ARE YOU READY TO FOCUS?
If time is of the essence for you, this is definitely a must read! It’s especially true if you have trouble finding a way to squeeze fitness into a busy routine of work, cleaning, errands, chores and endless activities for your family/pets. Focus T25 promises to 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! Of course A: you have to FOCUS AND DO IT and B: you might have to tidy up your eating habits to maximize your results!
The big difference between Focus T25 and other Beachbody programs, like Insanity and P90X, is the driving principle behind it. Other programs are more aimed at making you work out hard, at your extreme, for a long period of time. Focus T25 has you 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. You work a muscle group to exhaustion, then move to a different one.
Focus T25 Workouts
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 that muscle group has worked to its core, the routine moves on to something else – another muscle group, or a flat out crazy cardio interval. 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. In addition, the program comes with a resistance band – which is all you need. I’ve been using a couple of dumbbells as well but you could certainly do everything with the resistance band. For the first month, all you need is yourself – no equipment! In the second phase, you start incorporating more strength training, yet it can all be done with either the resistance band, or dumbbells you PROBABLY have hiding under your bed.
Focus T25 Phases
The Focus T25 program is divided into phases. It breaks down the workouts, eases you into the program and builds up to help fitness/Shaun T newbies learn the moves and build endurance. For example, in the first week of Alpha, your calves and hip flexors will wonder what’s happening to them… Trust me, Grasshopper, it will pass. The basic Focus T25 Workout Program comes with the workouts that comprise the first two phases, Alpha and Beta.
Phase 1: Alpha
The first phase, Alpha, lasts one month (well, 5 weeks actually) 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 is intended to melt fat and help reveal the lean muscle mass underneath. It starts off slowly, 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 in between intense cardio intervals to help shred you down to 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 alpha phase speed workout also has a lot of SWEET stretching in between high speed POWER moves…
The Lower Focus workout targets the major muscle groups in 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.
Phase 2: Beta
The second phase, Beta, includes another 5 workouts and also lasts a month (5 weeks :)). 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. Each and every workout leaves you “feeling your core” just a bit the next day. I think this phase has serious potential for major body revolution!
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 used compound movements to target every aspect of your abs, obliques, and lower back. Your core is really shoulders to thighs all the way round – expect to use ALL of it in Dynamic Core. 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. Honestly, Speed 2.0 is HILARIOUSLY fast paced, it’s seriously difficult, and: They took out the stretching that was part of the Alpha phase Speed workout. Be ready to rock and roll! I will say though, that of all the workouts, Speed 2.0 actually MATCHES THE MUSIC. Sometimes I find it difficult when the leaders are not right on the beat of the background music, which is the case for a lot of the T25 workouts…
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, dumbbells, or a resistance band. 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.
In addition to the 2 phases with 10 workouts, you also get STRETCH. I can’t tell you how important incorporating Stretch into your schedule really is. It will change the ease with which you survive the rest of the program…
Stretch is a 25 minute workout as well, and should be 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.
After completing the base kit alpha and beta phases, you can go on to purchase the Gamma phase, which is sold separately.
Gamma includes 4 additional workouts and a separate calendar:
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.
Get It Done Nutrition Guide
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.
Pros and Cons
Focus T25 Pros
- Short, intense workouts you can do without sacrificing time.
- Good workouts for beginners and experienced individuals as well.
- Shaun T is very motivating and his energy is endless.
- The 5 Day Fast Track gives you almost instant results to help motivate you right away.
- No need to go to the gym each day and spend money on a membership.
- Build lean muscle without tons of weights and dumbbells.
- Fast paced workouts with non-stop action that don’t ever get boring.
- You won’t be able to use the excuse that you don’t have time to workout.
- You have to work your absolute hardest if you want to make the most out of the 25 minutes you spend working out each day. No dogging it. It takes effort to lose weight.
I’ve been doing T25 with a challenge group for 6 weeks at time of writing, so we’ve just moved to Beta phase. I have to say this is the greatest thing I’ve done for myself. I loved doing TurboFire, but the whole 25 minute wham-bam-thankyou-ma’am is MADE OF WIN. The workouts are tough, I can feel myself turning into a total super hero….
Here’s the full Beachbody Infomercial if you want to see more: