BodyPOW Live Review – a yoga mat, a towel, and a little initiative is all you need.
Full disclosure – Jackie (BodyPOW’s founder) is my cousin. However, she has in no way compensated me for this review, nor did she request it. All opinions in this piece are my own.
Now that that’s over, here’s a bit of background. BodyPOW was developed by Jackie in 2012 in her own words, as “my own channeled approach to combat negativity from others during a specific time in my life.” She started teaching it at gyms and fitness studios in January of 2013. The program hits on a lot of the buzz words in today’s fitness scene – it’s a high intensity interval training (HIIT) conditioning program that uses body-weight exercises ONLY. You legit need only a mat (to collect the sweat), a towel (to mop up the sweat), a screen (to watch Jackie sweat), and an internet or data connection to do this workout. That’s it.
HIIT programs are designed to help you reach your anaerobic training threshold. This threshold isn’t sustainable for more than a few minutes, but reaching it increases your resting metabolic rate following a workout, often for almost a full day. That increased metabolic rate is what makes HIIT workouts so popular – that is what helps you burn fat and increase lean muscle composition during rest. What makes BodyPOW different is the POW, which stands for Personally Optimized Workout. It’s personally optimized because Jackie developed this program to cater to people of all fitness levels. What that means in practice is that the exercises all self-regulate to your current level of fitness and ability, which means you can be trying out this program with the most fit person you’ve ever encountered and benefit from it just as much as they do.
To prove this point further, in 2015, Jackie started competing in the NSL Bikini Pro circuit just for fun – and winning. She has a SLAMMIN’ body with not an ounce of fat on her. She has been marketing BodyPOW for over 5 years now, but I just tried it for the first time 4 weeks ago. Since Jackie started this program, BodyPOW is the only workout she does, 5 days a week. Elementary math thus implies that she exercises only 5 hours per week to maintain that body, so I’ve spent way too long being intimidated. I figured I’d be in way over my head, so it took me a long while to get up the courage to try it. I wish I’d done it sooner. My fears were dumb. This program is legitimately for anyone, it’s personally optimized.
Jackie teaches these classes in her hometown of Reno, Nevada, but she records them and posts them online for those who subscribe to her service. Anyone can participate in this program at any fitness level from any location with an internet (or data) connection and a screen, and Jackie proves it by regularly recording ‘pop-up POW’ workouts. Her busy travel schedule doesn’t stop her from posting new workouts regularly from all kinds of interesting places. It’s a really unique business model and not one I’ve seen done elsewhere.
My husband and I tried this workout together for the first time in my tiny attic office of our Shaker home and were both sweating like crazy and shaking from exertion afterwards. Each workout takes about an hour, and trust me when I say, one hour is enough. If you have an hour to allocate for each workout, great, but if you have less, they’re easily scaled (via the old-fashioned fast-forward method) to a half-hour. Jackie’s energy and her music selection make you laugh out loud sometimes, as do the faces of the people behind her in these videos (the OMG WTF looks are priceless). In short, it’s a crazy good workout. Some of the exercises are truly impossible feats for me (at least right now), but Jackie almost always walks you through modifications for all of the super crazy stuff. However, you get out what you put in. If you half-ass the moves or don’t try to keep going throughout the entire 30-seconds of something (each exercise is 30 seconds), you won’t benefit like the people who do. Do what you can, but be true to yourself in the process & do your best. It’s that simple.
I’ve been doing BodyPOW three times per week for almost all of September & having changed nothing else about my diet & lifestyle, these are my takeaways so far:
- Lower back pain? COMPLETELY gone.
- My posture is better.
- That whole ‘pee when you laugh’ mom affliction? Also gone.
- The program really does get easier every time you do it.
- I have legitimate upper body muscles now – obvious ones.
- I am 5lbs heavier than I was in the beginning of September. I am not kidding. All my clothes fit better, but this is the first time I have EVER gained weight starting an exercise routine. Based on how sore I’ve been, I attribute this to using muscles I literally did not know I had. I look forward to October when things stabilize & I see the weight start dropping off or I start my new career as a body builder. I’m not 100% certain on the direction this is heading.
I was in great shape before life (in the form of marriage and children) took priority. I even did an Ironman in 2009! That was easily the best shape I’ve ever been in, but I suspect that BodyPOW will get me in better shape than I was then in far less time and with far less effort. I’m going to stick with it. Maybe I’ll even post an update down the road.
Want to give the program a try with me? Jackie created a 20% off coupon for anyone interested – check it out below!