In the course of a day we are hit with many challenges and disruptions to our schedules. It is easy to cut things from your day due to these disruptions and often the biggest sacrifice is working out. The folks at Beachbody are looking to squash every excuse you could come up with to NOT work out with their latest workout plan called Focus T25. Beachbody is the producer of previous workout plans such as P90X and Insanity. Each year we are hit with a wave of latest and greatest fitness routines that sweep across the country. We see infomercials and advertisements and start talking about them at the watercooler at work to see who has tried them. Most are a flash in the pan and fade out over time but when Beachbody introduces a new plan, it is worth taking note. We have all seen the before and after photos of p90x and Insanity participants, and the results are no joke.
Focus T25 is designed by Shaun Thompons who also designed Insanity. Shaun is touting T25 to be the most efficient workout program ever produced. Shaun began to realize that most people simply do not have one hour a day to work out because lets face it, life happens. T25 reduces the hour needed in the gym to a quick and efficient 25 minutes. Beachbody and Shaun proclaim that in 25 minutes this workout will push you as hard or harder and have you dripping sweat more than workouts that last an hour or more. Since we like to hold companies to their word, we put together a three person testing team to give Focus T25 a whirl and report back on their findings.
Focus T25 is divided into two phases, the Alpha phase and the Beta phase. A third phase, Gamma, is also available which can purchased separately. They also included a nutrition plan and quick start nutrition plan to help get you off to a fast start. We will break things down by phase and then nutrition plan for review purposes. For those that know Shaun Thompson and his Insanity workout are probably intimidated by T25 because Insanity is a very intense and hard workout. The difference in design is that Insanity you workout hard for an hour and T25 is about working out smart for your short time period. However, make no mistake about it you are going to workout hard in T25!
In the box from Beachbody you will get ten dvd’s with different workouts on them. You will also receive a Focus T25 calender which tells you which workout to do on each day. Saturday will be your rest day and Sunday is your stretch day so basically you have five hard days of workout and the recovery. Finally, a resistance band is included in case you do not have dumbbells available to you.
If you have been sitting on the couch for awhile and your fitness is lacking, wow! Get ready to move. The beautiful thing about the workouts is they are 25 minutes, except Fridays in which you do two videos. The workouts are fast but there is no rest. It is straight 25 minutes of non stop work. This is the toughest part of the workouts, especially in the beginning as they are extremely difficult. By the end of the 25 minutes you are thankful to be done and your body will be sore. The videos are well done with great music. There is a large cast and lots of camera cuts to keep the action moving. Overall, the Alpha phase was difficult to get started with, but after the first week and a half things start to get easier. The workouts are tough and will make you work and sweat. You will want to quit after the first 15 minutes of the first video.
With Alpha phase you get the following workouts; Cardio, Ab Intervals, Lower focus, Speed 1.0, and Total body circuit. As the names imply, each workout targets specific areas or focuses on a particular style of working out, i.e. cardio. The ab interval absolutely destroyed our team and left them sore for days and the total body circuit was the most unique video from Alpha as it introduced some new movements that are more complex. Overall, each video offers something vastly different and gives you very hard workouts. Our testing team wanted to quit after the first couple days but luckily we were able to keep them on point and motivated. After the second week we didn’t have to do anymore begging as they noticed an increase in their stamina and felt healthier and leaner. What we determined from Alpha phase was that it was designed to kick your butt but also it was to get you hooked. If you follow the workout plan you were going to eventually look forward to working out because you were going to see results, that much was extremely clear. Our team saw an average reduction of 11 pounds and were eating healthier and feeling great. The flip side is that a lot of people will quit within the first week. They are not easy workouts to start but you get use to them and start to look forward to them.
The instructions are very clear that Beta Phase is a more intense and tougher workout program, but everyone looks for shortcuts so an idea was what if we skip Alpha and go straight to Beta? Our answer is; Good luck, you’re going to need it. Alpha is the base that the sets up you to take on Beta. We are very skeptical that you could skip the Alpha phase. The strength and endurance is a key component as you approach Beta. The workouts are different and adds either dumbbells or the resistance bands to your workouts to up the ante. The Beta builds upon what you did on in Alpha with classes being; Core Cardio, Speed 2.0, Rip’t Circuit, Dynamic Core, and Upper Focus. The Beta phase is where definition started to come in for the participants. We continued to see weight loss but fat started to burn off quicker and definition was poking it’s lovely head out. Once the definition started to come through, the test team really started to get encouraged. Like any workout program you get out of it what you put in. Focus T25 will give you results if you put in the time.
The Nutrition Guide:
The nutrition guide is simple enough to follow and the meals can easily be put together. There are some good recipes that you will enjoy and as with all nutrition guides there will be some duds. The quick start guide was kind of difficult to follow due to the different shakes and plans but you can easily make modifications to make it simpler to use. There are tips and tricks on foods to have around the house at any time and other suggestions. Overall, this is an easy to do guide that we followed to an extent, but were not strict on it. The key is to get an understanding of overall nutrition and make healthier decisions.
After one month of Alpha and one month of Beta phase ( There is a Gamma phase that can be purchased separately. We only conducted testing on Alpha and Beta) we saw an average weight lost of 18 pounds across our three participants with the most losing 24 pounds. Definition increased across the board and all were satisfied with the results. Two of our participants said they would continue the program but probably not use the meal plan. One participant enjoyed the results but was going to look for other work out plans and did not like the compact nature of the workouts as they enjoyed a longer more drawn out work out.