Review Summary: Hi, this is Arnold your training partner...
Long before the days of incestual and moronic Guido's being made reality TV stars for their self tanning and steroid injecting frolics and even before working out became regrettably an out of hand social trend and internet phenomenon, the world looked to one man for workout advice. He was the now Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Famed for his body building and wooden acting, Schwarzenegger's popularity sky-rocketed throughout the 80's and as a result his image was put to many forgotten products, none more so than Arnold's foray into 'music' which culminated in his 1983 smash 'Total Body Workout'.
Already I feel as if I'm being harsh on Arnold, he has never claimed to possess an ounce of musical talent, nor did he acting and it didn't stop him there, and this album isn't technically a musical one. It's almost the precursor to horrendous Christmas workout DVD's. However, despite its abysmal structure and execution this album may be up there with the most unintentionally hilarious pieces I have ever heard.
Arnold starts by getting us warmed up. An important part in any workout he'll have you know. He talks over a funky beat typical of the time and explains to us how to squat, touch our toes and lunge all the while giving us his encouraging and at times patronizing words of advice such as 'Squeeze that buttocks' and (in time to the music) 'push your upper body'. Arnold's intentions are good with him wanting you to become the change you desire but his ridiculous one-liners and repetition counting make it almost impossible to concentrate on the exercises he's helping you along with. Added to the ill-picked music selections and this album almost comes across as a parody of itself.
After we've warmed up, Arnold lets us know "Your body is ready for the major pump" He takes us through a series of non weighted exercises such as tricep dips and push-ups on chairs. Spread over different tracks and accompanied by increasingly inappropriate music selections such as Journey's "Don't Stop Believing'" as we struggle through Arnold's gruelling regime we are motivated to push through.
Don't worry if you're new to working out or a women, Arnold takes into account all levels and sexes in his pursuit of the perfect body with varying levels for different groups of experience or different scenarios based on whether you are male or female, because you can look really great in a short sleeved top or a dress if you're a women.
Arnold's emotionless and monotonous delivery only serve to further add to the hilarity with nothing sounding sincere and his instructions coming across completely unclear at times. As I try to ask Arnold a question about exactly where my feet should be positioned he has already raced through onto the next exercise. I can't believe a single person was able to complete every exercise either in time with Arnold who managed to skip numbers of repetitions and have completely disorganized timing or without breaking down into a fit of laughter with his truly comical one-liners. I was lagging behind after the second track.
After we've completed a number of exercises Arnold is rather congratulatory of the listeners efforts and lets them know how proud he is of them. It's a nice touch and it motivates me to kick on with the rest of the 'Total Body Workout' knowing that my training partner has noticed the work I've been putting in. However unexpectedly instead of going onto our weighted exercises, we are treated to the entirety of Deniece Williams "I'm so proud". If anything could be more cheesy, hysterical and cringe inducing all at the same time I could not think of it. I guess the albums producers decided we needed time to rest so instead of Arnold taking the time to give us nutritional advice or to lend his expertise on technique they just played a song which lauded just how proud we'd made Arnold.
The song mercifully ends. After the novelty of the first 20 seconds it really is torture to listen to. Arnold returns and we warm up, again. Nothing changes we carry out the exact same warm up we did first time. Same backing music, same word-for-word instructions, it's exactly the same track as the first! Now, I fail to believe that this album took months of hard work and precision so it wouldn't have been an impossible task to switch up the warm ups even a little. But no, the laziness on display here just shows the level of attention to detail and haphazardness that went into this project. It was from this moment I realized perhaps that 'Total Body Workout' was not the great record I had envisioned it being.
We kick on with our weight lifting exercises. If I were to summarize this half of the album I'd say it was more of the same but with weights and an increased obnoxiousness from Arnold as his quips become rather egomaniacal such as 'Your biceps may not be as big as mine' or just downright creepy as he remarks that the listeners mother craves their offspring to have tight v-cut shoulders.
Obviously there are still comic highlights such as the use of the Weather Girls 'It's raining men' with Arnold barking 'push and push' but the album has already peaked by the second half. Everything feels like it's already been explored and this record may as well have been half the time in length with Arnold telling you to just play it back from the start and repeat the cycle.
The record reaches its climax and sticking with the earlier theme of half assed laziness Arnold again tells us how proud of us he is, then proceeds to play Part II of Deniece Williams's 'I'm so proud' at which point I wanted to vomit from the sheer bad taste it left in my mouth.
In conclusion there's a reason the only place you may be able to track down a copy of this record is in a bargain bin or a physical bin. It's just pretty bad. It has its moments of accidental comedy but even those aren't redeeming enough to cover up the stench of sh*t that radiates from this record.