Friday, July 5, 2013

Focus T25 Overview & Alpha - Cardio: Review

Recently, I made a little splurge purchase from -- Shaun T's new workout program, Focus T25.  If you recall, I got Shaun's other program, Insanity, and completed it twice last year, so it was just a matter of time before I hopped onto getting this, fresh off the virutal shelf. 

However, I am not planning on doing the program as prescribed at this time.  I might do so in a few weeks or months, but at the moment, I am figuring things out with my morning routine and such.  That isn't going to stop me from trying the workouts, though!

In the meantime, in the interest of all the curious people on the web, I am going to review each video that I try.  Feel free to contact me for more information before deciding to commit to buying this for yourself!

Before I begin, let me explain the Focus T25 workout program (very briefly). 
  • It's a 10-week program, 5 days a week, that involves working out to these 25-minute workouts. 
  • It contains two phases: Alpha (the first 5 weeks) and Beta (the second 5 weeks).  Alpha is supposed to work you up to Beta, which involves the use of weights/bands. 
  • Otherwise, you don't really need equipment besides a mat sometimes.  (Lack of equipment needs is why I LOVE Insanity, so glad this is still mostly true here!) 
  • On Fridays, you do two of the workouts, perhaps back-to-back or spread over the day, though in Beta, it's recommended you do them in a row.  Heh, did you really think 25 minutes a day for 5 days is all you needed to get ripped?! ;)
I'll also talk about the nutrition plan briefly: it's a relatively lower-calorie plan than Insanity's, ranging from about 1200-1600 calories a day.  The booklet comes with lots of practical tips and recipes, and although it might sound low, it seems very do-able.  I'm not following it, though, because I'm currently on in the middle of doing another nutrition plan (which I'll review later!!).  If I were to do the program as prescribed, though, I totally would (try)!

Okay, onto the first workout, simply titled Cardio.  I didn't know what to expect out of an intense 25-minute workout.  Would there be a warm-up?  Well, sort of -- basically, a lot of the moves are in a progression, meaning you start off doing a simple version of an exercise, and then add variations to make it harder and harder.  So in the first part, it was just bringing your knees up, one at a time -- no jumping, etc.  Then, it builds to high knees, etc.

After about 10 minutes, I was definitely wondering what I'd gotten myself into, as my legs were definitely fatigued, especially my poor calves!!  Besides that, I struggled a little bit with form, trying to keep up with Shaun and the gang, except Tanya, who's back for this series and doing modifiers for each exercise.  I'm not a fan of her, so I didn't want to make any modifications!  I should also note that I believe Scott, in the back, is Shaun's hubby.  The second thing that was hard was coordination -- some of the moves required footwork that I'm not used to yet, although it's really not hard at all.  I just made sure that I kept moving and then eventually get on the right foot, so to speak.

At the end of the 25 minutes, there is a 2-minute (optional) stretch portion that follows.  I really needed the stretch, so I went for it.

My verdict:

I am excited to try the other videos, since I got a pretty good burn.  I'm hoping that my calves get stronger from workouts like these, which might help with my running.  You will definitely feel this workout afterward, and I love that it's short enough to do something afterward like walking, jogging, or ab workouts (like P90X's Ab Ripper X, which is what I did).  For those like me who need to fit in a complete workout in well under an hour on most days, this workout will help you "get it done"!  However, it won't be easy!

Caloric burn (without stretch): 252**

**Calorie burn measured by my heart-rate monitor and will vary for people based on their gender, body composition, height, weight, and a plethora of things, so take it lightly!!

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