I'm not really much of a reality television aficionado so I can't say I've really watched much of The Biggest Loser, the show where portly Americans get into high activity exercise programs and regimented diets with the goal of losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time. And the main image from that show is usually of Jillian Michaels, the hard bodied yet slightly mannish-looking female trainer of the show, showing off her abs and encouraging anyone who'll listen about the benefits of proper diet and exercise. The male trainer from the show, a man named Bob Harper, is starting to emerge from Michaels' considerable shadow (in personality only) and is appearing on exercise discs of his own, starting with Power Walk.
The concept behind Power Walk is simple; Harper (with the help of two former Loser contestants) help a variety of people with a cardio workout in various levels of activity. On the disc, there are four workouts, each running about 15 minutes in length, along with a cool down that lasts several minutes. Users can pick and choose the workout that best suits their needs, or they can play a particular segment of their liking. Whether it's weights, no weights, some or no mobility, the segments are adaptable for anyone who fits the usual health situations.
Because the disc includes some familiar faces to fans of the show, it's nice to see them stay away from having an hour of instructor-led work and gives you those who went through the programs and experienced the trials and tribulations of Harper's teaching. That said, the folks from the show that are here (Tara Costa and Sione Fa) are lacking a little in the charisma attribute and you're left hoping that Harper comes back. Soon.
When he does come back, he provides a satisfactory mix of motivation and encouragement. The important thing to consider when it comes to these "walking workout" is that Harper also points out the distance traveled during each segment, even if you're only doing it in the course of your living room in front of the couch. As one who spent three years doing Army physical training every morning, he reminds me of a drill sergeant; firm but supportive yet doesn't manage to call you a cocksucker in the process.
All in all, Power Walk makes for an entertaining and even fun workout. Considering that it's a little more than an hour of walking in various ways in one place, is a minimum investment for a moderate return and worth exploring if you find your New Year's Resolutions becoming stale.
I was surprised, pleasantly so, by the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation of this disc. Not because it was of striking quality or breathtaking color hues, but the fact that it was in widescreen. I've seen a couple of exercise discs before and was underwhelmed that they were in full frame, but this widescreen disc looks fine, no noticeable edge enhancement or color oversaturation, things look decent.
Two-channel Dolby stereo for the program, but as said program occurs in front of you, it's best not to get the high energy/pseudo Euro club music in six channels as it is. Dialogue is OK, and you even have a choice of listening to a music-only track in case you feel like DJ'ing while you exercise.
Trailers for the other Biggest Loser/exercise discs are included, but the bigger extra is an interactive program of sorts, one that allows you to build a program over several weeks by adhering to the segmented routines. It's a decent idea if you keep the program up.
I couldn't stand road marches back in my military days, but Power Walk keeps things interesting and if you stick with it long enough, you might see a long term benefit to it. The material and instructors are good and the technicals are fine, so why not get off the couch and do it?