By June 26, 2009

Power Half Hour (round two): Session 30

I am going to finish my second round of the Power Half Hour home fitness series today. I completed the first thirty day session in April, and enjoyed it so much I did it again. The Power Half Hour program is made up of five different sessions: abs, thighs, ass, arms, and then a stretch day. I added a day of kettlebells after stretch day for the first four weeks for a little something extra. Here are my thoughts about the Beach Body workout program after the second time around.

First off, as I mentioned in my first write-up, the PHH is not a system for beginners. There is very little rest time in between movements. Instructor Tony Horton doesn’t spend much time explaining most of the movements: they are standard techniques (squats, lunges, etc) or have been covered in the basic P90 program that I recommend doing before you get to the Power Half Hour. Yes, you will sweat your ass off doing PHH, but the exercises aren’t super difficult. I just think it’s dangerous to jump right in to a higher-intensity workout without knowing the right ways to do the movements.

The Power Half Hour system is still a lot of fun. Out of the Basic P90, Hawaii Fat Burner Express, and Great Body series, I like the Power Half Hour the best. It’s the right mix of cardiovascular, strength training, and stretching for me. However, I wanted to add a little bit more. I really liked working out with kettlebells for a couple of weeks prior to starting PHH up again, and thought it would be a good idea to add as a “day six” workout.

This turned out to be a bad idea.

The Power Half Hour series makes you use your legs on four out of five workouts. Lunges, squats, calf raises, leg extensions, leg curls, knee thrusts, hopping around, and even curtsies assail your legs during the first three sessions. The stretch day isn’t bad, but you are still asked to do things that use your joints. Arms day is your only real day off from putting stress on your knees and ankles. Kettlebells are a full-body workout, and the Russians did a good job of finding fiendish ways to incorporate your legs into every possible movement. Military press? Squat first. Bent over row? Squat down.

My knees, particularly my right knee, started to give me problems after the third week. I figured I had done something stupid and didn’t pay much attention to it. By the time the kettlebell day rolled around the following week I was feeling soreness and sensitivity immediately following my workouts. I backed off on the depths of my lunges and squats. I think the squats were the prime culprit; I made extra sure that my knees were not going beyond my toe line and that I was putting as much weight on my ass as possible.

I think my quads were just too hammered throughout the workouts and that at some point I failed to support my connective tissue. I knew that I was in for a long recovery after pulling my hamstring when I bought my BMW K1200LTE motorcycle in 2008. I wasn’t willing to put off my work outs until I completely felt better. I took the kettlebells out of my workout and kept going.

It has been a couple of months since posting my measurements, so here we are after the second 30-day session of Power Half Hour:


I’ve leaned out a lot more. The kettlebell and Great Body workout jump started my metabolism again. I’ve kept that momentum and also changed my diet (I am eating green leafy vegetables every day and cutting back on the cheeseburgers). My legs look really good, and underneath my fur is a six pack. It’s the first time I’ve consistently been able to see my abs. Ever.

I am going to forgo the usual photos and just show my body in flex, because that’s the biggest difference from April.

Front, in flex, after session 15 of Bells & Body:

Front, in flex, after session 30 of Power Half Hour:

Back, in flex, after session 15 of Bells & Body:

Back, in flex, after session 30 of Power Half Hour:

Overall, I am pleased with the results. I am going to give my knees some time off and do the 100 Pushup Challenge along with some additional core work. The 100 Pushup Challenge will start on Monday, so stay tuned 🙂

Posted in: fitness & grooming

1 Comment on "Power Half Hour (round two): Session 30"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Starbuck says:

    Good job on completing 30 sessions and staying with your diet. Good luck with the 100 pushup challenge