PARROT REVIEW: Beachbody’s Country Heat

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There are some days you just don’t want to do this job.  With that chipper introduction, I would like you to share my review of Autumn Calabrese and Beachbody’s new workout series, Country Heat.  It would appear Beachbody saw the success of CIZE and sought to break into the untapped potential of the blossoming redneck market.

hillb
There be gold in them hills.

My first exposure was of course, a YouTube trailer which had a level of cringe-worthiness on par with the Star Wars Holiday Special.  I would be lying if I didn’t confess that I died a little inside knowing I would have to submit my physical temple to the “abomination of desolation” that is country dancing.  Yet that day has finally come.

DISCLAIMER: In all fairness to Autumn and Beachbody, I have to state outright that I am not the target audience for this product.  Indeed, I put country dancing right up there with colon rectal surgery.  Therefore, the following review needs to be interpreted in that light.

What you get

Sadly, I got a box in the mail with Country Heat plastered outside the exterior.  This is as embarrassing as Uncle Pete’s Discount Sex Toy Emporium using their full return address on their packaging.  Or so I’m told.

ch_box
The mailman knows. He has ALWAYS known...

The price is roughly $75 and a majority of your remaining dignity.  If you don’t have a Stetson and boots, just get some makeup and paint your face.  Either way you’ll look like a clown.

dropmic

Preparation

Much like poison ivy, herpes or the Kardashian’s, country dancing evidently doesn’t seem to bother some people.  Still, I have to come clean and confess that I hate mock country culture and even more so the music.  Every Garth, Dwight, and Dieter has the exact same manufactured southern drawl…it is excruciating to my ears.  It’s like if every rock song had vocals mimicking Axle Rose.

Despite common decency, I gave it my best shot to bribe Mrs. Parrot to join me.  After all, she was a country girl herself.  So I played it real cool.  Foot-rubs.  Breakfast in bed.  I even decided not to yell at the kids for a whole solid hour.

dadmug
Gotta dust off the mug every now and then.

When she asked why I was being so nice, I decided my lovely victim was primed for the kill.   As I slowly massaged her bunions in our shag carpet boudoir, I presented Country Heat and asked if she would join me.

What followed should surprise no one.  She just looked at it like I had asked her to make a sex video with Donald Trump.  Slowly she pushed it away and made her way to the door, closing it behind her.  To her I was no longer the man she married, but rather an inhuman wretch who would dare to ask her to line dance.

closed_door
Is that a no?

But despite the cloud that looms, all is not lost!  The good news is that I shall bring to you my personal experience with Autumn Calabre’s new fitness series now that my wife has taken the kids and gone to live with her parents for a few weeks.  I just may have to interrupt the review for periodic pleas dialogue to Mrs. Parrot.

Country Swing

Time: 33 minutes

If it’s one thing I’ll credit country poseurs with is their love of booze and by golly I’m feeling the need to raid Uncle Jesse’s liquor cabinet to get through this living nightmare.

countryheat1
Somebody please just shoot me now.

The first workout, Country Swing is medium low impact cardio.  Like most line dances and donkey mating rituals, the routine begins with a lot of stepping motions before pelvic work begins.  Unlike CIZE, Autumn takes it to a slower start with less complexity.  Also unlike CIZE, I feel far less likely to increase my “coolness quotient”.

Giddy Up

Time: 28 minutes

Look honey, I’m a changed man! I can…oh, hello again!  Just getting off the phone with my loving wife who is only too excited for me to continue my review of this hit program.

Giddy Up alternates throughout week one and helped to keep me distracted from the fact my family isn’t returning my calls.  This one seems to have a stronger focus on core work, with pelvic motions reminiscent of Hip Hop Abs.

As expected, Braveheart couldn’t cut through the endless redneck cliches.  Right down to the mechanical bull in the background and moves with names like Honky Tonk Turns and Tumbleweeds…these will serve as constant reminders that this is not Masterpiece Theatre.

Not to be ignored, a Shakeology bar stands in the back like a dead possum on the road.  Beachbody is engaged in relentless marketing, hitting viewers with a subliminal barrage that would have Winston Smith begging for a drink.

1984
I see five lights…and Shakeology!

Up until now I had no idea such a thing as country hipsters even existed.  I feel poorer for now knowing, and even more so for participating alongside them.  Still, this is a review so the Parrot must go on…

Down and Dirty

Times: 26 minutes

I just want to talk to the kids. Please let me, hello? Hello? Son of a…oh hey, you’re back!  And so is Autumn in Down and Dirty.

The crazy names just keep coming with…ugh…“Hee Haw Step”.  That combined with a country version of “Footloose”, I’m starting to feel this is Autumn’s personal vendetta against me.

demo_ch
Each routine comes with the option to watch a detailed breakdown of the full sequence.

Bring the Heat

Time: 27 minutes

I haven’t been drinking…pppphht!  You know what I miss babe?   Your smoking hot boo…hello again Internet!  I  was just hanging up anyway and wanted to discuss Bring the Heat.

This feels to have more quad/glute work.  Moves should start becoming more familiar in some areas so I’m sad to report my progress was improving.  What wasn’t improving was my overall tolerance for redneck cliches.  Over the course of these workouts Autumn shouts out “hey-yup” and other phrases while too often falling into a fake southern drawl.  I suppose I can’t really fault her as that sort of thing comes with the package.

Trail Ride

Time: 25 minutes

You know what?  I don’t need you!  I’m my own man and can do whatever…no!  Don’t’hang up!  Don’t…good heavens, you people again?  Is my misery entertaining for you?

laugh
I feel so used right now.

This feels to be a faster paced workout so co-ordination is going to be challenged once more.  Aside from those elements, it is simply another sequence of dance moves.  I should note that a side effect that may occur at week three is hearing country music in your sleep.

Dance Conditioning

Time: 23 minutes

Initially I was under the impression this would be a rest and recovery workout with minimal western insanity.  Sadly it is indeed stretching, just with a dorky hillbilly vibe.  Yes, you will stretch out the joints so all is not lost.  But a better use of your time might be spent working out the kinks while watching Iron Man, which I have to admit doing when this was done.

IronMan
No question it was a manlier way to spend my time.

Marvel Studios

Nightcrawler

Time: 3 minutes

Honey, I need you!  I take it all back, everything!  I’m in Hell!  Oww…OWWW!!!  I’m in HELL!  And speaking of never-ending torment, we return for our final foray into Dante’s Inferno with Nightcrawler.

nightcrawler
All that's missing is the stench of Budweiser and vomit.
This is a short introductory to line dancing, which you’re going to need to know if you want to wear that buckle with pride.  It comes with a breakdown video to slowly get you introduced to the moves which means there is no instruction or talking during the main dance.  The entire crew has raided the casting wardrobe for Brokeback Mountain and Autumn is wearing jeans so tight you’d swear they were painted on.

I don’t really class this one as a workout, more just Autumn and the crew having some fun on the side.  The song is an original made for this workout by some artist who might as well be Reba McEntire’s evil twin considering I am not familiar with the name.

CONCLUSION

Look folks, I don’t want you to think I’m some kind of uppity Gen X-er who has no respect for good clean dancing fun.  It’s just that for me, western dancing has a certain class about it.  And by that I mean it has none.

dropmic
If that mic gets dropped any more it's going to start leaving a dent in the floor.

Half my sweat was probably from abject fear my family would return home and see me doing this.  CIZE could easily be passed off as a mid-life crisis.  But this could leave honest to goodness mental scars.  Therefore I ask any fathers out there considering this to please…think of the children.

Who is this appealing to:

Women will find this far more appealing than men.  I cannot imagine the average dude crawling out of bed and getting all excited to line dance with the girls.  I mean that quite literally too as sometimes a couple of the female participants look barely out of high school.  Kind of makes one feel a little creepy.

For me Country Heat is what I imagine an alien rectal probe would be like.  An interesting experience, but painful and leaving one hoping for a mind wipe before being released back to civilization.  Yet for the lot of you that love mock-country culture you will no doubt have found your home.  Which puts me in a tough spot…what to give for a fair feather rating?

One one side, it’s well made and the workout is clearly complex and rigorous cardio.  Autumn is a skilled and accomplished dancer/trainer who explains the changing expectations well.  The cast is skilled, albeit their dopey smiles can be off putting at times.  And even though I dislike the genre, the music is well chosen and those who like this style will be more than pleased.  All the building blocks are in place for a solid product.

On the other end of the spectrum, I guess it all comes back to taste and it is here I simply have to get off the horse.  The workouts themselves are powerful cardio but not really inspired beyond that, meaning Country Heat is not in any way a complete fitness solution.  So while I would give this a lower rating based on my personal tastes, I will walk a mile in the other hillbilly’s boot and grudgingly give it a 3.5 Feathers based on high quality and trainer ability.

Now for some marriage counselling…

© 2016, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

6.7 Um, Interesting.

Strong production values manage to save a highly niche product. Higher appeal to women and most men will generally want to avoid looking like a drunk peacock during their daily workout regimen.

  • Production Values 8
  • Music 7
  • Value 6
  • Strength 3
  • Cardio 8
  • Trainer Skill 8

About Author

John Paul Parrot ( aka. The Dysfunctional Parrot ) is a disgruntled Systems Analyst who wanders the Canadian wastelands saving small villages with the power of Kung Fu.  His chair is also a little too close to the twenty year old microwave.  As you can well imagine, this has had certain side effects.

  • Rainey

    OMG – I died reading this. I also fell off my chair at work laughing so hard, with tears streaming down my face and making laughing crying snorting noises. Not pretty at work.

  • Constanza Álvarez Espinoza

    I confess I was SO waiting for this review!! So, which was worse? Country Heat, CIZE, Brazil Butt Lift or a yet unnamed one?

    • For King of the Worst, the undisputed champion is still Brazil Butt Lift. That’s a hard act to follow!

  • Jill Hebda

    I like country music and was intrigued by this product but I’m a little put off by all the advertising about how now there’s a fitness program anyone can do. It looks like beach body is targeting extreme couch potatoes with this one–is that your opinion?

    • There’s a level of co-ordination required that is probably higher than that of your average American Sofa Spud. That having been said, this is by no means as hard as Max 30 or anything like that.

  • Cat

    Must admit I was particularly looking forward to your review for Country Heat and you didn’t disappoint!
    I’m not a country music fan myself, but am lucky enough to come from a place where Red Neck culture doesn’t exist in the same way as it does in America (we have our own version, but no music associated) – so the line dancing negativity didn’t really effect me.
    What I did like about Country Heat:
    Great for those days when stumbling out of bed seems too hard and Shaun T might as well be climbing Mt Everest.
    For when I need to keep the kid entertained and I’ve already confiscated the devices.
    For when I can’t be bothered getting changed out of my regular clothes but should probably do something (I’ve done Country Heat in pyjamas as well as jeans and boots – so that gives you an idea of the pace you can take it at)
    I’ll keep it in rotation, but more as a relaxation/low key thing than anything else

  • RC

    This is not a product I am interested in, but I do see that it has it’s place. From a business standpoint, there is only so many people who are into Insanity, Asylum, P90X Series, Body Beast, etc,etc. This along with the likes of Cize expand Beach Body’s market and demographics. It’s all about attracting new customers and retaining them. A certain % will buy this and may do it, may not, and never buy from Beach Body again. Another certain % will buy this, do it, love it but stay within this segment of Beach Body products, buy Cize, and whatever else they put out that is similar. Beach Body win! And even another certain % will buy this, do it, love it and move on into Beach Body’s mainstream fitness programs ( T25, Insanity, Asylum, P90X Series, Body Beast, etc) ….even bigger win for Beach Body!
    DP…I will give you credit for even doing this for the sake of your loyal fans. You are a real man!

  • theblackgecko

    Ah, line dancing. Real dancing involves touching actual humans, usually in the sort of places that your grandma (and grandpa) would approve of, and, with courage and luck, involves moving to all manner of touching that grandma really approved of, since, each of our ancestors got it on at least once. On the other hand, line dancing involves all the ability to make a fool of oneself, without the need to physically interact with another human being.

  • Lisa

    I was wondering if I was the only one who just could not get behind this concept. I thought if you liked it I might try it but now I will not even bother! Thank you for your honesty!

  • Banyan

    I’m not sure if it’s koshur to post here, but you might get a kick out of this Sporcle quiz where you try to guess every Beachbody program. They’ve had some weird stuff going way back. http://www.sporcle.com/games/drewspencer/every-beachbody-workout-program

  • Elchupinazo

    To be fair, I think Autumn is from rural Ohio so her redneck leanings seem to be bonafide. Doesn’t explain the accent, though. We have this through the BOD Apple TV app, my wife has done a couple of them. Giggles the whole time but acknowledges that it’s legitimate cardio, at times.

  • Rik

    Since this is your most recent review, I’ll post my question here, although I have no interest in country heat.
    I’m la 42 year old male, looking to build some muscle and loose just the tiniest bit of belly fat. I can’t dedicate much more than about 30 minutes a day to it, however.
    Reading through all your reviews I have narrowed my choice down to Stronger, 21DFX and its extreme sister and P90X3.
    Which programs would be best for building muscle ? And if you recommend all three, in which order would you do them ?

    • If I had to choose in order of preference for your goals, I would go P90X3, 21DFX and Stronger. They are all exceptional, but X3 has more muscle/weight work.

      • Rik

        Thanks, meanwhile, I was browsing your blog some more and I bumped into your rushfit review. Would this also be a good fit ?

        • It’s been a while since I looked at Rushfit, but if memory serves it is higher reps and lower weight. X3 gives the option to lift big if need be. X3 also has the advantage of greater variety and more workouts.

  • holyguy7

    I, too, have this workout as well. I probably will not do it though, it is just not my speed. I am happy to see that there are many workout programs that are doing things as well as Beachbody and with a fraction of the price tag. I will probably not do too many more Beachbody programs as there are too many others that are as good or better. I am currently doing one at dailyburn.com called, “Blackfire.” Very good workout program that competes with Beachbody on all levels.

  • Jkay

    Hi… I really appreciate your reviews. I know the next upcoming review is on Core De Force but after could you probably review a free youtube program by BeFit – BeFit in 30 Extreme and maybe something different from beachbody like BlackFire, Inferno or Live to Fail.. all by Daily Burn

  • Kate

    I came to the website to reread your review on 22 Minutes Hard Corps as I’ve just started that – then I saw that this was your latest post and immediately burst out in laughter. And then I read the entire review and laughed even more. Thank you for the hilarity, Mr Parrot.

  • Rebecca Lazar

    I’m literally dying laughing right now!!! I am a Beachbody coach, yet before I order any new Beachbody program, I come to your site first to read the reviews,which are beyond awesome and hilarious! I am a woman who doesn’t mind country music and, having finished Body Beast and Hammer & Chisel, I’m looking for some cardio fun (mostly to use as cardio days for other programs), so I will try it -when the kids aren’t around, of course, they are already traumatized after watching me do Brazil Butt Lift :D