What is BodyBoss?
BodyBoss is a 12-week fitness program that advertises itself as the answer to fitting exercise into a busy life. Marketed to the modern woman, the program contains 60 unique exercises and guided advice for following short, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, without specialized equipment.
You can purchase the BodyBoss program as either a digital download or paperback workbook that offers structured guides for explosive workout routines that take 24 minutes or less, each, to complete.
According to the company website, this HIIT technique aims to challenge your body with brief, intense anaerobic (no oxygen) exercises that lead to fitness results faster than traditional workouts, saving you time and money when compared to a gym membership.
Are these benefits realistic? Let’s look at the science behind interval training to find out.
What is HIIT?
According to our research on the BodyBoss website, as well as a series of articles on the Huffington Post and PrecisionNutrition.com, HIIT is an explosive workout technique built on brief, intense exercises designed to push your body to maximum effort quickly.
When combined with intentional periods of recovery, HIIT training aims to trigger fat loss and help your body burn calories faster than traditional workouts. How?
When you work out at high intensity, you deplete your body’s oxygen levels. It takes a long time to make up this deficit, so your body will continue pulling in more oxygen during the recovery period by raising your metabolism and consequently burning more calories.
This leads to a phenomenon called Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), which BodyBoss terms the #BossEffect.
Despite their calorie-burning power, in general, HIIT workouts don’t require specialized fitness equipment and instead use body weight in positions like pushups and planks. This simplicity makes the workouts possible without a gym.
According to the research we mentioned, HIIT workouts can increase muscle endurance faster than traditional exercise, and they tend to provide the biggest benefits for less fit people.
A study on Sciencenews.com found that a single HIIT workout caused leg cells in un-athletic guys to leak calcium. These stressed cells responded to the damage by building up their endurance, which led to better athletic fitness. In contrast, the study’s endurance athletes experienced far less progress after one workout.
This evidence indicates that interval training has the potential to get you in shape fast, but does BodyBoss provide a high-quality HIIT workout? Next, we’ll look at the specifics of the program.
What’s Involved in a BodyBoss Workout?
The BodyBoss workout is a blend of 60 exercises and 12 stretches that are combined into a 12-week training circuit, as well as a four-week ‘pre-training’ plan. Altogether, the exercises are designed to improve your fitness, accelerate fat loss, and tone your body.
When followed as written, BodyBoss has you complete a high-intensity workout every weekday. Monday focuses primarily on the legs and butt, and Wednesday works the arms, abs, and core. Tuesday workouts focus on active recovery and Thursdays make cardio a priority. Friday workouts are just six minutes long but are intense bursts of cardio designed to work every muscle.
Weekend rest days are equally important in the BodyBoss routine, as they provide the time for your body to repair itself and build up muscle mass.
In general, the program’s exercises fall under the following categories.
Bodyweight Resistance Exercises
By using the weight of your body instead of gym equipment, these exercises are designed to improve strength, balance, and flexibility.
Plyometric Exercises (Jump Training)
These explosive exercises help your body build strength, speed, and coordination by undergoing bursts of movement to tone and strengthen your muscles.
By getting your heart racing, these action-filled exercises push oxygenated blood throughout your body to improve fitness and stamina.
As exercises that work one side of the body at a time, these help you improve balance and strengthen the weaker side of your body.
BodyBoss workouts are designed to gradually increase in intensity as you go through the program so that your body keeps improving. The included workout booklet also comes with Body Goals worksheets to help you track your progress, as well as bonus tips for physical transformation and detailed instructions for every post-workout stretch.
Is There Clinical Evidence that BodyBoss Works?
We contacted BodyBoss directly to see clinical evidence for the program, but were instead directed to an ‘Expert Page’ on the website with quotes and testimonials from about a dozen fitness coaches, as well as personal trainers that endorse the program. The website also has a ‘Results Page’ with before and after pictures submitted by past customers.
BodyBoss includes the disclaimer on their site that results can vary depending on differences between individual bodies, but that users should feel ‘stronger, leaner, and more toned’ after completing the 12-week program.
What’s Included with Your BodyBoss Purchase?
You have two options when you buy BodyBoss.
The online edition provides instant access and retails for $49.50. The print edition costs $65.90 and comes with free shipping. At the time of writing, a limited time offer allowed you to buy both the online guide and print edition for $65.90.
Both versions contain 12 weeks of workouts, as well as a four-week pre-training routine. The online option separates itself from print with animated instructional exercises and other GIFs. The company also promises that additional videos will be available to customers soon.
If you aren’t happy with BodyBoss, the company has a 30-day refund policy, though people who bought the print version will need to pay shipping costs to return it.
Do Users Like BodyBoss?
There are plenty of blog posts online from reviewers willing to rave about BodyBoss. The Wide Open Eats blogger mentioned that she began to feel progress even during the four-week pre-training, and dropped a minute and a half off her fitness test in just a month.
She found the program easy to follow, though noted that completing the workouts in just 24 minutes was unrealistic because it didn’t account time for warming up and cooling down.
In another review, Women’s Running’s Ashley Lauretta appreciated the flexibility of a five-day exercise routine, because it allowed her to shift the workouts around when necessary. However, in the first few weeks, she noted feeling stressed about completing the required reps for each set in the time allowed, though she reported that the workout pace got easier with time.
In the same way, the Get Fit Jo blog noted that BodyBoss was ideal for all fitness levels because the included glossary explained every exercise and offered modifications to make them more or less challenging. She also appreciated that the workouts included stretching time, which made it easier to prioritize.
What are Other Workouts Similar to BodyBoss?
Home-based HIIT training workouts are nothing new, and we chose two popular workouts with several dozen positive reviews on Amazon to compare their benefits with BodyBoss: the BurstFIT home fitness DVD program and the book High-Intensity Interval Training for Women by Sean Bartram.
The BurstFIT home fitness DVD program is led by Dr. Josh Axe and provides a series of seven unique 20-minute workouts that are designed to burn fat while boosting lean muscle mass. Unlike BodyBoss, these workouts are videos led by Dr. Axe and include nutritional information as well. The collection costs $30 and has averaged over 4.5 stars on Amazon after a hundred reviews.
Similarly, High-Intensity Interval Training for Women: Burn More Fat in Less Time with HIIT Workouts You Can Do Anywhere is a book that provides a step-by-step, visual guide to HIIT exercises and workouts to help you set up a routine that meets your fitness goals.
The book contains 80 exercises (BodyBoss has 60) that can be performed anywhere, without special equipment. It costs $15 for a paperback and averages 4.5 stars after 80 reviews on Amazon.
Choosing the right home-based HIIT training program for you depends on accurately assessing your needs. If you prefer the structure and guidance of working at the same pace as an instructor, it might be best to work out with a video.
However, if you prefer the flexibility to go at your own pace and to modify the workout when necessary, following a workbook-based program might be better.
Regardless of the HIIT program you select, it's recommended that you choose the proper work and rest times, don't overexert yourself (which could lead to injury), and keep plenty of water nearby.
If you have doubts about your fitness levels or physical ability to complete HIIT workouts, it’s probably better to start under the guidance of an instructor to learn proper form and prevent injury. For more information about instructor led interval workouts, check out this article we previously wrote about CrossFit.
Our View: Who Is BodyBoss Best For?
BodyBoss is specifically marketed towards modern women that want to get fit, without spending all their free time at the gym. While we didn’t try this product out for ourselves, we found that blogger reviews of the workout routine were mostly positive, meaning that it seems to work well for this demographic.
However, the program hasn’t undergone any clinical studies or rigorous testing, which leads us to question how well it can deliver its promised results of a ‘stronger, leaner, and more toned’ body after 12 weeks to every individual who tries it.
That being said, if you’re looking for a convenient fitness routine, pre-planned workouts, and an included motivational workbook, BodyBoss may have what you’re looking for.
Like all workout guides, you will get out of this program what you put into it. If you are willing to put in the effort on the exercises, you’re likely to start seeing improvements in your muscle tone, stamina, and fitness level after a few weeks.