Top positive review
238 people found this helpful
Completely worth the $90, would buy it again!
on January 6, 2012
We have had this and have been using it for about 6 weeks.
I have to say up front that I bought this product direct from its own website, after seeing a TV ad for it. I had an old Tae Bo tape (yes tape LOL) in my home workout rotation, so I knew I liked Billy Blanks already. One of the most important considerations in buying this is that my husband and I planned to use it together, so I knew bouncy annoying female instructors with peppy music and lots of choreography was not going to fly! Another important consideration was that I knew we could not get Insanity, because we both have some minor knee issues from years of running. I considered P90X (we are both in pretty good shape already) but didn't like the idea of many pieces of equipment kicking around my 5-kid-and-a-dog house, and having to change them out during a workout.
When I saw the ad for 24/7, I admit I jumped and ordered it immediately. It looked like the perfect answer for our needs and limitations. By ordering direct from the website, I got an extra pair of gloves, shoe straps, and resistance bands free, and the opportunity to order a third for $9.99. I didn't, but now kinda wish I had because my daughter wants to use it!
A previous reviewer claimed the velcro on the shoe straps is weak and they don't stay on. I have no idea what she is talking about, because ours have very strong velcro and always stay on. In fact, the velcro is so strong that even after six weeks of use, my husband still sticks to the carpet! I can hear his feet lifting as he steps.
In my opinion, the best workouts in the set are the Body Blast and Combo Sculpt. Boot Camp Power and Ripped Core are my second favorites. The Basics disc is something you use 2 or 3 times until you are up to speed, and then really not again, unless you want or need an easy day but don't want to do nothing at all. Between Cardio Burn and Cardio, I would say Cardio Burn is the better of the two, but I have to admit to not much liking either one. Some of the combos are awkward when trying to do them fast, and there is too much walking back and forth and side to side. Billy seems to forget we are in our living rooms, surrounded by furniture and with limited space. We have adapted so that we do the exercises without leaving our floor positions. Another thing to look out for would be your animals. My poor dog took a kick to the face full force this morning because he got curious and I didn't see him in time.
I am trying to get us to the point where we use this everyday, but to be honest, we have averaged three days a week. And yet we still both got through the holiday season without gaining any weight. That says a lot right there. And I cook, real food, including homemade eggnog full of cream and booze, cookies, gravy, and full fat cheese. So we are certainly not eating diet food, yet we got through the time of year most people put on 6-8 pounds, without gaining any, and only using this program 3x a week.
Some people might think that only half an hour is not really enough to get a good workout. That is why the bands are genius. They increase the intensity level of every movement, and give you resistance training at the same time you burn fat and calories. That increased intensity level is why you can exercise for only half an hour but still get a good workout. The fact that the bands are attached to you, so you don't have to hold onto them, is a feature I really like. Your wrists don't start to hurt from having to hold and control a handle. They seem to me to be the same quality as what I used at the gym. The smaller time commitment on this has also made it easier for my husband and I to get it done before he leaves for work. If you can't stick to it, even the best program won't do anything for you.
I bought this as a replacement for a gym membership I could no longer afford. I spent the last year getting my butt kicked by an instructor I loved, and this program's best workouts give me approximately the same intensity level. I sweat, I get sore, and I can see that the muscle tone and slimming I achieved are being maintained. There are pushups and planking in this program. There are burnouts in this program. There are lunges, military presses, and bicep and tricep curls in this program. No one could call it half-assed. I am very satisfied and would happily spend the $90 to get this again.
If I am so thrilled, then why only four stars you ask? Good question. There are a few small things I am not thrilled about. I will detail them here. First, stretching is woefully neglected in this program. For people who know how to take care of themselves, this is not a huge issue. But I would hate to see a novice get injured because of the lack of stretching. There are a few token hamstring stretches, but that's it. Second, at times Billy stops to talk for too long, and the intensity level suffers because you end up stopped for too long. Third, be prepared to hate the blonde chick to his left. She's scary skinny and overacts her exertion level ALL THE TIME. She is SO annoying... I just want someone to hold her down and feed her a cheeseburger. To Billy's credit, though, there are a couple of people in his workout groups who are NOT all toothpicky and super-cut. They look like normal people who are in shape, but still live life. So hooray for that. And fourth, I don't find it motivating to have the instructor say, "three more sets" and then at the end of that say "one more set" and "last one" to add on. At times he will do that and then add more again! Just be honest with me about how many we are doing, because I am trying to follow you and keep up! I do find the notices at the bottom of the screen telling you how close you are to finishing helpful. They start appearing at 50% and then continue to 75%, 85% and 95% done. That can be very motivating when you are having a hard morning. Finally, if you are on carpet, you have to pay very close attention and make sure you are pivoting on your rear toe correctly when twisting to throw punches. If you don't, you will be torquing your knees a LOT and that is a very bad thing.
Finally a couple of little things that really aren't criticisms of the program, just unavoidable things that come with how the program is constructed. As I mentioned before, the velcro on the straps is pretty strong. The straps are designed to fit a wide range of shoe sizes, so for people like us who fall in the smaller medium range of shoe sizes, there is a lot of exposed velcro left over. It sticks to the carpet and picks up stuff like dog hair. It doesn't affect anything, it's just a little gross. We just make sure that the same spot is always down (which happens naturally anyway because your feet and shoes don't change, right?) so that the clean part we use to secure the straps stays clean and functional. The gloves will start to smell a little after a week or two of use. You sweat in them, so they get a little funky. Again, it's not horrible or anything, but it's there. We thought about using Febreze, but they are made of fairly cheap vinyl with some kind of lining, and I am not sure if repeated use of Febreze would start breaking something down. We leave them where they can air out, and it has not gotten bad enough for me to do anything about it yet. Eventually I will rinse them well with plain water and leave them to air dry. Cheap as they are, I have no concerns about durability. I expect them to last a long time, along with the bands and straps.
Wow this got long. Sorry about that, but I wanted to be clear and detailed. I think this program is an outstanding contribution to at home workout options. If you are really out of shape it will kick your butt, and if you are already in pretty good shape it will help you maintain.