Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Focus T25: Core Speed

The Core Speed workout is a bonus workout that Seth received because he ordered T25 directly from Beachbody. Because this is a bonus workout, it's not directly included on the T25 calendar, but a small bit of print on the bottom of the calendar indicate you can substitute out a couple of the Speed 2.0 workouts in the Beta Cycle with the Core Speed workout if you have it. For his first time through the program, Seth has decided to just stick with the standard calendar and not do the substitution, but he generously allowed me to check it out.

Let me say that I am obsessed with the Core Speed workout! I absolutely love it. The workout, like Speed 2.0, is set up in rounds. There are two rounds that you do two times each (meaning you do two sets of moves two times through). The first time through you spend the longest time on each move; you shorten things up in the subsequent round so that you're moving through all the moves in the set fairly quickly. To finish the workout, you do all the moves "from the top" four times, two times at a longer interval and two times with a shorter interval between moves.

This workout, again like Speed 2.0, is very fast. It's amazing cardio with some total body moves thrown in there. I consider this cardio just as good as what you might get with Insanity.

Round one features the following moves:

  • Quick feet up + back
  • Moving quick jab with jack feet
  • 1-2-3 clap: Jog left for three then raise your knee and clap under it, then go right
  • L Squat: Squat and touch the ground with one arm bringing the other behind you
  • Up + over
  • Zigzap hop
  • Squat hop + crisscross jack
  • Burpee + crisscross
Woah! That was tough. Shaun T goes fast. The burpee + crisscross is especially fast, and I was having to try very very hard to keep up. I was basically throwing myself down towards the ground for a burpee. I consider my cardiovascular system to be in top shape, and at the end of this round I was breathing hard. Round one of Core Speed is definitely the hardest part of this workout. Almost all the moves incorporate jumping/hopping of some kind, and you are moving fast. The burpee with crisscross is killer.

After going through a second time we moved onto round two.
  • Hop up + back + jab
  • Squat thrust + hook with a knee
  • Single arm burpee: They did this move fast, and it was very very hard. I found it quite a challenge to keep my butt down and keep good form. Things got better as I did this move again and again, but I was barely able to keep up with them.
  • Crisscross + half-tuck jump: Normally I love this move, but it was brutal coming on the heels of the single arm burpee.
  • Quick jab combo: With this move and the next we were jumping around less which let me recover every so slightly.
  • Side hop uppercut
  • 180 degree hop squat with an in + out jump
  • 2 count power knees
Round two, while still very hard, especially with the single arm burpee, overall featured fewer high impact moves than round one. Thank goodness! The punching did a nice job of mixing things up and allowed for some brief moments when we weren't jumping around. 

After doing the two rounds through twice, we had around nine minutes left to go. After a quick jog recovery we started doing everything from the top. That's right, every move in a row. We did this four times. Two times through with longer intervals for each move and two times through with shorter intervals for the moves. Between the changes in interval lengths we again got a short time to jog and recover. The Core Speed workout is the only one that features a jog recovery of any sort, which is a good indication of how fast and hard you are going in this workout.

As I said before, I absolutely love the bonus Core Speed workout. It's 25 minutes of all out cardio intensity. I was dripping with sweat after this workout. I should also mention that even though it was "only" 25 minutes, I received over 1,000 NikeFuel for this workout, which is about as many as I would get going on a run of this length. (And NikeFuel definitely favors runs over other workouts in almost every case. For example, I usually only get around 1,000 NikeFuel for an hour Insanity workout, which is harder than running for an hour.)

For days when you're primarily doing strength training but want to add in a quick burst of cardio, Core Speed fits the bill. For days when you're short on time and want to go crazy, this workout is ideal. I usually don't feel like I've worked enough when I do 25 minutes of exercise, but the T25 workouts have definitely changed my mind about this. Intensity is king, and Shaun T knows how to bring it. 

No comments: