T25 – Program Review
This is the first post in a series I plan to do on a regular basis. I am calling it Workout Wednesday. So every Wednesday I plan to tackle something regarding physical fitness. A review of a program, a review of a fitness device (that will be next week), or how to break through a plateau. The topics are limitless. If you a suggested topic feel free to put it in the comments. If I have experience on insight on it, I will happily give my 2 cents on it.
Disclaimer: I am not a “Beachbody Coach” or a personal trainer. I am in no way saying that your results will mimic mine, this is merely a review of the program.
Here is my Focus T-25 by Shaun T from Beachbody Workout Review . Comment below and let me know what you thought of the workout program, or have any questions, I will try my best to answer them.
I saw all of the infomercials like everyone else, and thought “Oh wow… 25 minutes a day, I can do that.” Turns out I was right, I could (with a little help from the built in modifier). Now Focus T-25 is what they refer to as an “Interval Training” program. Which is a fancy way of saying you do a bunch of different stuff in each workout really. Which is great. Since it keeps you interested for the full 25 minutes. Now I will also say I tried to do P90x a year ago, and half-assed my way through Day 1 and immediately gave up. I was in horrible shape (still not in great shape, but hey, that’s what I am working on).
If you just want to hear my results, feel free to jump to the bottom, I’ll post them down there. Now a few quick notes
I did not use any other Beachbody products,
The Energy Stuff – Beachbody Energy and Endurance Pre-Workout Formula Packets – 30 day supply,
The Recovery Stuff – P90X Results and Recovery Formula: 30-Day Supply, Smooth Orange Tub 52.9oz
The Shake Stuff – Shakeology
Not that I don’t think they are good products, I don’t know if they are, I didn’t try them, if you have let me know the results.
I did do my own diet based on their guide. Which I fell into the eat 1600 calories per day category, I thought that would be difficult, but it really wasn’t, and I never really felt all that hungry. Recipes I post on this site, I also ate during the T25 program. I made a few recipes from their book, but I felt my recipes were better for me, and provided the same nutritional value.
Now I’m going to break this down the way they do in the program. ALPHA, and BETA, and I will talk a little bit about the diet program (which I did, but mainly on my own). Now they say it’s 5 days a week, 25 minutes a day. That’s only kinda true. On Friday you are suppose to do a double workout, which I did one in the morning, then one after work, the recommend stacking them back to back but I really did not have time for that It felt a bit misleading since they never mention that in the commercials, but oh well. There is also an optional “Stretch Video” that you should be doing on Sunday’s… I never did it. I probably should have.
There are 5 workouts in this section. Total Body Circuit, Cardio, Speed 1.0, Ab Intervals, and Lower Body Focus. None of these workouts use weights on resistance bands, you only need the mat for this. Now I’ll be honest, I did not miss a single workout, but the Ab Interval workout felt underwhelming, I did not feel like I was getting a good burn or sweat going, so anytime that workout came up, I skipped it and did a Speed 1.0, or Cardio. I know Shaun-T would have told me to stick with it, but I didn’t. Those were the two workouts that gave me the best calorie burn. To measure Calorie burn I used a heart rate monitor, specifically this cheap one, before I went out and bought a fancy fitness device.
Omron HR-210 Strap Free Heart Rate Monitor
Now the structure of the workouts are really nice. The first couple of movements you do are slow to get you warmed up, then you get into more compound movements. After one group of workouts(10 minutes in or so) you move into a “Burnout phase” where you need to give it all you got, you move faster, and you cycle through all the movements you did before the burnout phase, and at a faster pace. Then you move into another group of movements, and into a burnout phase, bringing you close to the end of the workout. After the workout you do a 3 minute cool down with Shaun, and your done. So each workout ends up being about 28 minutes with the cool down.
In the infomercials you see they have a modifier…. She stands next to Shaun-T, and she does low impact modifications. I NEEDED THE MODIFIER through the first two weeks, and some of the third. By the fourth and fifth week, I was using the modifier less and less. Which felt good. Through Alpha phase I lost 10 lbs. Nothing great, not bad though either. I think I would have lost the same with a normal gym routine, but this was less time consuming.
Each workout offers something different then the other. Speed (my favorite) focused on fast movements, stretching and stability. Cardio was all about getting the heart rate up. Total Body was a full body workout (obviously). Ab intervals was not my favorite, and that can probably be chalked up to the fact it’s probably the one I needed the most since my core strength was lacking, in retrospect I wish I would have kept it in the rotation. Lower Body Focus was difficult at first, you are using a lot of large muscles and your heart rate is going to soar, and you will get a great burn, and sweat going, after the workout my legs were tired for half of the day.
I’ll be lying if I said I was amped to do Beta. I was a little scared, and hesitant. But I got up 6:30 every morning, and did it. BETA is also built on five exercises. Core Cardio, Speed 2.0, Rip’t Circuit, Dynamic Core, and Upper Focus. This time I even did the Dynamic Core workout every time.
On day 1 of BETA you start with Core Cardio, and it is a big change of pace from Alpha. Alpha seemed easy in comparison, and on day 2, it’s Speed 2.0. Speed 2.0 is nuts! It’s super fast, and fun too. You have no downtime, or easy movements like in ALPHA, it was over quick, and after you get a hang of the movements, it’s great. There are no “Burnouts” in this workout, the whole workout is a burnout really.
In BETA, with Rip’t Circuit, and Upper Focus, you very much start to focus on building muscle, and in Alpha it was built on building cardio.
Rip’t circuit is the amped up total body routine, Upper Focus uses dumbbells and resistance bands. I had the stock band, but really wish I had bought a set of dumbbells for this workout. Unlike Ab Intervals in ALPHA, Dynamic Core focuses a lot more on getting the heart rate up while working the core. I kept it in the rotation and was happy I did so.
Due to my work schedule, I ended up missing a few workouts this time, and I very much feel it affected my results, I would try to double up on days that I could to make up for the lost workout, but some days that proved to not be possible. It wasn’t a total loss though during this phase I lost another 10 lbs. Again not bad not great.
The guide has you answer a few simple questions to determine if you should be eating 1200 or 1600 calories per day. Being a big guy, mine was 1600. Looking through the recipe guide I didn’t love the looks of what they offered so I just made my own. Which you will see through out this site. I also refused to spend the crazy money on shakeology, and made my own smoothies, that were packed with protein and good nutrients. (Like this one.) I think following the suggested diet plan is a good idea if you feel you might have trouble sticking to the calorie limit. At the time I started T25 I was already counting calories everyday for 3 months, so I had a good feel of what my nutrition goals were, and what food I could take in and stay with in the 1600 calorie limit.
Will you be the guy in the infomercial that lost “41 lbs in ten weeks,” (that guy below) working out only 25 minutes a day… I hope you are, I was not. That guy is in the actual videos you use though and in the words of Shaun T “he has amazing squats.”
Even though I wasn’t that guy that lost 41 lbs, I was very happy with my results. I felt better after the program, when I returned to doing gym workouts I was doing them with more intensity, and my results since have been even better then before. Outside of results I actually really liked Shaun T, a lot more then Tony Horton, Shaun T was more motivating, and Horton seemed to be kinda talking down to you when I tried P90X. I get both styles can be motivating in their own way, but Shaun T fit my style better. The use of the modifier was a great addition, it truly does make the program accessible to all skill and fitness levels. Since they have a lot of higher impact and compound movements, the modifier keeps the impact level down, so your knees and feet don’t want to give out on you.
The only physical issue I had with this was after a few weeks into Alpha, and during Beta, the arches of my feet would really start to hurt during the workouts. I chalk this up to improper footwear. I was using standard New Balance Running shoes, I probably should have invested into a pair of Reebok Crossfit shoes (like the ones below). They are the ones Shaun T recommends. Since Running shoes are built for forward movement, and the crossfit shoes are built more for the plyometric stuff and interval training involved in an activity like T25.
Who is this program for :
The person who is starting to get into fitness and looking for a short daily program that will help them kickstart their fitness goals and get them ready for a bigger, more intense program.
Who is this not for:
This is not for the seasoned vet, or someone already in great shape. You will get very little out of the program. The program is going to be more beneficial to someone who is a little (or a lot, like ME) out of shape, and looking to get rolling with a regimented daily program that will not kill you, but will make you sweat like crazy.
Total Weight loss on Focus T-25 : 20 lbs, in ten weeks.
Which is good and steady weight loss which is all I was looking for, and it definitely got me in better shape, and was a great tool to kickoff more intense workouts after the program. So I was happy with it, and thing it is worth the purchase. If you are starting a fitness program, and looking for something that will challenge you and not kill you, then give it a go. It’s worth it. Even though I am finished with the Alpha and Beta phases of the program. Whenever I need a quick workout and don’t have the time to get to the gym, I through in one of the DVD’s and feel that I still get a great workout.
Click the links below to buy it: