Gamma is in the house! Based on his love of T25, Seth ordered the bonus Gamma Cycle, which consists of four new workouts: Speed 3.0, Rip'd Up, Extreme Circult, and The Pyramid, all of which focus more on strength building than the other rounds of T25. (We purchased the DVDs only, but there is an option where you can also get a mini mat and bands with the Gamma DVDs.) Gamma Cycle includes a calendar for a month of Gamma. There is also a hybrid calendar for doing a Focus T25 workout that focuses on strength and uses workouts from all three Cycles of T25.
Next things started getting intense with a Push-up with In + Out Abs, a burpee style move. Then it was Jab + Power Lunge. I could see that Shaun T was mixing moves together in a much more complex way in Gamma.
Up next was a move I remembered from Core Speed, Squat Hop + Crisscross. After that was another burpee move, Burpee + Plank Walk. This was followed by Plie Jab, where you do jabs in a plie squat position.
After this, Shaun T had everyone start again at the top of Round 1 with the Out + Out Turn and go through all of the moves for the second time and third through Round 1. Again, as with other Speed workouts, each round had you transitioning through moves more quickly than the time before. After three times through the first set of moves, it was time for Round 2.
Round 2 started with "T" Drop + Alt. Knee in, where you do two plie squats with your arms out in a "T" shape and then do a couple of alterating knee raises. This was followed by a Burpee + Spider Lunge and then Jab + Squat Thrust. Next up was more burpees, Burpee + Push-up Jack. Yikes -- push-up jacks are seriously hard. Seth found this to be the hardest move in the workout. I would recommend modifying this to a normal push-up for people new to this move and then working to add in the push-up jacks as you gain strength and familiarity with the move.
After the burpee craziness it was Speed Knee Up + Over, a familiar move from Speed 1.0. Then back to more burpees -- woah! -- Burpee + Ski Abs, which those of you who have done Insanity will remember. Seth loves Ski Abs and really enjoyed this move. Up next was followed by 2 + 2 Power Knee.
It was then back down to the floor for a Burpee + Pike-up, where you did a burpee into two pike-ups on the floor and then back-up. Next was Power Squat + Jog back. It seemed at this point that Round 2 was going to alternate standing moves with burpees.
This was proved true when the next move was Burpee + Front Kick, a move from the bonus Core Cardio workout. The last burpee move finished out Round 2, and it was back to the top for two more times through with quicker transitions before moves.
Round 2 seemed killer to me, and I was just watching Seth. I would say it definitely rivaled the Insanity workouts for difficulty and seemed even more difficult than the very challenging Core Speed workout. Gamma is definitely for those of you who have made it through T25 Alpha and Beta. Seth did great with the challenge and had to do very few modifications, basically only substituting standard push-ups for the jack push-ups, and kept moving strong throughout.
After going through Round 2 twice, there were just under six minutes left to the workout. Shaun T gave everyone a quick Jog Recovery for everyone to "Focus." Then it was time to take it from the top!
Shaun T took it from the Out + Out Turn all the way through all the moves in Round 1 and Round 2 until that last Burpee + Front Kick. The workout moved through all the moves "From Top" two times, moving through the moves more and more quickly.
The burpee is a very challenging move and this workout had it in spades. Crazy! This is definitely excellent cardio that incorperates strength training moves using your body as resistance, in the style of Insanity. I would say you would want to be very familiar with the burpee and be able to do it with good form before attempting this workout. There are no modifications offered, so you should be really for a challenge. Doing T25 Alpha and Beta will prepare you, especially if you feel you're doing those workout very successfully.
Seth's take on Speed 3.0: It's hard! He did the first workout from Insanity, Plyometric Cardio Circuit, last last week and found this workout to be even harder. While Insanity: Plyometric Cardio Circuit has some floor work, Speed 3.0 is all up and down, up and down with the burpees every other move. As the intervals get shorter, it's very hard to keep with the participants in the DVD as they quickly transition from burpee to a standing move to another burpee. You have to move very quickly through the burpee to make it to the standing move. You really need to focus on being strong, maintaining good form, and moving fast.
Speed 3.0 is a great cardio workout that will need to be attempted many times for mastery. I think it's the most challenging of the T25 workouts that I've seen. It makes me excited to see the rest of what Gamma Cycle has to offer!