Howdy friends! If you have been following along on my blog for a while now, you know I have been doing the T25 program. Coming off my marathon training, I really wanted to try some different workouts that allowed me to still run and do yoga and spin. Being a fan of Shaun T and the Insanity program, I was curious about the T25 program…I mean, 25 minutes of high intensity work is kind of right up my alley and it’s how I REALLY like to train. Well, I just wrapped up the Alpha phase and as promised, here is my review of my first 5 weeks.
This was the first workout on the Alpha plan and let me tell you, it’s gonna make you SWEAT! I thought I was in great shape going into this program, coming off my marathon, but clearly, you are using and isolating much different muscles in this video vs. running. I started this video a week after the marathon so I think I may have been slightly still in recovery because my calves REALLY felt this workout the first 2 times I did it, but then, I started really looking forward to it each week. The video starts slow and progressively builds the moves (this is a common theme in the Alpha phase.) You will see high knee jogs, jumping jacks, pivot lunges, mountain climbers, half tuck jumps, hop squats, switch kicks, and speed knees. There is no floor work in this video other than to touch the floor with your fingers during the lunges. You will also see Burnout rounds…this is also a common theme among the videos where you take the moves you have learned and put them all together and REALLY dig deep to bust them out as quick as possible. This is a GREAT workout and will definitely get your heart rate high. If you are a beginner, there is always a modifier showing the low impact moves.
The Speed 1.0 video is just that, it’s about building speed. You will move fast and at times I was gasping for air in the beginning wondering if I was going to make it through. Some of the moves in the very beginning I had to really focus on so I could get the beat. You will see lots of hopping (with turns, hooks, squats), burpees, uppercuts, cross jacks, squat thrusts, and Heisman moves. Thankfully I have very good coordination and can follow a beat well (all my years of teaching Group Power sure help) so I was able to pick it up quickly and follow along. There are periods in this video where you will stop to stretch your quads, hip flexors, calves, etc which was a nice “break.” Once again, you will find your heart rate really high, so these stretches allow your heart rate to recover a bit before going hard again.
Total Body Circuit
In my opinion, this was the hardest video of the group. In the beginning, I dreaded seeing the calendar on the mornings I had to do this video. It wasn’t until the last week when I noticed I didn’t want to die at the end (that’s how I know I was getting stronger.) There is a lot of floor work in this video and you will likely need a towel because you will be soaked when you are done. Also, since you are on the floor a lot, you want to make sure your hands don’t slip, you need that traction. You will see everything from hops, hooks, shoulder taps, lunges, rotating jabs, in and outs, plank walks, power squats, pike ups, spiderman and oblique knee push ups and body runs. A TOTAL killer. I can see myself going back to this workout once the program is over, it’s THAT good and hard.
This was probably my favorite video in this series, mainly because I LOVE LOVE LOVE working my legs. Don’t get me wrong, a few profanities slipped out while doing this because it’s TOUGH, but in general, I’d rather work my legs than any other body part. You will see double jacks, normal and adductor squats with pulses and jumps, calf raises and hops, narrow and wide lunges with pulsing, up and overs with squats and floor touches and deadlifts. Because you are working the biggest muscle group in the body, your heart rate will go up and you will sweat..A LOT. That’s a pretty common theme in all these videos.
This is mainly a floor workout, although you do get up to do short bursts of cardio like hop squats, sprints with squats, speed kicks and lateral mountain climbers. For the floor portion, you will see spider lunges, planks with pulsing, various “V” sits, straight leg lifts, scissoring, heel taps, Supermans, lat pulldown, Rocketman, wide in and out pyramids and tabletop. This ab workout in NO JOKE. I have been working my abs consistently now for quite a few week and let me tell you, Shaun T pulls no punches in this ab workout. While this is way less cardio intense in comparison to the other videos, it is very effective.
There isn’t much I can tell you about this video. Why? Well, because I never did it. Why? Well, I do yoga 2x a week and I didn’t need it, simple as that. I followed the Alpha program workouts to the T, with the exception of this workout on Sundays. I suppose I should have tried it at least once, but since I was doing a lot more everyday than just T25, I just didn’t have it in me to do anything more when I felt I could get my stretching in while doing my normal yoga classes. Again, you have to know your own body and make that determination for yourself. I think those newer to working out or to workouts like this may really benefit from this video and I would say that if you were ONLY doing T25, that you should do this video as well.
I really enjoyed the program. I liked that it was short enough that I was able to do other things (like spin, yoga or run) but also packed a serious punch and there was no time wasted in these videos. You got moving immediately and kept moving until the very end. Like any workout, you really get out of T25 what you put into it. The key is to never stop moving while doing the videos. You can of course modify all the moves by following their modifier, Tonya, but if you want to really push yourself to the extreme, you can follow the rest of the group (this is what I did.) I have done the Insanity program and absolutely loved it, and while some of the moves have an Insanity feel to them, this is definitely a much different program, packing an hours worth of workouts into 25 condensed minutes.
I loved that you learned the moves and how to execute them properly and then during the burn out phase you brought them all back together and kicked it into higher gear for a short burst. It kept you engaged in the workout and I liked being able to really focus on the proper execution of the moves. I liked that the music in the video wasn’t overpowering and 90% of the time, I couldn’t even pick it out in the videos because I was so focused on the moves and what Shaun was telling me. I also really love the clock in the bottom left corner that tells you how much time you have left, along with the bar showing how much time in a specific move you have left. I used that a lot in the beginning when it felt SO hard. It kept me focused and moving when I knew I only had 5-10 seconds left. It’s really so mental at times.
Shaun does a good job of coaching the appropriate safety cues for the moves, which is critical for those who don’t know how to do moves correctly. I think being an instructor myself really helped me get the most out of the moves as I found myself checking in with my body and readjusting my form when I noticed I wasn’t feeling things like I should. Since these workouts are very cardio focused, you will find your heart rate getting really high and staying there for most of the workout, so if you have any concerns, you should monitor this and stay within your healthy limits.
I definitely noticed during the last week that the workouts felt much easier (not easy, just easier.) One of the girls at my gym who has done the program before and has seen me doing it for the past 5 weeks even commented that I wasn’t soaked in sweat like I usually was while doing the lower body focus video for the last time. It just proved to me that I was getting stronger, which was the whole intent behind me doing this program in the first place. I also felt at the end of the 5th week that I was ready for a change. When you sit with the same few videos for a while, you start to mentally check out.
Note: There is a cool down at the end of each video that will bring the video over the 25 minutes. I did not do the cool down as I was moving on to my next workout of the day, but I would highly suggest doing the cool down if you didn’t have anything planned after the video. Also, on Friday’s you double up the workouts, so it’s actually 50 minutes of workouts. I suppose you could break them up into 25 minute segments throughout the day or push one to Saturday, but I also did them back to back, which I’m assuming is how they intend them to be done. Lastly, I did NOT follow the nutrition program. Nutrition is of course 80% of the battle but I don’t do well following a specific meal plan and this meal plan was designed to be used when just doing this program and I was doing a lot of different things. I tend to eat fairly clean and try to Zone a lot of my meals so I just kept doing that. I didn’t follow the meal plan while doing the Insanity program either and still got great results.
Question of the day
Have you done T25, Insanity, or another program like it? Tell me about it!