Saturday, August 17, 2013

Focus T25: Upper Focus

Upper Focus was the last T25 workout that Seth had to try out, so today was kind of an exciting day. This workout, like Rip'd Circuit, requires the use of either dumbbells or a resistance band. Seth opted for using 5 pound hand weights again. The people on the DVD are using a variety of weights: 5s, 8s, and 12s.
The workout started like most of the workouts in the Beta Cycle with a few moves to warm up: split lunge agility, low switch kicks, double switch kicks, and high switch kicks. Then it was time for static uppercuts followed by jack uppercuts. All of this was familiar from the other Beta workout.
Shaun T then had Seth move to the floor for a plank hold. Tanya provided the option of doing this move on your knees, and, as always, she's a good person to follow if you're new to this type of exercise. The plank transitioned into the starter drill, which was a slow burpee without the push-up. After the last burpee, Seth had to stay down for some basic push-ups. Next Shaun T added the moves together, having Seth do a full burpee with push-up. This was done at a slightly lower pace than usual to really give you the chance to get to do the push-up.
At this point, the workout was about five minutes done, and Shaun T had already gotten people moving pretty hard with the burpees. It was time for chest openers, where Seth had to stand and stretch his arms overhead in a v shape. He then had to add a jump to this move.
At around minute 18:30 it was time to pick up the weights for shoulder presses. This transitioned into the Arnold press that we saw in the Rip'd Circuit. The shoulder work continued with front raises and then dual side raises.
It was then time for some cardio with a sprint with a jab punch. The woman, Jam, on the DVD was really going for it on the punches! I loved watching her.
Shaun T then had Seth move to the floor for singe arm chest flies. After doing each arm individually, Seth had to do a dual arm fly. This workout seemed to have a lot of long-lever moves, so it makes sense that people were using lighter hand weights. Next, Shaun T added a v leg hold to the dual arm fly. This is a move recycled from the Asylum 1: Strength workout.
After working the chest, it was back to cardio with straight arm double jacks followed by double jacks with alternating toe taps. For the toe taps, you had to bright your leg straight up in front of you and touch it with your other hand.
It was then back to the resistance training with the sumo row and then sumo double row. These were basically a deltoid move done in a sumo squat position. Then it was a sumo squat with an upright row. The last move featured a front row while the other rows were more a row back. All these moves looked like they were designed to work the rear deltoid.
It was back to cardio for the shuffle and heisman then shuffle with heisman turn.
The next muscle group Seth had to work was biceps. Shaun T had him doing an isometric hold with a bicep curl on the other arm; this was done on the left and then right. I remembered this move from Asylum 2: Upper Elite. Then it was on to dual bicep curls followed by reciprocating bicep curls.
Back to cardio to get the heart rate up with single arms jabs right then left.
It was then down to the floor for hip-ups. I think of this as a move for the glutes and hamstrings more than for the upper body, however, I understood where Shaun T was coming from when he transitioned the hip-ups into tricep dips with bent legs. The next floor move was straight static hold into straight leg hip-ups.
Back up for shuffles with half-tuck jumps. Seth was looking great on those tuck jumps. He as probably really glad he wasn't doing floor work at the moment. However, there were only 3:30 left, so I knew he was going to finish strong!
Up next was side plank up + over on each side, left then right. I seemed to recall this move from yesterday's Dynamic Core workout -- it's back.
With 2:00 left, it was time to reprise some of the moves for a finish done in a burn out style. It was back to alternative shoulder presses, followed by alternating bicep curls, then push-ups, and finally hip-ups with a v hold (the last move of the set being new). Finally, Shaun T called, "Time," and the workout was over.
Seth got to finish with a special new upper body three minute cool down.
Seth is pretty excited about this workout because he definitely thinks it's the one that will cause the most change to his chest, back, and arms. He hasn't done much resistance training before, and I think this workout will be a great introduction. Using light weights, as Shaun T does, will build lean muscle, but if you want "big guns" you'll definitely need to lift heavy.
It was also great to see Shaun T using weights in this program. Even though I don't prefer doing resistance training, I know it's important. I do, however, love some of the resistance training workouts that Shaun T has put out, most significantly the Strength workout from Asylum 1. Shaun T does a great job integrating cardio with weights. This makes it more fun for people who like cardio and makes them more motivated to do resistance training.
Seth has now done all the workouts in the T25 program for the Alpha and Beta Cycles. He has around four weeks left on the program, and I'm excited to see his results. I think that we can expect to see even more changes than in the first month, mostly because of the addition of resistance training with weights in the Upper Focus and Rip'd Circuit workout. I can't wait to see how his fitness is went he reaches the end of the program in mid-September.

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