Let’s Lower that Stress Level!

I don’t know about you but I am incredibly indecisive and one of the most anxiety invoking past-times is choosing an at-home-workout regimen. There’s nothing worse than spending a ton of money on a program that you realize you absolutely hate after the first time you hit play. That is one of the main reasons I wanted to start doing these posts. I wanted to give people some insight into these different workouts offered through Beachbody so you could start to see what may or may not work for you.

This week, however, I want to go into detail about one of the coolest things I think the company has come up with thus far. It’s called Beachbody On Demand and it is a program that allows you to instantly stream several of their at-home-workouts wherever you may be (so long as you have an internet connection and obviously a device to receive said connection and view the workouts on).

Beachbody on Demand

This is such a great idea!! It allows you to try out several different regimens without having to commit entirely (and financially) to that one program – so if it sucks you can move to the next one! The workouts that you start out with range from hardcore intense regimens like Insanity and P90X (1, 2 and 3!) to – what I consider – less intense and more fun focused regimens such as Hip Hop Abs and Tai Cheng.  

I’ve been dying to try out Chalene’s Piyo for weeks now. Unfortunately it wasn’t part of the stream-able workouts (a little disappointing) but they do have this section of sneak peaks and in there they had Piyo Sweat, so I did get to try at least one of the workouts and that was a real eye-opener. Turns out I’m not as much of a Piyo enthusiast as a thought! That experience, however, just added to my enthusiasm for this On Demand option. I would encourage anyone that’s a little unsure of what they might be looking for when it comes to these programs to consider trying this out, even if it’s just for the 30-day free trail period. You can find all the information you might need here http://club.teambeachbody.com/

This week I wanted to go for something a little lighter and more fun, so I’m going to be trying out Sean T’s Hip Hop Abs, who doesn’t love to dance?? Should be a blast, I’ll let you know all about it next week!

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Ever have one of those want-to-hide-under-a-rock-because-nothing-went-right type days? Well that was me, all week. This past week was an epic fitness-journey fail, so much so that I’m actually ashamed to be writing this post. However, I think it is safe to assume that we are all human on here and every single one of you has been where I am, maybe more than once. If not, well more power to you (and would you like to write this blog for me??). Okay, pity party over, let’s get down to this week’s exercise regimen.

Ever heard of 21 Day Fix, created by the lovely Autumn Calabrese? Well she came out with a revamped version, cleverly titled 21 Day Fix Extreme. Having been working through the challenging Focus T25, I thought I could easily jump right into this one…. Yeah, that was a mistake. Not only does this regimen consist of daily workouts (which I totally did not keep up with) but you also have the option of upgrading to the ultimate kit and tormenting yourself with doubles on four of the seven days.

Another damper in my overly enthusiastic approach was the fact that you need a lot more equipment (compared to T25). To be exact, a heavy-set of dumbbells, a light-set of dumbbells and a resistance band are needed for each workout (and a medium-set of dumbbells for the core-focused doubles option). May not sound like a lot to some people but for me that was a major hurdle. In fact I tried to get away with just a heavy-set of dumbbells and the resistance band that I already had but that did not play out so well.

Since I was only able to get through three of the seven weekly workouts, I decided that I couldn’t really give this regimen a fair review. For those of you that haven’t tried the original 21 Day Fix this site gives a pretty detailed review of it and what it is all about http://unlockweightloss.com/ and I would definitely recommend checking that out before trying to attempt the Extreme version. If, however, you are ready to move on to the next challenge in the 21 Day Fix series then I would check out this awesome bloggers review http://soreyfitness.com/beachbody-2/21-day-fix-extreme/ 

I’m still trying to decide if I should stick this out for another week or cut my losses and move on to another regimen….. I guess we’ll find out next week.

Ready… Set… Focus!

The first week… always the hardest. You’re trying to rearrange your schedule to fit in a workout, redo your meal plans to include healthy and nutritious choices and convince yourself that you really do want to hit that play button each day… This first week was also made that much more difficult for me personally because my nephew was staying with us for the duration of his spring break and my usual schedule with my children was completely thrown out of whack. Add to that the fact that the only TV in the house (and consequently the one I need to use for my workouts) was constantly claimed for ps3 games with the occasional Netflix break. So, now that I’ve gotten my excuses out of the way, let’s get down to the actual workout program. This week I was trying one of Beachbody’s newest hits – from the amazing Shaun T – Focus T25!

Focus T25 is a workout regimen designed specifically for those of us with less than optimal schedules and little to no time for exercise (as we often claim). The program is split into two phases: alpha and beta. Alpha phase is the starting point and the workouts in this phase are geared towards building good form and a solid foundation to set you up for the beta phase. The program also comes with a calendar for both phases, each lasting 5 weeks. The workouts are scheduled for Monday through Friday (with Friday being an optional double-day). Since I only get one week for each workout program I can only tell you about the Alpha phase. The first week of Alpha phase is as follows:

  • Monday – Cardio
  • Tuesday – Speed 1.0
  • Wednesday – Total Body Circuit
  • Thursday – Ab Intervals
  • Friday – Lower Focus (optional Cardio as a double)
  • Saturday – rest
  • Sunday – Stretch 

T25 alpha cardio

Although alpha phase is the starting point, these workouts are not classified as easy in my book. In order to fit these intense workouts into only 25 minutes there are no breaks and no introduction to any of the movements. Basically you get to learn everything as you go and it might take a few times before you actually have the moves down to a point where you can finally start to push yourself and get the full benefit of each segment. There is also a modifier, doing each move with decreased impact while still keeping a solid tempo, for beginners and anyone concerned with the possibility of injury. One of the best aspects of this program is that very little equipment is needed, a yoga mat and light weight dumbbells or resistant band (included with the set) is pretty much all you’ll need. Most of the workouts, especially in the alpha phase, use your own body weight to provide the resistance. One of the biggest challenges with this program is the fact that you have to be motivated and willing to push yourself (I was burning over 500 calories on that first Cardio workout). Because if you come at these workouts with an attitude of minimalism and only give half effort for those 25 minutes you will not see the results you’re hoping to achieve.

So, to reiterate, the good points of Focus T25 include:

  • Short, high impact workouts
  • little equipment needed
  • modifier for beginners or those with increased risk of injury

And the not-so-great points include:

  • No breaks
  • Little to no introduction into the movements of each segment (learn as you go style)
  • Need to be self-motivated and willing to push yourself the ENTIRE 25 minutes

In The Beginning…

Hello! My name is Kristi and this is my very FIRST blogging experience; how exciting is this?!? The sole purpose of this blog will be to drag you along with me on my journey through the vast variety of beachbody fitness programs as I explore a different workout regimen offered through them each week. For the next 90 days I will have access to 10 different workout programs and each week, after completing the workouts, I will be posting my results as well as a review on what I thought was the biggest strengths and weaknesses for each program. My, very obvious, goal here is to lose weight, increase fitness and get my mama-rear in gear for the dreaded “bikini season.” I would, however, like to start with a HUGE disclaimer that I am in no way a certified professional in anything health or fitness related. I am simply a consumer reviewing products offered to me and conveying my results and opinions of these products to those that happen to stumble upon my ramblings.

Before we begin let me just share a few things about myself and my health journey thus far. Growing up I was all about sports and I was involved in different team sports year round. Throughout high school I was involved in soccer, basketball, softball and even football (my junior year). These events not only gave me a sense of pride and satisfaction but they also kept my weight and health in check. I never actively thought about what I was eating or how often I exercised (aside from the training for whatever sport I was in at the time), then I grew up…

Now, I am a mother of two awesome little boys and they, as all children do, have completely wreaked havoc on my girlish figure (the fast food and late night snacking might have played a small role as well). I started getting serious about shedding the excess at the beginning of 2014 as my 5 foot 4 frame came dangerously close to that 200 pound marker; and I went from comfortably overweight to obese (what an ugly word). Moving to the awesome college town of Corvallis (and finding myself suddenly surrounded by thin, healthy and YOUNG college women) also helped fuel the fire for my sudden desire to change my bad habits and reach for a brighter, healthier future.

Since then I have lost roughly 20 to 25 pounds, depending on the week. I will be sharing specific stats and measurements with my before and afters as I begin to tackle these different workout programs. This first week I am struggling through the infamous Sean T’s “T25” regimen and next week you will get to hear all about it! Thanks for drudging through this first post! Hopefully next week’s will be somewhat insightful or, at the very least, measurably entertaining.