVE IT and DEFINITELY RECOMMEND!!!!! Report
    I've had this DVD since it came out and I love it! It is really good for building core strength and balance. It is hard at first, but you slowly build up strength. It is definitely a good workout and is a good finish to a cardio workout. Report
    I bought this video a while back. It was a long time before I tried it but once I tried it I am absolutely in love with it!!! When I did it the first time, I had not exercised in a very long time and I couldn't do a lot of it. I like the fact that Bob encourages you to do what you can and not stress about not being able to touch the floor or whatever. I can now do segment 1 with little trouble although getting into some of the poses is not very graceful...but at least I can do them now! I sweat every time I do this workout and I feel that it gives me a very good workout and I feel great every time I finish it. I've just added segment 2 and plan to move on to segment 3 when I have mastered everything in segment 2. Report
    I'm new to yoga which means I don't have anything to compare this too. I find it very challenging. I feel that I am getting a good workout. I can not believe how much I sweat!! Report
    I just bought this DVD and I really like it! I have only done Level 1 with warm up and cool down so far though. I have carpal tunnel and I actually felt this more in my arms and shoulders than in my wrists. I also found myself sweating like crazy!!! The first time I did this I was woblbling a bit and it was hard to get into pose and trying to see how to do it on the screen, however after that you know what to expect and it gets easier. I am not into traditional yoga, nor do I have the patience and I loved this one-I feel great afterward. I use it on my off days or in the evening to relax and stretch out! Report
    I have to disagree with it not burning many calories or that it only does if you are overweight. I am 5'9" 134 pounds and an avid runner (6-7 miles daily) and I get a great workout! I sweat buckets lol. I didn't care for traditional Yoga videos and decided to try this on to add some flexibility and core training in addition to my running. I LOVE it. Trying to do it every other day. I actually look forward to this video! Report
    I have this dvd and really do like it. I've never done yoga as I have never been a flexible type and was always too embarrased to try it in a class setting. I've made use of the warm up, level 1 & cool down as I didn't realize that level 2 and 3 were NOT built off level 1. I enjoy the warm up as I find it gets me feeling good - focusing on my breathing and I feel my muscles warming up. I have to disagree with level 1 not being a work out! I found it worked me out hard and I sweat every time I do it. I do agree that it can be hard on the wrists and did find it hard to move from downward dog to the warrior poses as quick as the contestants in the dvd as I'm not flexible enough YET, but I just go at my own pace that works for me. My favourite part is the cool down - I find it so relaxing and I love Bob's soothing voice telling me that my muscles need this after a workout. I feel like i'm increasing my flexiblity and creating long lean muscles (whether or not that's true, I FEEL like it which is important for me - increases my confidence and self image :) I'm excited to try level 2 and 3 now that I know they are not more intense than level 1!!! Report
    This DVD is fantastic. I also agree this reviewer must be really fit. My husband and I sweated are butts off! It was crazy! Report
    I use this video weekly - I had to replace my P90X Yoga with this workout - which was more "doable" as a beginner for me Report
    I have this DVD and love it. It really is made for people who are not active or very heavy to get them moving again. I sweat every time for this DVD and don't use the dumbbells yet. Being that a lot of the exercises is static decreases the risk of injury and harshness of the knees and other joints when one is extremely overweight about 60 lbs or over. The fact that stretching is the core of this video is a bonus for those that haven't been working out for what ever reason to help gain the flexibility they once had that carries over into their everyday life. Report
    I have not tried this dvd, but there are a lot of positive comments on it. Report
    I love this DVD!! My boys got it for me for Christmas and it is the one video that I consistently do. It's tons of fun and to totally gets my heart rate up!! Report
    I have done the video twice now and as someone who loves a great yoga workout, this is the best at-home video i have found. One is everyone tracking the calories burned? Right now I am just putting 35 minutes into the default yoga setting but want to make sure I'm accurate. Could not find any info online for it. Thanks and keep feelin' the burn :) Report
    I disagree with the comment that this doesn't give a good workout. I sweat everytime I do this and it is now apart of my regular workout routine. Its also a good stress reliever as well. I love this workout, and I'm not a big fan of yoga (especially the chanting kind) but I love Bob and this workout. Report
    I disagree about this not getting your heart rate up. Mine was definitely up and I was sweating. Maybe the author of this blog is super fit, but I am not, so for me just doing the warm up, level one, and cool down was an amazing, blood pumping workout. I would recommend this DVD for sure. Report
    Does this one have that awful yowling cats for music that my yoga instructors seem to enjoy or is it real music? Report
    I brought this dvd along with others...I am new at first I thought I could not do the moves but after I followed along I caught on. WOW what a workout BOB gave. I needed variety in my workouts and I can not go outside and exercise((wicked allergies)). I am a beginner at yoga I found it helpful. I look forward to advancing in time. WINNER!! and no new age chanting!! the higher self PLEASE! I am not a big fan of BL I feel it exploits the contestants. Just my view. Report
    I am a fan of BL and I have all the DVD's they have made, love them all. I also have several of Jillian Michaels, love them as well. This is called Weight Loss Yoga, don't think it was intended to be Yoga exactly....

    I recommend this DVD as well as the others, they have been worth the investments.
    I have a bad wrist, I broke it 17 years ago, but they did not set it correctly, I wrap my wrist or keep it straight or get on fist. I don't have a problem with it as long as I take precautions to help strengthen it. Report
    Wow, I am amazed how different the comments are versus the content of the article. You have to like the fact that there are so many people out here so you can hear lots of different opinion on things. Report
    I tried it - I really like it - easy to follow and I think it is pretty good for a beginner! Report
    I think this DVD was a great lifesaver for me. I use this DVD to break up my heart pounding cardio workouts. I do every other day, this DVD is a great strength exercising and I personally feel that it does burn a lot of calories. I think for Nicole, whom is in shape, its not much of a heart pounder or sweater, but for someone that is out of shape and obese this is an intense strength exerciser. I have done a lot of Yoga DVD's and some of them are certainly not a workout, even for me. BUT this one, had me sweating, stretching, and strengthening. Just holding plank pose for any period of time was enough to make me sweat. I watch the sweat drip off my forehead. I try to do all 3 sets but as Nicole said you can do any of them, separately. Also I certainly recommend doing some cardio as well, but I have used this as a strengthener exercise with a lot of success. I am slowly increasing my push up amounts and how long I can hold chair pose or Warrior 2. I would say that overall this DVD is great for anyone that likely "belongs on the Biggest Loser" but isn't there. This DVD will help you get through the tougher cardio because it gives you extra stretching of the muscles and helps build muscle in a gentle way. Great Great Great for "Super Size People"
    As a 300+ pound woman who enjoys doing yoga, this DVD is great. Yeah, it's not traditional yoga - so I use a different DVD when I want to do that. But when I want a workout that incorporates yoga poses into a workout, this one is the one I pick. YES! My arms get very tired of being in Warrior 2 for so darn long! But like the reviewer, my wrists were bothered the first time I did section 2, but since then, as they've strengthened, and I've learned how to position my hands better, it doesn't bother me at all!

    This DVD works up a sweat! I recommend it! Report
    I absolutely love this DVD! I try to get in 5 to 6 days of if, not because I think I'll loose weight but because it really strengthens me. I have been using the DVD for approx. 2 months and sweat everytime! I mean buckets. It could depend on the effort expended. I have recommended it to friends. I have never really tried Pilates and some friends gave me a DVD for my b-day but I didn't care for it so I went right back to the BL DVD. You are right Bob does not concentrate on the breathing techniques that are so important in yoga, since I know them I go ahead and incorporate them myself. Although I have practiced the proper forms of yoga I still can appreciate this DVD for its efforts. Report
    I have several 'Biggest Loser' workout DVD's and this is my favorite, as well as being my favorite Yoga DVD. It is challenging, never boring. Always a good workout.
    I have had this DVD for about a year and go in streaks of using it. Currently I am trying to use it (all 60 min) 2x a week just to get some additional stretching in my weekly workout. I enjoy it and can feel my muscles loosen up throughout this program. I would have to beg to differ in that I do find myself sweating at some points in this workout. I have yet to wear my heart rate monitor to see where my heart rate ranges, but I feel this is a great investment for someone looking to do some exercises at home that incorporates stretching, Pilates and hand weights. Report
    I have had this DVD for about a year and go in streaks of using it. Currently I am trying to use it (all 60 min) 2x a week just to get some additional stretching in my weekly workout. I enjoy it and can feel my muscles loosen up throughout this program. I would have to beg to differ in that I do find myself sweating at some points in this workout. I have yet to wear my heart rate monitor to see where my heart rate ranges, but I feel this is a great investment for someone looking to do some exercises at home that incorporates stretching, Pilates and hand weights. Report
    I have this DVD and have been doing it for 2 weeks... and I LOVE IT!! I definately feel the burn. Report
    Thanks for the great review. I am a BL fan. I know it's unrealistic to believe that a person can loose 100 #'s in 7 weeks (as seen on the broadcast epi last night) on their own. Yes, they have to exercise all day long; but they are supervised by Dr's and the trainers. The show takes them away from all the distractions & triggers in their lives and design the structure of their daily routine. This formula gives these morbidly obese people a chance to get their lives back. Like a few of the other comments, the brand videos are great for beginners, b/c you see the people that are like you, and succeeding at exercising! (not all perfectly toned bodies). However, as you progress, in your new lifestyle change, you will be annoyed at these videos, b/c by then you will be able to spot the poor form etc, and you will prefer those perfectly fit troop style workouts, because they will inspire you to do your best :-) and one day be like them. The saddest part of this show, is that even though the contestants are given the tools to succeed on their own; most of them gain the weight back because they struggle with their schedules---don't have the free time to exercise all day long.

    I have this Yoga DVD-and I haven't done the workout in a long time. But, I remember sweating and feeling the burn! Report
    I've had this DVD for a while and love it. Definitely not for beginners, and I beg to differ because I broke a sweat doing this and still do even though I'm in much better shape than when I started.
    I also want to make a comment about one of the posts on here, Biggest Loser does not exploit obese people whatsoever. I love their DVDs because it makes you feel like you're working out with PEOPLE LIKE YOU. Some might be bigger, and some might be smaller, but it's not like most workout DVDs when you turn it on and see a gorgeous woman with a six pack in booty shorts and a sports bra. Obviously she can do more things than you! These people are regular every day folks and it's inspiring and has helped me a lot.
    I lost 40 pounds doing all the Biggest Loser DVDs. I highly recommend. Report
    I've had this workout for some time and I love it. It isn't technically great yoga but it is a nice workout.

    I could have sworn the back cover of the DVD specifies dumbbells are needed. I bought the workout because I wanted yoga with weights. Report
    Now this sounds like something I could do and I have been looking for some beginners yoga dvd. Report
    This DVD vaguely resembles my yoga classes but I agrree with the overall ratings. The title is designed to "catch" people who would not otherwise try anything remotely connected to yoga. Report
    I have been using a shorter version of this DVD on my OnDemand cable. I absolutely love it! I had never tried yoga, but I figured, hey, it is a Biggest Loser workout and must be okay for obese people. I can barely do most of it, but Bob shows how to modify to make it work for people who just don't have the strength to do the poses for very long. It is total torture trying to do it, but by the time I reach the cool down section I reach this deep mellow place that is completely addictive. It helps align my body and relieve stress. I also like learning from a man like Bob since I just get frustrated watching the size 2 female instructors. I am going to buy the DVD since it expires on my OnDemand today. Report
    I love this workout! I currently weigh 254 pounds and this workout gets me sweating. While it doesn't get my heart rate up, it is definitely helping me create a longer, leaner, stronger body. I worked my way up to the level 3 workout and I do this workout one to three days a week alternating days with cardio and circuit training. Since starting this workout I've received compliments on my efforts with people noticing that I'm looking leaner. YAY! For me and my current fitness level this workout is really helping me build strength and is a good complement to my other workouts. Report
    This is the first yoga I have ever tried and I love it. I am amazed at how much stronger I get every time I do it. I have fibromyalgia and pretty bad back pain. I also had a baby via c-sec 2 years ago and never re-strengthened my core. I'm not in the best shape, this is very tough, but it is doing wonders for my strength and back pain. Report
    I also love this dvd and the bootcamp one. I'm a huge fan of the show and can not wait til the next session starts. It sounds crazy but i love working out on my Gazelle when i watch it. I worked out for two hours and eight minutes the last show of this session and did not even know until it was over. Something about watching other people work hard that makes me want to. As for as it making me sweat and getting my heart beat up it works for me. But i realise i am not a trainer. Report
    I actually got BL bootcamp and I'm really liking it, which is what interested me to read this review. The way it seems with hearing them talk about it on the bootcamp DVD, those two videos are suppose to complement each other. Honestly, I would think Bob would say doing the yoga video only won't greatly help with weight loss, but doing the yoga video with the bootcamp video will increase the benefits of weight loss.
    I have never tried yoga, and the most I have done of it is the yoga stuff in piliates and the end of the BL bootcamp (I was like, warrior what pose?) Since I was defensive most of life about trying yoga until this year, but now, I am more intimidated by some of the poses, and won't try yoga at all unless the women's fitness at my church does it for one of our workout sessions. Otherwise, I don't think I will have a great interest in yoga; therefore I won't get BL Yoga video. I like piliates a lot more than yoga. But I'll definitely try the other BL workouts in the future. Report
    I love the bootcamp DVD and cannot wait to try the yoga...although I have trouble with the yoga strecthing at the end...I want to get out of my comfort zone and try it! Report
    I recently purchased this & found it to be a nice compliment inbetween my live yoga sessions Report
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