Yesterday, a small but excited delegation from the Greatist Team headed to 24 Hour Fitness to preview celeb trainer Brett Hoebel’s new 20-Minute Body workout. While none of us really knew what to expect, we’d seen Hoebel’s butt-kicking methods on NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” and he’s no stranger to Greatist’s Most Influential People in Health and Fitness list. Twenty minutes doesn’t sound so hard, but we knew that Hoebel would push us through every second.
From the first minute of the class, we could tell that Brett’s high-energy, as-seen-on-TV persona was definitely not acting. Hoebel briefly explained his exercise routine — we would sweat through 20 minutes of intense capoeira-based moves using our own bodyweight to strengthen muscles and get the blood pumping. Capo-what? Hoebel draws many of his moves from the traditional Brazilian art form capoeira. African slaves in Brazil invented this graceful blend of martial arts, acrobatics, and dance to disguise self-defense training, which slave masters forbid them from learning. As a result, Hoebel’s exercises are fluid and controlled, but can pack some serious power.
For the first 20 minutes, the celeb trainer lead us through exercises including kicks, punches, and plenty of gettin’ low. Best (or maybe worst) of all, Hoebel’s workout did not neglect the glutes. The routine was loaded with lunges, a low-rocking ginga move, and wide squats moving an invisible “beach ball” in a figure-eight pattern... Periodically Hoebel announced, “WHAT TIME IS IT?!?” We quickly tapped into the trainer’s energy and yelled back “BOOTY TIME” enthusiastically. We dropped down into a squat for about 60 seconds with arms raised above our heads. Our buns were burning, but Hoebel kept everyone engaged with a well-timed “Hey Mami!” or “Hey Papi!” The energy in the room was palpable, especially when Hoebel asked the class “Yes or No?!” The answer was always a resounding “Yes!”
After the cardio session, we took a quick break and headed right back to work. For the second 20-minute workout, we learned four different bodyweight moves — alternating runner’s lunges with swinging arm movements (a self-defense capoeira move called the esquiva), crossover walking planks, ab roll-ups with a kick, and classic squat thrusts. Hoebel encouraged us to “shake ‘n’ bake” our torsos from side to side during the abs part because the extra movement and instability makes the body work even harder. We did each move continuously for 60 seconds straight, and then repeated the cycle four times through. Doesn’t sound too hard, right? Wrong — Hoebel introduced a new variation each cycle, so the moves got progressively more difficult until everyone was positively dripping with sweat.
When the class was over, we got a chance to meet the other awesome class participants. We compared notes (and sore muscles!) with friends from Fitness Magazine, FitFluential, Self Magazine, and even Greatist Ambassador Meredith T!
Have you ever tried a celeb trainer workout plan? What did you think? Tell us in the comments below or tweet the author @SophBreene.