Saturday, May 16, 2015

Focus T25, Done, Not My Style

I originally purchased T25 with the hope of learning some great new moves for body weight exercises.  I did not formally try to execute the program until recently.

I am now done with T25.  I am not a fan and I can't really recommend it, but it might be your cup of tea, depending on a few things.
As I neared the completion of the 5-week "Alpha Cycle", I was quite resigned to not try the "Beta Cycle".  But I thought to myself, "What if the next level is better?"

So, I slid the DVD in for the first Beta Cycle workout and it was more of the same.  After a few minutes, I stopped, hit fast forward and saw even more of the same.  More intense, maybe, but way more dependence on jumping around than I want in my workout.

So, I popped out the DVD, whipped out the dumb bells and returned to my traditional workout.  It was fantastic.  Within just one week, my physique was better and my clothes fit better.

If You Like Watching Aerobic/Cardio Videos... might like T25.  While I had no problem with using videos for yoga workouts, this one was somewhat annoying.  There are many quick changes and lots of times when maintaining good form means not looking at the screen.

If You Are More Concerned With Fat Loss Than Building Muscle... might like T25.  Look, I am not saying you won't build any muscle with T25, that would be wrong.  But the priority is lots of high energy hopping around and core work, so you will not get body building results.

Will it make you weak?  Well, no.  But I stopped my weight lifting to try this out and when I returned to weight lifting it was abundantly clear that I had lost muscle mass while doing this workout, especially legs, chest, triceps, upper back, and biceps.

If You Want to Endanger Your Knees... might like T25.  Have I mentioned all of the freaking hopping?  Yes, yes I have.  Well, a lot of those moves are hopping or jumping while spinning 60, 90, or 180 degrees.  As you get tired or just push yourself really hard, the chances go up that your toes will catch as you spin.  I never managed to twist my knee, but I was keenly aware that I was walking a fine line.

The Punchline Is...

...that I lost far more fat and built more muscle alternating days between free weights (3 days) and cardio (2-3 days) than I did with T25.

My Old Friend, Proper Muscle Rest

Another Great Change With The End of T25 was once again having proper rest cycles for my muscles.  Week 5 of T25 was a clear illustration of this.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, it called for the same workout, the Total Body Circuit.  There was a noticeable, progressive fatigue as I repeated the workouts that week, indicative of inadequate muscle rest.

The Step Down T25 Workout Might Be Better

Throughout the workout there is one person, Tanya, doing a step down version.  This usually just means she is doing a low impact version, i.e., not hopping around.  A co-worker told me of a friend that reported losing 30 pounds following Tanya (but I have no idea what percentage of her body weight that was).

This path could actually give you a better workout than the "normal" one as it may allow you to focus and push more on the rest of your body.

For Me, It's Back to Free Weights and Cardio

It was educational, so I don't regret it, but I can say with confidence that you would probably be better served with regular old weight lifting and cardio.  I know I will.

Whatever path you choose, best of luck and keep pushing!

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