Sunday, August 09, 2015

Sporty Sunday: T25 Alpha

I’ve finished the Alpha portion of Beachbody’s T25 workout, with Shaun T. It was 5 weeks of 25 minute workouts: 1 per day (Monday - Thursday) and 2 on Fridays. Each week was a different selection and ordering of Cardio, Speed 1.0, Total Body Circuit, Ab Intervals, and Lower Focus. Saturdays were rest and Sundays were for the 25 minute stretch workout. I did every single weekday workout for a total of 30 25-minute sessions (+ the 3 minute cooldown/stretch after each workout). I completed the stretch workout twice.

I have a full schedule of running, swimming, and hiking that I refuse to change. The runs (three 4-mile runs/week) are for my dogs. The hikes (5-12 miles) are both for my dogs and myself. And the swims (three 2300-yard sessions/week) are important for cross-training. I’ve kept this routine up for years and, while it burns calories, it is no longer challenging. I needed to shake things up. I’ve contemplated adding something intense (P90X or Insanity) to my routine, but I don’t have 60 - 90 minutes more a day to exercise. After seeing the abs Kim developed on the T25 schedule, I checked it out. I thought I could squeeze in 25 more minutes of exercise per day (on top of my already 1+ hours) and ordered the T25 set from Amazon.

Shaun relies on jumping motions to raise the heartrate and build muscle. However, Tanya, the modifier, demonstrates every high impact move with a low impact equivalent. I always at least attempted the jumping moves until too exhausted and then substituted Tania’s modifications until I recovered enough to try jumping again. As I progressed, I was able to better keep up with the high impact moves. Having a ballet background, I know it is important to lower the heels on each landing for greater power and injury prevention. (On the DVD, Shaun coaches you to lower the “balls of your feet” to the ground, but he means the “heels.”) Those with joint issues can still get a great workout following Tanya.

There were some exercises that I absolutely hated. Basically, anything that required me to touch the ground and then stand back up again (e.g. burpees). But I hated them because they were hard. So I made myself do at least a few more each time and, like the jumps, gradually built my capacity and hated them a little less.

The set includes a tracking sheet on which the participant is to check “Barely Made It” or “Nailed It” after completing each workout. Even the Alpha cycle was challenging enough that I never felt that I “Nailed It.” I wish there was an in-between box to check!

The hardest workout was probably the Total Body Circuit. The easiest was (duh) the stretch. Although I only completed the stretch twice, it left me feeling great.

Overall, I felt this was a safe, but effective, workout that challenges the heart AND muscles. I loved that I could do it at home, since I don’t have time to drive to a studio or the club and home again every morning.

This workout has all the elements I needed: intensity, unpredictability, and calisthenics. I took a “before” picture that will never see the internet and also tracked my measurements. The numbers aren’t amazing (I lost 4 pounds and maybe an inch off my waist), but I wasn’t overweight or unfit to begin with. I have noticed more ease in my clothing. I’m no longer overflowing my bras. I see new definition in my legs. And Beefy has noticed my firmer midsection. I’m only halfway through, but I’m encouraged!

The second part of T25 is 5 weeks of Beta. Beta workouts are similar to Alpha but focus on greater intensity and more core and upper body exercises. I’m looking forward to fresh workouts and a chance to finally “Nail It!”
Sporty Sunday is a recurring feature in which I share my fitness routine and offer and solicit advice. While this content might seem a little out of place in an outfit diary, a healthy, strong body is the foundation of my wardrobe. I hope to inspire my readers to be fit as well as stylish!


Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler said...

I hope you love Beta as much as I did. I did two rounds on T25 (including Gamma where Shaun T starts incorporating weights) before I moved on to Insanity and Insanity Max:30. The man is an addiction I can't let go. :-)

Tiffany said...

Still love your blog after many years. You are truly an inspiration, both your style and your healthy tips. Never preachy nor judgmental. Thank you.