P90X3 Total Synergistics Review

So today marked my official leap into the world of P90X – P90X3 to be exact, and I’m pretty content with my first toe dip into the water.  My husband and I are doing P90X3 together, which makes it nice and even more fun. Having a workout buddy (particularly one who gets your jokes and pain while working out) is a huge motivator to stick with any program, so I’m ecstatic that he’s on board.

P90X3 has four different workout calendars you can follow – Classic, Lean, Mass, and Doubles.  We opted to do the Classic version as it’s our first time doing any type of P90X workout.  The first workout in the Classic calendar is, you got it, Total Synergistics.  Basically, it’s a total body workout that makes you use multiple body parts to complete each exercise. You need a set of dumbbells and a pull-up bar to complete the workout.  Alternatively, there is a modifier who uses bands instead of the weights/bar.  They also recommend that you use a mat.

From first glance, the cast is ripped – and I mean ripped. Wowza.  You know this will be no joke.  There are two females (both strikingly fit) and a male who lost 20 lbs in the test group (also quite fit).  I didn’t catch their names, although Tony does introduce them at the beginning (I think I was just in awe of their fitness levels).  The set is stylish (my dream gym) and the quality of the video excellent.

The DVD starts with a short, basic warm up of jogging in place, jumping jacks, and stretches, then we get straight into the different exercises.  Because this DVD requires weights, there is a printable workout sheet that you are highly encouraged to use during the workout to record your reps and weights so that you can move forward throughout the program each week.  There was a nice mixture of weighted exercises (3 hop presses, glamour hammers, squat rockers, etc.), body weight exercises (push-up/side arm balances; crawly plyo push-ups, warrior squat moons, etc.), core exercises (boat plows, flip flop crunches), and bar exercises (pull knee pulls,  chin-up circle crunches). It is then followed by a short cool-down at the end. If you want an exact break down of each exercise, you can easily find that elsewhere and I won’t bore you with the details.

The trickiest part of the video, for me, was knowing what to do for each exercise.  In retrospect, I probably should have previewed the exercises before starting, as it took me a few seconds to watch them do each activity before I could dive right in. I have a feeling next time we do this video, it’ll flow more smoothly, as I’ll know what to expect (as opposed to scrunching my forehead and waiting for a demonstration). Also, I wish that Tony would have provided some suggestions for weight amounts for the weighted exercises. In Chalean Extreme, Chalene always mentions what she’s using and often mentions what the other cast members use, which helped me gauge what to pick for my own weight.  However, next time, I’ll have a better idea of what to choose based off of my own recorded weights/reps.

One thing that struck me about this workout was how flipping fast it went.  It was half over before I even realized it. I know Focus T25 goes by fast, but this literally flew by, which, to me, is something I look forward to (I like working out, but I LOVE being finished!). I’m not entirely sure why it flew by so quickly, but likely because of the variety of exercises, the pace of the video, and the fact that the exercises were somewhat complex and required lots of focus (seriously…just try doing the warrior squat moons and you’ll see what I mean).  It was challenging, but not too over-the-top (i.e. I didn’t want to quit at all, but did want to see myself improve). Many of the moves were new to me, which kept it interesting and fun. Overall, I quite enjoyed the DVD – it didn’t leave me dying and dripping in my own pool of sweat like T25, but it still gets the work done in a fun, fast-paced way. I liked that the focus was on strength, as T25 seems to be more cardio-based. The other thing I absolutely loved about this workout was the pull-ups. I still have to use the pull-up assist get-up, but I’m stoked to see myself improve throughout and can’t wait until I can start doing the pull-up combinations without the assist.

Finally, I also enjoyed getting to see Tony as a trainer. He’s charming in the video, but not too over the top. My heart still belongs with Shaun T, but I am enjoying Tony’s personality and look forward to the next 89 days!

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

Focus T25 Gamma Extreme Circuit Review

Today’s workout, Focus T25’s Gamma Extreme Circuit, is another total body workout that is broken down into five 5 minute sets.  You do four different exercises for 1 minute each followed by a burnout of those four exercises repeated for a shorter duration (15 seconds) at a faster pace and with more focus.  Almost all the exercises involve weights (or resistance bands) and some have chin-up bar options.  Again, Shaun T doesn’t tell you what weights to use, so you have to guess based on your own strength.  The cast also uses the same weights for the entire workout and you can see what their weights are throughout the workout (when the camera pans in).

The first set consists of alternating heel taps (while holding your weights), upright rows (my arms were still feeling the pain from yesterday…), dual shoulder presses, and alternating knee crunches (holding the weights at 90 degrees).

Set 2 consists of alternating front kicks while holding the weights at 90 degrees, dual hammer curls, hammer curls with a squat, and 90 degree straight leg holds.

Set 3 consists of weighted burpees, tricep push ups (oi…I suck at these), weighted squats, and plank crunches.

For Set 4, you drop your weights and do elbow mountain climbers and burpees with front kicks, pick them back up for reciprocating bicep curls, and drop them again for a plank walk/spider lunge combo.

Our final Set 5 consists of wide flies and hip thrusts, shoulder press twists, walking ski abs, and dead lifts with a hammer curl.

We wrap up with our cool down stretch.

Overall, I really liked the overall flow of this workout.  I liked that each of the sets were 5 minutes each so if I didn’t enjoy a particular exercise (*cough, cough* tricep push ups…) I knew I only had to do them for that set.  Each set went by rather quickly and the burnouts were fun (and went by in a flash).  There were also lots of challenging moves and quite a bit of variety that kept me motivated and “into” the workout. Plus, I was a sweaty mess by the end, which is always a bonus in my books! Even better, I get to add another dollar to my Workout Tip Jar.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

Focus T25 Gamma Rip’T Up Review

Day 2 in the Gamma Cycle is the “Rip’T Up” DVD, which requires either dumbbells or resistance bands, a mat, and a chin up bar (optional). My one pet peeve in these DVDs is that Shaun T never recommends dumbbell weights or refers to what his team members are lifting. When I did Chalean Extreme, Chalene always mentioned what she was lifting for each exercise and often mentioned what her modifier was lifting and her other team members, which helped me ball park my weights better. With this DVD, I just had to guess and hope the fit was good.  This, of course, was partial laziness on my part, because all our dumbbells were in my husband’s workout room and I didn’t feel like hauling them back and forth (ugh, can’t believe I just admitted that….on a fitness post, nonetheless!). It would have been more effective if I had more of my dumbbells lying there so I could switch it up if need be (i.e. if the set was too easy/difficult). In this DVD, you use two different sets of weights (a lighter set and a heavier set), so I just grabbed some 10s and 5s and went at it. I would recommend not being lazy and having other weights to select from in order to get more from your workout (and I will next time…I promise).

The one thing that really stands out to me from this workout was arms.  Um…ow.  You’ll understand why in a moment.  The workout starts off by getting your blood flowing with some cardio moves (that we saw in the beta workouts), including split lunge agility, low switch kicks, double switch kicks, high switch kicks, static upper cuts, and jack uppercuts.  At this point, I’m starting to smell less pleasant and have a nice bead of sweat forming on my body.  Feels good (and you can’t smell me anyway).  At this point, we start on some upper body/arm exercises, with some wide rows (optional chin up bar), single arm rows, straight arm flies (on the ground or on the chin up bar), lat pull downs (on the ground or on the chin up bar), reciprocating hammer curls, tricep kick backs with palms up, tricep kick backs with palms down (did I mention my triceps are horribly, pitifully weak?), reciprocating wide curls, single leg shoulder presses, 4 count push-ups, upright rows, 2 count push ups, 90 degree shimmy ups (at this point, my arms are jello and I have no idea if I can even keep eking these out), 90 degree shoulder shrugs (yes, at this point, my arms are giving out and I’m starting to fail), basic shoulder shrugs (OMG…so glad my arms are down and this gives a temporary arm rest break), standing rocketmans (super fun), and reciprocating lawn mowers. Phew…arms are putty at this point. Shaun T thankfully gives us a minor break from our arms and throws in some deadlift combos. We then jump back into some push press combos (with 90 degree knees, scissor legs, etc.) and then into some down dog/plank/push-up combos.  At this point, I think I’m in love with Tania, because my body is dying and I need to modify some of these moves. Next, Shaun has us jump up and do some high hooks, low hooks with squat hold, low jack uppercuts, and crossdown punch jacks. I found this an energizing break from the lifting/strength exercises (plus, I love kicking/punching exercises). We then get back down and do some superman and rocketman pulses, then right back up for some single leg dual curls and single leg tricep presses. Back down for some arm push-up jacks (and a knee-in combo), which I was again thankful for Tania. Back up for some 4 count curl presses, followed by 2 count curl presses, and then the much anticipated cool down. Oi.

Overall, I thought this was an awesome workout.  My arms definitely took a beating (in a good way) and I felt like a million bucks when it was finally done.  I’ve never really enjoyed strength/resistance workouts (I’m way more into cardio), but I found that this one went by quickly and had enough variety and motivation to keep me focused and into the workout. Another well-earned tip goes into my Workout Tip Jar.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

Focus T25 Gamma Speed 3.0 Review

Wow….or using one of Shaun T’s signature words, Focus T 25 Gamma Speed 3.0 was amazeballs.  I should have known walking into Gamma that I would be in for yet another slammin’ workout that would of course kick my butt, but, as per usual, I was still in shock as I lay panting on the floor, dripping in sweat, steaming with heat, and red as a tomato after my workout.

With Alpha and Beta under my belt, I was feeling fairly confident (and, yes, a bit scared) popping in my first DVD in the Gamma series.  The neat thing about the Gamma set is that you can choose from two different workout calendars – Pure Gamma or Pure Strength.  Pure Gamma is more focused on “getting ripped” while Pure Strength is, obviously, focused on building strength.  I opted for Pure Gamma as it seemed like a better fit in my current stage of fitness.

The first DVD in the Pure Gamma schedule is, of course, Gamma Speed 3.0.  I was expecting something intense (as was reminiscent of Speed 2.0), but still wasn’t fully prepared for this workout.  It was insane. Awesome. Electrifying.  In a sense, it was Speed 2.0 jacked up.  The layout of the DVD is almost identical to Speed 2.0 in that the workout is broken down into two “Rounds”, where you repeat each round three times (at a faster pace and with more intensity) followed by combining the two rounds together with two levels of intensity. The difference is that Shaun T has basically taken some of the moves from Speed 2.0 and ultimately made them harder (yeah, that’s right…harder, and more advanced/intense).  Not all the moves are the same, of course, but you definitely see some parallels. Oh and there are A LOT of burpees.  A. Lot.

Round 1 starts off with out and out turns (yes, very familiar), quick feet up and back (this time they are 180 degrees), 1-2-3 Ts (Heisman); moving quick jabs; hop hop turns (FAST!), push up/in and out ab combo; jabs with power lunges; squat hops with criss crosses (yes, this is where you feel like you’re getting a break…’nough said…), burpees with a plank walk, and a much needed break with some plie jabs. Wowza. Round 1, Level 1 done and I’m already feeling it – and 5 minutes hasn’t even passed yet!  At this point, I know my butt is getting a good kicking (and probably well deserved).  You repeat this round twice (again each time is much more intense and for a shorter duration of time).

Round 1 done, Round 2 to go.  At this point, I’m kind of hoping my dog will come down to distract me so I can get a breather….but, no luck.  She must be in cahoots with my hubby to make sure I don’t bail out like I was complaining about doing earlier (hey, we all have those days).  I decide to have a little chat with her later, because Shaun T ain’t about to stop.  Round 2, or as I like to think of it, “Burpee Heaven,” begins with “T” Drops with alternating knee raises, followed by burpees with spider lunges, jabs and squat thrusts, burpees and push-up jacks (Um…OW), speed knees and up and overs, burpees and ski abs (good thing I like burpees….), power knees (ahhhh…nice temporary “break” from the burpees), burpees and pike ups (I mean…for real, Shaun T????), power squats with jog backs, and, finally, just because we haven’t done enough, burpees with front kicks.  Yeah. It was insane.  There were definitely points where I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it through the workout. But, Shaun T being Shaun T, kept on motivating and the moves flew by so quickly that I really didn’t have much time to contemplate my lack of willpower, so I carried on.

After Round 2’s succession, we get a jog recovery, and I jog all the way to my water bottle, because I am DYING (and I don’t feel so bad, because they stop and give each other high five’s too, so hey, maybe I’m not horribly out of shape at this point, maybe everyone feels this way…or not).  After a quick drink and some more jogging, we go from the top (Round 1 and Round 2 combined) at a Level 1 (yeah, ’cause it’s so darn easy, right….? Insert horrified expression and flash of panic). We then get a quick jog recovery and go from the top again at a level 2 (more intensity, shorter duration). Then Shaun T calls “Time” (THANK goodness!) and although I want to keel over and pass out on the floor, I stick it out for the cool down. My dog somehow realizes I’m done the workout and no longer tempted to quit, so she trots down the stairs and gives me some much needed kudos kisses.

So, all in all, this workout was killer. It, like the other T25 DVDs, goes by in a flash, makes you feel amazing, and tests your willpower and focus. It’s no joke. And, again, I get to put another tip into my Workout Tip Jar. Wahoo!

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

Focus T25 Beta Rip’T Circuit Review

The third workout in Focus T25’s Beta phase is called the Rip’t Circuit and is described as “Cardio, upper body, legs, abs. Repeat. That’s how Shaun T gets you ripped in 25 minutes.” To be honest, that’s a pretty accurate description of the workout. You do a cardio move, followed by an upper body exercise, a leg exercise, an ab exercise and then repeat with a different exercise targeting each area. In comparison to the Total Body Circuit DVD, I actually thought this one was a bit easier. Definitely not “easy,” but easier than it’s Alpha counterpart. However, that’s just my opinion and your viewpoint may be completely different.

I actually did this workout after doing Speed 2.0 so I was a little nervous going into it (Speed 2.0 had kicked my butt), but actually quite enjoyed the DVD (perhaps because it felt easy compared to Speed 2.0).  The one thing that really stood out to me in this workout series was that we strayed away from the typical 30 second intervals we had been doing in other DVDs. In this workout, each exercise is basically a full minute long. Furthermore, this DVD actually requires some dumbbells or resistance bands, which we haven’t had to use prior to this. The one aspect that kind of disappointed me here was that Shaun T doesn’t recommend any weights or tell you how heavy the people are lifting (although we do see some of their weights when they pan in). It would have been nice to know where about to start.

The DVD starts off with some slow control jogs (cardio), followed by squat push-ups (upper body), palm down squat thrusts (legs), and alternating straight leg kicks (abs). The next set is speed and agility (cardio), followed by reciprocating bicep curls (upper body), deep lunge pulses (legs), and alternating straight leg lifts on the floor (abs). You can see the trend, eh?  The remaining exercises include fast alternating speed knees, arnold presses, weighted squat pulses, dual heel taps, high switch kicks, single leg lawnmowers, air plank and one leg burpees (so fun!), hip up “v” holds, high jump and twisting abs, single leg tricep presses, deadlifts and curl squats, knees in and out tap downs, half tuck jumps, 4 count wide push-ups, weighted moving squats, 4 count dual leg lifts, finishing with 5 count power abs. And of course, we have the optional and much appreciated cool down to wrap things up.

Overall, I enjoyed this workout. Not as strenuous as some of the others but still fun and quite intense at times. A good total body workout, but it won’t leave you wondering how you survived it at the end – you just do. Another tip for my Workout Tip Jar.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

Focus T25 Beta Speed 2.0 Review

Um…wow.  That’s how I’m going to describe Focus T25’s Beta Speed 2.0 workout.  When I popped in the DVD, I was fully expecting something similar to Alpha Speed 1.0, which involved a combination of speed and stability/stretch exercises. In essence, it was the “easy” workout in the Alpha series. Speed 2.0 is definitely not easy.

According to the package, Speed 2.0 “picks up the pace and throws in some new Speed moves.” Um…yeah, that’s for sure. As soon as you pop in the DVD, you know something is going to be different. The music is fast paced and Shaun T skydives you into the exercises. The format of this DVD is a bit different than the previous ones, in that you start off with “Round 1/Level 1”, which obviously means that there will be more rounds and more levels. Round 1 consists of a series of super fast-paced speed exercises, including out and out turns, quick feet up and back, alternating speed knees slow, slow mountain climbers, jab outs, low switch kicks, speed and agility, and up and overs. Each exercise in the first level is about 30 seconds long and literally flies by. You feel this workout the second it starts (which is actually totally awesome). Now on to Level 2. Level 2 consists of the exact same exercises but at about 20 seconds each and a harder/faster intensity. Level 3 cuts the time down to 10 seconds a piece and ups the intensity even more. And yes, at this point, I am dying and wondering what in the world I just stepped into. On the plus side, the pace is going so quickly, I already know the moves, and I’m pushing myself so hard that the time is literally flying by. After the first round, Shaun T gives you a “break” with a jog recovery (oh how I have never loved jogging so much in my life..).

Next, we move onto Round 2, which consists of low crossjacks, hops up and back, hop hop squats, squat hops up and back, single leg speed knees, jack uppercuts, zigzag hops, and “x” lunges. Again, you repeat these exercises for Level 2 and Level 3 and then get that glorious jog recovery at the end where you are thankful your heart hasn’t literally popped out of your chest (in an awesome way of course).

We then move onto doing all the exercises from the top (so both rounds back to back). We repeat this again but a bit faster, get a luxurious jog recovery, and then whip out the moves from the top one last time and for one move each. We finish the last few seconds off with one last glorious jog.

Wow. Hot shizam. What the expletive did I just do???!  That DVD started and finished before I knew what happened to me and I loved every second of it. Maybe I’m a glutton for punishment but I love workouts that push me to my extremes and Speed 2.0 definitely did that. It was fun, fast-paced, and a kick-butt workout. I was sweating buckets by the end and my heart was pounding. And…to my sick amazement, I totally could have done that all over again (perhaps after a brief break and a gallon of water).

This may actually be my favorite workout so far. It was definitely cardio-based and used a lot of the exercises that we had learned throughout the Alpha phase (including some new additions) which helped keep me on track. Another well-earned tip goes into my Workout Tip Jar.

Shaun T…I love you, man.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

Focus T25 Core Cardio Review (Beta Phase)

Now that I have officially started on week 6 of Focus T25, I have now entered the “Beta” Phase of the workouts. The Alpha phase flew by in a flash and I had a lot of fun throughout the first 5 weeks.  The workouts were super easy to stick with (since they were only 25 minutes, I really couldn’t justify missing them and if I did, I just doubled up the next day). It’s probably the easiest program to stick with that I’ve done thus far.  I look forward to each workout, get my but kicked for 25 minutes, feel great, and then move on with my day.

After the first phase, I’m down 6 lbs and about 1/2 to 1 inch all over. It’s summer and there have been a lot of birthdays, so my food hasn’t been as on par as I would have originally liked, which probably interfered a bit with my overall results.  However, I’m really happy with my progress so far (hey an inch on the hips is an inch on the hips, right???) and am looking forward to the next 5 weeks (and buckling down on my eating  a bit more sternly).

The first workout in the Beta Phase was called “Core Cardio” and is described as a “progressive cardio workout focusing on the core.”  Right off the bat, I noticed a bit of a change from the Alpha phase to the Beta phase. No longer is the warm up somewhat lackadaisical – with the beta phase, we jumped right into switch lunge agility and switch kicks. After 5 weeks of doing a similar warm up in the Alpha phase, I welcomed the fast paced change. Plus, since we had already built our foundation with Alpha, I was a lot more ready for the faster paced Beta phase. After the switch kicks, we jumped into some alternating speed knees (slow then fast), then slowed down a bit for some progressive twisting x lunges (getting progressively more difficult). Although the lunges were slower paced, boy did they kill by the end. I really wanted to focus on proper form and these killed me (in a good way of course).  Felt the burn alright!  At first I was thankful for the slower pace, but not sure if the trade off was actually better! 😉  After the killer lunge progression, we went into a squat progression, which felt like a bit of a reprieve. Still felt the burn, but also kind of gave my heart a bit of a rest from the previous exercises. Next was the first Burnout, which I have grown to love. Nothing feels better than going all out during the Burnout and seeing how well you can kick your own booty while maintaining proper form. I always like to compare my first (probably sad and pathetic) attempt to the final attempt in week 10.

After the first burnout, we went into some jumping progressions (high jump in place, side to side, hop rotations), hammer kicks, shuffles (loved the final shuffle progression which incorporated a burpee), and ending with some plank tap progressions. By the time I got to the plank progressions, I was definitely looking like a sweaty lump of jello. It wasn’t pretty, but it felt good (in that horrible, when will it end, do I have enough will power sort of way…).  Just when you’ve felt like you’ve used up all your energy and strength, it’s time for the final burnout. Thank goodness for Shaun T’s inspirational ways. The DVD then ends with some floor sprints (because my core and shoulders were not feeling it enough already) and ends with some body sprints and body runs (ahh…glorious).

As per usual, Shaun T provides the extra cool down at the end, where I shortly thereafter collapsed into my own pool of sweat on the floor. Hello, Beta, my new friend.

I think this workout came at the most perfect timing. After 5 weeks of the Alpha phase, I was starting to get pretty good at the workouts. My endurance and strength had all been improving and I was giving myself a lot of props (hello inflated ego). Enter Beta phase where I get my egotistical butt handed back to me in a nicely gift-wrapped package of humility (yeah…I’ve got a lot of work to do). It was nice having a new challenge. It’s not so much that this workout was light-years in intensity away from the Alpha videos, but it was a change in pace (a bit faster, less baby steps) and simply different. Overall, very pleased with this workout and am looking forward to seeing Beta’s results (and for trying tomorrow’s workout!). Plus, another tip goes into my Workout Tip Jar.  Yay!

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

 

Focus T25 Progress Update

Well, it’s been a week since I’ve started my Focus T25workouts and I’m feeling pretty good, so I thought I should probably provide an update on my progress thus far.  On the workout calendar, Shaun T refers to Saturday as “STATurday,” where you record your measurements and progress.  Now, I think this is a great idea, but I decided to wait to do my measurements until the end of the month.  I don’t want to get discouraged if I don’t see any progress after a week.  I did, however, do a weigh in and discovered that I had lost 3 lbs!  Now depending on your perspective, 3 lbs may seem like not much or too much. However, for me, 3 lbs was great, particularly at the start of a fitness journey.  I know that it may be largely due to water weight, but any progress is better than no progress.  In general, I aim for 1 – 2 lbs of weight loss a week, which seems to be a healthy drop (although, in general, I’m usually elated with a 0.2 lb drop). 😉  So anyway, pretty happy so far with my weight. I’ll be more excited when I do my measurements at the end of the Alpha Cycle, as I feel that measurements are a much better reflection of progress as opposed to weight (due to added muscle and changes in body composition). I don’t like to really focus on weight as I think it can easily derail one’s progress and doesn’t necessarily have an accurate reflection of how you are really doing. Rather, I prefer to focus on how I’m feeling and how my clothes are fitting.  Speaking of which, my energy level has been great and I’m feeling really good before, during, and after the workouts.  They are short and sweet which gives me more time in the day for me (and my family), which can’t be beat.

I look forward to providing you all with more positive updates as the time progresses.  Please remember not to fixate on a scale or a particular number – we are all different and our optimal goal should be living healthier lives. 🙂

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

Focus T25 Lower Focus Review

Today is “Double Day Friday” in the Focus T25 world (albeit it is Monday for me…but I started on a different day) which involves two back-to-back workouts: Lower Focus and Cardio.  According to the workout calendar, if you cannot do back-to-back workouts (i.e. due ot time constraints or just physical exhaustion), you can always bump one to the following day.

Here is my review for Focus T25: Lower Focus.

Lower Focus wasn’t as scary as I originally anticipated.  The DVD case states that you will “strengthen and sculpt muscles from the waist down with this lower-body burnout.” Again, the workout lasts 25 minutes and requires no equipment (yay).  Overall, it was a very good workout – easier than the Total Body Circuit but harder than Speed 1.0 (in my opinion). You begin with the warm up that we’ve seen before (knee raises, lift on toes, slow controlled jog, and high knee jog). We then went into some other moves we’ve seen before with jumping jack progressions. At this point, I’m definitely feeling warm and a good sweat is already forming and I’m beginning to wonder if back-to-back workouts is a good idea today!  Next we get into some squat progressions, followed by calf raise progressions, which wrap up with lunge progressions (ahh! The worst…or best depending on how you look at it…my legs were on fiiiiire!).  Just when your legs feel like putty and are burning from all the lunge work, you get dropped directly into your first burnout, which again is a compilation of the culminating exercises from each progression.  Oi vay…they weren’t kidding with “lower focus.”

After the first burnout, you’re thinking, “Ah…no more lunges or squats…yay!”… but then you realize you’re wrong…terribly….terribly…wrong.  You jump right back into a lunge/squat progression (at this point, squats are my leg “break”…enjoying every painful one…). We then get into some abductor squat progressions which feel amazing in comparison to those lunges. We then get into some up and over squat combinations and dead lift progressions, which are actually feeling pretty amazing.  Then comes…burnout 2. We wrap up the video with some hop squat/hip flexor exercises and celebrate when Shaun T calls “TIME!”.

Overall, I thought this was a great workout – my legs got a beating (which is the point), my heart rate was elevated, and I was a less than picture-perfect sweaty mess (I mean…really…should anyone be looking “cute” after a kick-butt workout?? If you do, then kudos to you…). 😉  Because the exercises are short and progress in difficulty, I tended to stay in each exercise longer than I may have in different exercise DVDs (i.e. I usually give up on lunge holds, but because it was a progression and shorter intervals, I found I could hold it for the time required or at least close to). Another Thumbs Up to Mr. Shaun T and another tip for my Workout Tip Jar.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.

Focus T25 Alpha Ab Intervals Review

Just because I’m a bit of a glutton for punishment, after I let myself recuperate a bit from doing Focus T25’s Alpha Total Body Circuit, I decided to throw in Ab Intervals, as I was trying to double up since I was off schedule. This was, of course, after literally taking 5 minutes to dry myself off with a towel (I was not kidding about looking like a beet…in fact, more like a beet simmering in some hot water…). I’m not a huge fan of ab workouts in general (I do them, because I know there is merit in them, but I don’t particularly enjoy them. I much prefer fast cardio), so I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this workout. However, I found myself pleasantly surprised. On the DVD pocket for Ab Intervals, it states, “Get a shredded core with this interval-based fat-burning routine.”  It also calls for a workout mat (they more specifically ask for a Beachbody mat, but I just used one of my own). You start off with some stretching (child’s pose and plank, followed up with down dog and plank and progressing to down dog and spider lunge and down dog and oblique knee).  You got it, this is yet another DVD that progresses the exercises from easy to hard. At this point, however, I am quite enjoying the little progressions as they build upon each other (I have an idea of what I’m getting myself into and it makes it feel like it goes by quickly). We then go into a variety of ab exercises, including low planks, side planks, and v sits. Because we had just done some planks and core exercises in the previous DVD, I was really starting to feel them quite quickly, and was referring to Tania’s modifications a bit earlier than I’d originally liked). Suddenly, however, we got up and did some cardio – say what? Cardio during an ab workout?? Sweet!  The cardio moves naturally worked our core, but it was so nice to have a break from doing focused core work on the floor. The first cardio move we had to do was alternating speed knees and alternating straight leg lifts.  It felt great and kind of gave me the boost to keep on going (like I said, I’m not a fan of ab workouts…). The video follows this progression of focused ab work followed by a cardio move that works the core. There’s a lot of variety in the ab exercises (including planks, leg lifts, scissor legs, etc.) which helps hold your interest as the DVD progresses. I also liked that Shaun T included back exercises as it plays an important part in strengthening your core (i.e. superman, rocketman, etc.) which reminded me a bit of the Asylum DVDs.

Overall, I really enjoyed Ab Intervals (which I was really not expecting). I don’t think I’ll ever be dying to do them, but this ab workout definitely tops the batch that I’ve done in the past, probably because it is fast paced and gives you some cardio breaks between sets of moves. Another well-earned tip goes into my Workout Tip Jar.

 

Please remember that I am not a doctor or a nutritionist or fitness expert.   All information I discuss on my blog is intended for inspiration and educational purposes and is not intended as a medical diagnosis or treatment. Before making any changes to your own health and fitness, I highly recommend speaking with your doctor.