I can’t say just how much I appreciate all of my readers and their support. Except now. Right now I want to break into your homes, toast all your bread and stuff it back in the bag. Why? Because the Parrot has now become the canary in the home fitness mine-shaft by reviewing YouV2, a new program by Beachbody hosted by our old friend, Leondro Carvalho.
Indeed, if you’re familiar with Brazil Butt Lift ( and truly, the Almighty has blessed you if you are not ) then hang onto your loins folks. Leondro is back and he’s rockin’ it to the oldies. I would seem the odds of me developing a drinking problem are all but assured.
First things first, this is a beginner workout which means it is not designed for elite athletes who do a Spartan run every month. The cast reflects this reality so if you’re looking to make a Max 30 hybrid schedule, you might want to leave this one off the list.
What you get
No equipment is needed but more importantly, whats missing is some good 90 proof alcohol to get me though this. As a crotchety 46 year-old man raised on the unforgiving prairies, you can well imagine how I am not the target demographic for this.
Move Your Body
Time: 29 minutes
Leo is so happy. Really, he’s just so staggeringly happy it almost appears to be chemically induced. Hope you’re ok with that because the that’s what you’ll see throughout this series.
Move Your Body is a simple cardio workout which is good because the average cast member must be pushing 280lbs, which again is the intended audience. Lots of side stepping and arm lifting while keeping pace with what sounds like Latino-style music. The final tune is apparently a known song but I’d be the last guy to know for sure. All the moves are then put together loosely into a final dance number. Kind of like a watered down CIZE only with more seismic activity.
Work it Shake it
Time: 29 minutes
More of the same with stepping and arm motions. A moment to comment on Beachbody’s dancing lineup. Dance workouts seem to be a thing these days and I’m not sure what I missed. With recent offerings such as CIZE, Country Heat, a CIZE expansion pack and now this, I’m seeing a recurring theme. The main difference here is that Shaun T and Autumn…despite my revulsion to some of their styles…are nonetheless incredibly competent at their craft. Shaun T can tear a dance floor up. Autumn can glide across a vomit infested roadhouse like an angel. Leondro however is more like the uncle who assures us that he can dance and then proceeds to stun his audience into silence.
Rock it Out
Time: 28 minutes
The rich well of happiness still overflows from Leo like he’s been hit with a double dose of Joker venom. Part of me feels that when the camera stops rolling he makes a beeline to the closest English pub to grab a hearty mug to help forget the day.
Things are now moving a little quicker. So much so that the average person would appreciate the cardio activity. As for me, it’s just another fun day working out with the girls. Rapid side stepping, kicks and arm movement. A more fit person could easily modify and increase intensity.
Time: 33 minutes
Today we concentrate on form as Leo cheers us on with his dead eyes of perpetual happiness. Leg work by means of squat and slide stepping. Despite my pleas for mercy, “Love Shack” is the first tune for my listening enjoyment. When it got to the lyrics of, “got me a car, it’s as big as a whale…” I had to pause to regain my composure. Sorry.
Time: 27 minutes
Moving to the beat once more but at a more fast pace than previous workouts. That means the hips move a lot more. That also means Leo’s hips move a lot more.
Believe, Achieve and Tone
Time: 31 minutes
This one’s not bad. There’s assisted push ups, leg lifts and ab work which add a much needed resistance factor. No dance number at the end.
I’m kind of just staring at my keyboard wondering how to put this experience into words. I mean, the workout is a sound system and it is a great idea for those who are overweight but need to start somewhere. For that it works, so long as you like dance-style workouts. So I kind of have to break this down into reviewing both the workout and its trainer.
Leondro is a hell of a nice guy I’m sure, but he lacks a stage presence that comes off naturally. To me he talks like someone trying to impersonate Pacino with “Say hello to my little friend!”. After a while it gets somewhat hard to endure. He’s Latino, but I’m sure even Latino’s are wishing he’d dial it back as he drops stereotypes with the efficiency of a Nascar pit crew.
Another factor is that people who act natural don’t have a constant full-on smile unless they’re trying to sell you a timeshare. Take other trainers for example like Tony Horton or Shaun T. Quite often they have an intense face and rarely do you see a toothy grin beyond a second or two. Here it is throughout the full series, every second of it. To Leondro’s credit, the creepiness factor on display in Brazil Butt Lift has dropped significantly for YouV2, although admittedly it would be hard to surpass it.
Production values are somewhat limited. The stage is more or less a white background with a big YouV2 logo and not a lot else. It clearly does not have the budget behind it that bigger players in the Beachbody roster have.
It also seems curiously designed for people who have an odd need for constant affirmation. Most of the time I had to endure phony pep-talks as to how beautiful and wonderful I am ( hint: I’m neither ). Leondro loves you after all. My opinion is cut the bullshit, accept that you need to change, then get to work. Nobody is a hero for just showing up and Leo is not going to invite you over for diner.
The cast is capable and does its best to represent the audience it is trying to appeal to which is overweight women. Men will have practically no use for YouV2. There is no weight training which I guess makes sense given it is based on dance. Swinging around a dumb-bell hay-maker for 30 minutes is only good for putting holes in the drywall or putting loved ones in a coma. For obvious reasons the entire series is very low impact as getting fancy with plyo boxes would likely just get someone killed.
Final score for YouV2 is 2.5 feathers out of 5 and even then I’m probably being a bit gracious. The same reasons I can’t tolerate more than one minute of Chalene is the same reason I have to pass on Leondro…just too much cheerleader antics. I’m just not sure Leondro is cut out for this line of work unless he can find a way to tone his level-10 cheerfulness down to a more relatable seven. However, if you are starting from almost zero, like dance workouts and are female needing to loose about 50lbs then maybe YouV2 is for you. But I must reiterate, I am not the target audience for this and that means for some people this is absolutely going to be the best thing on the planet for them. But anyone with a basic level of fitness would be much better served elsewhere.