Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Focus T25 Beta Phase Review

Finally, huh?  I can't believe it has taken me almost 2 weeks to post this, but better late than never!

Focus T25 Beta Phase Workout Reviews

Core Cardio:  From the first seconds of this video, you know you’re not in Alpha phase anymore.  There are some familiar exercises from Alpha, but you do them much more quickly or with an added “twist” of some sort.  This particular video was interesting because you’re going all cardio heart rate crazy, but keeping everything focused on the core.  It’s a good workout and fun too.   I averaged around a 225 calorie burn during this.

Speed 2.0:  Well, if you thought Speed 1.0 was fun and you don’t mind NOT having those nice little stability “breaks” from Alpha phase then you will LOVE Speed 2.0.  I certainly did.  In fact, I can tell you without any hesitation that this is my favorite T25 workout of the entire series.  You move fast – really fast, but the way this workout is laid out, the time just flies by.  You do one set of exercises and then go and repeat them 2 more times for less overall time each set, but with as much intensity as you can muster.  Then you learn another “routine” and do the same thing.  And the moves are fun, the crew looks like they’re having fun, and sweat is just flying.  Oh, and there’s no burpees… So if you’re a burpee hater like I am (I would rather do pushups all day long than do 10 burpees), this workout is for you.  Oh, and the calorie burn is awesome – 250 is what I average on this one!  Woohoo!

Rip’T Circuit:  I started off Beta Phase not really knowing what to take of this.  I went into it expecting Total Body Circuit 2.0, but it wasn't like that at all, thankfully.  Once I got over my shock and awe, I actually came to like the workout.  Yes, it has things in it that bother me – mainly inconsistency and imbalance.  In this workout you go from weight training to ab work on the mat to cardio and on and on.  Often, the cueing will be off or the moves have to be switched so quickly that you cut an exercise off to get to the next OR (and my biggest complaint) if you’re doing sets of reps on both sides, the sides become uneven.  I don’t care to do 8 reps on one side and 11 on another.  So, I’ve had to “learn” the video and adapt it for myself so I get an even workout.  Other than that, it really does give you a great set of exercises and you feel pretty darn good when finished.  It’s not a big calorie burner, though..  I averaged 145 calories burned during this workout.

Dynamic Core:  I’ll come out and say it – this video is just freaking weird.  Is it bad?  No, not really.  But it’s kind of like Core Cardio meets Ab Intervals meets Rip’t Circuit.  I can see where a lot of the moves could be core focused, but not with 100% intensity.  I’m sorry, but when you have me hopping on one foot while kicking out my opposite foot with my leg at a 90 degree angle that’s fantastic stabilization work, but I don’t think it is going to get me a 6 pack any time soon.  Unlike some other people I've talked to, I do happen to like the planking up and overs.  Then again, I like most anything plank related.  Pretty much for me, the floor work was really good, the opening cardio bit was strange, and I really could have done without the pyramid routine at the end, but I suffered through it every time and by the end of beta I was owning that shit, so I guess there was some benefit to it.  Lol  I burn around 130 calories doing this workout.

Upper Focus:  This is another one of my favorite T25 workouts.  For the most part.  My only problem is the end of the video where it seems like they just ran out of ideas so it’s just like “let’s do some hip ups and v ups”.  Really?  In an upper body workout when you already have 1 (2, in my opinion) workouts that already hyper focus on the abs?  This just comes up as bizarre but I always get it done.  Unlike in the other ab videos my core isn't too tired to hold my legs up high in the V holds at the end.  Ha!  You can probably guess it, but this workout utilizes a lot of dumbbell weight training as well as pushups, punches, etc.  I used 8 lb dumbbells for this and it seemed to work out fine.  The exercises were effective and were put together in a nice flow.  I always feel good when I finish this one.  Again, my biggest complaint is similar to Rip’T Circuit – uneven reps.  I must have equality!!  Average calorie burn: 125.

Core Speed:  This was the “exclusive” DVD that you only get with the base kit if you order from a Beachbody coach or pay extra for it.  It was supposed to be used in place of Speed 2.0 at any point in the Beta phase.  My plan, and what I did end up doing was using Speed 2.0 for the first half of the cycle and then Core Speed for the last half since I assumed it would be a step harder.  I was right.  Core Speed is set up just the same as 2.0 with the routines that repeat a couple times before moving on.  It is still really fast -  lightning fast compared to any of the other T25 workouts, IMO – and it is fun.  I would almost say that it could be more fun than Speed 2.0 if it weren't for all the damn burpees.  Burpee to a criss cross, one armed burpees… omg.  I got through them because the workout is that fast and otherwise fun, but I cursed these parts out like you wouldn't believe.  Some people like burpees and are great at them and I think that’s awesome.  I loathe them mainly because they are hard as hell on my knees and my feet (and my back if I really hit one wrong).  And I’m sorry, but I don’t like having my subsequent run(s) go to crap because of a freakin’ burpee.  Yes, it is probably due to improper form and application, but when I have no one here watching what I’m doing, it’s kinda hard to fix it when the workout is just flying so fast.  This video is what prompted me to snoop and look ahead at videos on YouTube and make a final decision to NOT buy Gamma phase because Speed 3.0 is burpee central.  Boo to burpees.  I’ll go do 50 pushups now, thanks.  Anyway, other than the burpees, this workout rocks.  And by rocks I mean scorches calories: 250 on average for me.  But, looking at a 250 calorie burn, I’d rather do Speed 2.0 which is more fun and has no nasty burpees.  *shrug*

Overall, I have to say that Beta phase is more interesting than Alpha (due to the inclusion of weight training) and therefore, at least for me, has more fun factor.  It’s not just “another day of cardio” every day.  Fun is important for me in an exercise program, and for the most part, Beta is where the T25 fun was at.  Yes, there were some things that frustrated the heck out of me (bad cueing, unequal time on opposing sides, BURPEES, that snarky looking dark haired chick in most of the videos, the porn star moaning the entire crew does during that plank walk in and out thing that isn't even HARD!?!), but Beta was effective and fun.

I’m glad I did the entire program.  My abs do look a heck of a lot better and I do feel stronger. I also lost quite a chunk of body fat.   I’d do another round again.  If I ever stop hating burpees I’d do Gamma too.  But I don’t see that happening.

2 comments:

  1. I loved Speed 2.0 ... my definite favorite and I didn't do Speed 3.0 after the first time because there are even MORE burpees in it. I am also a huge burpee hater. Gamma isn't all burpees ;) btw ... I liked Gamma but think that this next round I am supposed to be starting tonight (I think I am getting sick booo) I am going to do the hybrid Gamma calendar.

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  2. I'm trying out Core Speed in place of Speed 2.0 and it's killer! I'm having a hard time keeping up with them, especially when it comes to footwork.

    As for the ab workouts, I think I agree with you. I'm thinking this plan is mostly cardio-based and to really get muscles, you need to couple this with more focused weight training (which I hope to do because I lack upper body strength). But I'm not sure since I've only started Beta.

    Anyway, good and funny review! I really laughed out loud on some parts, especially your "overall" paragraph.

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