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If time is of the essence for you, this is definitely a must read review. This is especially true if you have been having trouble finding a way to squeeze fitness into a busy routine of work, cleaning, errands, chores and endless activities for your kids.
Several months ago, Beachbody, one of the leading fitness empires on the world, released a workout program that promised it would give everyone the opportunity to get in shape in as little as 25 minutes per day. While this may sound too good to be true, it has proven to be effective after less than a year of being released. The program we are referring to is Shaun T’s Focus T25 Workout.
One of the main differences between Focus T25 and other Beachbody programs, such as Insanity and P90X, is the main idea behind it. Other programs are more aimed at making you work out hard, at your extreme, for a long period of time. Focus T25 aims to get you to work out smart. It offers a grueling workout that keeps you moving non-stop for the entire 25 minutes. No time is wasted, challenging you right off the bat with your warm up and in the end during the cool down as well.
The brains behind Focus T25 is the infamous Shaun T. He is also the creator of other successful Beachbody programs such as Insanity and Insanity Asylum. With his thorough fitness background, including a degree in sports medicine and experience in theater, dance and choreography, in addition to being one of the nation’s top fitness trainers, there are few that are more experienced in creating a comprehensive program such as Focus T25. Rumor has it that he created this program specifically for Carl Deikler, the Beachbody CEO. With a schedule as busy as his, workouts can be difficult to fit in, that is unless they are less than 30 minutes in length like those in Focus T25.
As the name states, each of the workouts in the series is only 25 minutes in length. They are accompanied by several workout schedule options, one of which includes doing one workout per day, five days a week. On the sixth day, a stretching DVD is incorporated, but it is not considered a workout day since it is substantially less physically demanding than the core workouts in the series.
The Focus T25 program comes complete with 11 workouts on 11 different DVDs. It also includes a Get It Done Nutrition Guide, Alpha Beta Workout Calendars, a Quick Start Guide, 5 Day Fast Track, a 15 pound B-Lines resistance band and 24/7 support online via the Beachbody website and online forum. The program costs $119.85 plus $19.95 shipping and handling. It comes with a full money back guarantee, minus shipping and handling charges, so you can return it if you are not satisfied within the first month of trying it out. If you do decide to return it, you get to keep the 15 pound B-Line resistance band and two of the workouts included in the series, Alpha Total Body Circuit workout and Alpha: Cardio workout, free of charge as a thank you for giving the program a try. So, now that you know what you get, let’s take a look at the meat and potatoes of the program, the actual content in each of the workout DVDS and additional resources that accompany them.
In order to deliver a grueling 60 minute workout in just half the time, Shaun T uses Focus Interval Training (FIT) throughout the series. The idea behind FIT is to completely exhaust one muscle group at a time until it cannot take any more. Once it has worked that muscle to its core, it moves onto the next. This is all done in full on attack mode with no rest in order to help you benefit as much as possible from the short amount of time it takes to complete each workout. It is safe to say that this is one of the most comprehensive workout programs offered by Beachbody to date. One of the best parts is that it requires only 25 minutes per day of your valuable time.
After looking over the Focus T25 program, you will also notice that it is divided into phases. It breaks down the workouts, eases you into the program and builds up to help fitness newbies really understand it and benefit from it. The basis Focus T25 Workout Program comes with the workouts that comprise the first two phases, Alpha and beta.
The first phase, Alpha, lasts one month and includes 5 workouts. It is considered the introduction phase and it is definitely easier than phase two. The Alpha phase includes Cardio, Ab Intervals, Speed 1.0, Lower Focus and Total Body Circuit.
The cardio workout DVD is intended to melt fat and help reveal the lean muscle mass underneath. It starts off slow, but quickly increases the intensity through the end. Most of the exercises in the DVD focus on the lower body and lower ab area and include simple moves that most are familiar with.
The Ab Intervals DVD will work your core to help reveal the chiseled abs you have hoped for. It is an intense workout focusing solely on the mid-section and will leave you feeling the soreness for days. The exercises performed by Shaun T during this workout will not only burn fat, they will also help build muscle throughout the entire abdominal region, including the upper abs, lower abs and obliques.
The Speed 1.0 workout includes plenty of cardio and lower body work done at very high speeds. It helps improve overall fitness with explosive moves that require you to be quick and light on your feet. While plowing through the Speed 1.0 DVD, you will do plenty of plyometrics and work on improving speed, agility, stamina and endurance.
The Lower Focus workout works your legs and will leave them feeling like wet noodles after the 25 minutes are over. Most of the exercises are aimed at the thigh and buttock region and, if done correctly, can help lean out your legs before you complete the first month on the program.
Total Body Circuit
The Total Body Circuit is an interval workout that serves as an introduction to the next, more challenging phase of the program. It includes a variety of exercises that are done twice within the 25 minute workout. The first time they are performed they will be introduced and you will be eased into them. They second time they are performed, the intensity is increased and the moves become a little more complex.
The second phase, Beta, includes another 5 workouts and also lasts a month. This phase is much more challenging than Alpha and also focuses more on core strength than cardio. The workouts in the Beta phase are Core Cardio, Dynamic Core, Speed 2.0, Upper Focus and Ripped Circuit.
The Core Cardio workout is a much more intense version of Alpha Cardio. The music is faster, the moves are a little more complex and you will be expected to perform at a much faster pace than you did in the first phase.
Dynamic Core focuses on the core muscles in the abdominal section. It targets every aspect of your abs and obliques and works them in a similar way that Insanity and Insanity Asylum did. Do not expect traditional sit ups and planks for your core here. You will be doing some complex moves and feeling plenty of burn for the 25 minute duration.
Speed 2.0 has quite challenging moves, but this helps makes the workout go by quickly. The workout is broken up into three interval rounds with moves performed three times each. Most of the moves are speed and agility moves including cross jacks, low kicks and quick lunges. You should expect to be moving and jumping the entire workout. It is definitely a challenging workout that will get you sweating as soon as you begin.
The Upper Focus workouts will help define your chest, back and shoulder muscles. It begins with some cardio work and quickly moves into strength exercises using your own body weight. Burpees, push-ups, squat rows and other moves are combined for an insane cardio and strength workout.
Ripped Circuit is a fat blasting 25 minute workout that targets the entire body, head to toe. Expect to work your upper body, legs, abs and then repeat it all over again. Some of the moves included in the Ripped Circuit DVD are lunges, squat thrusts, presses, burpees, deadlifts, curl squats and many more.
There is an additional third phase that can be done with Focus T25, titled Gamma, but it needs to be purchased in addition to the basic Focus T25 program itself. It includes four additional workout DVDs and two additional workout calendars specifically for the Gamma phase. If you wish to purchase the Gamma phase and continue with the program for an additional four weeks, you can order the Focus T25 Gamma Cycle DVDs for $59.85 plus $6.95 shipping and handling.
Your first day of Gamma will be spent doing Extreme Circuit. This workout is broken down into sets of five minutes. You will be doing four exercises for a minute each and then you will do all four of them once again at a very fast pace. For the Extreme Circuit, you will want to incorporate resistance bands and/or weights. You decide what you want to use depending on your individual strength. Some of the exercises included in the Extreme Circuit DVD are front kicks, burpees, push-ups, plank crunches, mountain climbers, bicep curls and many more. You will definitely feel challenged once your 25 minutes are up.
Rip’T Up will be day two in the extra Gamma phase of Focus T25. It also requires weights and/or resistance bands and an optional chin up bar if you have one as well. This workout focuses primarily on the upper body, working your biceps, triceps, shoulders, back and chest. You will be doing a variety of combination moves that target several muscle groups at once for efficiency during the 25 minute routine.
Speed 3.0 is similar to Speed 2.0 but at a faster pace with plenty more sweat. It is a 25 minute speed challenge that includes two rounds. You will repeat each round three times, each time at a more intense and much faster pace. Many of the moves in Speed 3.0 are similar to those in the 2.0 workout, but Shaun T manages to make them slightly more difficult. Immediately after you begin, you can expect to start jumping, jogging, jabbing and combining moves for ridiculous combos. Overall, this is a killer cardio and strength workout that will leave you dripping in sweat.
The Pyramid workout is a cardio and strength test that begins with a warm up and quickly escalates into a pyramid of exercises. The 25 minute workout is comprised of cardio exercises that increase in sets with each of the 10 rounds. It is easily one of the toughest Focus T25 workouts with exercises such as hammer curls, clean press, pink-ups, deadlifts, squats, upright rows and more.
In addition to the 10 core workout DVDs included in the Focus T25 series and the additional 4 that come with the added Gamma Phase, Beachbody also provides you with additional resources to help guide your fitness transformation during the two to three month process. The additional resources are described below.
Stretch is a 25 minute workout as well but, since it is nowhere near as challenging as the 10 core workouts that you do in the program, it is included as an added bonus and done on one of your off days considered to be a “rest day.” Stretch is exactly as the title states. It is a stretching routine designed to improve your flexibility, relax your muscles and help you recover from the previous five days of hard work you put in completing workouts in the Alpha, Beta and Gamma phases.
Beachbody prides itself on a complete approach to fitness. Getting in shape does not simply mean you are working out every day. You will need to eat a healthy, balanced diet while incorporating a challenging fitness regimen if you want to see real results. The Get It Done Nutrition Guide that accompanies Focus T25 includes tips on healthy eating and 25 recipes for you to try. Each recipe is easy to make, using only 5 ingredients with a short prep time. The ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fat is also broken down for you and applies to the recipes included as well. In addition to the helpful tips, 25 recipes and protein vs. carbohydrate ratio, the Get It Done Nutrition Guide also includes a handy guide of 25 healthy foods you can eat or snack on. Overall, it is very comprehensive and an excellent resource to use along with the workouts that accompany the series.
The Alpha Beta Workout Calendars clearly explain which workout needs to be done each of the 60 days you spend completing the Focus T25 workout. It notes every Saturday as a rest day and Sunday is spent doing the Stretch workout to help prepare you for yet another week with Focus T25. On Fridays, the calendar reminds you that it is doubles day, in which you will be doing two of the 25 minute DVDs for a total of 50 minutes. In addition to letting you know what you will be doing each day, the calendar also includes check off boxes titled “nailed it” and “barely made it”. By checking these boxes off you will be able to see your progress with the program as you move through the two phases.
The Quick Start Guide helps you understand the program quickly and get started on it right away. If you are the type that does not like to read directions, this is for you. Read it and begin Focus T25 as soon as it arrives by pulling out this guide and getting all of the information you need.
The B-Lines Resistance Band is what you will use throughout the time spent doing the Focus T25 program in order to add resistance to the moves performed. If you prefer, you can use dumbbells for added resistance, but the band should suffice for most beginners. It is a 15 pound band that will at least help you get started with the program. If you feel you need more after several workouts, you can decide from there depending on the amount of weight you require.
The 5 Day Fast Track is the ideal tool for those that have no patience when it comes to seeing results. If you want to see results immediately, you should start your journey with Focus T25 by following the 5 Day Fast Track. It is a modified version of the nutrition plan that limits calories to 1,100 per day. It includes a balanced diet of protein, carbs and fats and also requires you to drink plenty of water. After you complete the 5 Day Fast Track, you can transition to the traditional nutrition guide that accompanies the program and continue to lose weight at a more stable pace.
Beachbody offers 24/7 free online support to anyone that has questions about a program, needs guidance or is simply looking for some moral support. If you purchase Focus T25 want to get in contact with others going through the program as well, you can log onto the online forum. There you will be able to communicate with countless Beachbody coaches, trainers and other Focus T25 users to discuss your experiences, whether positive or negative, with the program. Occasionally, some of the top fitness trainers and fitness pioneers, including Shaun T himself, participate in online forums and chats at Beachbody.com.
One of the many benefits to the Focus T25 program is that there is little to no equipment necessary to complete the workouts. Focus T25 comes with a resistance band that you can use throughout the phases but, if you need more weight or want to challenge yourself further, you can incorporate heavier dumbbells and a chin up bar as well. Other than that, all you will need are a DVD player and television to play the DVDs and a space to do them in.
Focus T25 Pros
Overall, this seems to be one of the best Beachbody workouts released to date. It is able to offer something both fitness newbies and fitness veterans can benefit from. Those with little to no experience with fitness can slowly progress throughout the program. Those that already have a thorough fitness background can use Focus T25 to push themselves beyond the max. Most of the exercises in the workout DVDS are done using the body as resistance. If you want to push yourself further, you can use weights or bands for an added challenge. The exercises are also done according to time instead of counting reps. You do as many as you can in 30 to 60 seconds instead of counting repetitions. As you progress through the program, you are able to see improvement by increasing the amount of repetitions you can do in the given amount of time.
One other feature of Focus T25 that makes it stand out is that it includes plenty of. The program is geared towards a large demographic and the modifications help expand that. Anyone can try Focus T25 and it is likely that, if you do, you will not be disappointed. It is a program that anyone can do and benefit from. The key to succeeding and benefiting from this program is pushing yourself for the entire 25 minutes you spend doing it. Do not cheat yourself and ease through the reps. Do as many as you can each and every time.
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Workout Program Alpha. Beta. Gamma - Beachbody Focus T25
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