First of all, I deeply apologize for this blog title. I must clarify that “bum bum” is the Brazilian word for butt; you hear it a lot from Leandro Carvalho, the fitness instructor host of this video workout series.
Secondly, I apologize on behalf of BeachBody for this program’s ridiculous name. Be warned that Googling “Brazil butt lift” may not always yield — how shall I put this? — relevant results.
Thirdly, I do not apologize for loving the Brazil Butt Lift. I’m unashamed, y’all, because this program is crazy fun and effective. Believe it.
I’ve always considered myself, in glam mag terminology, a “pear shape.” I’ve got a small torso and big ol’ child-birthing hips. While my bottom-heaviness was a major source of displeasure in years prior, I’ve come to embrace my body type (though not without some help from my fabulously-thigh’ed sisters in the media). All the same, any mention of posterior-shaping will make my ears perk up. Naturally, I had to learn more about Brazil Butt Lift.
This series seemed like exactly the thing my body was craving after a grueling year of high intensity interval training: a spot-toning program with a target audience of post-menopausal suburban housewives. The first workout seemed to confirm my expectations. Against a cheesy beachside backdrop, the teddy bear of an instructor led us through dance moves set to tropical music. We swung our hips around, shuffled our feet in samba formation, smiled and did jazz hands. It was everything Insanity was not. YES, I thought upon completing the first workout. This is going to be cake.
In many ways, that first impression was correct. Brazil Butt Lift does not cater to serious athletic types; it is meant to be fun and engaging for people of all fitness levels. This does not, however, mean that it is ineffectual. Indeed, there are some cardio-based workouts that are easy to sleep through. Importantly, though, the program also incorporates a good amount of full-body strength training. Leandro, smiling (always smiling!), puts you through your paces with dumbbells/bands, wraparound ankle weights, and resistance loops. As scared as I was to transition from my days of chronic cardio, I found that I vastly preferred weight training.
What’s more, I was getting results fast! My arms grew noticeably more toned, my ab muscles began peeking out again, and my glutes felt impressively solid. I didn’t take any progress pictures or measurements, but I know I leaned down and lost over 5 pounds within those 60 days. Such progress does come with two major disclaimers.
- I’ve been working out consistently for over a year, so I had a strong foundation of pre-existing muscle.
- My diet was squeaky clean, including a full round of Whole30, which significantly contributed to fat loss. Regardless of what your personal health ethos is, it’s a fact that nutrition will always trump exercise when it comes to getting slim.
Still, I felt much lighter and leaner by the end of the program — and all without ever working up at true sweat! Such a revelation. It might be too early to declare this definitively, but I do believe Brazil Butt Lift has made a weight-lifting believer out of me.
- Brazil Butt Lift offers a few different workout calendars, depending on what outcome you’re after. As stated beforehand, I’ve got a lot of junk in my trunk, so I chose the “Slim & Shape” schedule, though there are also options if you consider your derriere “too big,” “too flat,” or “a combination.”
- Brazil Butt Lift’s videos are blessedly short, typically ending within 45 minutes. As you get further along, some days will stack two workouts together, but the total is still only a little over an hour.
- Unlike Insanity, there isn’t very much jumping or dynamic movement, for which my downstairs neighbors thank me. However, in order to keep the workouts challenging, I’d often modify some exercise to make them plyometric.
- Lift heavy! According to the Fitness Focus and my own experience, this is the biggest predictor of results. I used 5-pound ankle weights throughout the program, but my 6-9 pound dumbbells became 9-12 and my “medium” resistance loop were replaced by “high” by program’s end. I saw significant progress, both appearance- and performance-wise, each time I upped my game.
- At first, Leandro with his little accent, constant praise, and celebrity client name-dropping annoyed me. I wanted tough love, masochistic Shaun T-style! After a while, though, he grew on me, especially once I realized that his sweet demeanor and cutesy energy belie a taskmaster.
- My only gripe with the workouts themselves lie within the “Tummy Tuck.” This core-focused video relies way too heavily on crunches and sit-ups, which can compress the back and neck. Otherwise, though, I found the workouts fun and balanced, with my favorites being the accurately-named Sculpt and High & Tight.
I know these are a lot of words about a workout, but I can’t keep a good thing to myself. If you’re after a super fun, moderately challenging, full-body exercise program, Leandro Carvalho and his Brazil Butt Lift (click here for an Amazon affiliate link) come highly recommended.