Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: 15 Minutes to Fit

Back in June, I did a 30-Day Squat Challenge that was, frankly, quite empowering.  It was the first fitness-related thing I've been able to commit to since -- probably even before I had or carried a baby.  I had not been able to commit to training schedule.  But why?

I'm going to guess here: along with life changes -- longer commute, changing work hours, availability of gyms, moving, etc., I think I just could not stay motivated.  I've completed many marathon training cycles, the Insanity (60 days!) program twice, some other stuff like the 100 Push-Ups Program... and I think I just got burnt out. 

Since I bought it, I tried to complete Shaun T's other fitness program, Focus T-25, on two separate occasions, never making it past the first two weeks.  One of these attempts was pre-baby.  This gives me a pang of shame, because the workouts are only 25-minutes long.  I mean... really?!  But then I factor in getting dressed, getting cleaned up, finding a place to work out, and the affair could take close to an hour.  I don't know why I didn't feel like I didn't have an hour back then, especially now that I have a little guy who really makes me value and savor my time more.  I'm supposed to be completing a cycle finally this year -- we'll see how that goes!

So when I was asked to review this book (15 Minutes to Fit), I thought I'd just summarize it and move on.  I've never done any of the workouts that the main author, Zuzka Light, publishes.  But I was getting kind of tired of using the elliptical or doing random videos all the time and thought that this would be an exercise in willpower to attempt to complete the 30 workouts in this book.  I mean, if I couldn't do 25 minutes, what about 15?  I didn't even need to pop in a DVD.

I looked through the book and thought there was a lot of talk about motivation and recipes before it got to the workouts part, though I think for most people, that works.  I wanted the cut-to-the-chase approach and flipped straight to Day 1.  The evening that I received the book, I planned to do Day 1 the next day to see how many of these I would do and just kept going.

The workouts themselves require no equipment, except a mat if you're on a hard surface.  There are 4-5 moves that you do continuously until your 15 minutes are up.  Sometimes, the focus is the whole body, but some of the days place particular emphasis on a body part, and it got brutal on the days that it was upper body.  Many of the days, these were the longest 15 minutes of the day, either because it's that intense or I am that out of shape, or maybe because I usually did these in the morning when I'm most tired.  It was also a mental exercise to remember how to do all of the moves and count reps -- simple stuff, but when you're doing something different every day (and putting the workout on your phone screen that keeps turning off instead of a Post-it like a normal person should do), it becomes that way.

It took me 36 days to complete the challenge, and that was only because I had to take six days off when I got a stomach virus.  Otherwise, I went at it daily (13 days in a row and then 17 days in a row), which definitely flexed my motivation muscle and will hopefully fuel more challenges in the future.  Like always, I did not change my eating habits at all.  With the holidays in there, I admit I could have done better here.

Anyway, as for what I thought of the workouts... they are no joke!  Some of the moves are pretty advanced and require more coordination than I had.  Also, I don't want to do anymore burpees for a while after this.  The good news is, 15 minutes were all that was required, and many days, that's all I gave.  Other days, I'd add in 10-15 minutes of other cardio (elliptical, treadmill), but generally I let this be my primary workout for the sake of time and effect. 

In the end, I do feel like I did get more agile and a bit stronger (especially upper body!), so I'm glad I gave this a shot.  I also ended up using my "lonely home gym" more in the process!

FTC Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book and was not compensated to provide any particular opinion about it.

1 comment:

  1. Great job on completing the challenge! I really need to add something like this to my workout routine. I could do 15 minutes I think...