By March 2, 2009

Power Half Hour home exercise program: week one

I finished (way off time) the basic P90 home workout system not too long ago. I started to wonder what I was going to do next when I hit session 85 out of 90, and visited the Beachbody.com Web site to see what other products they offered. Despite the monotony of the P90 base set, I liked the exercises and the ability to work out within a reasonable amount of time from home. I also like Tony Horton, especially in the more recent videos wherein he is more animated and motivational.

My criteria was pretty simple: varied workouts that could be completed in about half an hour. Apparently Tony knows his market, and I bought the Beach Body Power Half Hour for $40.

There are five routines: abs, thighs, butt, arms, and stretch. The schedule is five days on, one day off, for thirty sessions. There are a lot of shared moves between the PHH and the P90 basic, like Lucky 7 bicep exercise or the Lawnmower. The pacing is pretty fast, and I was unable to complete the ab, thigh, and butt routines without taking some sort of rest. This is coming off of the P90 Basic sessions and I feel like I am in descent shape. The Phase 3 and Phase 4 sessions of the P90 Basic are longer, but the PHH is much more intense. There are fewer rests, more exercises, and less time between reps.

I don’t really mind, because you move from one exercise to next so quickly. I pretend like I’m in the bedroom and tell myself, “just a few more seconds.” The butt routine is particularly beast; my body hadn’t recovered from the thighs session, which in turn hadn’t recovered from the abs section. I was really sore, but laughed the whole time. It felt good to be challenged.

The exercises are mostly low impact, but this program is not for beginners. The arm routine cranks off 100 or more pushups in the first third of the routine, it’s probably considered the warm-up. Besides the speed and intensity, there is very little instruction given, and some of the moves could injure you if you don’t have previous exercise experience. There is one move in the ab routine where you stand sideways, then twist and kick at the same time. If you don’t know to protect your front knee, you could put too much strain on yourself. Tony provides his typical cautionary advice, but if you want to keep pace you don’t have time to watch the video. If you’ve worked out before you’re probably fine, just a head’s up for people new to working out. You should really start with P90 anyway.

My only real complaint so far is that there isn’t enough stretching. The P90 courses had a LOT more. Tony suggests to do the first ten minutes of the stretch routine before each workout, but that really makes it the “Power 40 Minutes,” doesn’t it? Kind of defeats the purpose. I will say my favorite routine thus far is Stretch, it is super relaxing and feels really good.

I am not going to post my measurements because it’s so close to the end of my P90B workout. I’ll put ‘em up next week, along with some more thoughts on the program.

In short, the Power Half Hour is challenging, fun, and not for beginners. Well worth the $40 thus far.

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1 Comment on "Power Half Hour home exercise program: week one"

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  1. Andrea Kay Bloom Smith says:

    Thank you very much for this review.

    I wanted to know whether to do P90 first or the Power Half Hour – your review gave me all I needed!

    Thanks again!

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