Monday, December 29, 2014

Insanity Max:30 Review: Tabata Strength


Week three of Max:30 introduces a new workout, Tabata Strength. This takes the place of Tabata Power in the workout calendar. The Beachbody description reads, "You won't see this until halfway through Month One because Shaun T takes it up a notch (or two) in this NO REST, Tabata-style workout. You heard right... 20 minutes, no rest, and we haven't even gotten to Month Two yet."

I was very excited to see Tabata Strength. Tabata Power became the first (and only) workout that I've been able to make it through without Maxing Out. (Though I should say that the one time I did make it all the way through I almost died and felt afterwards that maybe I should have taken a break.) I was ready for a new challenge. I have to say that Tabata Strength delivered. I only made it to 11:12 before maxing out and had to modify some push-ups even before that, at 10:28.


Tabata Strength uses the same 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off model that Tabata Power did. Instead of water breaks, you are given recovery moves after each round. Again, it's all body weight moves. Below is the moves list. In all cases the format is "on move" > "off move." My notes, where I have them, follow in parenthesis.

Warm-up:
Straight Arm Jack: Jack the feet and push the arms straight above your head up and down.
Scissor Chest Opener: Scissor the feet front and back and have the arms at shoulder level closing in front of the check and opening to a t-shape.
Lateral Lunge: Quick lunge side to side.
Downdog Spider: From the downdog position (from plank lift the hips in the air until you are in a downward v-shape), spider lunge left and right.
Straight Arm Jack
Scissor Chest Opener
Lateral Lunge: This time, instead of keeping the hands on the hips, touch the floor with the alternate hand.
Downdog Spider

Round 1: (20 seconds "on" > 10 seconds "recovery")
Diamond - Burpee - R > Jog It Out: To do a diamond jump, start in a squat. Power your self up in the air bringing your feet together under your body with toes touching (to make a diamond with your legs). While doing this, bring your arms all the way overhead. When you land from the diamond jump, go back into a burpee by squatting, putting your hands on the floor, and jumping your legs back into plank. For this right burpee, only have your right leg on the floor; keep the left leg lifted. Hop feet back in and start over. (Note: This is a killer move. Diamond jumps are a move I remembered from Insanity, and they are a tough one. Diamond jumps into a burpee is just killer. One legged burpees are definitely a move that you'll need to practice to get used to. I did a lot of them when I was on a T25 kick, and this certainly proved helpful.)
Diamond - Burpee - L > Jog It Out: To do a diamond jump, start in a squat. Power your self up in the air bringing your feet together under your body with toes touching (to make a diamond with your legs). While doing this, bring your arms all the way overhead. When you land from the diamond jump, go back into a burpee by squatting, putting your hands on the floor, and jumping your legs back into plank. For this left burpee, only have your left leg on the floor; keep the right leg lifted. Hop feet back in and start over.
Diamond - Burpee > Jog It Out: To do a diamond jump, start in a squat. Power your self up in the air bringing your feet together under your body with toes touching (to make a diamond with your legs). While doing this, bring your arms all the way overhead. When you land from the diamond jump, go back into a burpee by squatting, putting your hands on the floor, and jumping your legs back into plank. Hop feet back in and start over.
Diamond - Burpee > Jog It Out: To do a diamond jump, start in a squat. Power your self up in the air bringing your feet together under your body with toes touching (to make a diamond with your legs). While doing this, bring your arms all the way overhead. When you land from the diamond jump, go back into a burpee by squatting, putting your hands on the floor, and jumping your legs back into plank. Hop feet back in and start over.
Diamond Jump > Jog It Out: Start in a squat. Power your self up in the air bringing your feet together under your body with toes touching (to make a diamond with your legs). While doing this, bring your arms all the way overhead.
Diamond Jump > Jog It Out: Start in a squat. Power your self up in the air bringing your feet together under your body with toes touching (to make a diamond with your legs). While doing this, bring your arms all the way overhead.
Plié Power Squat > Jog It Out: Start in plié position, with bent knees and feet slightly turned out. Keeping your legs bent and glutes low, jump from a plié into a narrow squat. Jump out and in staying low in the squat and plié position.
Plié Power Squat > Jog It Out

High Knee Ab (Recovery Move): Jog with high knees. Have arms in "on guard" position and twist the torso so arms are meeting knees.

Round 2: (20 seconds "on" > 10 seconds "recovery")
Alt Wide Push-up > Child's Pose: In plank, extend on arm out to the side and do a push-up. Return to center and then extend the other arm to the side and place it down to so a push-up. Alternate side to side.
Alt Wide Push-up > Child's Pose
Diamond Push-up > Child's Pose: In plank, bring your hands together so that your forefingers and thumbs are touching and making a diamond shape. With your hands this way, do push-ups with the elbows going back. (Note: This is much more challenging that standard push-ups. I find a get a better range of motion modifying on my knees. Also, this is where I Maxed Out. These are hard!)
Diamond Push-up > Child's Pose
Knee Diamond Hold > Child's Pose: Go down into a diamond push-up position with your knees down (instead of in full plank). Hold your body at the bottom of the push-up position hovering slightly above the floor. (Note: I am pretty good at push-ups and I could barely sustain this position. My arms were toast!)
Knee Diamond Hold > Child's Pose
Child's Pose - Knee Diamond > Child's Pose: Do a diamond push-up with your knees down (instead of in full plank). Then sit back into Child's Pose. Go back and forth moving forward to do a diamond push-up and then moving back into Child's Pose. Move dynamically throughout.
Child's Pose - Knee Diamond > Child's Pose

Jack Jab (Recovery Move): Jack the feet while jabbing left and right. (Note: My arms were so tired from the diamond push-ups that my punches were less than stellar. It was as if I had noodle arms.)

Round 3: (20 seconds "on" > 10 seconds "recovery")
Split Plyo Lunge > Jog It Out: Start in a lunge position, jump the front leg to the back and the back leg to the front to switch the lunge. Jump back and forth changing your lunging leg each time.
Split Plyo Lunge > Jog It Out
Plyo Power Knee - R > Jog It Out: Bring the right knee towards the chest. The foot on the floor hops out, slightly to the side, and then under the body.
Plyo Power Knee - L > Jog It Out: Bring the left knee towards the chest. The foot on the floor hops out, slightly to the side, and then under the body.
Power Knee - Lunge > Jog It Out: Do a Power Knee on the right side, bringing the right knee towards the chest while standing on the left leg. Then rotate towards the right, bringing down your right knee and going into a lunge with the right leg in front and the left leg back. Rotate back and do another Power Knee.
Power Knee - Lunge > Jog It Out: Do a Power Knee on the left side, bringing the left knee towards the chest while standing on the right leg. Then rotate towards the left, bringing down your leftknee and going into a lunge with the left leg in front and the right leg back. Rotate back and do another Power Knee.
Low Power Knee - L > Jog It Out: Stand on your right leg with the leg bent and your torso almost touching the bent leg. Bring the left knee in towards your chest and back out as fast as you can. Stay in a low position with standing leg bent throughout.
Low Power Knee - R > Jog It Out: Stand on your left leg with the leg bent and your torso almost touching the bent leg. Bring the right knee in towards your chest and back out as fast as you can. Stay in a low position with standing leg bent throughout.

Straight Arm Cross (Recovery Move): Do a cross jack with the feet. Alternate the arms swinging up and out to above your body.

Round 4: (20 seconds "on" > 10 seconds "recovery")
4-Count V Push-up > Child's Pose: Start out in a pike-up position (from a plank, walk the feet in until you are in an upside down "v" shape). Have your fingers turned in towards each other. Lower your head down to the floor for 4-counts and then up for 4-counts.
4-Count V Push-up > Child's Pose
V Push-up > Child's Pose: Start out in a pike-up position (from a plank, walk the feet in until you are in an upside down "v" shape). Have your fingers turned in towards each other. Lower your head down to the floor for 1-count and then up for 1-count.
V Push-up > Child's Pose
V Push-up Hold > Child's Pose: Start out in a pike-up position (from a plank, walk the feet in until you are in an upside down "v" shape). Have your fingers turned in towards each other. Lower your head down to the floor so your elbows are bent out towards the sides. Maintain this position.
V Push-up Hold > Child's Pose
Wide Pike-ups > Child's Pose: With feet wide and body in plank, do a pike-up (raising your hips in the air so you are jumping into an upside down v-shape). Jump back into plank. Repeat.
Wide Pike-ups > Child's Pose

Mummy Kicks (Recovery Move): Have your arms out straight in front of you and switch them side to side above and below the other. While doing this, do low kicks with your feet.

Round 5: (20 seconds "on" > 10 seconds "recovery")
Scissor Push-up - L > Child's Pose: In a plank position, thread your left leg under your body. Do push-ups in this position. (Note: The people of Max:30 must have better hip flexibility than I do because they were rotated much more. My leg barely made it underneath me.)
Scissor Push-up - R > Child's Pose: In a plank position, thread your right leg under your body. Do push-ups in this position.
Knee Tap - Push-up > Child's Pose: In plank, tap one knee to the floor, do a push-up. Tap the other knee and do another push-up. Alternate knee taps.
Knee Tap - Push-up > Child's Pose
Toe Tap - Push-up > Child's Pose: In plank, tap one toe to your opposite hand. Return to full plank and do a push-up. Alternate left and right which toe you are tapping with the opposite hand.
Toe Tap - Push-up > Child's Pose
Plank Toe Tap > Child's Pose: Stay in plank and alternate toe taps left and right.
Plank Toe Tap > Child's Pose

2 & 2 Power Strike (Recovery Move): Punch towards the floor twice on the left. Do a hop and then punch towards the floor twice on the right. Alternate back and forth.

Round 6: Strength Challenge (30 seconds)
Diamond - Burpee: To do a diamond jump, start in a squat. Power your self up in the air bringing your feet together under your body with toes touching (to make a diamond with your legs). While doing this, bring your arms all the way overhead. When you land from the diamond jump, go back into a burpee by squatting, putting your hands on the floor, and jumping your legs back into plank. Hop feet back in and start over.
Alt Wide Push-up: In plank, extend on arm out to the side and do a push-up. Return to center and then extend the other arm to the side and place it down to so a push-up. Alternate side to side.
Max Out Knee Up - R: Start in a squat. Jump and lift your right leg up twisting your arms to meet the leg in an oblique twist. Return to a squat. Repeat.
Max Out Knee Up - L: Start in a squat. Jump and lift your left leg up twisting your arms to meet the leg in an oblique twist. Return to a squat. Repeat.
V Push-up: Start out in a pike-up position (from a plank, walk the feet in until you are in an upside down "v" shape). Have your fingers turned in towards each other. Lower your head down to the floor for 1-count and then up for 1-count.
Chair Hold > Add Pulse (for a total of one minute): Sink into a squat with your arms straight out in front of you. Hold that position. For the last 15 second, pulse while in the low squat position.


Tabata Power had a lot of plyometric work. In Tabata Strength there is a bit less of that, though we do see burpees with diamond jumps. Without a doubt, the difficulty of the bodyweight exercises is ratcheted up. I am uncertain if I will ever be able to make it all the way through this workout without modifications or Maxing Out; especially challenging is a section with diamond push-ups back to back. My arms gave out, and I literally collapsed to the floor a couple of times.

As bodyweight workouts go, this is definitely a challenge. I am excited that this workout will really give me an opportunity to work hard and have growth. I love bodyweight exercises, and I think that this workout is certainly effective and fun. A great addition to the Max:30 program!

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