Saturday, January 5, 2013

Asylum: Volume 2: Championship

It's been a couple of days. Since I last updated the blog, I've completed two Asylum workouts, the Off-day Stretch on Friday and Championship (with Sudden Death OT, the Fit Test) today.

Since I knew I just had the stretch workout yesterday, I ended up doing a 5K run at gym on a treadmill during lunch. This definitely helped make me feel a bit more stretched out -- I always think doing an easy run to move the leg muscles helps me feel better after a strenuous workout of another type.

Friday evening, after work, I came home and did the 30 minute Off-day Stretch DVD. It felt excellent to have a rest day from Asylum. The stretch workout is kind of what you'd expect. I definitely made me feel much better, especially in my quads and hips, which had been quite tight. It was a good full-body stretch.

I have been looking forward to doing the Championship workout. This is a 60 minute DVD and contains the Fit Test, which is called Sudden Death Overtime (OT). This workout is analogous to the Game Day workout in Asylum 1; you complete in multiple "sports."

Consensus on the internet seems to be that Championship is a bit easier than Game Day, and I tend to agree. In Game Day there are some wicked hard strength moves, such as rock climbing, which are absent in Championship's more cardio-based routine. Like Game Day, Championship is loads of fun!

You start the workout with track events and warm up by doing a 400 meter run, basically a high knees running sequence. After a brief stretch there are a few more track running drills using the ladder.

The other sports featured in the workout are (in random order) volleyball, football, soccer, gymnastics, speed skating, Olympic weight lifting, and basketball. A lot of the drills have you doing a diving move into a push-up (or push-up variation) and then popping up to your feet. This is a bit tricky and you should definitely watch your form. It's also a blast. We had to do this in volleyball, soccer, and football with slight variations. You start by running, then dive into a push-up, then pop up and start again. The occasional shuffling and jumping was involved.

Gymnastics was definitely the hardest part of the workout with an intense set of jumps. There was a solid minute of tuck jumps, x-jumps, and turning tuck jumps. Think a minute is short? Think again. Intense high jumping for a minute is definitely work. Then again, I love to jump, so this was a great time.

The speed skating here was definitely similar to what we saw in Asylum: Volume 1's Game Day workout. However, it was a bit easier, as it was slower. While the speed skating focus in Game Day is fast moves in a low position, here we were focusing more on balance and large controlled movements with lateral jumps along and diagonally over the ladder.

The Olympic weight lifting section of the workout was the only fully resistance focused part of today's workout. We did compound weight moves that worked biceps, shoulders, and lats. At first this seemed easy but by the third round, I was starting to feel the burn. As with the previous workouts, I used eight pound weights like the women featured in the DVD.

Basketball was very similar to what we saw in Game Day as well. You did a squat, rotated, and jumped. A basic move but definitely one that got my legs burning as time went on.

Unlike in Insanity and Asylum: Volume 1, in Asylum: Volume 2, the Fit Test is an integrated workout. (In the other two programs the Fit Test is it's own DVD.) The Fit Test is the last thing you do in the Championship workout and is called Sudden Death OT. (A bit dramatic, no?) Having the Fit Test at the end of a workout when you're already a bit tired was a bit of a change, but since Championship left me tired but not exhausted, I was up for the challenge.

Doing Sudden Death made me very very happy I had done the Agility Drills workout twice. This was some complicated agility work in the ladder. The goal was to do as many rounds as possible of the following in the ladder: hop left and right twice, hop up twice, hop left and right twice, hop back twice, hop wide and narrow twice, split jump, two leg hop left and right, four power jumps in the ladder, burpee and x-jump twice. As you can see this is quite involved and remembering the foot-work was a real challenge.

You had three minutes to do as many rounds of the Fit Test as you could. I managed seven, and was very excited to hear that the people on the Asylum DVD did between seven and nine rounds. I felt like a champion! As I do the workout more and become even more confident with the foot work, I'm hoping I can get another round for sure.

I've now done all of the workouts in the Asylum: Volume 2 program, with the exception of the 20 minute Ab Shredder workout, which gets tacked on next week. Without reservations, I give this program two thumbs up. I especially love the X Trainer, Power Legs, and Championship workouts. The Back & 6-pack workout was solid but could have had better pacing. The Upper Elite workout was a bit too much upper body work for me, clocking in at a full hour, but I'm hopeful that with time, I'll improve and come to enjoy this workout a bit more.

I can't wait to do the next three weeks of Asylum 2 and see my complete progress. Another winning workout program from Shaun T.

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