Oh, Billy. I can always count on you for a kicking, punching and knee-slammin’ good time. And I choose the word “count” purposely because dang, you like to count! Your new Billy Blanks PT 24/7 system is a Tae-Bo-rific set of DVDs guaranteed to make you sweat, feel the burn and—like I said—count. But more on that in a bit. Let’s get to the basics.
First, this As Seen on TV system is only—cue loud announcer voice—three easy payments of $29.99! It includes seven workout DVDs, each with one 30-minute workout on it (that seems wasteful to me, but that’s always my multi-workout-DVD-pack gripe), along with a nutrition guide, instructions, a workout rotation calendar and Billy’s Training Gloves and Cardio Bands (that look a whole heck of a lot like this product). Similar to the P90X system, you follow Billy’s nutrition plan and workout plan (working out for 30 minutes every day for the first week, and then five days a week in weeks two through four) and then, you start to see some Billy-a-fied results.
And Billy looks good. He’s fitter than ever, and still sweats a ton, which I kind of like because it’s obvious that he’s putting his all into it. Billy is actually what I enjoyed most about the workouts. He’s encouraging and motivates you almost like a sports coach would, really tapping into your mental strength. Each workout DVD—Basics, Cardio, Cardio Burn, Ripped Core, Boot Camp Power, Combo Sculpt and Body Blast—features a quick warm-up and a cool down with an encouraging pep talk from Billy. The Basics DVD walks you through all of the kicks and punches (if you’ve done Tae Bo before, you’ll be fine—this is pretty much the same exact stuff, just with a band) with proper form, and all of the rest are pretty self explanatory. You use the bands for almost every part of every workout, except for the last part of the Ripped Core workout where you do some mat work and the end of each DVD when Billy has you remove the bands to see just how strong you are punching without the added resistance (it actually is pretty cool). In Basics, Billy even breaks some boards. Whoa.
While the workouts aren’t really anything you haven’t seen in Tae Bo before, the bands do allow you to do some stationary resistance training, and Billy even mixes in some burpees occasionally (slightly awkward with the bands, but I appreciated the creativity). The bands themselves are a bit tricky to get situated. Even following the instructions perfectly, I had a little slippage on the part that goes around my foot, but eventually got it figured out. I wish there were bands of different lengths or resistance levels included, as obviously with just one band you have no harder resistance level to progress to, and if you’re super tall or super short, well, this workout is just going to be harder or easier for you. I thought the gloves themselves would be pointless to have on, but they were fun. I definitely felt more like a boxer with them on, and punched a little harder because of it.
Although the workout rotation seems like a sane and doable plan for the beginner or intermediate exerciser, the nutrition guide is too drastic, in my opinion. It’s a straight-up diet (four-letter word!). While the recommendations of what to eat and what to avoid are solid, the sample meal plans are ridiculous with calorie counts of about 1,150 to 1,350. I see numbers that low and I get hungry just looking at them.
Lastly, there’s the counting. While I’m all for counting along and getting into it, every DVD in the series features A TON of counting. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7…repeat about 100 times. For me, it just got annoyingly repetitive. So did the “Yes, sir” repeats from the PT 24/7 crew. Even some of Billy’s phrases get a little old, too, as he also likes to repeat things. I like the phrase “work it” as much as the next girl, but it loses its charm after the 50th time.
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★
Fit Bottomed Line: If you are a Tae Bo fan looking for more of a challenge, then Billy Blanks PT 24/7 is your system. If you’ve never been a big kickboxer, move right along…
Anyone else tried this system? What did you think of it? Be sure to check out our recent interview with Billy Blanks here! —Jenn