Review of Chad Howse's Power Howse Challenge By Mike Westerdal of CriticalBench.com
For most people failure is not just an obstacle, it's a roadblock or even a dead end that can't be overcome. When the majority of people fail at something, they walk away from the situation, never to try again. They feel dejected, frustrated and disappointed. But not Chad Howse—he turned failure into a powerful motivator that not only transformed his body—gaining 32 pounds of muscle—but his life. He shares the story of his seven years' of failure and how he overcame it to become a well-respected, highly successful trainer and muscle-building expert. To help others obtain the same results, Chad has developed his 'Power Howse Challenge.'
The word 'challenge' in the title of the program is the first clue as to the type of program this is going to be. Chad says—and rightly so—that we perform best when something is at stake. When there's nothing at stake we tend to quickly lose interest. Some people seem to be able to stay motivated no matter what the situation but for the majority of us, it's not that way. That's just human nature.
This such an important aspect of Chad's program that he devotes the first section of the book to the topics of challenge and staying motivated. If you can't compete with someone else then compete with yourself by tracking each workout, trying to beat your previous results with each workout.
In the second section of the book Chad moves into discussions of strategies for getting and staying focused. For most guys, staying focused is as difficult as it is to stay motivated. You see it every day at the gym--guys who spend way more time chatting with other members than they do training. And when they don't get results and are still looking paunchy after two-and-a-half years at the gym, they wonder why. Chad provides some excellent strategies for maintaining the razor-sharp focus you need. He also spends time going over the importance of planning and goal setting.
In the following chapter Chad spends time relating his experiences with failure. He talks about his frustrations and why he continually failed for such a long time. He doesn't dwell on it though, but spends enough time on the subject so you understand that he's been there and struggled with it. Personally, I find his story interesting, inspiring and motivating. The most important thing to take away from this section of book though is the fact that Chad didn't let repeated failure weigh him down. Unlike most people, Chad used his failure as a motivator and as a springboard to success.
In the next section of the book we start to learn more about the specifics of the Power Howse program. For example, there's a great chapter on cardio. Most guys trying to put on muscle mass skip the cardio because they fear burning muscle along with the fat. In the end, they do put on lots of muscle mass, but a heck of a lot of fat along with it. Chad's approach to burning fat without losing muscle is to use short, intense periods of cardio instead of long, drawn-out ones.
Afterwards, he starts providing more detail about the overall program approach, touching on topics such as lifting, tempo, rest periods and other elements of the training strategy that helped him to pack on 32 pounds of muscle in just 32 weeks. This takes you up to about three-quarters of the way through the book. In the rest of the sections, Chad continues to provide excellent tips and suggestions for achieving your goals keeping yourself on the right.
Once you've soaked up all the good stuff in the main book, you're ready to move on to the workouts! To keep things simple, he breaks the workouts up into three separate volumes--beginning, intermediate and advanced. Each book lays out everything you need to know to follow Chad's path and train to gain.
Before you dive into the workouts, be sure to prepare yourself because remember that Chad said right from the outset that Power Howse is all about pushing yourself to your mental and physical limits and challenging yourself to excel. Even the beginner's routine is tough. For instance, in the very first workout you are challenged to perform as many chin-ups, push-ups, step-ups, feet elevated push-ups, feet elevated pull-ups as you can in just 120 seconds, plus do a timed 800-meter run.
And believe me, it doesn't get any easier from there--it only gets tougher. But the good news is that the harder you push yourself the more motivated you become. If you really want to gain 32 pounds of muscle in just 32 weeks and really feel that you're up to challenging yourself and sticking with it, then you ought to consider the Power Howse Challenge. Chad really knows what he's talking about and I highly recommend him and his program.