Monday, September 30, 2013

Focus T25: Rip't Up

Today, I got to watch Seth do the second workout in the Gamma Cycle, Rip't Up. I was actually able to do this workout myself last week, and it is no joke. This 25 minute stength workout will leave your arms burning. For the workout, you should have one heavy set of weights and one really light set, think 2 or 3 pounds.
The warm-up is exactly like Beta Cycle's Upper Focus. First up is Split Lunge Agility. Next up is the switch kick series: Low Switch Kick, Double Switch Kick, and High Switch Kick. Then it's Static Uppercut followed by Jack Uppercut.
Time to pick up weights for the first round of weights with Wide Row. Scott did an advanced version with a pull-up bar. Next was Single Arm Row, left then right.
Shaun T then moved to the floor for Straight Arm Fly (basically swimming from Asylum with weights). This is where you might use the 2 or 3 pound weights. Band guy, Andy, and Tanya don't use weights. Next is Lat Pulldowns, done lying on the floor chest down.
Back up for Reciprocating Hammer Curls for biceps. This is followed by Tricep Kickbacks Palms Up, then Tricep Kickbacks Palms Down. I found this trickier than doing a traditional tricep kickback with the hands facing your body and not rotating. It's back to biceps for Reciprocating Wide Curls.
Shaun T moved to a balance shoulder move, Silnge Ledge Shoulder Press, left then right. You raise the arm on the leg that's in the air.
Push-ups on the floor are next, 4-Count Push-Ups. I did the first few in full plank, but eventually dropped to my knees with Tanya. This immediately transitioned back to standing for Upright Row for shoulder. Back to the floor for 2-Count Push-Ups. Back up again for 90 Degree Shimmy Up. I found this move quite challenging. You have you arms at a L-shape to the body and move them up and down. This moved into a dual 90 Degree Shoulder Shrug, again very challenging. I had to take a brief break. Next up was Basic Shoulder Shrug, which honestly felt good after the 90 Degree moves. Shaun T continued the standing work with Standing Rocketman.
Finally it was time for back (and to give the shoulders a rest) with Reciprocating Lawnmower. Scott does this on the pull-up bar. This is followed by Deadlift + Knee Raise, left then right. Shaun T had you do the deadlift holding on leg back to make it a balance move. This leg then comes up for the knee raise. Deadlift + Shoulder Shrug is the following move. Here you do a more traditional deadlift with both feet on the floor.
It's back to the ground for Reciprocating Push Press. Shaun T has you do this with your head up to engage your abs. This transitions to Dual Push Press + Knees 90 Degrees, followed by Reciprocating Push Press + 90 Degree Hold, then Dual Push Press + Scissor Legs.This entire set of moves was quite hard. I had not done push presses before. This move sort of reminded me of the 90 Degree standing moves. Both were new to me and a good set of challenges.
Up next was Down Dog + Plank. Shaun T intensified this into Down Dog + Alternating Leg Plank, then Down Dog + Alternating Leg Push-up. The Down Dog + Alternating Leg Push-up was super challenging and modified by Tanya. Down Dog + Oblque Push-up was next; again Tanya modified just doing oblique push-ups on her knees.
Time to stand up (thank goodness!) for High Hook and then Low Hook + Squat Hold. This bit of cardio recovery was very welcome after the difficult plank sequence. Low Jack Uppercut was the next cardio move, followed by Crossdown Punch Jack.
Back to more strength moves. Superman Pulse on the floor. Again, this could be done with very light weights or no weights at all. Rocketman Pulse completed the set. I was fairly fatigued at this point and was very happy to do these moved without weights.
Stand up for Single Leg Dual Curl on the left then right. I like using balance moves with weights because it really works your core. This move is a favorite from my twice-weekly class at the Smith College gym. Next up was Single Leg Tricep Press, left then right.
The next move was basically impossible for me: Arm Push-up Jack. Woah! I can jack my feet and do a push-up, but this was too much. Arm Jack + Knee In was next. I had to modify both these moves to standard push-ups with Tanya.
Next was 4-Count Curl Press on the left then right (standing leg). Both arms did a bicep curl into a shoulder press. My arms were shaking at this point. Just one minute to go! Shaun T then moved more quickly through this set with 2-Count Curl Press on the left then right leg. Almost there! And finally...TIME!
Rip't Up is definitely a difficult upper body set. I felt like I got my 25 minutes worth for sure. Seth really went for it during the day I watched him and reports that his arms have never felt tired like this! He echos what I said about the Jack Push-ups being the most challenging move of the program.
It's a fun workout, but by the end you are super fatigued. The 4-Count Curl Press feels so much more challenging than one would think. Seth also likes the strength moves combined with the balance moves. It helps focus the energy on the resistance training because you really need to focus on form.
This workout is an excellent extension of Upper Focus into something more difficult. Like The Pyramid, the weights stay in your hand almost the entire time.
To sum it up, if you're short on time, this is an amazing stength workout. I think it will take a while to master this one. I can definitely see the change in difficultly from Beta to Gamma. As someone who has done Insanity and Asylum, I can say that the Gamma Cycle workout have lots of moves that are just as difficult as those other programs. Pick it up!

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