Video Fitness

Power 90 Masters Plyo Legs

Tony Horton

This is a 50-minute lower body circuit workout with unweighted leg exercises pulled from 'P90X Legs & Back' and cardio segments that emphasize lower body endurance from 'P90X PlyoX'. The exercises are endurance-type exercises an athlete might perform during training for sports that require lower body endurance. The emphasis is not on heavy weights-low reps for mass-building. As fas as cardio, my heart rate was in my target zone for about 10 minutes during this workout but I did feel short of breath at other times during some of the leg exercises even when my heart rate didn't reflect it, so I still felt like I was getting a good workout.

Is it really PLYO? Not really. There are some hopping-type plyometric moves but the segments are short and a modified version is almost always shown. About 1/4 of the exercises cannot be easily modified to low impact - more on that later. But this workout is NOT like FIRM Super Cardio Mix or Core Cardio 1 where it's endless hopping & jumping, bruising knees, jolting joints and pounding of the feet :D

I like this workout better than I liked P90 Masters Core Cardio, mostly because the workout is focused and seems to have less set-up, less stand-alone chats (Tony does all his chatting while doing the exercise) and because Tony is working harder and spending more time exercising than he does coaching & checking other's form. Mind you Tony is WAY over-the-top silly in this one: at one point he gasps "send a paramedic... send TWO paramedics" or "grab your bucket, hurl, and put it back..."

I would say that this workout bridges the gap between the Power Half Hour lower body workouts and P90X. I don't have Power 90 so I can't comment on it. But I think you can build endurance with these 20 exercises because they're the same exercises from the advanced series but much fewer reps and more breaks.

However, if you're a high-intermediate to advanced exerciser I think you should consider going directly to P90X instead. If you do P90X Legs only (skipping the back segments, it's chaptered so this can be done easily) the body of the workout clocks in at (you guessed it) 32 minutes (without warm-up & cool-down). That's SHORTER than P90 Masters Plyo Legs. To be honest, I think the production and music are far superior in P90X and I know I'm be more motivated to do some of the reps in P90X Legs, using no weights and build up my strength & endurance that way. Having said that, I do think that Plyo Legs has it's place as an intermediate legs/cardio workout.

The production features Tony, Larry (from Beachbody's offices) and Tracy (from a Power 90 Hawaii trip) in a bright studio setting with hardwood floors, light blue sponge-painted walls and bright big windows including one floor-to-ceiling.

The form they show on many of the exercises worries me. All three have their backs hunched up on their runner's lunge stretch and squat all the way down with their bottoms almost touching the floor in the plie squat stretch. Although Tracy is very fit and a wonderful fitness inspiration (she's had 4 kids - which Tony suggest must have been pulled out of her biceps) she goes scary-low on her squats. My knees hurt just watching her.

About 1/4 of the exercises cannot be modified down to low-impact which is a BIG disadvantage if you ask this 43-year-old. In the breakdown below I will indicate which exercises I found difficult/impossible to modify down. Modifications are shown (sometimes by Larry sometimes by Tracy) but to be honest, I think the crew had not always been trained on the modifications or for some reason did not want to stick with a low-impact variation because sometimes all three are doing the high impact move... even after Tony instructs them to show the modifier (?). Also Tony asks Tracy & Larry for their heart rates after one tough segment and I was surprised to hear that Tracy's was 165 BPM and Larry was in the 140's - I was in the 130's. I was winded though!

There are four audio selections on the main menu: Normal, Music Off, Heavy Music & Cues and Cues Only. The music is soft pop-rock-instrumental, a little 'harder' than the music in Core Cardio. The volume for both vocal cues and music was low on the "Normal" setting but not as low as on Core Cardio. I found the "Heavy Music & Cues" option to be nearer to normal volume level, this was the best way for me to hear the music in this workout.

The workout utilizes the count-down timer typical for BeachBody workouts (with the total countdown on the right & a counter or timer on the left showing how many reps left or how many seconds left to a given exercise). Like Core Cardio, this workout uses little 'Tony bubbles' that pop up on the screen with a picture of Tony and a caption bubble with a form pointer, hints and silly/funny comments. For example, while doing squats the Tony bubble says "Back straight & head up."

The workout begins almost immediately - no lengthy opening introduction discussing the development of the series as in P90X. Tony introduces the crew, suggests the required equipment (mat, heart-rate monitor, water, towel) and in less than a minute, you're getting started.

The breakdown includes a 7.5 min warm-up, 35.5 minute workout & 7 minute cool-down and stretch.

WARM-UP 7.5 min
dynamic moves such as running, jumping jacks, walking lunges, deep plie squat/stretches, heel side touches. static stretches include overhead & side stretches, runner's lunges, quad stretches.

WORKOUT 35.5 min
1) CALF RAISE SQUATS (P90X LEGS) 30 reps
done slowly
2) RUN STANCE SQUATS 1 min
boxer stance, squat down, front hand touches knee or floor
3) SUPER SKATER (P90X LEGS) 20 reps each side
sort of a 1-legged squat
4) HEISMAN PLUS ONE 1 min
side skate, lean over and touch floor with outside hand
5) UP/DOWN TEETER TOTTER 1 min
squat with added side-to-side torso crunch
6) MARY KATHERINE LUNGE 1 min
alternating reverse lunges - last 10 seconds fast scissor lunges **hard to modify to low impact**
7) GROUCHO WALK (P90X LEGS) 60 reps
wide stance squat, move one leg forward then the other, after 5 steps forward, go backwards
8) RUN STANCE SQUAT SWITCH 1 min **could not modify to low impact**
boxer stance, squat & jump to switch sides & face other direction
9) DEADLIFT SQUATS (P90X LEGS) 20 reps each leg
one-legged deadlift with squatting motion
10) LEAP FROG SQUATS 1 min **could not modify to low impact**
plie stance, hop forward 2 times, then backwards 2 times
WATER BREAK 30 sec
11) CHAIR SALUTATION (P90X LEGS) 30 sec x 2 reps
12) GAP JUMP 1 min
one-legged hop over an imaginary river, pivot turn and repeat
13) ONE-LEGGED CHAIR 1 min (P90X LEGS similar to one-legged wall sit)
no wall, but squat as if seated, lift one leg behind you and hold for 10 seconds, then switch to other leg
14) TIRES 1 min
4 steps up, 4 steps back as if running through tires in military-type exercise
15) TOE ROLL ISO LUNGE (P90X LEGS) 30 reps each side
static lunge, roll forward to tip of toe on hind leg, push back & repeat
16) SQUAT JACKS 1 min **could not modify to low impact**
do jumping jacks from low-squat position [I do think you could do a side-to-side lunge like in Turbo Jam or FIRM workouts as a low-impact substitute]
17) SIDE LUNGE REACH 20 reps
side lunge, reach overhead with opposite hand and touch floor outside lunging leg
18) RUN STANCE 180 SQUAT 30 sec each side (P90X - PLYOX?)
side squat, bring front leg all the way around in 1/2 circle, face other side & squat
19) SPEED SQUATS 80-20 (P90X LEGS) 40 reps each side **could not modify to low impact**
fast squat with most weight on one leg (I ended up doing regular squats to modify to low impact)
20) EGAN BROTHERS 1 min
ski hops side-to-side - do 5 forward, 5 back

COOL-DOWN & STRETCH 7 min
1.5min ballistic running, leg kicks, etc. 5.5min stretches: overhead, runner's lunge, inner thigh, quad, etc.

Instructor comments:

Dawn P.

Oct 13 2005

It's hard not to compare this workout to P90x Plyometrics workout. This workout is not P90x Plyometrics. The format is different and it is less intense. I would say it is upper intermediate or lower advanced workout.

Plyometrics by definition is jump training. This workout does not have a lot of jumping. There are a lot of squats and low impact exercises. Yes, it will build your leg muscles and endurance up -- but, I was disappointed there was not a lot of jumping.

Something unique to this workout (when compared to P90x Plyometrics) is that there are no repeated sets! I love that. It reduces the boredom because you are not doing the same moves over and over.

One thing that was kind of annoying about this workout is that there really is too much instruction. After you do this a couple of times you know the workout and do not need all the instruction. I found myself just standing there a lot waiting for the next exercise to begin. I just wish there were quicker transitions between each exercise.

Overall a good workout but not as intense as P90x Plyometrics. I would give it a B+

Instructor comments: Tony is wackier than usual. At first, it's kind of annoying. But, as the workout goes on, he makes it fun to workout. He is also very encouraging about the workout and especially enjoyed his chat about age towards the end of the workout -- "I'm 47! Age is not going to stop me!"
Cueing is good and he give tons of instruction.

Christy G

6/6/07



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